Vegan Towning

Nicholas Quirke was feeling a little homesick on 1st May 2020. A Facebook message group had developed into a celebration of a production of Twelfth Night from 2012. This included the resurfacing of a video on YouTube of One of the performances. It had been a joyous production to work on and seeing all the actors and participating in the chat with everyone, gave him a yearning to be back in the directors seat and creating fun and frolicsome theatre. He suddenly realised how much he missed it, though the level of stress that it sometimes bought was a relief to not have to endure. Speaking with his sons, Harvey, the night before and Cole that evening also made him yearn a little for the pleasures of home. The feeling though did not last long as his day, which seemed on the surface, looking at it from a morning perspective, to be leisurely, ended up packed with incidence. It was the start of a 5 day holiday for Peng and they were on a Vegan explorers mission to the northern outskirts on Beijing, to the Changping district that has a disproportionate amount of vegan restaurants and cafes and known as Vegan town. The day began with a ride to Tiananmen Square, to The National Museum to see if he could get a ticket for Monday but it seemed that only Chinese Nationals with an ID card could get in. As they were there and Peng has not been into Tiananmen for nearly 30 years they breached the security measures again and ventured into the vast space. Their arrival coincided with an explosion of music and the fountains of Tiananmen Gate Dancing in time to the voices of a children’s chorus as there was a simultaneous changing of the guard. The manner of celebration was too much for Peng and they departed quickly for Vegan Town which was a long Subway ride away. It took him a while to understand why, in such a seemingly run down area there was a plethora of Vegan Places but there was a small neighbourhood of western Style apartment buildings and these were quite well people whose tastes erred on the Vegan and here in China, every restaurant provides Take Away and therefore the community needed a number of places. They ventured into every establishment and each had its own speciality from noodles to jiǎozi They tried Pizza in a beautiful exquisite Buddhist restaurant, hunted for Vegan cakes and bread, had a bowl of salad and faux meat in a cafe, went back for some bread but they had sold out. The sun was blazing again and the temperature very high so they looked in Uniqlo in a mall to find some cooler garments for Nicholas before they headed off to ride bikes of a spacial 7k sky bike track. The area they stopped at to start the ride was the most desolate he had seen since being in Beijing and he felt it was probably the equivalent of being in Edmonton or Tottenham in London. He was glad of the exercise as he felt they had consumed a great deal. They then travelled to Peng’s parents, who seemed very pleasant, though he later learned they thought he looked like a street criminal, as he was picking up their car for the next adventure. The final stop, in what had turned out to be a very active day, was at another beautiful restaurant Blossom another Buddhist establishment with more exquisite dining. It was late by the time they got home and he was excited to find that the sketch kit he had bought for a mere £4.00 had arrived and he was now armed correctly to go out and develop his drawing skills. He had a catch up with Cole and then as it was an early 5.30am start, bed beckoned.

5 Comments

  1. I really enjoy your daily blog; it’s so interesting to read of a fascinating life so far away from Brighton just now. As our horizons have shrunk your are growing each day. I hope you realise we enjoy your adventures.

    1. Thank you Suzy. Its always good to hear from friends back at home and its also reassuring to know that me efforts aren’t in vain. I hope you and the family are all safe. Lots of Love. Nick. Xxx

Leave a Reply