Our Old China Hands 3 September lunch saw again 27 attendants, below our usual of mid-30s. People on a trip, busy and even outside of China. The damned quarantine does not help attendance either. Of our member list, just above 100, we have 20 people outside of China, many unsure when they can be back. As I always warn, the list was again cleaned up a little, removing the silent members.
This time happy to see a VIP guest, our Belgian ambassador. Other special guests, Teddy and Eddy, were carried by Kevin, but they skipped the lunch.
As 1 October is the first Friday, rather inconvenient, we decided to have the lunch on Friday 8 October. Hopefully the virus stays away and we can plan without last minute hiccup…
A smaller group
Our Old China Hands 6 August lunch saw a bit less attendants, 27, still not too bad as it is right in the middle of the summer period, and midst a scare with new COVID-19 cases in Beijing and China. Two of our members are currently in a lockdown in their Wangjing compound. For 21 days, not funny and I think overdone by the authorities.
Quite a number are also away from Beijing.
Sadly it seems one of our most regular members, Terry, might not get his visa renewed. One more possible victim of the foreigners=disposable policies.
Thanks to Edwin I even have a pic of myself for once.
The most popular dish was the Belgian fricandeau dish! In English often called meat bread, meat loaf.Our next lunch, hopefully, is on Friday 3 September. We hope that by then the virus scare is toned down.
Old China Hands Lunch 1 June 2018 in Morel’s Restaurant
One of the unlucky lockedup at home is Greg who had made some interesting videos of our 5th anniversary. See the earlier post! I put them together and you can watch them on YouTube, yeah you need your backdoor.
Thanks again Greg!
Always well attended!
Our Old China Hands 2 July lunch again drew a full house with 37 attendants!
Renaat Morel and myself made a frame of the previous celebration, one frame above the fish tank in the restaurant and one frame in my office.
This time no special performance, we all simply enjoyed each other’s company, and the food.
Later in the day the restaurant gave me this BIG “hongbao” for my support to the restaurant. Hm I am rich?
Next round planned for Friday 6 August, right in the middle of Beijing sauna week. Hopefully not flood week. The disastrous floods in many regions were really horrible but also showed so much solidarity.
Hopefully Beijing will be spared, I still remember the deadly floods here years ago.
Full house for an anniversary
For our Old China Hands 4 June lunch we again had some surprises, celebrating our 8th anniversary with a group picture and an unplanned musical performance.
Actually the lunches started in April 2013 but we were too busy in the previous lunches and wanted the celebration to be the main focus. Again with team work we got a banner that we used for the group picture. Some new faces but happy to see again our Aussie friend Geoff back and out of quarantine.
As Morel’s Restaurant had some staff issues I had to be the cashier at the door and forced to have part of my lunch while raking in the money.
And mobilizing the gang for the group picture demanded some calls to order, made easy as I am the Sergeant-at-Arms in Rotary. We were 35 exactly with a special table for the Flemish gang.
Our member Peter has some remarkable talents in shooting music videos. He surprised us by setting up a short trio performance. He has his own band, music studio and video company (more than 100 songs where he did composition and Chinese lyrics). He certainly has a very interesting professional background too…
See the vimeo clip, need VPN in China.
Our lunches are never boring!
Another author among our members
Our (new) member Caroline surprised me with her book: “Les trente glorieuses chinoises de 1980 à nos jours – Caroline Puel”. See here: https://www.france24.com/en/20110120-caroline-puel-journalist-author-30-years-that-changed-china
I promptly bought the book and I started reading it – looks very interesting. So few people know about the real history of modern China.
And yeah back back again
Honestly, a bit too much of Morel’s Restaurant?
The same evening back, to have dinner with friends. I had the spaghetti, the best one in town, really. And see what else came on the table.
Always something special
Our Old China Hands 7 May lunch was again in an unusual week: though a “working day” it was for many still in the middle of the May 1 holiday week. Others were just back at work and super busy but we were exactly 29 total.
We surprised Tibor with a Happy Birthday mini-firework…
The previous day Luc and me had our second vaccine shot; a Dutch friend who had it too was too unwell to attend the lunch. Everybody has different reaction to the vaccine…
Saying bye to Kent
I had prepared a special gift for our friend Kent (musician, chef, painter) who is leaving Beijing soon to be reunited with his wife in USA.
As always a happy crowd in the fully packed Morel’s Restaurant.
Next lunch planned for Friday 4 June.