maandag 23 december 2013

Merry Christmas!

Dear family and friends, from Vancouver we wish you:

zaterdag 9 februari 2013

Kung Hei Fat Choi, again, already..?!

Oh dear - that means I haven't kept Swans Place up for a whole (chinese) year...If it makes you (and me) feel better: the Jaap-and-Mickey blog didn't get as much attention as it deserves in the past year, either. Too many planes, too many moves, not enough interesting things to tell...or just not enough time.
Lets see if I can do better. For now, to all my Chinese and HongKong friends:

Happy year of the Snake, Kung Hei Fat Choi!

zondag 22 januari 2012

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Tomorrow is the first day of Chinese New Year.
Tomorrow we'll fly to Vancouver for 5 weeks. Also the beginning of a new beginning....

Happy New Year of the Dragon!

dinsdag 11 oktober 2011

copy of our latest newsletter

This week we send out newsletters to family and friends. Possibly there are people whose emailadress I do not have - but who do read this blog and would like to know how we are doing.
So here it is, the latest update of our plans!


Dear family and friends,

Last week we send out an email to our family and friends in Dutch - and I realized it might be nice to keep our english (and other languages)speaking friends and family informed as well!
Informed of how we are doing, and of our plans for the near future.

We are doing very well. Life in HongKong remains busy and interesting. There's lots of work, going out with friends, and travelling. Mostly for Jaaps business in the past few months but we manage to put a fair bit of fun into that as well. Like last month, when he had 5 days worth of work in HoChiMinhCity in Vietnam - we went there a few days in advance so we could do some sightseeing together before the work started.

Our life might be changing a lot next year.
There's a sistercompany of HITT HongKong, in Vancouver, Canada.
They are in need of a new managing director and Jaap has been asked to do that- and we more or less accepted. But...We cannot just leave HongKong behind without a successor.
So the solution for the next six or so months is that Jaap will be going to Vancouver a couple of times to assist and join meetings. In the mean time we can look for a successor in HongKong and if and when such person is found and well prepared, and when all our paperwork for Canada is in place, we will leave for Vancouver.
Or, option two (but less likely) would be we find someone to manage Vancouver and we will remain in HongKong.
So for the next months there will be a lot of flying between Canada and HongKong for us. We're not sure about the frequency yet - possibly two or three weeks Canada every two months.

All this is very new news and still 'liquid'- as in: it changes about every week. So both of us are very curious about the future and what our next newsletter will tell.

We will be happy either way: life in Canada will be totally different from HongKong and will involve lots of clean air and nature, but we still love HongKong and would be completely OK with staying.

To be continued!

Love to everybody,

Mickey & Jaap

dinsdag 5 juli 2011

Last week in Brisbane

And there we were, in Brisbane.

It was deliciously cool and fresh and airy and there were koala's, kangaroos, birds and snakes at the Zoo we visited on sunday - a pleasure to be outside and wander around, enjoying the sun and the sights.

And then it was Monday. Lunch-with-Barbara-Monday!
She and her husband Bryan picked me up in my hotel and took me to the Southbank of the city, where culture and good food can be found.

We sat down at this lovely place, which served a tapas-style lunch.

It was so wonderful to sit down together, enjoy a shandy, some light starters, a nice maincourse, but mostly, just chat away.
About food, ofcourse. About travelling. About living in Brisbane, and living in HongKong. About plans. About her health (Barbara is batteling cancer), about children, in short - about life!

And again it struck me how nice and easy it is to talk to people you have something in common with. The love for food, in this case. And how that makes that two women, with very different backgrounds, histories and stories, end up chatting the afternoon away as if we're doing this every month.

We even forgot to take pictures of us together. Yes, we got the restaurant, the food. But not ourselves!
Good thing we found out that by coincidence we had restaurant reservations for the same place, the next day! we were able to get our snapshots together. (As it was quite dark in there they are not the sharpest ever, but...ah wel, you get the picture :-) )

Thank you Barbara and Bryan for a lovely, lovely afternoon together!

dinsdag 21 juni 2011

Next week in Brisbane

My husbands work brings us all around Asia and beyond. Because if he has to go somewhere(nice)for business, I try to join him. And if I can't, I try to use that time to travel somewhere interesting by myself, like to Japan last year.
Next week there's work in Brisbane, Australia. Ofcourse I'll join him. And ofcourse we juggle the long weekend in HongKong, right after the work, into our trip, so we get some time off there as well.

One of the things I like to do when travelling, is meeting people I 'know' from one of my favourite websites, Chocolate and Zucchini. I have been more or less active on their forum since 2004 and have participated in food-and-giftswaps, get-togethers and one-on-one meetings. Somehow meeting a group of complete strangers is a lot less scary if you share the same interest!
There was a groupmeeting in New York in a fabulous italian restaurant, which the writer of the blog, Clotilde, was hosting.
There was lunch with a few forum members in New York while we all just happen to be there - neither of us lives there. (hi Judy, hi Greg, hi David!)
There was a lunch in Tel Aviv,(Simona, hi!) more then one meeting in Paris with Debbie (and her hubby), a couple of days with her in Australia as well.
I feel blessed to be able to meet all these wonderful people and share a meal, a shoppingspree, lots of food-talk...

And next week, in Brisbane, I will be meeting the lovely Barbara of Winos and Fodies. Another inspiring lady on the forums and in her blog, and I can't wait for us to get together and start talking!
Pictures will be shared, ofcourse...

dinsdag 29 maart 2011

my big sis is here!

And boy, did we start talking...

Fun weeks to come with her here for three weeks all together, in which we'll visit Singapore, explore HongKong, and our brother, and-sister in law will join us in HongKong the last ten days as well.