Short trip to Holland

I am in Holland at the moment where I will give a speech at the WECBA Executive Conference this afternoon. It’s a very short and also very busy trip, but that’s how I like it.

I arrived in Holland Monday evening around 7 pm and had dinner with my parents in Amsterdam. The next morning I got up early to catch up on emails and then went directly to the Spil Games office in Hilversum, where I had several meetings during the day before leaving around 4 pm to go to The Hague. At 6 pm I had a cocktail reception followed by a dinner in the Ridderzaal (The Knight’s Hall), with among others Dutch minister of foreign trade Frank Heemskerk and many CEOs of big Chinese companies.

This morning I got up early to work on my presentation for this afternoon, and I just finished it. The conference starts in 30 minutes, so just in time 🙂 Luckily I also had time for a short walk on the beach in front of my hotel (the Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel, a beautiful classic hotel – the Dutch government picks up the bill :-). Right after my speech I need to leave for the airport, because I will fly back to China late this afternoon. I hope I can catch up on some sleep on the plane, because I missed out on a lot of sleep over the past 2 days…

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  1. Marc,

    Do you find that you sleep well on planes — I just got back from Canada myself and it was hellish — falling into and out of sleep? I was startled to learn (while reading Rupert Murdoch's CHINA ADVENTURES) that Rupert Murdoch's one guilty pleasure when flying is that he likes to have one empty adjacent seat when flying business class so that people won't peer over his shoulder at his files when working. Do you have any similar habits, out of curiosity?


  2. I don't sleep well on planes, also not on flat "beds" in non-cattle class. But I try to rest as much as possible, because after arriving at my destination I normally have to start working right away.

    I am not afraid for people looking over my shoulder, but like most people I prefer not to have anybody next to me on a plane.

  3. The great thing about your travel routine, M, is at least you hit the ground running…the possible delay you'd experience from commuting to a hotel and then the agonizing wait (given the lack of sleep on the journey over to the EU) before you start your day is a daunting gap during which anything can happen: 1) you can grab a catnap, only to have to scramble at the invasive ringing of your alarm bell which might even make one more groggy or irritable. 2) you get out of "primetime" mode, which you've been pumping yourself up about the entire flight over, not to mention the momentary culture shock (which is my problem, actually, although despite my own frenetic travel schedule I don't do so as often as your company's slate requires).

    Alas, it's the life, though, and we wouldn't trade it for the world! 🙂


  4. Not related to the topic, but I just wanted to share..

    As my brother is working at Optiver-Amsterdam, I had several opportunities to visit him with short trips to Holland..
    I think that coming first time to Shanghai from Amsterdam would be a big culture shock for a Dutch..

    Luckily I live(d) in Istanbul which can be referred as a slight transition city between Amsterdam and Shanghai 🙂