Chocolate beer, Dragons & Superbowl & a quiz night

Trip Start Unknown
Trip End Ongoing

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of China  , Beijing,
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hello to you all,

How are you?

All good here thank you, and I really really appreciate those of you who sent e-mails or wrote messages of support on here, it meant a lot. Feeling good still, and very positive, so just a little blip, and perfectly normal having spoken to lot of ex pat friends.

Just a normal week last week really, with Andy bowling, a feed at Texas Tims, and lots of preparation for the big quiz night last Thursday….. it was Andy's group within Internations, putting on a quiz night for the Migrant Children’s Foundation, to raise awareness and some money for the charity. Our friend Joel used to work in Vietnam and do regular quiz nights, since breaking his leg in 3 places (the one we visited in hospital) he’s been rather bored, so very kindly put the questions together for us, which is probably the hardest part. 44 people had registered, and from previous experience you usually get 50-75% of that turn up. It had been advertised on the bar website as well as the charity, and amazingly 62 people turned up! We kept having to ask for more tables, more chairs, some people who turned up rather too late were even turned away. We couldn’t have imagined it being that successful. Andy was the technical guy for the night, and guess what…. I was the gobby one doing the talking, and being quizmaster!!! A little nerve wracking to begin with but soon got in the flow, not too much heckling luckily! We had 6 rounds, pictures of bottles of beer from around the world, geography, general knowledge, sport, entertainment and a music round. All good fun, and everyone really seemed to enjoy it. Met lots of new people too, and finished the night totally exhausted!! We ended up going to a club nearby after for a few beers & to relax. Very pleased with it all, as was Helen, the founder from the charity.

Friday we slept in and decided to work from home after such a busy and late night 'networking’. So easy having the laptops, we can work from anywhere really. Later on in the day we decided to go out for a late lunch to the Lama Temple area which has lots of nice hutongs to wander along, the one we wanted was closed already for the Chinese New Year holidays, so we ended up at the ‘Veggie Table’… yes, I managed to get Andy into a vegetarian restaurant that even had a couple of cats roaming around!! And even better, he really enjoyed it! A warming spicy veggie chilli soup.

Early evening we went to one of the bars in town for a couple, and ended up staying quite late with lots of friends appearing during the night.

Saturday our friend Bruce who’s just moved to Singapore (and given us his scooter) was home for the day to close out his apartment & hand the keys back, so we met him & his girlfriend for brunch which was lovely, great to catch up & we realised how much we miss him already, especially Andy as they’d become good mates.

After that we had set up a meeting with Helen from the Migrant Children, with another charity founder Tom, who we met last year from The Library Project. They swapped information & experiences with us over coffee which was really useful, then we all went onto an event for the Library Project, Beer for Books. Basically, you drink beer & the bar donate money to the project, as did the local pizza place too. Great fun being able to sit in a bar & order in pizza! We’re actually famous, there is a great guy called Jim Boyce, who blogs amongst other things about wine, the local nightlife etc. & is known as Beijing Boyce, and our photo’s are on his latest blog:

Mine is of me about to stuff my face with pizza, Andy’s is of his back & backside by the band, spot the orange cardigan!! Quite a few friends joined us there at the Great Leap Brewery, trying lots of good ales. My fave was the Chocolate Stout. A great afternoon / evening, heading back into town to the Irish bar the James Joyce to watch the rugby, watched both matches & crawled home around 2am.

Sunday we both had to work, having appointments over lunch. Andy’s was a first appointment, mine was with one of my clients, giving her the welcome pack and a full system demonstration. We had a lovely brunch, so a nice way to work really! We get on really well too which is nice, and it’s become a social friendship too as well as work.

Andy & I met up afterwards for a wander & a drink, before coming home to watch a film. It snowed a fair bit on Sunday, and again today too. Last year there wasn’t much, so quite a surprise this year.

An early night, as we got up very early on Monday morning (5am) to go & watch the American Superbowl. The great thing about being an ex pat is that you get to celebrate any sporting event from any country, or any festival, celebration or whatever!! We joined friends on a table of 10 at the Kerry Hotel in their ballroom, along with 450 others for a fab breakfast buffet, loads of food and snacks during the morning. It started at 6.30am, and they had big buckets of ice with bottles of Bud on the tables, which got re-filled all the time, the event finishing at midday! Great fun, and I learnt a fair bit about the rules of the game, Andy enjoys it but I hadn’t really paid attention before. We were supporting the San Francisco 49ers, only as we’ve been to San Fran plus our friend who’s from there was supporting them too! They just missed out, and an exciting ending. They had ex players at the hotel too, and of course, cheer leaders…. see photo’s of Andy enjoying himself!! A wander home to start work, which we did during the afternoon & into the evening, again the flexibility of what we do being great.

Andy had a new appointment today, and on Weds evening, and next Saturday as well. I’m still trying to get some more too!

This morning the British Club had a trip to a private classic art museum called Guanfu. It’s the first non-government organised museum & is a private collection of pottery, furniture, painting and art & crafts, and door / window frames, basically beautiful screens carved out of wood. It was quite far out of town, in the Dashanzi art district from the Ming & Qing dynasties. A beautiful collection, where you felt very privileged to look around. I really enjoyed the pottery, some very rare pieces as a lot of pottery was smashed & destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. For a non-museum person, I really enjoyed it.

Everyone is getting ready for the start of the Chinese New Year, our equivalent of New Years Eve for the Chinese calendar is on Saturday night, into Sunday. 2012 was the year of the Dragon, and at the weekend we’ll be entering the year of the snake. More to come on that later……..

Having had lots of snow, the temperatures are set to drop at night this week to -18 at one point, and around -5 during the day, the last few weeks have been much milder. People say that after the Chinese NY holidays, the temperatures do improve bit by bit. Having had a cold winter, I’m sure it will make us appreciate the spring, and the trees turning green again. I've put 2 photo's on, taken from town towards to Capital Club that we go to, 50 floors high - and the difference in the view from a bright sunny day, to a smoggy day! Basically it's disappeared!!

I’ve put some photo’s on of Andy on his new scooter which he loves, I may be getting a push bike tomorrow, so that will be cool too. Different ways of getting around.

Right, must go as about to speak to Mum on Skype with some luck…. The internet has been terrible lately that we’ve struggled to talk. It’s just dropped out & come back again, so we’ll see.

Take care everyone & catch up again soon.


Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


Mum and Dad on

Hiya ,what a difference in the two photos with the tower block dissappearing, goodness, it must have been bad ! Andy looks cool on his scooter, not sure about the hat though ! Dad's scooter was red, white and gold and was a Lambretta, his pride and joy when he was a Mod ! Really enjoyed our long chat today ......... at last. All our love Mum and Dad xxxxxxxx

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: