Monthly Archives: July 2024

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The Show Must Go On: our all-weather B-Day (sun, hurricane, and… hail the size of cherries)!

All righty. I told you about the preparations and rehearsals for our birthday blowout. Today let me tell you about the blowout itself – and I don’t use that term for a party without reason…

So, the roof of the main stage had been repaired (put back), and the day promised to be a warm and sunny one; however… ->

Yes – that huge mass of cloud was heading right our way. And despite our crossed fingers, it didn’t pass us by…

Read on…

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Our 27th birthday bash – pt. 1: the (day-before) Rehearsals Must Go On!…

Hi folks!

Early July for us every year gives us something very special to celebrate here at K: our corporate birthday! For several years already we’ve held our all-day birthday party in Zavidovo out in the Moscow Region (here) (since it’s perhaps the only venue that can fit us all in). This year, suddenly – we’re 27 years old already, and to celebrate, we had more than 3300 guests attend the bash!…

In case you’re new to this here blog of mine, here are some posts on how things have gone down birthday-wise in recent years – 2023, 2022, 2021, and so on.

In today’s post – photos from the day before the shindig: a day of rehearsals and other preparations…

The main stage was up, everything so far going to plan ->

Read on…

Fuel in Tiksi – literally double in price (but still cheaper than in Europe)!

I left you yesterday with us on our way out of Khonuu early morning heading to the nearest filling station. As you’ll no doubt know, refueling is normally rather straightforward; however, up here – just outside the Arctic Circle – it’s far from simple…

First of all, you have to find a filling station, for there aren’t many. That often means heading to the next village – or the one after that – and in northern Yakutia that can mean serious distances (an extra hundred kilometers, for example). But there’s more to refueling than just that; accordingly, I hereby announce that this post is dedicated to… Yakutian gas stations!…

Now, filling stations in the Far North aren’t the all-singing-all-dancing minimarket-cafes with hotdogs and assorted other bells and whistles like you get in more temperate climes across the developed world. In a word, here, they’re simple:

Read on…

We “drove” to the Arctic Circle’s Khonuu… but it’s a village there are no roads to!

In the previous installment in the series of blogposts on our Yakutsk-Tiksi-Yakutsk expedition, we’d just arrived in the small village of Khonuu after nightfall.

Now, since Far North villages fascinate me – particularly how life can and is lived in such places – I really wanted to get a closer look at what’s what here to be able to then convey it to you, dear readers. Not that we ventured out far: we literally just walked around our lodgings, but still…

Here are those lodgings:

You see the pipes in the above pic? Those carry hot water to all buildings in the village from a centralized heating plant. I was rather astonished to find out that this – a holdover from Soviet times – is a mandatory attribute across the whole of Yakutia – even its northern reaches.

So what’s it like inside apartment buildings like this one?… ->

Read on…

300km of pure whiteness, plus some unexpected volcanism.

Hi folks!

So many business trips – so little time for… continuing my tales from the deep-frozen Siberian Far North side! But since flying back from China, let me get back to it. So, where was I? Ah – yes: arriving in the village of Sasyr after nightfall and, given there are no hotels or guesthouses to stay at, we were bedding down in the village school’s gym hall on rubber mats!…

Unusual circumstances? Yes. Original? Indeed. Uncomfortable? No!…

We were warm (here – crucial!), there was food, there was fuel at the nearby filling station (we drove there later), and – most importantly – there was table tennis. What more could you ask for?

The following morning – on the fourth day of our Yakutsk-Tiksi-Yakutsk road trip – after breakfast, we were back on our way on the winter/ice road. Next destination: the village of Khonuu (see the map at the very end of this post). And what an interesting and gorgeous day it was too…

First – warm-up pic:

Read on…

Brief Beijing nostalgia, and just a few good views from the avia.

My Southeast Asian/Chinese business trip was drawing to a close…

Japan – done;

Hong Kong – done;

Beijing outskirts – done.

So far – so good: meetings, events, public speaking, plus the mandatory insertions of micro-tourism along the way – just how I like it.

Just before setting off back home – we had a night in central Beijing. And while there, in my hotel room, I came over all nostalgic…

// Brief digression: you see the clouds in the sky? You know what they mean? That the Beijing air has cleaned up its act. Respect! I wrote about this back in July of last year.

Read on…

A special hotel for special meetings on a special island on a special lake!

Farewell Hong Kong; hello Beijing!…

On this multi-stage business trip around Southeast Asia, our next port of call was the Chinese capital for another conference of ours. Here, as per, I told our partners and clients all about our latest achievements, new technologies and products and services. I say “as per”, since I know the routine so well now I hardly need glance at my slides for facts and figures. But… one thing was different this time – very. It was the setting the conference took place in: the Yanqi Kempinski.

I couldn’t find much info about the place on the internet, so I’ll give you my first-person account based on my short stay there…

Read on…

Traditional – and nocturnal – Hong Kong.

When you hear the words “Hong Kong”, what springs to mind first? Go on – what images just appeared in your mind’s eye just now? Was it a film you’ve seen set there – maybe one starring Jackie Chan or perhaps Bruce Lee, or was it a Bond movie? Was it the skyscrapers and bright lights? For me, it’s normally a mixture of all the above…

Hong Kong is a very distinctive city (or special administrative region, to be precise). One could call it the result of a historical symbiosis between traditional Chinese and Western (British) cultures. And the views to be had here today often highlight this symbiosis perfectly; like here ->

Read on…