Parking and Postal Blues

Nicholas Quirke was aggrieved with Chinese Postal Service on 21 April 2020 He had bought face masks, which he was sending home to his family, when he read of a special delivery offer. He then discovered that he could not use the delivery service as he was not a company. Instead he had to go to the Post Office, where it would cost £100. Exasperated he dropped the whole enterprise and courtesy of Peng got a refund. It felt like once again he had gone down a rabbit hole and time was wasted. Amused and annoyed with himself he decided to embark on another Parking expedition and as his friend had an Online interview he planned to stay out till about six. He armed himself with Kindle, sketch book and took the road. The wind was fierce again and it proved to be a real struggle cycling through the powerful gusts that blew through the streets. It was not a help either to find that he was lost. He was completely at a loss when he got to the monumental West Beijing Railway station and the route seemed to be through the station, though there was no road. It did however set him off an a bit of an adventure and for the first time he encountered homeless people. He wandered down a street behind the back of some huge Billboards and could sense he was in a dingy area. He enjoyed that he gone astray and was going to return to the apartment but Peng, whose interview had gone well convinced him to keep moving on. Lianhuachi Parks prime attraction was that across the broad lake and against the blue skies there were some stunning views of Beijing’s modernist architecture. The station was quirky and immense at the view was full of towers and spires. It was an intriguing change from his obsessive fascination with China’s colourful past. He had cycled a long way and decided to get the subway back to Caishikau station and cycle home. He spotted a couple of locals taking a picture of him as if he was a circus sideshow. His contact with the expat and British expat community on WeChat told him he was without doubt not the only alien in Beijing but what he could say for sure was that during his whole time in the City he had not seen another westerner on the Subway, and he realised he must present quite an unusual spectacle and the surreptitious phone taking shots were understandable. He had some trouble finding a bike and when he finally spotted one, he could see Another person making tracks towards it naturally they arrived at the same time and though he was gracious and Offered her the bike she was more insistent. Once home it was movie night again and they sat and watched ‘The Hunt’ a compulsive and gory thriller with Hillary Swank, though not for the faint hearted.


  1. Very different views of Beijing today. What a shame about the face masks, I wonder why it was so expensive! xx

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