Relaxed weekend

I have been traveling too much lately, and now I finally had a relaxed weekend in Shanghai. It’s nice to be home and sleep in my own bed, especially after having been away for the the major part of the past 5-6 weeks. I even started to miss making my own breakfast…

Friday around lunch time I arrived in Shanghai from Europe, and I went straight to the office. A couple of things had to be urgently straightened out, so it was good that I had returned before the weekend already. After work I had a burger and some beers with Joeri Gianotten. He used to be the director of Red Herring Asia-Pacific several years ago, and then moved on to Singapore where he worked for RBS/Worldpay. In that position we had contact every now and then about payment solutions in Asia for websites, and he helped me with some research as well. I never met him in person though, we only had contact through phone and email. He now quit corporate life and is doing business development for a social networking start-up (, still in alpha). He was in Shanghai for business and that was a good opportunity to finally meet up. We had some interesting talks, and as usual in the internet business in Asia it turned out we have several mutual friends. I did not stay too late, because I had hardly slept on the plane and was in serious need of some horizontal time.

After a 10-hour sleep I got up at 9 AM on Saturday, feeling fresh and relaxed. I had a quick breakfast and checked and answered most of my Friday night mails. Then Qi and I went to the 100-day birthday party for Xu Huan’s baby. We had a nice seafood lunch with lots of family and several colleagues. After the meal we went home around 2:30, and I decided to have a 15-minute sleep to compensate the couple of beers we had at lunch. A short sleep always does wonders for me, and it also worked this time. Then I drove to Pioco‘s office where I had a meeting with Steve (the CEO) and two friends from the US (Markus and Michele). We talked until 6, when they had to leave for a dinner. I joined my wife for dinner at home and worked a bit until 9 PM when I went out for a beer with Gary. We went to Abbey Road, a nice new bar on Yueyang Lu / Dongping Lu, in the location of the former Cotton’s. It is a nice place and we sat outside in the secluded garden under the umbrellas (the rainy season has started in Shanghai), brainstorming among others about a new business idea we developed in Nepal. When I got home I read ‘The Ascent of Rum Doodle’ that I had bought in Kathmandu – actually a pirated version of the book, like most of the books on sale there. A very funny novel, although a bit dated. I was not very tired but when I finished the book I noticed it was 4 AM already!

This morning I got up around 10, answered my emails and did some research for a blog post on Marketingfacts. I had lunch with my wife and talked with her for a while, while listening to CD from Aaron Neville that I bought. After that I finished the blog post and went to the gym. I still have a knee injury, but decided to try to run a little bit anyway. That went much better than I thought, and I ended up running for 30 minutes at over 12 km/h. Hardly any pain in my knees, and I did not feel tired at all (still in good shape from Tibet). That made me very happy, because I was quite worried about my knees, and I really missed running. Last weekend I did a 45-minute run with my dad over the Lemelerberg and Archemerberg (2 hills in the woods close to my parents house in Holland) and that still caused me a lot of pain. But now things are really improving. I will take it easy for the next few days and really start training again. It was great to be back in the gym, listening to my iPod while overlooking the swimming pool in our compound. I realize I cannot live without endurance sports anymore, it motivates me in my daily life and it gives me so many new ideas.

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