Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Danger here comes blogging George!

August 12th, 2008 · 6 Comments · Blogging, MSM, Sport

On the feed monitors at the commentary positio...Image via Wikipedia

Blogging on Maman Poulet might be a bit light cos I’ve caught the Olympics bug – struck down terribly I am.

However I’m still reading – and in fact consuming a lot of Olympic blogging. Over at the Irish Times we have Sean (Sean who??) – who seemingly is being paid to stay up all night to watch the Olympics. Not a bad idea on the sports editors part to hire him – the Guardian do up all night blogging and all day live blogging of sports for that matter. Last night it was Beach Volleyball, Swimming and Volleyball that had him trying to stay awake.

Meanwhile at RTE’s Olympic website there is a veritable feast of Olympic blogging going on. We have Con Murphy, John Kenny and GearĂ³id Mac Donncha blogging as Gaelige. However it’s the work of George Hamilton which has piqued my interest (ok when I saw it I knew there was fodder for many a post and perhaps even a Green Ink Cartoon could appear to Ireland’s newest blogging superstar- Fustar could be writing manys a post on George Hamilton and the Back Seat Drivers might be spurred into lots of more regular posting – a silly season of Hamilton induced blogging if you will.)

The sports fans amongst you will realise that George Hamilton is no ordinary sports commentator. Years before internet fan websites were ten a penny – we had in homage to the commentator and his love for putting his foot in it. A indepth explanation on George and his special talent is available here and here.

Hamilton has taken to this blogging lark with ease and is regaling us with tales of eating in Beijing. He’s also trying to give us a bit of politics and culture on the side in his own special way!!

You’ll note that from his pic his computer runs on windows 95 or something so we know that George is not a man who likes new ideas!

Today’s entry might make it into the food blogging category in next years blog awards!

We needed somewhere to get down to business and discuss the discus, and everything else that’s on the agenda from Friday in the Bird’s Nest, so we found ourselves a sweet little French-themed restaurant, up a typical side alley in what is as near as it gets to downtown Beijing.

The menu offered the tomato and mozzarella starter so beloved of my colleague, and a steak in pepper sauce. We both went for both.

The insalata caprese was delightful, we were both raving about it, and I was just about to add that it was equally delightful that we were back in the kind of territory that we know, where you get the opportunity to have a first course before the second lands on the table (or worse, the main course is there before the soup), when, lo and behold, around the corner came the steak. Ah well, when in Rome. Or Beijing.

But then came our visit to Ristorante L’Isola. Now this is so far east of our digs, it’s in a different weather system. We left home in a thunderstorm, and arrived in the peace and quiet of an evening of oriental calm. Beside the Mercedes-Benz dealership. On the first floor of an office tower.

But it was an exquisite Italian restaurant that was as good as it gets. Bean salad with tuna for Tony, bresaola with rocket and parmesan for me, followed by osso bucco for him and sea bass for me. Then tiramisu and a blueberry confection with raspberries.

All enjoyed at a table in this bang up-to-date dining room with a floor to ceiling window through which we delighted in the sights of a busy unfamiliar city at night. Broad street, bright lights, flowing traffic, with the occasional reminder that we were in China, like the guy on the bicycle pulling the trailer loaded high with whatever it was he had to get to wherever.

Ah yes down hanging out with the real people our George – with just a brief reminder whilst glugging the Chianti that he was in China working on the Olympics and partly responsible for bringing it to our screens.

The thing is, when you’re on the ground in Beijing, your preconceptions shoot right out the window. We become conditioned by what we’ve learned from the media that we use. We take comfort from the fact that it’s so far away and so different.

Yet, when you arrive, and get down among the locals and experience life as they live it, you are struck by a bolt between your eyes. This is a big city populated by people, exactly like every other one you’ve ever been to, be it London, Paris, New York, or Sydney.

So in the world according to George the regular Beijing ‘life as they live it’ experience involves eating in French and Italian Restaurants downing caprese salads and Osso Bucco! Beijing we are informed is a ‘A big city populated with people.’ (As opposed to Martians I suppose but George is to be ever to be relied upon for under or over statements!)

If you want more you should read all about George’s experience of Chinese hotel breakfasts and how they have become more international and the service has suffered since his arrival. I can’t wait till the athletics start and we’ll have more insights into George’s foray’s into lunch on the run! You never know perhaps he’ll meander into human rights or political blogging or maybe Beijing is like any other city in the world and there are no human rights concerns for it’s residents.

UPDATE: Wednesday’s missive from George is his search for a Starbucks .

Lunchtime arrived, and thinking back to our last excursion when several Starbucks flashed by the taxi window, I thought I’d seek one out for the Chinese version of the experience.

As I think I’ve indicated, I’m discovering a latent desire to restrict my intake of slippery dumplings and egg fried rice. Not that I’ve anything against them. Just not every night.

So I seized the day, and armed with the address of the nearest Seattle coffee shop transliterated into Chinese characters, headed off in a taxi to God knows where.

We then get loads of macho stuff about how he got followed by someone as he looked. He managed to lose the person who he called ‘Gum Shoes’. Someone has been watching far too much Mike Hammer!!

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