Chinese love queuing, sometimes

Good manners?

Our Chinese friends can be very annoying because of their queue-jumping attitudes. But Chinese love queuing, sometimes.

I am always taken aback how they can queue up for hours to get anything free of charge.
Like here in Sanlitun, to get a free ice cream “MAGNUM”, said to be “Belgian”.
I would rather pay the 30 RMB than standing in line for so long.
Oh well, I am not Chinese enough I guess.

Legend Beer and Laburnum Thai in Beijing

Legend Beer: not just food

Having fun at Legend Beer and Laburnum Thai Restaurant (they are in the same building) is not only because of the food and the beer.
People play darts, snooker and table football. When I was young we used to call that “kicker” instead of table soccer or something.
See here some of the crowds, from all corners in the world, and also a fellow Rotarian.

Laburnum Thai

At first the building hosted only the Thai restaurant. After massive renovation and construction Legend Beer with its microbrewery was added and now the Thai section is upstairs, so it’s Legend Beer and Laburnum Thai.
Food is nice – I can judge because I lived in Bangkok for four years.


See some of my dining experiences.
On 21 December we had our board meeting and dinner there, of SEDF (Sino-European Development Foundation, based in Vienna, Austria). I am director of the Board.
Nearly all are old friends. Two are former ambassadors (EU / China).Great food, lots of Gongti IPA beer. Thanks to Adam who took well care of us.

Urinals in China are a challenge for Chinese men

Caution slippery floor

Any man who has been in China has had the unpleasant surprise to visit a men’s toilet (well yeah, we are not supposed to visit the women’s toilet). Indeed, urinals in China are a challenge for Chinese men, and a danger for us.
Chinese men have a big problem. Or maybe is it a small problem?
The floors are usually flooded with urine as the men apparently overestimate their reach. Not that they actually care.
If it is a matter of being “short” the new problem is also they often talk or text on their mobile without paying any attention and not even caring to aim, you need both hands for the mobile you know.
They thus obviously also never notice the instructions to “pay attention”.

Trying to educate the men

People have tried to put notices and educate the men. Does not work.
If we would remind the “others” they are missing the target, we would mostly get into trouble as Chinese have become arrogant and hostile to foreigners at times.
Well, creativity does exist in China. So now guys, aim for the ball in the goal, will you?
Oh well we need some decades.
This is why in most “star hotels” you have a friendly old man who is constantly cleaning the floor. But as some pictures show, even in a five-star hotel you better watch for the slippery floor.
I wonder if the ladies have similar problems? Won’t ask…

CCTV shooting with 6renyou at Morel Restaurant

CCTV invades the restaurant

On Sunday 18 December a complete crew of CCTV (Kids) invaded Morel’s Restaurant in Gongti Bei Lu for a CCTV shooting with 6renyou to introduce Belgian food. The restaurant is by far the most authentic Belgian restaurant in Beijing, not to say in China. It is frequented not only by expats but also by a number of top Chinese officials.
The website is in Chinese only and targets Chinese to travel abroad; they also showed cuisine from Israel in the restaurant Biteapitta (Tongli Studio, Sanlitun). See
The idea behind it all is to show on CCTV several types of foreign cuisine, also to prepare Chinese tourists who are to travel and visit Belgium, and other countries.

It took more than a half day as CCTV takes it very seriously, preparing all in detail, installing the proper lighting and sound system.
The stars were obviously Renaat and his wife Susan who explained in great detail the history of the typical Belgian dishes.
I also came on for a short while to give some comments.

The dishes at Morel’s Restaurant

See some of the dishes: fish soup (with croutons, garlic, chees,…): tomato filled with grey shrimp from the North Sea; steak tartare (raw prepared beef); Belgian beef stew (prepared with beer); Brussels pepper steak; endive with ham gratinated; mussels; blood sausage; waffle with whipped cream and ice cream.
Renaat also received a big birthday cake from CCTV.
My favorite dish? Well, all of the above but in my opinion the signature dish of Morel’s is the endive dish (chicon as we call it). There is no restaurant in Belgium that makes the dish as good as Renaat. Except of course for my late mother!

The chef celebrates his birthday

Chefs also celebrate!

On Saturday 17 December Renaat Morel organized a great lunch for some friends, yes the chef celebrates his birthday too. He is the owner of the Morel’s Restaurant on Gongti Bei Lu, with his wife Susan.

I found him a real special red wine, from my collection:

Happy birthday to our friend Renaat!