Archive | February, 2013

One year, half way my assignment, but want to sign up for an extra year

28 Feb

One year Zhong Guo, what a year!
Official start of my contract March 1st 2012, what year has flown by , over 25 business trips, 100+ customer visits, building my team and gaining trust, getting used to the Chinese and the other way around, bicycling in Beijing, drinking till you drop to the floor with customers, negotiating with Chinese companies (6 year old children), SAP management churn, lying and deceiving, firing team members, learning survival Chinese, quarter end stress in China (40% of revenue in last 36 hours), hosting Industry events with over 500 people, customer dinners with 300+ people and signing Karaoke & dreadful speeches & Baijui (Chinese liquor), power battles with our local partners, PR China new government and increased security, the quality of people I have to wage war with, the luxurious live of my colleagues in global roles and the utter ignorance of these corporate seagulls, achieving my 20mio target, the hong bao’s (envelopes with money), the obligatory presents, Guanxi (every person has a network), er nai’s (second wives) spitting and roggelen, many dinners and interesting stuff I did eat, snake, scorpion, maggots, tribe, donkey, yak, old eggs, birds nests, fish eyes, sea cucumber, great trips to Shanghai, Xi’an, Harbin, Vietnam, bicycle rides every weekend in Beijing, Tao and Confucian temples, the hard life of the locals for survival, censorship, slow internet or existence without streaming internet, the warm blanket of the expat community, Network events of the Dutch chamber of Commerce, the drink parties with my boss and team, the new friendships of my 3 kids, the lack of trust between the Chinese, the air quality, hitting my team members to achieve goals, my comfort zone where is it?, the language, the extreme wealth of some Chinese, the small dresses during summer times, the des interest in political change, my ayi and Lu shifu, the great evenings with my wife in the Beijing hutongs restaurants and theaters, wo ai Pauke, the speed trains and their accuracy, the many delays at airfields, the lack of speed and number of stamps for everything like water electricity phone etc.., the way my team reimburses expenses, fapio’s, my translator Zhang Yu, GWM, Suning, COFCO, CNTC, BAT, my GAD friends the few brothers in arms, Nanchan 南山ski, 24 7 traffic jams…., fireworks, Chinese new year, Chungjie Kuaile (happy new year).
A day without something happening, when was it? All of the above is now accepted as normal and the daily happiness with my family is the only real thing that gives me energy to cope with the situation and I dare to say I just landed and I’m ready to start in the year of the snake!



Gulou & Zhonglou

27 Feb

Gulou & Zhonglou

Gǔlóu (鼓楼), the drum tower of Beijing, is situated at the northern end of the central axis of the Inner City on which also the forbidden city is located. Originally built for musical reasons, it was later used to announce the time.

Zhōnglóu (钟楼), the bell tower of Beijing, stands closely behind the drum tower. Together with the drum tower, they provide an overview of central Beijing and before the modern era, they both dominated Beijing’s ancient skyline.

You will not see much locals here, drum and bell towers are very common in almost any city. Lots of tourists though, and us: the temporary locals. Gulou-area has a very chinese feeling, it is one of the last sections of the city retaining any trace of the atmosphere of “old Beijing”.

Disturbing news now in the Chinese press has bar owners around Gulou made feeling nervous. Plans have been announced to “restore” the area around the tower to the style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties and build an underground “Beijing Time Cultural City,” comprising restaurants, parking spaces, and a museum about timekeeping technology.
The development is meant for the entire zone between the Drum and Bell towers and all adjoining hutongs.

