Our Christmas Eve Mega Buffet at home, chaos and fun!

I guess this time we beat our record. In total 74 for our chaotic, relaxed buffet party at our Julong home office. The office is then always turned upside down, see the first pics how it looked like before the party started and then how it was back to normal on Christmas. Thanks to the many helping hands, and a great BRAVO for our Chef in the kitchen, Sun Bin! All the food, including the enormous turkey, the lamb and much more were all prepared at our home.

We had over ten nationalities, including Belgium, France, Holland, Germany, Austria, UK, USA, Israel, Senegal, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia, Philippines, Iran. And oh yes, China!!!
Christmas, even if one is not religious, is still the time to forget politics, race and all, and just be friends enjoying a good time.
Thanks to all for making this a great evening. Wishing all of you a Happy 2015 and see you next year!

Our daughter is a CFA!

On 14 December 2013, a milestone for Valerie: after years of hard work and many tough exams she finally realized her goal: now she is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
The proud parents and some more friends joined the official ceremony in the Hyatt Hotel (Oriental Plaza near Wangfujing).

I had a look myself at the books and manuals she had to study. Being interested in economy and finance I found it great stuff. Except I was unable to answer any of the questions!
The exams are held yearly worldwide on the same day, also in Beijing. Hundreds if not thousands do the test in Beijing.
Later she got her official certificate through the mail.

Birthdays and more birthdays!

I did not post yet the pics of our birthdays. We have pretty unusual dates: myself 31 December, Sun 14 February. Valerie follows on 21 February.
Sun got two cakes on Valentine. As usual we celebrate in Morel’s Restaurant.

Except for Valerie as she had to work, she wanted her Japanese sushi and we had other friends joining.

How we spent Chinese New Year Eve

It has become routine: we have our Nianyefan (New Year’s Eve dinner) next door at the “Feng’s family”. Feng Zongpu (daughter of late Feng Youlan and also a famous writer) joined us at the beginning but she had to rest soon as she is pretty weak. Sun had made in our home a fabulous turkey, Valerie and myself carried it straight from our oven to the other apartment.

We then moved back to our home to watch to (in)famous CCTV Gala, this year worse than ever. As soon as I arrived back home I got a call from the Belgian radio VRT and was interviewed live … Several people heard me in Belgium.
From our living room we have a pretty good view on the fireworks in Gongti Xi Lu. No need to go out. I can sip my champagne and watch CCTV, the fireworks and WeChat messages… As a result, being too busy, I missed my idol Sophie Marceau…

The yearly Mega Xmas Eve Home Party

Yes, normally on 24 December we turn our home/office upside down, so people cannot recognize the place. And we all work like crazy for 2 to 3 days to do the shopping, the rearrangement, the cooking and whatever other preparations. All the cooking is done in-house, zero outside catering. This year we were exactly 60 people, all eager to eat the best turkey in the world, plus all the other goodies. A lot of drinks, this year a lot of Chinese tea and red wine. While some regulars join every year, we do have some rotating guests. Most foreigners are away or busy with family but we still find more than enough friends to celebrate with us. This year ago, many from Rotaract. Many nationalities and obviously many Chinese.

Thanks to all for making this another success, for eating and drinking well and not breaking down the house.
By 1 am everything was back in its right place, dishes washed and ranged. And some totally knocked out by exhaustion and red wine. Sun, our major chef and commander-in-charge did a fantastic job again, seconded by our “Xiao Li” plus the servants Valerie and Gilbert.