A couple of times per year China’s weekend is only one day. This weekend is one of those times, because tomorrow (Sunday) will be a regular working day. In two weeks we will have the next working weekend, where we will have to work on Saturday. The reason is that China will have a week off next week (actually from next Thursday onwards) for China 60th anniversary and for the Mid-Autumn festival, and that part of the extra days off have to be compensated by working on weekends.
I actually like to work on weekends, it’s a good way to catch up on overdue mails or to spend some time thinking over strategic issues. I would not mind having a six-day working week actually, but I realize that productivity for staff may not be as high on the sixth day. I anyway do quite some work on weekends already, so for me the change would not be as big.
The good thing about a short weekend is also that I am much more productive on my day off than on a regular Saturday, we do a lot more things because we have to put them in one day instead of two. This weekend for example, has been quite busy: it started last night with some beers in my office with the MMO team and with our Japanese colleague. We talked a bit about the on-going projects until 7:15 PM when I had to go for drinks + dinner with the Dutch ‘commissarissen’ (a group of Dutch businessmen who meet once a month for a good dinner and a couple of drinks). We had dinner at Napa Wine Bar & Kitchen, a nice wine bar and restaurant in a renovated old villa next to the JW Marriott. Excellent food and good wines, and as usual a lot of fun.
At 10:30 PM I had to leave to go to M1NT to meet with Gary and some Tudou managers, and later with Tan Yuan Yuan and some of the other ballet dancers from the San Francisco Ballet (they are touring through China, I went to watch their Swan Lake performance last Wednesday). We had a couple of bottles of Moet & Chandon rose champagne in the lounge before it became too crowded and we moved up to the roof top terrace. I got home around 2 AM after a great night.
Scott got up at 6 AM already, but luckily we could sleep until about 8 AM. Still a bit too short, but with kids you cannot sleep long anymore. I played with Scott for two hours, among others reading a book together, going for a walk with him around the compound, and playing with him on the slide and the swing. At 10:30 I put him to sleep for an hour, before we went for brunch around 11:45. We had a big brunch at the terrace of Bastiaan Bakery (the Dutch bakery not far from our home in the Hongmei Pedestrian Zone). Among others we had eggs Benedict, hashbrowns and even a Dutch croquette on a soft roll. Scott and Elaine both joined us, very nice to spend time with both of them.
In the afternoon I worked a bit, slept for 20 minutes on the couch (while Scott had his afternoon nap) and read a bit in my book (The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown). I went grocery shopping with my wife and Scott, and around 5 PM we had some guests visiting. A former Daimler colleague, Xie Dan, who was my predecessor at Daimler North East Asia. I never met her, because she went to INSEAD just before I started in my job in Beijing. My wife knew her from that time, and it was nice to meet her and her Danish husband. Scott enjoyed playing with their two kids as well.
Later I went for a 7 km run (34 min) and we interviewed an ayi. We just had dinner with the whole family and I’m now writing a quick blog post. Tonight I still plan to read today’s newspaper on my ebook reader and watch (part of) a movie, but I won’t go to bed too late because of tomorrow’s working day. A productive weekend, exactly how I like them!