Notes from Puzzle Palace

Monday, December 8, 2014

OCTOBER Boys and Toys

Chinese National Day.  We all know what that means.  Another annual boys and toys!
This year was extra special because it was the 10th anniversary of the Mf8 forum as well.

This trip was a bit of a hoot going up for me.  I had arraigned to meet Uwe in Shenzhen and head up with him for the night of the dinner and for a bit of tie at the competition.  We had planned to take the train, but both of us forgot it was that it was a major national holiday.  There were no train tickets to be found. We got on a bus instead!  EEK!  That was a 3 hour ride.  But hey, any time I get to spend with Uwe is time well spent.

We finally arrived and headed straight to the competition venue.  Uwe and I of course gave away a few prizes then headed over for the dinner.  The usual suspects were there along with a few from Beijing.  Two cakes were ordered to celebrate with and all the attendees got an anniversary shirt and a PINK puzzle.  Dinner lasted 3 hours or so as usual and then we headed out for karaoke.  The standard boys and toys.  Food, friends, and beer.

Ready to fly
The weekend didn't end there.  DaYan, Smaz and I headed out the next morning for Nan Jing.  My other brother Tom didn't arrive in GZ for this boys and toys.  Why?  He was getting married!  A two hour flight up and we were picked up by Tom.  We checked into the hotel and then headed out to dinner with some of Tom's friends.

Tom and his bride
The following day was the wedding and I have to say, I've never seen my boy look so good.  His wife is a pretty thing too with a wonderful wonderful heart.  I'm so glad they invited me along for the wedding.  The dinner of course was full of drinking and more food.  I held my own and slammed shot for shot with the big boys.
My brothers
 We ended up going to a fortune teller after the dinner and spent quite a lot of time next to a mountain that we didn't walk up.
Dinner was at Tom's house where we were joined by his family and friends followed of course by lots more drinking.  (see a pattern here?)

The next day we went for a hike up the mountain with Tom and his new bride.  There was a wonderful view of the city below.  I realized yet again how beautiful parts of China can be.  We had a nice leisurely lunch before heading back to the airport to return to our home cities.  This was a brilliant change to the normal boys and toys.  Not as much drinking-well, not as many sessions I guess.

When I returned to Hong Kong, the next day I met up with Yuan, Otis, and her boyfriend.  We wandered around the puzzle shops for a bit and thanks to Otis' keen eyes, we found a new shop to head out to.  All of us bought new toys and as always, ended up at my flat for that photo.

Dinner that night saw us in Shum Shui Po at our favorite place.  We puzzled the night away and just had a fantastic time.  Kyoo brought along the prototype for the new Hanayama puzzle and I brought a number from the most recent IPP.  Even Mr. Man joined us for a bit of puzzle play.  As always, this was another very successful puzzling weekend.

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