State of the Mind

Hiya, it’s 2011 in case you haven’t noticed so belated happy new year!!!

Gosh, it feels like such a long time since we spoke I’m not sure where to start with updates/news/etc…. I guess I’ll have to take it one item at a time.

2010 is over and we’re already a few days deep in 2011. I am excited about this year just about as much as I am scared of it and that for a number of reason: 2010 was good! An absolute blast of a year where a lot of things finally seemed to go right after a few year of instability, doubt, personal issues and whatever else you can think off.

On the professional side of things, I’ve officially been working for the same company for over 4 years if we don’t count the 2 months when i quit back in 2008. I’ve managed to achieve the wonderfully pretentious title of “Director of Information Technology” which sounds really nice and pretentious on a business card but in reality is a just a decent little ploy for a promotion without a real raise. Still, it’s been a good ride and I have enjoyed the challenges of dealing with a department split over 3 continents. I used to say “we were the smallest multinational company in the world” considering we had offices in Cape Town, Amsterdam, Singapore and Hong Kong amongst others at various points. It made for some lovely travel opportunities as well! Unfortunately, part of my duties was to save the company some money and consolidate operations in Beijing. I regret to say i really succeeded and while the general Manager might be a happy camper, I’ve lost all of those wonderful travel opportunities.
The commitment to the company unfortunately meant that for the first time since maybe 2001, I focused on only one business. 7thGalaxy was relegated to after-thought status, sinocamps was shut down and all my consulting gigs dropped. It almost felt like a vacation and allowed me enough time for the pursuit of an old flame: music

If you follow me on facebook or twitter, you’re undoubtedly aware of beijingdaze, my alter ego if you will. It has become a passion and a fascination of mine to go around Beijing and suck the marrow out of its bones, enjoying every single thing it has to offer, mostly in music and Chinese restaurant. In the span of one and a half years, I’ve turned my little blog into The Reference as far as Beijing’s underground rock scene goes… and let me tell ya folks, it’s a fascinating one! I’m no Lester Bangs, but i have not felt this alive in a long time, going into the deepest underbelly of the best and seeing the scene grow before me. If you’re curious about music or Beijing in general, give it a read, you’ll be surprised at what you might find out.
This scene is incredibly open and non pretentious with most musicians hanging out like your average joe blow, sipping a beer and eating kebabs.

2010 was also the year I finally broke out of my China Blues and started exploring other Asian countries finally.. and no, Hong Kong and Macao do not count as other Asian countries. I had the opportunity to head over to lovely Malaysia back in March for a quick 5 days and fell in love with that place! I can’t wait to go back and see it again! The food was amazing, the beaches of a lovely island called Langkawi stole my heart and the melting pot that Malaysian society is fascinated me.

I was also lucky enough to head over to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup where I got to watch a few games live in the stadium.. for a football freak like me, that was a dream come true. 2 of the better games i was lucky enough to see in a stadium were Germany-Ghana and Spain-Portugal…. am I a lucky man? yes, you better believe it.

I also had the opportunity to head back to that is now one of my favorite regions of the world: Xinjiang Province. We went there with some of my bestest friends in september for a cruelly brief 4 days but I’m so enamored with that region that I’ll take a day trip if I can get it. Xinjiang is in central Asia, the western most province in China and home to tons of minorities: Kazhaks, Uighurs, Tadjiks, Russians, Mongols etc… it’s been at the crossroads of trade and civilization for soo freaking long that it’s magical. you can be on a bus roaming the highway by the desert and see ghosts of camel caravans crossing over the Taklamakan desert into the Karakul pass carrying spices into Europe.

What now in 2011? I honestly don’t know! Beijing is home at this point in time and that is the only certainty. The longer I stay here and get involved, the harder it gets to even think about leaving. Don’t get me wrong, I still long for challenges, adventure and checking out new places. I still firmly believe that when i turn 35, I WILL retire to Australia and open my Pizzeria by the beach.. but that’s still a few years away! For now, I’m mostly aiming to keep the ship steady in 2011, try to save up a bit and maybe explore some new business opportunities. oh, yeah, I also shaved my head in a desperate bid to come to terms with my resceding hair line… I’ll let you know how that goes some other time 🙂

I’m not really big on New Year resolutions but if I had one, it would be mostly to try and keep up with my friends that I have somewhat ignored while being too immersed in this life. We all have families, jobs, and what not but that’s not an excuse to not say HI every so often. I hope this summary email, as general as it might be, is a first step. It’s already been great that I managed to meet up with friends i had not seen for almost 10 years both in Beijing and Cape Town.

I miss a lot of people in Tallahassee, Crestview, New Orleans, Jackson, Paris, Casablanca, Portland, Rio, Bergen, Shanghai, Montpellier…..the list is long!

Hope to see you soon.

Love, Hugs, Kisses