The Qianmen redevelopment south of Tiananmen Square illustrates why businesses around Gulou have been unnerved by the news – the heart of Qianmen was demolished and rebuilt in an “ancient style,” with residents moved elsewhere and existing businesses forced out. Given the announcement back in November that the authorities plan to restrict the number of bars and cafes on the nearby Nanluogu Xiang, it seems likely the entire area is set to receive a “facelift.” Many of the shops also appear to have moved out, indicating the wrecking balls may soon be at work there as well. We’ll wait & see…


Dragon dance

27 Feb


The dragon dance is a highlight of Chinese New Year celebrations held worldwide in Chinatowns around the world.
Dragons are believed to bring good luck to people, which is reflected in their qualities that include great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom and auspiciousness. The appearance of a dragon is both frightening and bold but it has a benevolent disposition, and so eventually became an emblem to represent imperial authority.
In this case the dragon visits all the shops, does it’s dance and gets “fed” by the shop owners for good luck and prosperity in the new year.

einde van chinese nieuwjaar feest

26 Feb

Afgelopen zondag is er een einde gekomen aan de chinese nieuwjaars festiviteiten. Eindelijk zou ik zeggen. Mijn team is pas nu compleet! Het lijkt wel kerstmis. In de week voor kerstmis is er elke dag 10% minder mensen en na kerstmis komen er elke dag 10% bij, zo ook hier. Kunnen we eindelijk beginnen, einde kwartaal 1 is al in zicht met nog 4 weken te gaan, dus veel stress!

Het lantaarn feest werd afgelopen zondag gevierd, als einde van het chinese nieuwjaars feest. 15e Dag maan kalendar van de eerste maand worden lantarens aangestoken en vuurwerk afgestoken. De 15e is vaak een goede dag, in Shanghai worden de 15e van elke maan maand vissen in het water gegooid inde hoop op zwangerschap bijvoorbeeld (de vissers weten dat en die staan 1 km verderop).

De kids vonden het vuurwerk weer geweldig, we hadden ze allemaal aan het einde van het plein tegen de muur gezet, op veilige afstand…

2013-02-26 008

Wij wensen iedereen een goed jaar van de slang (wordt ook wel kleine draak genoemd). Veel jaren van de slang brachten veranderingen: Tian an men opstand 1989, val van de Berlijnse muur 1989, aanslagen op WTC New York 2001, dus wat 2013 gaat brengen ….

Na deze feestelijke feitjes waarschijnlijk weer een week traag internet…

2013-02-26 009


Big bang!

18 Feb

Big bang!

zelfs na 1 week vuurwerk blijft het nog leuk…


17 Feb

Fijne mensen bij elkaar op geen afstand

en WEER! storm, confetti, hagel., ijzel, sneeuw en code oranje

Greutse momenten aan tafels vol dierbaren, onder ut mosswief en toes in Herle, Ruud 10 jaar dood

met uitzicht op de blauwe vogel naar huis, Beijing: welkom, tot ziens, tot snel
opgeladen groet ik, CNTRLALTDEL



16 Feb



Heel fijne mensen bij elkaar op geen afstand

En weer! storm, confetti, de regen, ijzel met sneeuw en code orange

Greuts aan tafes vol dierbaren, onder ut mooswief en toes in Herle.

Met uitzicht op de blauwe vogel naar Beijing ook thuis: welkom, tot ziens, tot snel, opgeladen groet ik, CTRLALTDEL


Springfestival, what to do?

13 Feb

Blijkt dat de Chinezen er de zelfde stomme hobby op na houden als het gros van de Nederlanders met feestdagen: met z’n allen naar de woonboulevard! Kwam vandaag een totaal gestrest gezin tegen die zich dat niet gerealiseerd had. Ja, de straten zijn leeg…maar de IKEA niet. Wel maken ze er volledig gebruik van, dus niet alleen maar spullen kopen, ze worden ook goed getest.


IKEA Beijing 2



nog eentje dan…omdat ‘ie zo leuk is


IKEA stores, a wonderland for Chinese freeloaders


Dongyue temple fair

12 Feb

Dongyue temple fair

The nearest temple Dongyue is just across the road. Around Chinese new year people go there to meet, worship, play games, eat some food and relax. With 7 blondish kids we are one of the main attractions here.


Grandma is parked outside while of the rest of the family enjoys the temple fair.


ondertussen in Mestreech…

12 Feb