Morel and Gilbert were on Mafengwo

Mafengwo (马蜂窝)

On 25 November 2020 Restaurant Morel and Gilbert were on Mafengwo. As usual I was not really aware what was going on. I just followed orders…
The platform:
See: https://www.dragonsocial.net/blog/what-is-mafengwo-content-ota/

Mafengwo started as a travel forum for independent travelers. Users on the platform share their journeys, travel tips, itineraries, recommendations, and feedback with other users on the platform. Its user base has increased over time and has developed into an enormous millennial traveler community. One of the best ways to understand how it works is to think of it as the Chinese equivalent of TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, and Expedia combined.
Mafengwo  presents a powerful opportunity for businesses to target young Chinese free & independent travelers
See here details of the website/app performance:
mafengwo.cn is ranked #42 in the Travel and Tourism/Travel and Tourism category and #6884 Globally.  https://www.similarweb.com/website/mafengwo.cn/

It was live

I thought, well, another interview. Only later I realized it was live… and I was online for quite some time. If I knew I would have acted a bit more “careful”…

Guess what, within hours my interview had over 300,000 views, with all kinds of funny comments (also about my sweater).
I could not find a link to the interview, one can only watch through Mini Program, I guess 201125 mafengwo3.jpg might give a clue how to find the long program.
As I always say, life in Beijing is never boring and Morel’s Restaurant is where the action is…

Beijing Rotary in February

Many activities

Beijing Rotary in February 2021: it was a busy month!
See here some of our activities.

Lunch 2 February

Back again to Kempinski Hotel, with Christopher Felder as our guest speaker.
Topic: Resonate Leadership Speaker
In his talk, Chris, a frequent guest, gave an inspiring talk on leadership and what a resonant leadership entailed. Summing up, Hope and fostering Hope, are the driving forces behind a Hope leader. During the interactive session with questions from Chris and answers by the members, Chris took us to examine the examples of some of the famous leaders from around the world, the strengths that made them great, and the metrics of a great leader. Chris also busted the common myths of intellect and toughness as the key drivers for leadership. At last he led the audience to conclude that EI, or Emotional Intelligence, that encompasses social awareness, relationship management, self-awareness and self-management, is what is needed in leadership that generates resonance.

Fellowship at Paulaner in Kempinski

With Chinese New Year, a change of location for our lunch on 9 February. Happy to welcome Rotarian Amanda from the Rotary Club of Cambridge UK.

Fellowship at Roots Restaurant

Still Spring Festival, we were back at Roots (LINK) for our Tuesday lunch.
No speaker, simply enjoying the food and good company with visiting Rotarians from France and UK.

Farewell Party

Our President Danny will leave soon for Nanjing where he will open the latest Fraser’s Suite. He will be replaced by the President Elect Didier, assisted by Rtn Piper. To wish Danny success in his new post and to thank him for his service, we had a party in The Roots Restaurant; for the restaurant and the great menu see this post.
Time was Tuesday 23 February at p.m.
Location: “The Roots” above Paddy O’Shea’s
Delicious buffet evening with sangria, red and white wine, mojito, beer…
Thanks go to the incredible musicians in the person of the very Danny himself, Michael, Rob, Winnie, Kevin, Chris, and all of us accompanying.

Rtn Danny donated a real big “hongbao” to the Rotary Club of Beijing to support our projects. Didier gave him some cigars (one of Danny’s weaknesses).
Great evening!

The Roots Restaurant

New kid on the block

Above the well-known Paddy O’Shea’s Irish pub in Beijing Dongzhimenwai, The Roots Restaurant has opened recently.
In a previous post I mentioned a small event we held there for a Rotary Fellowship Dinner.
This time we organized a small party in the restaurant for the Rotary, a post about it is coming out very soon.

Small but nice

The French manager Antoine is providing a good service with excellent food in a cozy atmosphere. The place only sits some 35 guests, it was formerly a Japanese restaurant, apparently a victim of the pandemic last year. They prefer to keep it small to make it cozy. The vacant rest of that floor where once the Indian Ganges Restaurant was (it seems also a victim of the virus), is now being remodeled and there would be another Indian restaurant coming.

Mediterranean food

For our group Antoine made a buffet with a North African inspired menu, said to be much Moroccan. It was delicious. I am a big fan of the sausages and the “stewed beef and tomato”, among others.
See the pictures!
Prices are very reasonable.
Our group was very happy with the food, the red wine and the Belgian Vedett beer.

