ASOCIO event in Hong Kong starts with a party
As has become commonplace with any ASOCIO event, the focus on work is intense but there is a lot of focus on food and on hanging out with each other so that friendships can be renewed and new relationships formed in an informal environment.
So it was not surprising that the event took off with a dinner the night before the General Assembly. We gathered at the Rennaissance Harbour View Hotel on the Wanchai waterfront and walked to the restaurant. For some who were not expecting it to be cold in Hong Kong, it was a chilling experience. The dinner was organized by our hosts, the ISIA (Information and Software Industry Association) Hong Kong. And true to Hong Kong tradition, the focus was on food.
ISIA had booked the entire restaurant for the ASOCIO gathering. At first they gave us a menu and asked that we order whatever we liked and then they said “Oh what the hell … let us just try everything!” Seriously, they ordered everything on the menu so that we could sample anything we wanted. And the quantity was humungous!.
I was ensconed in one corner with an interesting group of people – Kelly Hutchinson (GM of the Australian Information Industry Association), Lucas Lim (the Secretary General of ASOCIO), Akansha Tete from NASSCOM and Chong from the ISIA.
The meal began with a platter full of the most delicious in seafood delicacies on ice – prawns, crab, mussels, oyster, etc. Accompanying this was garlic bread of a kind we had never tried before – absolutely mouth watering. Naturally we OD’d on all this as we chatted and exchanged stories and experiences.
This was followed by a lobster bisque which was heavenly. Some of us asked for a second helping … yes, I must admit that I was convinced to have a second helping while others sipped on vodka and red wine :).
By the time we had finished the soup, we were already full. But the meal was nowhere near over. There were more mussels, steak, lampchops, a dish of assorted vegetables. some goose thingy and god knows what else. I had the mussels but was not up to having anything else.
Then came the desserts – several of them. The hot baked chocolate with ice-cream was worth killing for. Of course we sampled each one of the desserts just so we would not live to regret it the next day. 🙂
I am sure I have not menationed some of the courses – someone counted 22. Anyway, it was certainly a warm and befitting welcome to the city of Hong Kong. Thanks ISIA. By the way, someone told the organizers I spoke Cantonese (I suspect it was Lucas) so I had to converse with them in the local lingo for part of the time. Strange how it all comes back once you are in the right environment.
We then walked back to the Rennaissance Hotel where we stood around chatting until everyone decided that we should call it a night and catch a few hours of sleep prior to the General Assembly the following day. I headed home to my brother’s flat but I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the guys sneaked off for a night on the town.
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