Rotary Nuertingen Kirchheim Teck


My good friend Eli Khoury who worked a few years in Beijing is now the president of Rotary Nuertingen Kirchheim Teck Club in Germany. We miss him and his lovely family.
The club:
He invited me to give a talk about Beijing using ZOOM. I finally found a way to do it so that my face is not sun-burnt red – the camera of my iMac desktop sucks. The iPhone is much better, and with some extra lights it looks really so much friendlier.

Topic of the E-Meeting

“Surviving Beijing during the pandemic. What’s next for the economy?”

Time was 13:20 CET / 19:20 Beijing time on 16 September 2020 and the talk with Q&A took some 40 minutes. I gave an overview on how the COVID-19 epidemic started and how Beijing (and China) handled the fight against the virus, with the today result it is the safest place to be for the virus. I explained how life was during the “lockdown” – that was not really a lockdown as in other countries, while somehow draconian. I survived it very well. Now Beijing is slowly back to “normal” but still with some restrictions.

I also talked about the impact on the economy and what we can expect in the near future.
I also explained there is a lot of fake news, such as the story that China “made the virus by purpose”. And that it is clear another virus of the same kind can be expected in the future; to ward it off, China is clamping down on the trade of wild animals and improving the sanitary conditions of the “wet markets” where vegetables, fish, meat and so much more is sold.

Care for Children

Our weekly lunch

During our Rotary lunch in Kempinski on 15 September we welcomed Care for Children to give a presentation.
Nice turnout, as members were interested in the presentation.

Speakers always get our banner as a token of appreciation.

Care for Children

Some members participated online using ZOOM.
CfC was established as a charity organization in the UK in 1998. Since 1998, it has pioneered family-based care in China, helping transform their child welfare system. Foster care now represents one of the primary methods of care for orphaned and vulnerable children.
Working under the Ministry of Civil Affairs with the Chinese Association of Social Workers, it has trained thousands of family placement workers throughout the country to provide long-term support to children and the families they join, and hundreds of thousands of children’s lives have been transformed.

The speakers delivered a very professional presentation:
Dr. Zhang Qiuling, Research Manager. She is an International child development specialist with Doctor degree on Child Development. More than 20 years of research and training experience in child protection, child development and family care & deeply understanding of child welfare and social service system of China.
Erin Wang, Training Manager. Master of Educational Psychology, University of Sydney. Ten years of experience in curriculum design and field training in child development and family care.

For more details, see:
In short:
What We Do: We partner with governments across Asia to place orphaned and abandoned children into local, loving families.
Where We Work: Care for Children has been working in China for twenty years, Thailand for seven years and Vietnam for two years.

Beijing Rotary in Morel

Dinner instead of lunch

This time, Beijing Rotary in Morel Restaurant as our club is doing some dinner evenings instead of the usual lunches in Kempinski.
We had a nice crowd, many nationalities with some guests who were interested to listen to our speaker of the evening, Michael.

Michael, our speaker

Michael is a game addict and enthusiast programmer since age 11-12.

After a career in finance & investment industry, in 2003  back to China to join his beloved game industry as Chief Operating Officer of Netease (the second biggest Chinese game company); since then been making games, publishing games and investing into many game companies. Left Netease to start his own company, now being restructured.
Speaker Michael Tong gave us an overview of the video game industry with added spicy controversies and special surprising aspects for people not familiar with the industry, e.g. its size compared to movie and music industry, how people can acquire knowledge from games, and how it is affecting pop culture. For many of the “older” people, a new world – except if they have kids…

Morel’s Restaurant and Café

As always, Chef Renaat did not disappoint. We had a good deal for this great menu, most went for the menu. a very few chose from A La Carte.
Morel’s Dinner menu:

Starter: Fishers Wife Salad
Flemish Vegetable Soup
Main course

Medallion of Beef tenderloin with mushroom sauce
Red Snapper Provençale style

Dessert: Pancakes with Ice cream & Fresh Fruit Salad
WHITE wine: Chile, Luis Felipe Edwards Chardonnay 2015
RED Wine: French, Château de France, Côtes de Bordeaux 2013
Local beer and soft drinks.


Old China Hands Lunch 4 September

Back in numbers!

We had our Old China Hands Lunch 4 September with a very nice attendance: 30 plus one child! That is the best we had this year. Of course we miss the thirty something of our members still stuck abroad.

Our friend Kent brought a big tiramisu as a desert for all. It was wonderful. He also got the praise from Chef Renaat!

Next lunch

Planned for Friday 2 October, right in the middle of the October 1 Golden Week. It’s a gamble as always: no excuse you need to work. Bored at home, as many (like me) still avoid travel and the annoyance of being targeted as “dangerous foreign virus carriers”.
Anyway, Morel’s Restaurant will be open, so let’s go for it!


The new buzzwords

Call it Digibesity, Mal de Coucou or OCUD, I often wonder if it is not worse than COVID-19.
Like for the dreaded virus we face now, this mobile virus has a few names:

Digibesitas (Dutch) or “Digibesity” for our English readers.
Cellfish: Those who continue to talk on their cell phone, oblivious to the effect on others around them.
Nomophobia: refers to the fear of being without your mobile phone or without a cellular or WIFI signal.
OCUD (Obsessive cell phone use disorder) describes a person who continually talks on their cell phone or checks updates on mobile apps in public, while driving, meeting friends or eating in a restaurant. Or going to a classical concert. Mal de Coucou is a new buzzword, says China Daily: “Describes a phenomenon in which a person has an active social life but very few close friends”.

The plague of the new era

I already published a few posts with some hilarious (not sure this is the right word!) pics and cartoons:

Digibesity books and articles:

Digibesity can harm, and kill you:

Digibesity the new social plague:

Do you suffer from OCUD or Mal de Coucou?

Call me old-fashioned

You can, but I don’t care. However, do note I am also hours on my mobile, plus desktop where I am active on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and a few others. I stopped Instagram, not that interesting. Livestreaming for foreigners in China is totally forbidden. Can’t use the app Douyin and always failed to activate TikTok. Well, maybe not missing that much.

But I hate to sit with “friends” at a restaurant when they have more interest in their mobiles (and making stupid selfies), and people walking, biking and even driving glued to their mobile screens. They totally ignore the real world around them and are only alive in their artificial world.
I love to walk around and see what’s around me. And enjoying my food. BTW be aware it is bad for your health to eat AND look at your screens at the same time.

I miss the pre-mobile era

Looking at an old VHS of Madonna public performances (she is one of the greatest performers), one interesting aspect: no mobiles yet. People chatting with each other, not glued to their mobile, not taking pictures. The public during the shows actually is listening to the music and paying attention to the performers.
I miss that time.

When I was young we had no mobiles, only the fixed line at home that we had to share with the whole house. Privacy was often a problem so I learned to whisper in the phone to the annoyance of my parents. We survived very well, managed to meet and date, and have fun.

Love the pics

Here some more funny pics.


And a tell-all video:

More to come!