Yesterday I volunteered as a receptionist for a Sino-Dutch trade dinner in Beijing. Unexpectedly Mr. van der Sar also turned up. Such an encounter really made my Wednesday and put a heavyweight item on my serendipity list.
Three weeks ago I applied for a volunteer job at the Benelux Chamber of Commerce in China, the BenCham. I did it mainly for better networking with the Dutch corps and people. Although I offered a free service, BenCham turned me down euphemistically for the reason that I already have a full-time job.
Somehow they got back to me last week and asked if I could help them during a trade dinner. Definitely I said yes to their request. As a reward, I had a fortuitous chance to meet Edwin van der Sar, the most legendary goalkeeper in all history. I was so grateful to be the first guy at that dinner (because I was the receptionist!) to take a photo with him, and even have a few seconds’ talk about football.
It was not really a cosy job. Our team of four arrived at the hotel at 3 pm to begin the set-up. We worked like dogs until 8 pm when the companies finished the ceremony. Then we faced a crisis of hunger because strangely no seats were reserved for the volunteers. So we had to play it by ear and scrounge for food. Luckily, with the help of a pretty lady from the embassy, I managed to get a seat and rescue my tummy.But don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy it. I felt so delighted about my input in this event. In retrospect, I realize a major part of my happiness during my life in Wageningen came from my indulgence in all kind of communal activities, like RUW, IxESN, SamenSpraak or SFO. That is why I actively get my hands dirty in any NGOs in Beijing; it is my new source of gratification.
So thank you BenCham, I look forward to your next call-up.
After an MSc in Wageningen, a year in the Student Council and a year of working in the Netherlands, Derek is back in China. With his Wageningen diploma, he found a job in Beijing. And he's back blogging for Resource.