Our Old China Hands lunch 8 November saw a grand total of 25, due to COVID complications and other. It was somehow good to have a reduced crowd as CCTV4 was running around filming us and Morel’s Restaurant has a lack of staff.
Yeah CCTV4 is making (again) a documentary about me…
But food was great again. This time we saw pockets of French, German, Flemish and English speaking corners, making it pretty international…
Our Hutong Man
Once again Terry in the news. this time on BRTV (Beijing Radio and TV). who shows his Chinese skills and how he is part of the hutong community.
Link of the video clip is here.
Google translation (edited) from the introduction:
“Unexpected Beijing” American Gao Tianrui, I am “Xichengyang Aunt”
BRTV Youth 21 October 2022
Gao Tianrui from the USA has lived in Beijing for 27 years. A few years ago, he set up his home in a hutong near Shichahai in Beijing, and developed a strong interest in the work of community volunteers. In 2017, he joined the volunteer team of “Aunt Xicheng” and became a member of the Ping An volunteers in Xicheng District, and became well-known. Wearing a red vest and a red armband he is regularly walking in the alleys of Shichahai, enjoying volunteering. His favorite idiom is “helping others.” For him, the Shichahai community is his home.
See previous posts here.
The Old China Hands lunch 7 October came at the very end of the “Golden Week” of National Day (1 October). We were a bit worried about attendance but we had 34 happy Beijingers.
With all the restrictions and worries with the zero-COVID paranoia, many people in Beijing decided not to leave the city so Morel’s Restaurant had very busy days.
While we always loose members we also welcome new faces, some visiting Morel’s for the first time.
Food was as always great. See a few pics of the dishes.
Our Hutong Man
Yes, Terry Crossman again.
Another “Terry in the news” (19 May 2018)
See previous post about Terry.
He was also in Old China Hands stars.
I found one more video on CCTV-4:
《外国人在中国》 20180422 西城“洋大妈”
CCTV-4 Chinese International Channel
“Foreigners in China” 20180422 “Foreign Aunt” in Xicheng
Watch it here.
Next one is on Friday 4 November. Attendance is not open, advance registration with me is mandatory. All nationalities and backgrounds are welcome but only for “foreigners” (non-Chinese ID) with ten years of China experience. Next spring it will be our 10th anniversary!
Our Old China Hands lunch 2 September brought together 32 of our members. We also welcomed the baby of OCH Josh. As always, all happy chatting and enjoying the good food.
The next lunch is planned for Friday 7 October, due to the October 1 holiday week.
And more about our famous OCH
Raja is competing with our star Mark for media exposure.
See here his latest in English through Beijing Review.
But beating all is Renaat Morel. I guess he has like an interview every two weeks…
On 10 September at 10 pm we all watched live BRTV showing a program about the GuoAn soccer club and its long relation with Morel’s Restaurant. GuoAn normally uses Worker’s Stadium as its base and should return there once the new stadium is opening, I guess early next year.
I don’t have the link for you to watch but see some screenshots while we watched on the iPad. And of course the famous candle…
Back in force
Happy to see our Old China Hands lunch 5 August reaching again 35 attendants. We still had to keep the strict door checks for the negative COVID test. Sadly one of our most regular members was refused entry as his test was 5 days, the test he had done the previous day did not show the result, most probably as they did not enter his data correctly. We are not being “despotic”: police has installed equipment that checks if people entering scanned – and the health status.
Sorry Terry, we missed you.
Anyway everybody happy, the food was great as always, see some of the dishes here – Russian egg salad, fricandeau, piccata Bolognese, red snapper filets, and pancake with fruit.
I always eat too much during those lunches, but in the evening I still needed to discuss with Chef Renaat.
I had the gratinated goat cheese and we were surprised with each a half waffle!
Our star of the month
This time the focus is on Raja, probably the oldest “Old China Hand”, he beats me by far.
He found a picture of us, date unknown but somewhere in the eighties.
Raja Magasweran is originally from Sri Lanka. See the documentary about him:
“Bond With China – China Fate – My career is in China”.
《中国缘 | 我的事业在中国》20210822完整版
Dated 22 August 2021 as I understand.
Watch the full version here.
I had the pleasure to meet his family several times.
These are still difficult times and we had to skip two lunches with all the COVID mess. The Old China Hands lunch 1 July had finally 20 participants.
For the lunch there were strict requirements; tables of maximum 8, negative COVID test in the Health app (max. 2 days). temperature control. All enforced by myself at the door.
Pretty weird as I had about 7 last-minute cancellations, most by people having stomach problems (not COVID!).
Food by Renaat Morel was great as always. Found myself back for dinner to taste the beef stroganoff (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beef_Stroganoff ) and have drinks with a French friend, married to a Philippine lady and who works for a Belgian company… I then learned we are actually neighbors…
Our star Mark Levine
As I said already, Mark is all over the media and most probably the most featured of our group. I already introduced him earlier, “Old China Hands stars”.
Well here some more about him. Read the articles to know more about him and his China story.
He sadly could not make it to our 1 July lunch.
See the pic with the famous and much loved Thai Princess when he handed her a copy of his book in The Bookworm. Date: 8 April 2017. The Princess has been a frequent visitor to China. Pictured in the middle is Peter Goff, former Rotarian and former owner of The Bookworm.
RIP The Bookworm
That place was forced to close, sadly. It was a library, coffee shop, book shop and the center for cultural and literary events. So many memories of meetings and events there…
I mentioned the closing earlier.
Here some pics of the great place we miss so much.
It was also reported in the SCMP on 15 November 2019.