Beijing Fun

Nicholas Quirke was looking forward to a day of cycling and discovering more of Beijing on 21 March 2020. It was a Saturday and Peng was playing host and taking him out into the city to discover another aspect of this increasingly amazing place. His close cropped haircut from the day before prompted him to do something he had been intending to do since he had been having to wear a face mask and that was shave his beard right back. The scissors came out and the beard trimmer, which had successfully shorn Peng, and he wielded it with his new found confidence as a barber. He looked and felt a lot younger. His silver cross, severely tarnished since he had been travelling, despite having the maker, Jeremy Hoye, polish it only a few months previously, needed polishing and the mission for the day was to get it treated and cleaned. First some sightseeing and once again the freedom of the city was his as he mounted a bicycle and they sped off to the Southside of Tiananmen Square, an area he had not previously seen. First they stopped at an old complex which had been smartened up called Beijing Fun with Tea houses restaurants and bars. They stopped for a Silver Needle tea after which Nicholas encountered this first Chinese Ghost-sign. Their next stop was the impressive Zhengyang Gate Which marked the south entrance to Tiananmen Square. The street running south from here led to the Temple of Heaven and off this main avenue some of Beijing’s oldest dwellings, shops And restaurants were located. They cycled past Dongdan Park which Peng had last been to when he was 10 and they stopped to have a look round this quaint park with a man made hill. Apart from a couple practising their ballroom dancing, apparently it is a popular spot to do this, the gardens were most notable for the preponderance of single older men, lounging on benches or draped around the exercise equipment, given to staring at the sight of white man in their midst. Peng had located a Vegan Restaurant in the heart of the financial buildings in the City and they went to the China World Mall. Unfortunately, The Lotus restaurant was closed and it took them almost an hour to locate somewhere suitable to eat and even when they sat down at Baker and Spice having found the only Vegan Dishes, the staff came back to say that they had run out of the Thai Green Curry he had ordered. He had red instead. Feeling replenished they took a Didi to an alternative Mall which dealt solely in jewellery and silver goods., They located a silversmith who took the blackened cross dipped it some liquid, and then handed it back a little cleaner than it had been. Cost, nothing. It was time to head home. They stopped at a cake shop where Peng bought a vegan Green Bean rose cake for desert, to follow the pea and mint soup Nicholas had made the night before. Plans to go out to See the city at night were scrapped and though they intended to watch a film A search for his reading glasses which went rogue took up too much time and once they were found, the will to continue the evening was spent. Oblivion called.

5 Comments

  1. It’s great to read of somewhere in the world where you can be out and about properly enjoying freedom to socialise. This looks wonderful and the summer grooming works too Nick. x

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