Newsletter October 2013

Dear BCT Members,

A warm welcome back after the summer break! The new season kick-off has already been busy: a coffee morning, get2gether, 35th anniversary dinner and storytelling in the park. Great occasions to catch up with our members after the summer break and happy to see some new faces! We hope that the friendships built up in our community contribute to everybody's home feeling in Bangkok and in Thailand.

Many of you already renewed their membership, thank you so much for your support. Members get discount on activities; some activities are free for members. If you're not a member yet, you can always sign up at a next event.

If you want to contribute to this newsletter, help us with the organization of events or if you want to share ideas for next activities, do let us know at secretary@belgianclubthailand.com.

Again, thank you for your support and we hope to see you all soon!

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TONIGHT :Get2Getger with live soccer

Join us for the Belgium-Croatia qualification match. With two games to play, Belgium sits five points ahead of Croatia in Group A. This could be the decisive qualification match for the 2014 FIFA World Cup!

Live broadcast and 10% discount on drinks!

Venue: Chequers Bar, 5/11 Nana Tai, Sukhumvit Soi 4, Bangkok (near Nana BTS).

Time: Friday 11 October, Get2Gether starts at 7.30 pm, match begins at 11 pm

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Next event: Taste of Belgium

The Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Meridien Hotel, is bringing the best of Belgian Cuisine to Bangkok during a week-long Belgian food promotion. Renowned Chef Georges Deprez will show that Belgium is more than just French Fries, Chocolate, Beer and Waffles, by creating an irresistible and lavish Belgian Buffet which will mesmerize your pallet and will keep you longing for more: Fish Waterzooi, Mussels, Poularde with Leffe Beer, Tartare de Boeuf, a selection of pate and many more specialties.

Tuesday, 5 November | A Belgian Business Dinner Talk with Karel Vinck

This event is organized by Beluthai, partner of the Belgian Club of Thailand.

One of the most respected Belgian businessmen is coming to Bangkok. One of the greatest Belgian food buffets ever is coming to town. Beluthai has combined the two and proudly presents a dinner talk with Karel Vinck followed by a superb “Discover Belgian Cuisine” buffet dinner prepared by Belgian Chef Georges Deprez from the Sheraton Brussels.

On Tuesday 5 November, you have the chance to listen to (talk to, and dine with) Mr. Vinck, a true businessman at heart, who will give a speech about competitiveness of large companies, based upon real life stories from his own experience.

For more details and registration, visit the Beluthai website: www.beluthai.org.

Friday, 8 November | Belgian Seafood Buffet prepared by Belgian Chef Georges Deprez. 15% discount (for BCT members only). E-mail invitation will follow, pre-registration required!

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An overview of the next Activities

Saturday, 23 November | Tennis tournament at Le Smash Club

Sunday, 8 December | Sinterklaas/Saint-Nicolas

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Our previous activities: BCT 35th Anniversary

Friday September 27th was a day to remember. On that day, the BCT officially celebrated its 35 years of existence in the residence of the Belgian ambassador. Around 100 people attended the party.  Good food, excellent (Belgian) drinks and music by ‘Bemerkenswert 4’, made the festive mood complete. We are proud to announce that the raffle for the benefit of Baan Dada, an orphanage near the border with Myanmar, has raised as much as 25,000 THB!

Time flies when you’re have fun, is sometimes said. This is certainly true when talking about the Belgian Club of Thailand. It seems like yesterday, but back in 1978 already, a number of friends gathered in a pub and decided to create a community for Belgians in Thailand, providing their fellow countrymen with a link with ‘home’. The main objective: promoting social and cultural contacts between Belgians living in Thailand and organising activities in these respective fields. Where possible the BCT also promotes Thai culture and involves its people as a way of showing respect and saying thank you to the new home country.

The BCT is living proof that the need for a Belgian club in Thailand certainly existed and still exists. Over the years, people came and went, but one constant fact remained: the BCT. After 35 years, the BCT is more alive than ever before. The steady growth of members and fans are living proof of that.

A special word of thanks must be addressed to the Belgian ambassador Marc Michielsen and his wife, who once again let the BCT use their residence as the perfect location for its celebration.

Many thanks as well to the sponsors of this event, TMB , Beluthai, Asian Tigers, Brewberry and ChocOlat. 

And to all of those who donated wonderful prizes for the raffle, you have definitely made a difference for the kids at Baan Dada! So thank you: Flowers on Langsuan, De Boer, ABC Amazing Bangkok, Bangkok Bread Boys, Heritage Bakery Cafe, Le Smash Club, Henkel, Vinum Lector, Let’s Asia, Bangkok Soccer Schools, Wish Beer, Samsonite and Asian Sugar Decor.

