Happy Chinese New Year
Following the short bio from my previous post, I’d like to add a more personal touch.
One way to show some of my interests is through the books I’m reading.
As you might have gathered from my previous note, my lifestyle has been fairly nomadic and the books I have purchased ended up in second hand shops all over the place.
I’ll just make some notes about my two all time favourites:
Ayn Rand is the author who enabled me to have a congruent set of values and although I have not a single one of her book on my shelves, the one which I like to give to friends is “Capitalism the unknown ideal”
Tony Robbins “Awaken the Giant Within” was an inspiration. I attended several of his motivational classes and even walked on burning charcoals during one of his events.
Two of my current favourite books are:
“Getting Things Done” by Dave Allen and
“Work the System” by Sam Carpenter.
These two are related to work and although I mostly read non fiction, like The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I am very curious and read some weird book, such as Gulp by Mary Roach.
My only regular magazine is the Economist, although I like to occasionally fantasize with top end Cars, Yachts and Architecture mags.
The art forms I prefer are mostly modern paintings and architecture. Some of the decoration in my Alicante place include a Mondrian and a Klee. I had to leave a loved Picasso in Malaysia, hope to recover it one day. A glass goblet by a contemporary swedish artist reminds me of the year I spent in the North. A Clarice Cliff plate, is the last vestige of my Portobello stall and a small African mask and figurines are gifts from my grand mother.
My main objective in life is to be happy, fit and healthy.
This has led me to follow a variety of diets over time and a more or less regular practice of sport and exercises. My longest lasting has been jogging; pretty regular since I was 18. At my peak, when living in Wokingham, I used to run 7 km several time a week with my friend Max Arafa. More recently, in France I had a cross country track of 4km. Probably running only 3km now. I was a regular student of TaiChi for 12 years and still do some Chi Kung exercises most morning. As a teenager, I was a dinghy sailor, 420, and later embraced windsurfing, which I have not practiced much recently. As with windsurfing, my skiing skills are fairly basic.
Not a big music fan but enjoying uplifting tunes such as Happy by Willam Pharrell or Roar by Katy Perry or the Venga Boys. I also enjoy some classical music but could not tell you which except for the Four Seasons of Vivaldi because I had an alarm clock with a CD that was playing it every morning.
Moving to Alicante, I made several new friends.
After joining a coaching program, I was asked for a bio of myself.
So for my new friends in Spain and in the new Facebook group I joined, here is an abbreviated bio focusing mostly on business.
Born in France, schooled in Spain, Jeff spent most of his professional life in the UK.
Starting his IT career with Texas Instruments, Jeff was an operator for an IBM 360 model 65 and 50. Later on Jeff became a Cobol programmer still using punched cards. Jeff began his international career when working for Ford Motor Credit Company; he went to install a mainframe financial system in Sweden, France and Italy. Following this Jeff moved into the world of Data Communication, setting up distributors and resellers in Europe for GDC, a manufacturer of modems and multiplexers. After Wide Area Networks, Jeff worked at BICC Data Networks, a pioneer in Local Area Networks. Jeff was setting up channels of distribution in Europe the Middle East and Africa as well as managing major OEM accounts.
Jeff achieved his ambition to become a third generation entrepreneur when he founded BlueArc. After several rounds of funding and a move to Silicon Valley, BlueArc was bought by Hitachi Data Systems.
Jeff then became a Venture Capitalist in Malaysia. He later founded a company to provide outsourced financial services to Banking institutions in the Middle East. The financial crash of 2008 crushed that company and Jeff returned to France.
Started 2015 in sunny Spain.
From the shores of sunny Alicante;
Wishing all my family, friends and acquaintances
A Happy and Prosperous 2015
with good heal to enjoy it all.
Quel beau temps ce dimanche pour notre entrainement à Vessy.
J’espère que cela pourras continuer mais juste au cas ou, je prépare un sweatshirt à capuche pour me tenir au chaud avant et après.
S’il vous plait, vous pouvez vous aussi en obtenir un.
Cependant c’est une édition limitée qui ferme le 6 Octobre, alors dépêchez-vous !
Pour réserver un de ces hoodie de la course de l’escalade, visitez ce lien
A bientôt !
This Thursday, first training session for the Escalade de Genève.
See you at the Stade du Bout du Monde!
A recent article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek called Have We Reached Peak Burger made me smile.
It’s a play on the word Peak Oil from the days when alarmist claimed the world had run out of oil capacity and the price of a barrel was forecast to reach $300. Now thanks to fracking and Iraq turmoil, a barrel sells for $70 to $90. Anyway back to burgers. So the market for McDonald’s and co. has peaked.
The Americans being top marketers, a new category has sprung up to take up the flak.
Viva gourmet burgers.
I was piqued by the BusinessWeek article because I’d recently discovered Holy Cow, just across the road from Cornavin station, in Geneva, Switzerland. So my taste buds were titillated by Twisper, quoted in a Tribune de Genève article claiming that one of the top 10 burgers joint in the world was under my nose in the Paquis. Could not wait long before visiting the Hamburger foundation, off to rue Philippe-Plantamour.
Very pleasant setting at the junction of streets forming a little place with trees. The terrace is packed, I spot a free table and rush to seat. Very mixed crowd with fair share of expats. Oops! I notice a sign saying “wait to be seated.” A smart young waitress come up and without being sarcastic ask me how many we will be at the table. She does not bat an eyelid when I mention that it’s only me. Cool ! I mean the good manners and very polite response. All the waitresses are in neo uniforms, mostly black with a few white tops, like in a four star restaurant. All the staff is female except for the cashier whom I take to be Marc Gouzer, the co-founder
Down to the meat of the subject.
The menus is simple, burger, cheese burger or cheese burger and bacon. I plump for the latter. With the menu, the waitress brought a glass of water and after taking my order now come a little bowl of green salad, very simple but the dressing is delicious. Now comes what I had anticipated so much World’s best 10 burger.
Nice presentation with a little bit of fresh coleslaw, and a well decorated basket of French fries. The hamburger is well cooked, the waitress had asked how I liked it when taking the order.
It’s nice but my expectations were hyped and I feel let down.
The French fries are small and skinny without much taste.
Without recounting my expat stops, just in Geneva, I prefer the Holy Cow burger. Slightly unfair comparison because my favourite Cow chew is a bacon burger with guacamole, something missing from the Hamburger Foundation. However Holy Cow service is hardly better than McDonald except that they shout your number to locate your table and plump your order in front of you. Pure foodie experience! OK for lunch time but the area feels a bit rough in the evening. The Paquis can be quite lively too but the Hamburger Foundation is just behind the Kempinksy Hotel and it feels like a haven of peace. At CHF21 for a burger, pricing is similar to Holy Cow.
It’s a great place to take a date or the family.
World’s top 10, I don’t know. Geneva top 2? Definitely!
Top 1 for a pleasant evening burger any day, plus there is no price for good manners and pleasant service.
Have you been to a Gourmet burger in Geneva?
Let me know, make a comment on this post and I’ll endeavour to visit.
Just started a new blog about life as an expat.
I’ve been moving around since I was 14.
So if you are an expat too, check out my new blog
This is a picture of my early life as an expat.
On the day I received a copy of the book “THE NEW EMPIRE OF DEBT”, The Rise and Fall of an Epic Financial Bubble, a local newspaper worries about the rapid growth of debt in China.
After copying the business model of capitalism, it is not hard to see why China would want to copy the debt model of the US.
After becoming the world’s second largest economy, nobody can doubt that China will become a world leading Debt Adept.
My Tai Chi teacher had an expression for this: Monkey see, monkey do !
Got to read that book now to know where we are heading.