I imagine that most folks do not know the meaning of the words on their shirts. I have one very intelligent, English speaking friend, Morgan, who wore my favorite shirt yet. What makes it so special to me is that Morgan knows English! It is a good looking shirt and Morgan is an extremely attractive young lady. The shirt represents only a tiny portion of the excitement on Saturday. It’s only fair to start the weekend on Thursday.
The networking event Thursday night occurred near Guomao subway stop at the Kerry Center. That means- bike ride. The participants – forty something different people all live in China and hail from Vietnam, (mainly) Canada, Germany, England, the U.S., France, and Sweden. I imagine there may have been one person I did not meet. I made a few new friends, and possibly gained business contacts. I met a dentist, a guy in logistics, a couple of gentlemen from a legal/ accounting firm. That can only help me. With each networking event I seem to get invited to another. That suits me well. I left the camera at home. Next week there appears to be a larger networking event with even more people that I will attend.
Friday turned (like most days here) into an adventure. I ventured to a subway stop on the blue (Line 10) line that I had not been to before. I headed north towards the airport, landed, walked, walked, walked, and then walked some more until I arrived at a large convention center full of audio, lighting, and dj stuff. I made a few great finds and am now waiting for follow up from potential new vendors. It’s so great being right here where most things are made. I believe I found my newest big humongous snow machine as well as a very impressive foam cannon. Photos and video to follow. The walk back to the subway from the convention took about 12 minutes. I arrived back home around seven, in time to eat, clean up and head out to a cocktail reception at an art gallery, on to Xiu bar for a little dancing, one glass of wine, and then off to Vic’s for one margarita and some more dancing with Yolanda from Port Arthur, Mary from Beaumont, and Chris from Austin. That’s correct- all the way to Beijing for Beaumont and Port Arthur! My bike gets a workout even when I go out dancing. I needed to be home before sunrise as the Saturday hike gathering took place right after 11am.
Saturday morning I forced myself to sleep past 6am. I made it til right after 7 and then prepared for a journey by subway to the meeting place near the bird’s nest for the hiking group. Once I climbed to the street level it was clear that there was a solid mile more to get to my location. For the first time I hired one of those buggies on three wheels.
About half of the folks at the hike were new to me. It’s getting very comfortable with this group. By far these are the most wonderful new folks I have had the pleasure to meet in my travels here. The diversity in the group is most wonderful, refreshing, and exciting. Everyone appears to work so hard during the week and work even harder at letting loose on the weekend and especially around their hiking companions.
We drove for a little more than two hours outside of the city into the mountains. The peaceful scenery makes the hustle of city life seem so far away for the time we spend in nature. The great big bonus for me was that we walked to the Great Wall.
After the hike we drove back to Beijing in just about two hours for dinner at a SPICY Chinese food restaurant and some more fantastic ice dessert at Bellagio. The evening for David, Ping, Danshing, and me still had several more hours in it. We left (in our hiking clothes) the dessert restaurant, cabbed it to the Village, found a club, and danced til 2am. For me it was a very long, tiring, and exciting Saturday in Beijing.