in China, China visit #3, Post #1 - covering June 8th and 9th/2014...
my June 8th arrival in China, and June 9th, all with the help of my
friend, host, guide and mentor, Mr. Li Wei (the Group Leader of the
Working Group of the Domestic Horologe Department of the China Horologe
Association) I visited Beijing, Tianjin, Jinan and Yantai, including
visits to (in order):
the offices of the China Horologe Association,
the Oriental Mall in Beijing (Tianjin Sea-Gull's Beijing store and the
Beijing Watch Factory relocated flagship store),
the very first commercial restaurant in Beijing following the
re-introduction of private businesses in China,
the Touch Woman Cafe for a tea-tasting session that included some of
China's very finest teas,
the flagship store of China's Koncise watches,
back in my Beijing 'hood: the beautiful Lishi Hutong, and my favourite
digs, the Xiao Yuan Alley Courtyard Hotel, with a typical comfortable and
very affordable room:
after arrival, I was met by Li Wei...
Zheng Qi Baishi, a noted timepiece collector and one of China's most
highly recognized calligraphers/instructors. He very kindly presented me
with this beautiful hand-done parchment, which reads something like "a
picture is worth a thousand words" or "seeing is believing" (photo
courtesy Li Wei).
out into the night with, first, a 2014 visit to Mr. Liu Shuli's Dongsi Bei
Da Jie shop (Beijing Wangfujing Jingshi Watch-Clock Shop) to meet up with
Liu Shuli and some new-to-me great folks...
arrive at Liu Shuli's shop was the very cordial and gracious Mr. Wang
Mengjin, the Vice-Chairman of the China Horologe Association...
our way to a cool restaurant, where we met with Mr. Wang Kaiho, a reporter
from China Daily News.
dinner, back to the Lishi Hutong, and Li Wei and I scheduled a meeting
fo0r the next day.
morning weather was wonderful, so I wandered around the hutong a bit,
meeting with Li Wei a little later that morning...
together we arrived across the street from the building that houses the
China Horologe Association, where I was to re-meet Mr. Wang Mengjin and
was to be introduced to...
Munyu, Chairman of the China Horologe Association...(again, photo courtesy
along with Mr. Wang Mengjin and Li Wei, presented me with this honourary
membership in the Association. I was told that it was difficult to arrange
as I am not Chinese and I'm the only non-Chinese person to be provided the
membership. I happily admit, I was deeply touched and became a bit
overwhelmed. It's getting framed and will have a place of prominence in my
home. I'm more than very grateful.
understand the overall meaning, but perhaps someone here could kindly
provide a more literal translation). I then met others in the Association
(Peng Zhao Xia, Liu Shu Hong and Tian Zhen, but my addled memory prevents
me from being sure who is who. My sincere apologies.)
this to-me-spectacular start to the day, Mr. Wang and Li Wie and I headed
across the street to the Oriental Plaza, a very upscale shopping centre...
marquees should indicate the type of neighbourhood...
Li Wei and
Mr. Wang at the entrance to the Malls at Oriental Plaza, where we...
the Beijing store of Tianjin Sea-Gull...
tourbillons with additional complications)
(an 18k gold
micro-rotor piece to entertain Chascomm and others...)
Sea-Gull's own design for a double-axle tourbillon (recognized as
Sea-Gull's independent design by adjudicators at Basel)...note the
difference in tourbillon attitude in the two photos...
there are still some D304's left, in case anyone wondered. (I still have
this on my gonna-get list...)
The a jaunt
almost right mext door, to the newly relocated flagship store for Beijing
The dials on
these are extremely fine needle-work...
styles of enamel dial (prices in RMB)...
pieces more familiar to some forum folks, I think...
various additional BWAF eye-candy...
Beijing's "build-it-yerself" kit...
familiar face from last year's visit...
glance back at the home of the China Horologe Association home...
Wei and I headed down Wangfujing for an afternoon stroll...during which we
found this blood donor bus taking donations for a recent trouble...
shoppers and stores...
Li Wei did
tell me what this meant but do you blame me for finding it a little hard
to remember everything I was encountering? Any explanations for this
Li We told
me this was Beijing's oldest Christian church...
Then Li Wei
took me down this alley...
very first for-profit commercial restaurant following the Cultural
Revolution. It was very crowded and busy inside and the food was
wonderful, but in such very close quarters I didn't think photo-taking
would be appropriate. So go yourself; it's worth it ;-)
evening, Li Wei took me down another alley...
"Touch Woman Cafe" which I was told was named that only because the owner
wanted to convey the idea of a place with a gentle atmosphere...
joined by Mr. Wang Hanlin of China's Xinhua News Agency. Mr. Fan Zicong
(pink t-shirt) guided us through an entire evening, tea-tasting of some of
China's finest teas.
been given a nickname in China because I'm a somewhat aged Canadian guy:
"Bethune" (if you don't get it, look it up). But during our time at this
tasting, I was provided a Chinese name I could wrap my head around. I am
now 罗-古德, and I know how to pronounce it :-). Now I have
to learn to write it in script that is more sophisticated than the
scrawlings of a child ;-)
Woman cafe" is well worth the visit. The decor is wonderful...
a second floor that...
section made to recreate a tun of the century railway dining car...
open air balcony area with a view of the alley...
which you can view the "railway car" from outside.
I'll ask for
help with the details but I was told that if you buy this tea, rather than
just taste some, it's prohibitively expensive. Zheng Shan Tang brand's Jin
Jun Mei tea, maybe??? I don't know, but I loved it, and I get the
difference between this tea and even a decent red/black.
So, to end
the night, Li Wei acompanied me back to the scenic Lishi Hutong, and I got
some rest for the busy next day to come...