Antoine also used his colorful North African tableware.
Recommended!

New year for Beijing Rotary

Safe Beijing

With the virus threat pretty well under control in Beijing, the new year for Beijing Rotary has brought a modest restart of the activities of the Rotary Club of Beijing. See about our January activities.
Our Rotaractors are still struggling to get their members back, with many foreign students abroad or not allowed to leave their campus.

At least our Rotaract Club of West Beijing has been able to induct new members, online.

Dinner 12 January 2021

On Tuesday 12 January we started our 2021 with a dinner meeting in Morel’s Restaurant.
Our US Peruvian Rotarian José gave us a speech on “Living as an immigrant in USA, Expat in Panama and a Laowai in China”. An exciting interactive talk as many of us have shared similar experiences.

José is a new member, recently inducted.

Lunch 19 January 2021

Back again for lunch at the Kempinski Hotel.
Rotarian Hans Diederen tried his best to explain the new and fascinating world of Bitcoin and Digital money.

26 January Fellowship Dinner

In the evening of January 26 Rotarians, Rotaractors and Friends of Rotary came together for a festivity evening with some Mediterranean fare at Roots Restaurant, a newly opened restaurant in Dongzhimenwai, above the well-known Paddy O’Shea. Over Sangria and Mojito, Rotarians connected with friends, and reconnected with other members.

 

2021 Year of the Ox

Chinese zodiac

Learn here some details and background about 2021 Year of the Ox.
This overview is a compilation from multiple sources.
The name ‘Spring Festival’ (春节 Chūnjié)  is actually quite modern: it’s from 1912, when the Republic of China adopted the Gregorian calendar. The old name for the lunar new year (Yuan Dan 元旦 Yuándàn) was re-appropriated for January 1st and Sun Yatsen came up with the term Spring Festival for the Lunar New Year.

The 12-year Chinese zodiac determines which dates and years are auspicious or unlucky. Each lunar cycle has 60 years divided into 12 smaller cycles, each of which is represented by one of the following animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
The Year of Your Animal Sign Is Not Your Lucky Year.
See here my “wishes” for 2021:

2021

2021 is the Year of the Ox according to Chinese zodiac. This is a Year of Metal Ox, starting from Feb. 12, 2021 (Chinese New Year) and lasting to Jan. 31, 2022. Ox is the second in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac sign. Years of the Ox include 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033…

And Oxen are…

Oxen used to be capable farming tools in an agricultural society, which attach to the symbol of diligence, persistence, and honesty. In Chinese culture, Ox is a faithful friend that made great contributions to the development of the society. Like the ox, people born in the Year of the Ox are industrious, cautious, hold their faith firmly, and always glad to offer help.

It is said that Ox ranks the second among the Chinese zodiacs because it helped the Rat but was later tricked by it. The myth goes that the Jade Emperor declared the order of zodiac signs would be based on the arrival orders of 12 animals. Ox could have arrived the first but it kindly gave a ride to Rat. However, when arriving, Rat just jumped to the terminus ahead of Ox, and thus Ox lost the first place.

With the dwindling birth rate in China, the Year of the Ox could be worse… See below why!
The 2021 Ox is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支 / dì zhī) Chǒu (丑). In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳 / yīn yáng), the Ox is Yang.

  • Earthly Branch of Birth Year: Chou
  • Wu Xing (The Five Elements): Tu (Earth)
  • Yin Yang: Yin

Is it ox, cow, bull, buffalo or…

Ox (牛  Niú)
The main difference between Bull and Ox is that the Bull is a male individual of cattle and Ox is a common bovine draft animal. A bull is a not castrated adult male. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration makes the animals easier to control. Bad for birth rate!!!
In Chinese the character for cow and ox are the same.

Water buffalo (水牛 Shuǐniú)
The buffalo is the second animal symbol in the 12-year cycle of the Vietnamese zodiac, taking the place of the Ox in the Chinese zodiac. Water buffalo are industrious and patient.
The water buffalo, also called domestic water buffalo or Asian water buffalo is a large bovid originating in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and China.
The domesticated water buffalo is the “living tractor of the East”. There are two types, river and swamp, each considered a subspecies. The breed was selected mainly for its milk, which contains 8 percent butterfat. Swamp buffalo more closely resemble wild water buffalo and are used as draft animals in rice paddies throughout Southeast Asia. Children ride them to their wallows after their labours and clean their faces and ears.