Old China Hands 5 November lunch

Numbers are steady

Our Old China Hands 5 November lunch saw a total of 26 familiar faces, recent numbers have been steady but below the past average of 30-35. Members still (stuck) abroad, or busy or even worried to go out with the recent massive COVID cases of less than ten in Beijing.
Anyway all enjoyed the chat and the food.

See a few of the dishes from the special lunch menu. I happened to choose different ones. In view of the ridiculously low price we enjoyed (thanks Renaat) the cost will go up a little in January, So, take advantage of the old price on 3 December, the last lunch of 2021.
I was pictured exactly when my camera went on strike, never happened before. Later back home I managed to get it back to work normally but good to have my iPhone as a backup.

One more famous OCH member

From time to time I introduce some of our illustrious members. This time the honor goes to Melinda!
“20 for 20: Newsweek Beijing Bureau Chief Melinda Liu”
See her story here in TheBeijinger:

“Newsweek’s Beijing Bureau Chief Melinda Liu once considered Beijing a stop on her way to living around the world. Over 20 years later, she’s in awe of how Beijing has changed, whether how the culinary scene has developed or the diversity of the population. Besides her work taking Liu to places both historical and new, during her time here, she turned her curiosity about the American aviators who spent time in China during WWII into a short documentary film. But it’s really been Liu’s chance to witness Beijing’s evolution while visiting ancient sites that have sustained her interest over the years.”

Read the rest of the story in theBeijinger!
Link: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/4uAxBSlEyuqwBBIKqvPV8Q

Old China Hands 8 October lunch

One week later

Our Old China Hands 8 October lunch saw 29 attendants, one week later than normal because of the 1 October holiday.
A special event as a crew of five from BTV (Beijing TV) is making a documentary with me and wanted to shoot a bit during our lunch. Some of our OCH were interviewed.
The BTV people came to my home office around 9 am, went to the lunch, went back to my home office after the lunch. They left 6:30 pm and I was really exhausted. The joke I made, they shot about anything except me going to the toilet. Curious to see what they will make of it.
I don’t have good pictures of their shooting day as I was alone at home.

Other shooting planned soon, along with our Dutch architect John, see:
“John van de Water talked to Rotary”, https://www.beijing1980.com/2021/09/22/john-van-de-water-talked-to-rotary/
No idea when it will be finished and shown.

Great get together as usual and all happy with company and the food.

The documentary

The theme of the documentary is the “Beijing Central Axis”, also about myself and about John. The shooting plan was first discussed in my office on 19 September 2021.
Today many people even don’t know what it means. I was involved with the idea during the preparation of the 2008 Olympic Venues. See the pic from Beijing This Month magazine.

I also have the detailed study done in 2002 by the German architect Albert Speer Jr. for the Beijing Government

Albert Speer Jr. was a German architect and urban planner. He was the son of Albert Speer, Adolf Hitler’s chief architect before assuming the office of Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich during World War II. His grandfather, Albert Friedrich Speer, was also an architect. Wikipedia
I met him in Beijing in 2005 and he wrote a very kind thank you letter for the meeting. He passed away in 2017.

Next lunch

The next lunch is planned for Friday 5 November. Stay tuned!

Old China Hands 3 September lunch

Still holidays?

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.

Next 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…

Old China Hands 6 August lunch

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.
See https://youtu.be/IvXaq8lIkkw

Thanks again Greg!

Old China Hands 2 July lunch

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 lunch

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.