Newsletter December 2013

 

Dear  Friends,

We can't believe it is Christmas already. Another year has flown by...

2013 has been a great year for the BCT, with a good mix of cultural activities, family events, sporty outings and of course our memorable 35 years celebration party! We hope that we succeeded in bringing the Belgian community in Thailand a bit closer together.

The BCT Team is sad to say goodbye to one of its members. Ann Van der Veken is moving with her family to Manila. We want to thank her for her enthusiasm and efforts during the past year and we wish her and her family all the best with their new challenge!

The BCT exists by the grace of its members, but the day-to-day operation is run by a small group of volunteers (BCT-Team). This team is open for re-election each year. The upcoming elections will be held on 25th of May. So: if you have some time to spare and feel like joining us? Please send us an e-mail at secretary@belgianclubthailand.com and let us know what your field of interest is. To be eligible for a committee appointment, you must be a BCT member.

Did you know the BCT has its own Facebook page?  ‘Like’ us and we keep you updated not only about BCT events but also about the events of other clubs, cultural events in BKK, concerts, fairs, etc. If we reach 100 ‘likes’ by the end of 2013, we will organise a lucky draw and a free membership can be won for the year 2014-2015. So go to the BCT Facebook Page.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter. See you in your glamour-glitter-and-gold outfit on our New Year's Boat party on January 25th!

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2014 to all of you,

The BCT Team

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2nd BCT Tennis Tournament

On November 23, the BCT organised its second tennis tournament. Once again, the venue was Le Smash Club, where 20 players in total battled for the already renowned doubles trophies, in between enjoying an excellent buffet. At the same time, lots of kids had fun and were offered a ‘clinic’ in which they learned to appreciate the game even more.

Following sometimes very animated matches, the overall doubles title went to the duo Freddy Pierets and Vincent Dehan, who beat Paul Piette and Marc Verstraete in the finals. The title of runner-up (winner of the lower side of the draw) was taken home by Aline Poittier and Bruno Van Parijs, who showed themselves the betters of the mother and daughter-team, consisting of Marie Verstraete and Julia Verstraete. In the subsequent singles tournament, which was played between the individual members of the doubles teams that won their finals, Vincent Dehan had his hands full to keep Freddy Pierets at bay.

Hope to see you all during our next edition! We keep you posted as soon as the date and place for this have been fixed.

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Sinterklaas/Saint-Nicolas, 8 December

On request of the BCT  Kids Team the Holy man made a stop-over in BKK. Unfortunately his 3 helpers suffered from jet-lag and assumed their boss had finally treated them to a much needed holiday in tropical Thailand. They really did not feel like working too much...So the kids helped them to remember the job description of a Zwarte Piet / Père Fouettard.

The big advantage of organising kids’ events is the reward you get at the spot: happy faces and big smiles, proof of another successful day! So thank you everybody involved, and see you next year.

Thanks to Bernard Collin we have this beautiful pictures. You can see them all on Flickr.

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Soccer and G2G, 11 October

Chequers Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 4 was the place to be to watch the live Red Devils match on Friday October 11th. As expected, this game turned out to be the decisive qualification match for the 2014 FIFA World Cup! The bar was a great venue for this special Get2Gether, with plenty of beer, lots of space and a great atmosphere. What would the Red Devils have done without our support..:-) 

This is just the warm-up for ‘the real thing’. Next year, the BCT organises its very own Interland Belgium-Netherlands in Bangkok. We are absolutely not biased, but this being said, all of our votes go to the Belgians… Only a few weeks later, the FIFA World Cup will officially kick off in Rio de Janeiro. In short: there lie many more occasions ahead for soccer fans in BKK!

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An overview of the upcomming activities:

Thursday, 16 January | Coffee Morning and chat at the home of Ann Peenen

Saturday, 25 January | New Year’s Boat Party 3G’s Glamour, Glitter and Gold

Sunday, 2 March | Golf Event in Ayutthaya clinic for beginners, 18 holes for the pro’s!

Saturday, 22 March | Film & Frites The Broken Circle Breakdown - 2012

Sunday, 27 April | Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, 17 May | Football Match Belgium - The Netherlands

Friday, 23 May | Elections new BCT committee

Saturday, 14 June | Annual Dinner

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Baan Dada: BCT 35th Anniversary

Whilst organising events the BCT tries to look for ways how it can support the less fortunate in our host country Thailand. Of course, there is a lot of choice when it comes to finding a reliable charity in Thailand. From our personal experience, we have chosen to help Baan Dada Children's Home and Community Services.

 

Baan Dada Children’s Home and Community Services started out as a boys’ home in Huay Malai village in 1994. The remote village Baan Dada is situated in Huay Malai,  Sangklaburi. It is situated in the north-western part of Kanchanaburi province in western Thailand on the border with Myanmar. Reaching the home , takes a drive of approximately seven hours from Bangkok.

Baan Dada is a very dynamic organisation. In order to have an idea of their activities, we kindly invite you to have a look at their website. So far, the BCT and its members have donated 30,000 THB to Baan Dada. To make the donations more ‘sustainable’, we are in the process of defining a project together. This project will be presented to you shortly. All donations collected will then be used to fund this project. When the project is finished, the BCT will organise a trip to Baan Dada to discover the results of our donations. 

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Did you know...?