One thing is for certain: the BCT is ready for its next 35 years…

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Storytelling, 6 October

Once upon a time, on a sunny Sunday morning, 30 BCT kids sat still and listened. They were swept away by stories told by our enthusiastic storytellers. There were scary stories, funny stories, weird stories and even some impossible stories. But most importantly, there was cake and a whole bunch of friends to play with afterwards!

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Welcome coffee, 11 September

The first BCT coffee morning is a fact. A nice mix of Flemish and French speaking ladies came to the suburbs of Bangkok, all up for coffee and a chat. 2 Men bravely submerged into the chatty crowd, discussing our upcoming golf event. More details will follow...  The perfect setting for newcomers to gather useful information from BKK’s diehards; telephone numbers and e-mail addresses were shared with ease.

Everyone had a relaxing and cosy time, so keep an eye out for our next coffee morning!

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Annual Dinner, 8 June

Although darks clouds and rain forced us to put the tables a little bit more under the shelter, the setting was still fabulous with its perfect pool view on the 4th floor of the Plaza Athénée, a Royal Meridien Hotel.

Thanks to our host, Mr. Gilles Evrard we even had a mini Atomium decorating the buffet! Luckily by the time our first guests arrived the rain had disappeared and we started off the evening with a tasteful cocktail near the bar.

After our president’s welcome speech we were delighted by a wide choice of international food. Everybody was in a very chatty good mood till late at night. Surely the upcoming summer break was this night’s main topic to talk about.

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Did you know...?

For those of you who regularly withdraw money from a non-Thai Bank account here in Thailand, you know that the charges can go up to as high as 180 THB per transaction. However, at an ATM of the bank AEON you do not pay any charges, so this saves you a couple of coffees per transaction!

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BKK, my home!

Sofie is without a doubt a familiar face to many of you already. As secretary of the BCT she plays an important role in the club’s development and she often is the first point of (very!) friendly contact for Belgians new to BKK. Having lived in BKK for nearly 2,5 years she has quite a number of interesting things to share with you about her home far away from home… so off we go!

Hi, I am Sofie.  I am married to Xavier and we have two kids. Jerome is 4, Rachel is 2,5. We live on Sukhumvit soi 49. It took a while to really feel at home in BKK, but we are getting there!

The Thai dish I miss the most when I am away?

Without a doubt, khao soi.

My favourite iconic BKK spot?

This must be the walkway between MBK and Siam Discovery. You look down and see the colourful taxis and tuk tuks, you look up and you see the sky train, which gets you through the city on time.

My favourite place for a romantic date with my husband?

We like going to The Thai restaurant Shangri-La, a beautiful setting next to the river.

My favourite spa?

For a good foot massage I visit Dr. Foot, opposite of Samitivej hospital  (Sukhumvit soi 49).

Favourite neighbourhood spot?

 I like the Thonglor strip:  J Avenue, Penny's Balcony and Seenspace 13.  Rainhill on Sukhumvit soi 47 is also nice to hang out.

Favourite coffee shop?

Casa Lapin, a hidden gem on Sukhumvit soi 49, again close to Samitivej hospital.

My family’s go-to restaurant?

We have a couple of favourites: Foodloft in Central Chidlom, Bacco on Sukhumvit soi 53, Beirut and Crepes & Co on Thonglor 8. But our latest discovery is Cafe Tartine, they do superb baguettes and salads but also have a great kid's menu.

My favourite rooftop bar?

The Sirocco at the Leboa Tower, although it gets serious competition from the new rooftop bar at The Marriott Thonglor, Octave.

My favourite place to take my kids out on the weekend?

The pool , but we do try out different places as well :-)

The most successful day trips were: Safari world, the air force museum and a boat tour on the Chao Praya and khlongs . The least successful trip was the train museum close to Chatuchak, seriously there are only 3 trains!

Our latest discovery is the Red Cross Snake Farm, they produce anti-venom serum for snake-bite victims nationwide. Located at the intersection of Rama IV and Henri Dunant road, close to  Lumpini park. Entrance fee is 200 THB for adults and 50 THB for kids.

It is money very well spent; the place is clean and very informative. Great place to take the kids. They get to see dangerous aspects of snakes in a very safe setting. The snake handling show (11 am) is a must-see and as you can tell from the pictures, a perfect picture moment! Definitely worthwhile your visit.

Best shop for children’s clothes?

I recommend Thursday market at Sukhumvit soi 23 for exceptional bargains. I also like shopping at GAP, H&M, Zara and Filou & Friends in Belgium... :-)

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