Chinese New Year holiday

This week the whole of China closes down for a week and so Spil Games Asia also closed its doors for a few days (we will be back in the office on Saturday morning, because this weekend will be a working weekend in China). This year we decided not to go to Beijing nor to the beaches of South-East Asia but to stay at home. Main reason is because of the kids, traveling with two young kids is quite stressful.

I actually enjoy spending a couple of days at home. I read some books (latest was Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, about the LDS church – very interesting read), played some games (just bough Plants vs Zombies on my iPhone, very addictive game), did some sports (ran almost every 5-10 km to keep in shape), and of course had lots and lots of good food and wine.

Two days ago we even hired two chefs to cook us a good meal. Quite an experience to have real chefs at home! Our regular cook went home for Chinese New Year, so this was a good opportunity to get some high end chefs to cook some special Chinese dishes for us. In total they prepared 12 appetizers and 12 main courses for us, I think I gained quite some weight that night.

Other days we cooked ourselves or we went out to restaurants in the neighborhood. Last night for example we went to Spanish restaurant Las Tapas where we tried lots of nice tapas and had some paella and noodle dishes. Excellent, especially in combination with cold San Miguel beer and pitchers of sangria. Because we started our dinner quite early (the kids also joined us) we ordered our drinks still during the happy hour, so we got double the number of drinks that we had planned to order. No big problem, we finished it all.

Of course I also played a lot with the kids. It’s fun to be around them the whole day and interact more with them. Scott is such a busy boy, amazing how he can keep on running around the house for hours. No wonder he eats so much, he probably burns more calories during a day than I do during a 10 km run. Elaine is much more quiet, but she can also scream out loud if she wants attention! She is a real sweet girl, it’s very interesting to see how different our kids are.

Next to all fun and relaxing activities I am also doing a bit of work. There are not many mails coming in, but I still had a large number of emails that I didn’t get to answer yet, and I am trying to get most of them away this week. I am also studying Chinese characters for about 2 hours every day, mainly reviewing them. I want to increase my reading skills and the only way to do that is by reading more and memorizing the characters that I don’t know. Doing this for 2 hours or more per day leads to immediate progress, it’s better than just 15-30 minutes per day. Too bad I don’t have so much time during normal working weeks.

The next two days will be more of the same. I am enjoying this holiday, it’s good to be away from the office and get my mind off of all work related problems. The past couple of months have been quite intensive and I needed this break. A few days at home may not be enough to complete recharge my batteries (I probably need to get away from Shanghai to do that), but I feel much more relaxed now than just a few days ago.

Write a Comment


  1. just out of curiosity, how to hire chefs to cook Chinese New Year Eve dinner in Shanghai? and how much does it cost?

  2. Thanks, Marc! The price looks reasonable, guess I will give it a try.

  3. Pretty interesting idea, I never would have thought of hiring chefs to come and cook for me. I would have opted for the restaurant solution. I guess this probably ended up a bit less stressful than navigating Shanghai on new year’s eve.