Most of us know the famous ‘Thursday Market’ at Sukhumvit Soi 23, every Thursday, from 8am to 4pm. But did you know that Thursday market also opens every Tuesday, at the exact same spot? Clothes and ready-made dishes (behind Starbucks), but no fresh fruits and vegetables on Tuesday. Stalls do differ from the ones on Thursday so there are new bargains to be found! But do we really need an excuse for shopping?

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BKK, my home!

Hello, I am Corinne and together with Alain and our 4 children, Maude (10), Chine (8), Nane (6) and Loïc (2),  we live in the Sathorn area since July 2012.  My daughters attend the Lycée Français and my little boy goes to Acacia kindergarten. Before our journey to Bangkok, we lived in downtown Brussels.

Bangkok in no more than three words

What describes Bangkok best for me are the words Fast, Furious and Challenging.

Fast: this is a city that never sleeps and looks so much different in daylight than at night. At the same time, this is also a city that makes me feel older. The heat and humidity make me age a lot faster!

Furious or intense and wild: Nothing seems to go as planned and sometimes day-to-day stuff like grocery shopping can be a time-consuming endeavour. It starts with finding a taxi, next you are adapting menus on the spot because they decided to change their supply, and at the same time I wonder how to keep my ice-cream frozen at all times…

BKK for me is also challenging. Together with some friends, we decided to go for the 10k run in Bangkok. Training for a 10k run, in polluted Bangkok, with temperatures above 30°, is a challenge in itself! But ‘Yes’, I did it, and I did it again 2 weeks later in Cambodia!  Very proud of myself, I must say.

The Thai dish I miss the most when I am away

There are quite a few dishes I miss when I am away, but to name only one, I would go for the Yum Woon Sen Talay (glass noodle salad with squid). More than the dishes, I miss the abundance of fresh green vegetables/herbs and the all-year availability of mango and fresh coconut, my daily cup of iced lemon tea and iced macha with red azuki beans.

Favourite iconic BKK spot

Definitely the boat on the Chao Praya River. For me, the grandeur of the city comes alive best when embarking on a river boat and to pass by the landmarks of Grand Palace, Wat Arun and the BKK skyline.

Favourite place for a romantic date with my husband

My favourite place for a romantic date with my husband is any decent restaurant that serves good food and wine. I cannot say we are picky about this, as Bangkok has so many nice and uptown restaurants on offer.  A recent discovery, though, was the ‘In the mood for love’ restaurant on Sukhumvit soi 36 - named after the famous Hong Kong movie.  A kitschy 50’s design interior that serves delicious Japanese food. The question I asked my husband through Whatsapp ‘In the mood 4 love 2night?’, did add spice to a romantic late night dinner…

My favourite spa

My best aroma massage I had was in the Green Leaf spa, Chatrium residences on Narathiwat soi 24.  I was so sleepy afterwards that I could only think of going straight to my bed. The nicest interior, however, linked to a good restaurant, is the Kuppa on Sukhumvit soi 16. Very child-friendly too, as my eldest girl had her 10th birthday party there.

Favourite Neighbourhood spot

This is a tricky one, as I have many! It all depends on what I am in the mood for.  When I feel like Sporty Spice, I usually go to Lumpini park or Queen Sirikit park. When I am on the path of discovery or feel adventurous, I like to take the boat and wander around China town.  However, when I am in for a sophisticated trip, you can see me strolling around Central World and the Siam area.

Favourite coffee shop

Unlike any other part of Bangkok, we, the ones living on Nanglinchee, don’t have the privilege of having a Starbucks or 7/11 every other 50m. So I go to my local coffee shop Wawa Café or the Kahava Café. The latter opened a little restaurant, a couple of months ago (Mama Roti) that serves refined curry’s and ‘rotis’.  Especially the crispy ‘rotie’ with chestnut cream is a real treat.

My family’s go-to restaurant

Whenever we celebrate a birthday or family-event - as you can guess we have plenty -, we like going to Il Bolognese, located in the soi between Suanplu and Narathiwat. We are very fond of Andrea, the owner, who adds some additional Italian flavour to my preferred grilled fish platter. He is also our main supplier for some good Italian wines.

Go-to Sunday Brunch

Shangri-La, a bit old-fashioned maybe, but the food is good and the place is quite child-friendly.  Children have their own little area and when last time my youngster threw up on their nice carpet, the waitresses didn’t even give a wimp. Excellent service!

The bar that makes my favourite drink

I like the drinks served on my first-ever visit to a rooftop bar, the Vertigo, Banyan Tree. 

My favourite place to take my kids out on the weekend

During weekends you can usually find us at the British Club.  This is a little oasis in the Silom area, that facilitates all the needs for a family with young children. To us, this is a place to relax, sipping our mango smoothies, while the kids have a blast on the bouncy castle and swimming pool. 

Best shopping

Bangkok is a shopping Walhalla, but my preferred shopping mall is Central World, combined with a lunch at Mrs Balbir (Indian food). That is when I have a dedicated plan and schedule of finding things like toys, sportswear, etc. I also like to wander around and look for some finds/treasures in the little alleys of Silom, an area I consider to be the most authentic tourist area, i.e. a place where you can see both tourists and locals intermingle. This is an area that also has lost lots of its attire due to the upcoming Sukhumvit, but nevertheless has retained much of its authenticity.

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