Technology Doldrums

Nicholas Quirke was ready for another punishing treatment on 24 March 2020 and had set off on a bike to the Massage Hospital . 10 minutes into his ride he realised he was not wearing a mask! Infuriatingly he had to cycle home as without a mask he would not be treated. He still had time but he had to take the subway for speed. It was apparant that the carriages were noticeably fuller than he was used to seeing them He reached the station but accidentally took the wrong exit. He could not see where he needed to be and his sense of direction completely deserted him. Nothing was familiar and google maps refused to work, his VPN whirring round in circles. Like a child he called upon Peng to help him in his dilemma. He was on back on track but now late. He had the appointment booked and therefore expected an easy route through the red tape on entering. Once again he was held up at the door, and already 10 minutes late he was under the calm exterior quite agitated. The conversation reached an impasse and the nurses who recognised him from his previous visits asked to contact his friend and once again he was on the phone to Peng. Sooner or later this reliance on his wonderful host was going to have to stop and he was really going to need to stand on his own two feet. He felt more and more independent and could now find his way around certain areas with some confidence and the more he travelled around the easier it became through languages was continually a barrier, and the mental note to himself was: keep learning Mandarin. Once through the system, nobly aided by Peng, he was sent to an alternative area to wait and this time he had a number to wait for. As soon as he saw his name appear on the board he understood how the system worked and from here on he would be fine. He was late and had to wait about 45 minutes before he was seen but his physician had a smattering of English and even made a few jokes so though there was some painful manipulating going on at least he felt understood. Once again he felt drained by the treatment and once home had a midday nap. He felt suddenly old being incapacitated in this way. He was definitely not used to dozing in the middle of the day and getting himself together to go out again was like waking up all over again. He definitely needed something to do and occupy his time. He cycled back to the Joy City mall to collect some trousers and buy a cake and by the time he returned back to the apartment a delivery of his new phone had arrived. Peng had been very persuasive about getting a new i-phone and he sincerely hoped it would be worth the expense. Naturally what should have been a straightforward exercise turned into an ever decreasing circle of inability to get everything working that even defeated Peng. The frustrations of getting everything in order exhausted him and he gave up on trying to sort it out. Instead he planned what to do the next day to avoid a period in the doldrums which he had felt were trying to lure him in. While Nicholas worked, Peng beavered away at solving the riddle of the phone and by the time he had finished everything was in working order and he could go to bed with an easy mind.

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