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National Holiday luckily almost over

I am not a big fan of the Chinese nationwide vacations, especially when I am staying at home and when most friends are off to some tropical beaches. The past several days we had the October National Holiday in China and I am glad it’s almost over. After I came back from TechCrunch Disrupt I was full of new ideas that I wanted to share, but because nobody was working I felt I couldn’t do much.

Scott is fingerpainting at home #vacation

That doesn’t mean I didn’t have a good time, because I certainly enjoyed spending more time at home. It gave me the chance to play a lot with the kids, and we had tons of fun together. Elaine now runs around the house on her own and calls out for me when she knows I am working in my study. Scott is a naughty boy and just climbs up the 2 flights of stairs to my study (which he is not allowed to do) when his nanny doesn’t notice. I finally taught Scott how to ride his bike (with side wheels), I had tried it a few times before but after teaching him for 2 days he is finally confident enough to ride on his own. So confident that he now even rides around our living room, which was not really my intention!

Elaine and Scott know my birthday will come up in a few days and both learned to say “Happy Birthday To You” – although Elaine normally just says “Happy To You”. Scott can already sing Happy birthday to you as well (both in Chinese and English), and he is now in charge of choosing a birthday cake for me. I wonder what he will buy me.

Scott waking up in the tent. We slept in the tent in our garden last night, he loved it!

Because the weather finally cooled off a bit (temperatures in the mid-20s right now), we put up a tent in the garden for the kids to play in. And two days ago Scott and I even spent the night there! Scott loved it so much that it took quite some time for him to fall asleep, he was excited to be in a tent and to listen to all the strange sounds. Because we went to bed at 9 PM already it also took me some time to fall asleep, and during the night I woke up frequently to make sure Scott was okay. It was very quiet outside actually, the only sound I heard was that of the crickets. And of course the birds woke us up just when it got light (after which I could not sleep anymore…). It was fun to sleep in a tent with Scott and it’s great for father-son bonding.

Jim teaching our cooking ayi how to use the BBQ

We also had a BBQ during the holiday, where we invited some friends to catch up, eat a lot of food and drink some wines and beer. Always fun to do, but it’s always difficult to figure out who is in town or not. This time – among others – Sam Flemming dropped by with his family (they just flew back to Shanghai from a short holiday), Jim Feldkamp with wife and son were there (he flew in from a sailing regatta in Xiamen), Alexandre Imperatori and fiancee also joined (Formula 3 driver, he flew in from Japan 2 hours before the BBQ – Scott loved his Porsche 911!), and also Joop Dorresteijn just made it (he flew back from Korea where he was preparing for his wedding). Several of the guests brought their kids, so it was also a big childrens party in our kids play room and in the garden. A great evening!

Some of the guests at our BBQ

We had a couple of dinners during the week and also a brunch with the parents of Scott’s classmates. A fun get together at the Green Apple, where the kids could play and we could talk. An interesting group of parents by the way, with many of them C-level executives for multinational companies or running their own businesses. Tonight we’ll have a dinner with friends at South Beauty and then I plan to have a couple of drinks with Gary to catch up on the latest Tudou gossip. All in all not a bad week, but I look forward to going back to the office tomorrow (but not to having to work this weekend as well as compensation for the National Holiday…).

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