What is a normal attendance?
Our Old China Lunch 3 March saw a modest crowd of 28 members. Yes China is getting back to normal which also means people are busy traveling again or simply working! Still hoping we can go back to our pre-COVID figures of around 35. Slowly friends are returning to China.
Anyway we had some interesting guests who were very happy networking.
As always great food and lively chats.
The missing ones
Mark Levine and Peter Ritzen could not make it due to their busy schedule.
Both were all over the news, Mark with his mega birthday part on 18 February (I need to make a post about it!), and several interviews. Peter busy in Chongqing with his concerts, getting nationwide attention.
Hoping to see them again!
Next lunch: Friday 7 April.
Beijing getting slowly back to normal
Our Old China Lunch 3 February 2023 marked the start of the post-COVID misery, with still a number of members waiting to return. Several members were still away on vacation so our total of 30 was pretty good.
Morel’s Restaurant did its best for the service as several of the staff have not returned yet.
Susan Morel had a gift for all attendants: a small cute rabbit to mark the Year of the Rabbit, it was a real pleasant surprise!
I am the lucky owner of both rabbits they gave out, the bigger one was for Chinese New Year. They keep me company at breakfast and lunch!
Good food: Oeuf en Meurette
Finally the restaurant had to increase the price for the lunch as all ingredients have seen a stark cost increase. But we still get a great deal.
See the pictures of some dishes, and the menu.
A real hit were the poached eggs, the first time they were served as far as I know. Done by Chef Renaat personally.
It is actually called as follows:
Oeuf en Meurette (Poached Eggs in Red Wine Sauce)
This classic Burgundian dish of poached eggs in rich, flavorful red wine sauce served atop garlicky toast.
“Œufs pochés sur du pain grillé aillé accompagnés d’une sauce meurette, composée de vin rouge de Bourgogne, de lardons, d’oignons et d’échalotes revenus au beurre.”
Next lunch is planned for Friday 3 March. I am curious if we can go well over 30 guests!
Lunch is back!
Due to the COVID-19 situation in December we had to cancel the monthly lunch. With the Old China Hands lunch 6 January 2023 we started again, entering our tenth year!
We first remembered our friend Hartmut Heine who suddenly left us on 4 December. Our friend Kent, now in the USA gave us a short speech by video call to remember Hartmut, followed by a moment of silence.
I personally knew Hartmut for some 40 years. I discovered these pictures of Hartmut attending my office party in my Beijing Hotel office on 22 November 1982.
With the virus tsunami in Beijing and with a number of members abroad for the holidays we had a modest crowd of 21.
Our member Lydia surprised us bringing many wine bottles from Moldova and our special guest, the ambassador of the Republic of Moldova.
See the dishes I chose and one of the weirdflowers chosen by Susan “zombie flower”. Always something new!
Many happily tried the wines!
Thanks to Lydia whom I had met in a Moldova Wine Tasting on 25 October 2022.
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!