After months of restrictions due to the virus, Rotarians meet in Beijing again for informal meetings and simple social events.
Many of our members are locked out of China; especially our Rotaractors have a tough time as many are students or professors/teachers, unable to return.
We did restart with some modest lunches and dinners just to meet each other.
Initially on 28 July we had planned an outdoor BBQ in the Hilton (3rd East Ring Road) but due to possible rain the hotel gave us the restaurant on the 2nd floor for our private dinner.
It was also the handover from the 2019-2020 team to the 2020-2021 team.
I managed to bring in some more young people who were able to mingle with the Rotarians.
Good service of the Hilton staff left everybody happy!
We had so many nationalities present, too many to mention…
A farewell dinner
Sadly in Beijing people come and go. One of our past presidents of the Rotary Club of Beijing is leaving us, as he got a new assignment in Europe.
One of our “core members” organized a small dinner at her home, to say farewell to our members leaving us. Our host did a wonderful job, so much delicious food, drinks and we even had a mini KTV session, revealing some hidden talents among our members.
I took part with a Rotaractor to help out for the service, we dressed in our Rotaract uniform!
We all hope we can slowly get back to normal to do our “service to the community”! Most of our projects are for children in need.
Another Old China Hands Lunch 3 July after the virus outbreak. Attendance was up with a total of 22.
Members blocked abroad and unable to return “home” are still close to 30.
Some are to give up on China for good, with their business, family life and social life wrecked. Beijing authorities don’t care and there is no end in sight for the misery, while Shanghai seems to to be looking for solutions.
Planned for Friday 7 August. Hopefully no “unexpected problems”.
Old China Hands Lunch 5 June marked our second lunch after the virus outbreak. Attendance was still pretty modest for several reasons: we were 17. All in all not too bad.
I have tried to have an idea about how many of our members are blocked abroad and unable to return “home”. Well, it is not a nice picture with close to 30 of our usual attendants unable to return; probably there are more, some did not yet reply to me. As I mentioned earlier, I expect many to give up on China for good, with their business, family life and social life wrecked. Chinese authorities couldn’t care less and there is no end in sight for the misery. China is losing many friends, that’s for sure. Really sad.
See the dishes I chose. The restaurant is now also well known for its collection of fresh flowers, done by Susan.
Tentatively planned for Friday 3 July.
All of Morel’s Restaurant staff has been tested for the virus and the restaurant is regularly checked by the hygiene department. As the restaurant observes all regulations strictly, they are one of the locations still allowed to operate.
I also must stress again to our members that the restaurant is giving us a very special deal and they should respect that. You are expected to pay for any extras. If you don’t like it, you go somewhere else.
CD tray does not open
I still use this old but beautiful iMAC for some software and to read small CD sizes that new MACs do not accept anymore (you need to place them on a tray). But the iMAC G4 CD tray refused to open.
A few years earlier we managed to repair the screen backlight years ago (mentioned in my book TOXIC CAPITALISM).
I needed to read a small size CD and realized the tray got stuck. There were some faint click-clacks but that was it.
Out of desperation I poked around the tray, trying to pull it out, with the lid opened. Finally I pushed inside the white plastic (see pic 4), which “clicked”, see pic 5.
Then with the keyboard I opened the tray that slides out.
A modest restart
Old China Hands Lunch is back after a 3 months “pause”. As 1 May was the first Friday of the month we decided to do it on Friday 8 May, giving us also more time to evaluate the “situation”.
I asked our members for an update on their situation and sadly many of our regulars are stuck outside of China as they are not allowed to return to China. They are in UK, USA, Australia, Thailand, Germany, name it. It does not look good when they could return, I think not before October in the best case.
That is obviously dramatic as many have office and home here with all their belongings. Their business is, the least to say, seriously affected.
Some say they will leave China for good. I can’t blame them. China and in particular Beijing is turning against foreigners and racism and xenophobia pop up regularly.
China for sure knows how to turn friends into enemies. And they couldn’t care less.
We were exactly 16 and I insisted on all observing the rules of social distancing, 4 per table, temperature check etc.
Some were still too scared to “mingle”, some simply freaked out. Oh well.
Anyway who came was pretty happy and Morel’s Restaurant served us well.
I am planning the next lunch for Friday 5 June.