Nicholas Quirke was thinking of family and friends back home in the UK and all who were celebrating Easter on 12 April 2020. It was not a festival celebrated in China and the physical celebration of it passed him by, as it did for all communities in the UK where Lockdown meant celebrations online. Instead after a late start mainly due to to indolence the night before, though he did waste time watching Peng enjoy a return to his Lacto Vegetarian status after 2 weeks of being Vegan having lost a bet on weight loss to Nicholas, and also because it marked the day of release from quarantine and not only had his cycle access gone, but he also had no credit left on his phone and though he was meant to be at the hospital four another massage, he had to return to the apartment to get Peng’s aid. He wasn’t too late At the hospital, but It did mean he had to wait for the next free slot as 2 people had ended up going ahead of him. It was a painful session and he was relieved to be able to travel to meet Peng in Xidan By subway. once at the entry stiles, having got through security, he discovered that his subway transit card had expired too. It was back onto the bike and he headed to the mall aching from the pummelling he had received. Typically there was no where for him to park the bike and he had to cycle round the block. It had been his intention since arriving to by some shoes as all he had were his All Stars which were wearing thin or his boots which were inappropriate. Peng also was very keen to try the New Macdonalds Ice cream flavour, now that he could and despite Nicholas’s cries of ‘Macdonalds, Macmurder’. They looked through the many malls of Xidan which were now had a very different feel to them with Large numbers people out and about shopping and eating as they normally might. The City was really coming back to normal and the announcement from Government that schools would reopen at the end of the month was obviously fuelling the citizens sense of freedom. He was not able to find anything that really took his fancy and settled for a lightweight pair of casual shoes for the time being and intended to return to looking online. They ate in the mall at weigh what you eat bar and he asked Peng to get him a tomato broth base. When it he collected his meal with everything he added Peng had ordered mushroom which he specifically didn’t want as he had tasted it before and it was bland. He felt a little sulky about eating his meal and was unable to hide his dissatisfaction from his friend. Even the addition of a free canned drink which had the weirdest taste, could cheer him up. Once he had eaten though he felt a lot better. He was clearly weary and also felt like he was coming down from the sugar rush of the day before. They cycled home and he made a smoothie and watched ‘The Son of Saul’. It had been an uneventful day but he was tired by it and went to bed early.


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