Yesterday I celebrated my 35th birthday. Normally I don’t really celebrate it, and I generally don’t even tell people that it’s my birthday. But thanks to social networks like Facebook, Plaxo, Hyves and Twitter a lot more people sent me messages and mails congratulating me with my birthday than in years before. I tried to send a personal message to all of them, but because I also had some work to do I might have missed some (sorry for that!).
The staff in my office had also organized a small party for me. After a slightly stressful meeting Winnie (our receptionist) came in and told me to follow her with my eyes closed. I had no idea what she was planning to do, but I suspected it would be related to me getting a year older. She took me to our recreation room, where -when I opened my eyes- lots of colleagues were waiting for me.
There was a big cake with 35 candles and many smaller cakes for the about 70 staff that Zlong and Spill Group Asia have at the moment. I could do a wish and then blew out all the candles (in two times, impossible to blow out 35 at once). Then all of them sang Happy Birthday for me. I also got a nice card and a big picture of all the staff with ‘Happy Birthday Dear Marc’ artistically written around it. Pictures see here. Thanks to all for the nice small party, it was a big surprise to me (and all my stress was gone right away 🙂
When I came back to my room 35 red roses were delivered there (from my wife!) together with a small package wrapped in Tudou.com paper. The package turned out to be a 16G iPod Touch! Very cool, and an excellent toy to play with.
At night my wife and I went to Casa 13, a new mediterranean restaurant on Huashan Lu. This was very nice as well: located in a restored old villa just off the main road (at Lane 11oo, opposite the Radisson Hotel). The food is excelllent, and not too expensive (this is their menu). The only problem was that the main course came too quickly, but that is quite normal in Shanghai (I guess it’s the US influence, where main courses tends to be served much faster after the appetizers and starters than in Europe). They also have some good wines by the glass that are reasonably priced.
The villa is very nicely decorated, in a dark, classical style with big mirrors. Inside the lights are dimmed so much that it is almost difficult to read the menu, but it adds to the atmosphere. They also have a glass covered terrace, and an outside terrace that was completely full last night. The place has valet parking for RMB 10, not unimportant in this city where it is increasingly difficult to find a parking spot at night. On Sunday’s there is brunch from 12-5 PM, and if you are into art, there is an art gallery on the second floor.