- Master of Time
- Posts: 4590
- Joined: October 13th 2010, 10:00pm
- Location: Peace River, Alberta
And the trip, at least to me, just got epic-er.
As soon as I'd unpacked in my usual haunt in Beijing (the Xiao Yuan Alley Courtyard Hotel AKA the Xingshe Alley Courtyard Hotel, cost-effective by Beijing prices --$100CDN a night--and beautifully located in an older residential section of Beijing)...
...I headed straight over to see my old friend Mr. Liu Shuli, owner of the Beijing Wangfujing Jingshi Watch-Clock Shop on Dongsi Bei Da Jie, Beijing.
I hadn't told him I was coming because I hoped it would be a surprise--and it was. We were both laughing and gesturing since we both don't speak much of each other's language, but we got our message across: it had been far too long since we'd seen each other. It took a while for the hugs and handshakes to subside.
I'd brought an old Hongqi watch, one of my favourites, to get fixed and, still both laughing, I asked if he knew anyone who could repair it.
He pointed to his #1, took it straight over to get worked on, now, and we sat down. I hauled out the Google translate on my phone and the night proceeded.
First, he gave me an old Kongque watch as a gift (later, but same factory as my prized Hongqi) and I figure to tide me over till the prize got fixed. But that didn't take long.
Second, we discussed as how he's now kind of a star on Douyin, China's version of TikTok, doing watch and clock repair videos but with his terrific personality.
Third, we headed out to dinner with a graphic artist friend of his, Bai Jing, regaled each other with stories, ate terrific *real* Chinese food,and drank Yanjing beer.
At some point in the night, I mentioned how much I love Tofu Nao (literally Tofu Brains) for breakfast, and a little drunkenly realized I'd also talked myself into getting up at 7:00 to make sure I could meet Mr. Liu for...tofu nao before his shop opened.
And here it is, half eaten with half of the twisted bread stick it came with. Totally delicious, even at 8:30 in the morning.
While at breakfast, I was introduced to Mr. Pan Jian, owner of China's top watch magazine 时尚时间TrendsTime (who I stupidly forgot to photograph at the time because we got to talking).
I had a meeting planned for noon with David Chang, the founder of Watchina, jurist at GPHG/Fondation du Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève, and Director of the Beijing Collector's Association, so Mr. Liu and I made arrangements with Mr. Pan and Mr. Liu to meet at 5:30 for supper, and I headed off for lunch with David.
What I didn't expect, and didn't realize till I got there, was the location David had in mind for lunch: a private dining room at Beijing fashion Week, and a meeting of four other people, there to welcome me to Beijing. Here's the photo, names and info to come.
To be honest, the results of that lunch, and the events of the next day with some of them, and with others the next day as well is probably not going to get unpacked until I get home from China. But here's a few photos without any explanatory notes of some of what's coming...
It's 2:30AM and I'm dead tired. I hadn't really expected any of this. I thought my time in Beijing would be a couple or three one on ones with friends. I hope my next couple of days are quieter, although maybe as memorable, and then I head home on the 21st.
Big hugs to you all.
"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu