Sunday, September 09, 2007

lotus pond concert

it was a simple concept but a very good one. go to one of Beijing's parks that has a nice lotus pond, get a couple of boats, get a couple of professional musicians and singers and you can have a private concert in the nice cool autumn night amongst the lotus. it was a freshing change to many of Beijing's cultural events and very different from the concerts that we can attend here. this one is informal and much more intimate with the musicians playing a few feet from you.
We attended this event organised by CCC at the Purple Bamboo Gardens. We got onto four boats, paddled into the lotus pond. CCC also got four excellent musicians and singers to perform for us.
here's Ah De from Li Su minority and a wonderful lady singer from the Yi Miao minority. Ah De played various ethnic musical instruments and could also sing folk songs from his ethnic group. He also sang duets with our Yi Miao singer.
Robina and I were very impressed by Mr Li, the Er Hu musician. He performs extensively outside of China and had even accompanied Jiang Zemin's delegation and performed in Vienna. His mastery of the er hu was evident when he played a Cantonese tune that I was familiar with.
We enjoyed the evening very much!

Okonomiyaki in Beijing

We decided to check out the cluster of Japanese restaurants near CCC since we were attending an event later that evening. We picked a Hiroshima restaurant specialising in Okonomiyaki (武之助) since it appeared the most decent looking and there were quite a number of customers.

the Okonomiyaki
(Japanese pizza) was delicious and should be quite healthy with heaps on vegetables inside. we tried a few other dishes like stir-fried clams and fried rice all of which turned out quite nice.
the food was so good that we returned for supper after the CCC outing ended. Even at almost 11pm there was a big group of Japanese customers whose gathering just ended. we tried their fried noodles in omelette and fried chicken: both were yummy!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

malaysian reception

we attended the Malaysian National day reception. it was the 50th anniversary of Merdeka! many Malaysian restaurants set up booths and provided a delicious sampling: various curries, kway pie tee, roti jala, bamboo rice, satay , teh tarik, nasi lemak etc!
Robina and the girls posed with the Malaysian students (studying in Beijing) who performed traditional dances earlier.

Alvin's spiel

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