Posted in Living in Beijing

International Friendship Bowling League

I officially confer myself as a bowling fanatic.  This is just a step below from the bowling addicts.  If you read through my New Year’s resolution, #2 on my list is to get an average of 120 in bowling.  Currently after almost a 100 games since Dec. 28, my average score is a 102. I hope I can reach my goal towards the end of the year or better.  In any case, I usually play 5 games a week on average and I even bought a prepaid card to lower the cost of each game.  My bowling addict friends play at least 10 games a week and not just once but sometimes 3 times a week.

In any case, to all bowling fans in Beijing, you are cordially welcome to join as a group of 4 to 6 people in the International Friendship Bowling League.  This League plays every Tuesday starting 730pm.  The players are composed of expats from different countries and different sectors of society.  We have players who work for the different embassies, hotels, news groups and businesses.  It’s fun and a good place to network!

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Posted in Movies

Movie Review: Changeling

changelingAfter being busy for the past few weeks, it was quite a change to be able just to relax and watch a movie at home.  Marco recommended this movie so after dinner (pork chop and unedible tomato & eggs), we watched  “Changeling”.

Changeling is a drama film directed by Clint Eastwood.  The story begins in March 1928 in Los Angeles, California.  Christine Collins (Jolie) is a single mother of a 9 year old boy named Walter.  She’s working in a telephone company as switchboard manager when one day she came home later than usual to find his son missing.   She phoned the police asking for help but was initially rebuffed due to the 24 hour policy for missing persons.  At that time, the LAPD was considered a corrupt and cruel police force.  Wherein there word is law and if you contradict them, they can put you away.  Anyway, back to Christine’s missing son, after 5 months of so called investigation, the police found his son and reunited them in front of the media.  However, Christine insisted that the boy was not his son.  She presented several facts about his son such as the boy is shorter than 3 inches and uncircumcised, but the doctor which the police brought to interview the boy said otherwise.  When a reverend who has a radio show talked her into telling her story to the press, the police got wind of it and they hauled her to a mental institute and brand her as delusional.

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Posted in Starbucks

Starbucks Australia – Tumbler and Mugs

A friend of mine was sent to Sydney for training last January and as a fairy godmother to a small community of Starbucks collectors in the Philippines, I asked her to purchase some merchandise for me.

I told her to get me two Sydney tumblers and a Sydney and Melbourne mug.  When she came back, she brought one Sydney tumbler and and Australian mug.  *sigh*  She mistakenly ordered the Hangzhou tumblers as well which I’m currently selling to interested buyers.

In any case, here are the pictures of the tumbler and mug she bought for educational purposes. 😛

sbux-aus-mug-2 sbux-aus-mug1

sbux-syd-tumbler sbux-syd-tumbler-2

Posted in Life

Valentines Day in Beijing

February 14 is Valentines Day or 情人节(Qing Ren Jie) for most western countries.  In China, this used to be just an ordinary day as they also have their own Valentines Day but now, it seems like everybody’s celebrating it.  So, how did I spend my Valentines?

This year, I’m seeing someone but I’m not really sure if we are really in a boy/girlfriend relationship or just good friends.  It never was so clear but I’m still hoping that I would receive something from him.  In any case, I just received a text message from him saying Happy Valentines Day and sweet dreams.  Hey that’s a start right, but it ended there.  I woke up around 9am and just laze around the apartment.  I finished all my laundry and cook my lunch.  I feel so lifeless as if I realized that there’s nothing between us.  I lost my appetite and just had snacks for dinner.  I watched Caregiver and Sex in the City then went to bed.  Pretty lame for a romantic day.

In any case, this year, Beijing people tend to celebrate Valentines Day with flowers, chocolates and dinner.  For flowers, it’s not just 3 roses to say I love you but it’s either 1 rose saying “You’re my only one” or 12 roses or the most common, 99 roses.  I’m not kidding when I say it’s 99 roses as I really counted them last year when one of my colleagues received it from her boyfriend.  Dinner in fancy restaurants and hotels usually cost around 400 rmb per couple and up.  Ferrero Rocher chocolates are a hit even though they cost around 30 rmb for a 6 piece pack.

So.. if you’re into romance and shelling out some cash.. celebrate Valentines Day in Beijing.  If you want to celebrate it twice, join the Chinese as they celebrate Qi Qiao Jie on August 26, 2009.   Happy Hearts Day!

Posted in News

Mandarin Oriental Beijing Went Up In Smoke Last Night!

There goes my goal of keeping a perfect attendance this month!  Traffic was horrible this morning on the third ring road going northbound.  Police put a blockade from Guanghua Road to Chaoyang Road on the service lanes as well as the Guanghua Road exit on the northbound highway.  Buses and cars are crawling as everyone would like to see the aftermath of the huge inferno last night.

fire-before fire-during fire-morning

Before                                                  During                                                     After

At around 830pm last night, the Television Cultural Center at the new CCTV complex was engulf in flames.  The Television Cultural center has a cinema, theatre, recording studios and the flagship hotel of Mandarin Oriental. Witnesses say it was due to fireworks.  One firefighter died due to smoke inhilation.  In the matter of hours the whole building was like the highlight of the firework show to celebrate the last day of the Spring Festival.  When we walked past near the area around 12mn, we can’t see anything due to smoke.  This morning on my way to work, you can see how big it really was and the extent of damage of the fire.

(Photo Credits: Rico Calma, ai de ke flickr photos)