Closed on a Monday

Nicholas Quirke was not surprised to discover that his weight had increased over the indulgent weekend on 13 April 2020 and decided to kickstart another week with a fast. Not eating solid food always made him feel a little restless and as he tried to sort out some overdue admin, and resolve the puzzle of why his phone and associated apps had stopped working again, he listened to some music and when a Dance track ‘Que Sera Mi Vida’ from 1979 started, he was so lost in the memory of the ‘way back when’ discotheque times, he could not contain a burst of energy and danced as he used to; as if his life depended on it. He was pleased to see that the Chinese government had announced that state schools would open at the end of April which could mean that International schools and language schools would follow and it might mean that there could be some work for him. It might also mean that travel between provinces could be possible and he could exercise his wanderlust. There was a temple nearby which he was interested to visit and set off in the afternoon to visit. Naturally, once he arrived he had to confront the street officials and he had prepared a written statement to show them from Peng, asking ’is the temple open and how can he get in?’ Nicholas was not even sure they read what he showed them before they shooed him away as a Laowei infidel. There was however a nearby park for him to enjoy and the promise of a tea in a cafe located in a grand hotel foyer. He spotted a couple of entertaining sights, a group of ladies having a dance class, a driver with his foot out of the car and a lady who oddly stopped on a crossing and stood as cars and people passed her. It was another glorious day of sunshine and warmth and he soaked up the atmosphere and watched the alien world he was in pass by. He walked to the hotel and once inside discovered that the Cafe, like the temple, like many of his planned activities was shut. He took a longer route home to kill both time and get the exercise he needed and once home made soup for Peng’s supper and read. He spoke with his mother who was well and surviving thye self isolation quite well, though he was disturbed to hear that the numbers of COVID19 cases in Brighton was rising and currently stood at 202. He had been appalled by an analysis of the British Governments handling of the pandemic which he had shared on FB, and his fear for his family, the inadequate testing and checks, the ‘herd immunity’ theory and the recklessness of the ‘British spirit’ caused him to worry in a way he had not feared for his own well being upon arriving in China in January. In the evening they watched another film, David Cronenberg’s strange and engrossing Hollywood satire ‘Map of the Stars’. Despite not having eaten he was a little weary, but not hungry by the time he went to bed.

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