Monday, April 30, 2007

Cricket World Cup Final and other shenanigans

Ok, so we (we in this case being Wayne and I) wanted to watch the final of the Cricket World Cup (Australia vs Sri Lanka), but we 1) weren't able to watch it on the local telly and 2) didn't want to go out to the Polo Club, because we would be roosted probably before the first innings, due to the fact that the match was scheduled to run into the wee hours.
Instead, we opted to try to get a live broadcast on the computer. However, this turned out to be more difficult/expensive than we anticipated (fortunately, we weren't missing any of the action because of the rain), so what we finished up doing was watching cricinfo's 3D virtual cricket and a live-updating scorecard, and listening to a skypecast of two Indian chaps live from Bombay. They were obviously amatuers, calling the cricket from their computer, but they didn't do half bad.
We went to bed at the end of Australia's innings, so we missed out on all the controversy, but it was a good night all the same.

In other news, we played this morning for the head dude in charge of Finance in China (so, a big shot). He arrived at 11:00, which would be fine, except that we were told to be ready for 8:30! And we found this out last night at 10:30! Craziness.
Can't wait to get home.

Friday, April 27, 2007

ANZAC day and the Sheraton.

Hello again from China.
Well, the last few days (evenings) have certainly been busy.
Wednesday was, as you would know, ANZAC day. To celebrate, the Aussies here (and Ashley, because she's Wayne's girlfriend) went out to dinner at the Polo Club. I thought I had written about this venue earlier, but looking back through previous posts I can't find it, so that must've been in an email to someone. Anyway, the Polo Club is what we in the band refer to as "the Aussie pub" or "the Aussie restaurant", as it seems to share the double theme of Polo (with the horses, not in the pool) and Australiana - it is an expat who owns/runs it, his name is Philip, and more on him later.
After a great meal (Bruschetta entree, Roast lamb with veggies [possibly the best roast pumpkin I've ever had, and potatoes that were actually roasted, unlike those at one particular establishment in Dickson!], apple pie and Lamington for desert, and a beer [BV of course - not the best beer in the world, but at least it's not Fosters!] to wash it all down with), Philip silenced the music (a Phillipino cover band - they seem to be everywhere here!), and called me up to read The Ode, which I'd like to think I did with grace and dignity. It was quite an honour.
We met some other Aussies that night, and made some new contacts in Shenzhen, which is always good to have. At the end of the night, while talking with Philip, he mentioned that he had tickets for the grand opening party for the newest Sheraton hotel in town, and would we like to go? Of course we said yes, as who could refuse such an offer (and we didn't have anything else to do anyway!).
We went home that night, and continued to pay our respects with some Wii bowling, further drinking and Cricket World Cup Semi-final, and of course, some sombering thoughts.

We arrived to the sounds of a bunch of 40+yr old musicians doing Rock 'n' Roll covers from their youth. Philip from the Polo Club was one of the MCs, the other being a Chinese woman. Of course, the usual contrived banter ensued. Other acts included a bunch of acrobatic plate-spinning and hula-hooping kids, some Indian dancers (that would be Chinese people performing dances from India, not Indian people dancing), some singers that were, frankly, terrible, and other 'international' style dance acts. There was no food to be had, and the only drink was beer, but apparently it was pretty bad (I didnt' have any myself), so we went out for dinner afterwards. All in all, it was a fairly good night. Something a little different.
Anyway, it's time for me to go

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Weeks 15 and 16

Ok, so I'm getting a little ahead of myself with the Week 16 bit, since I'm only half way through the 16th week, but I'm sure there's not going to be anything of note happen in the next few days (ANZAC day is coming up, but that can wait until next time).

I thought I had quite a few things to write about, but now that I sit down at the computer, I find I've got nothing really to say. Wayne, Ashley, Casey and I have been fairly seriously getting into the regular exercise thing - we go for jogs about every second morning, and I'm already starting to feel fitter.
Other than that, I'm still in China, and I'm not dead yet.
One of these days I'll upload the newer photos. It'll be cool.
Play On.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Weeks 13 and 14

Hi once again.
Sorry it's been so long between drinks, but I don't seem to be able to get to the computer as often as before.
Anyway, I've kept on keeping on. We played probably our best gig the other week - it was for the local branch of the National Security Force (or something like that) who were given something of an evening out. They came out to The Park in the afternoon, we played them off the train, and then they went up to the golf course for an afternoon of driving (and presumably also the real thing - not sure about that) and other entertainment, including, you guessed it, us. But, while we were waiting to play, and after we played we also were allowed to go to the driving range too! They put on a BBQ, which we ate (I'd never before seen a chicken wing on a skewer until that night!) This was the best meal I'd had courtesy of OCT!
The highlight of the night, however, was watching them collect all the golf balls at the end of the evening. Do you think they came out with a machine or something? Of course not. This is China! They sent a bunch of dudes out with baskets and golf-ball-rakes and picked them up by hand!

The other big news is that Casey (Geoff's replacement) has arrived and is settling in. She's finding it a little hard at present, but I'm sure she'll cope.
The Wii is getting plenty of use, Victor is practically addicted to the bowling game, and is getting quite good.
That's about it for now.