Oh The Expense

Nicholas Quirke was not expecting to lose a day in such a spectacularly dismal and dull way on 20 May 2020 when he booked a ‘first thing in the morning’ appointment with Apple. Having been told his phone was ok he discovered that the on/off button didn’t function and it was causing all sorts of problems and he went to have it checked. He saw two technicians, looked at another phone and ended up buying a new phone for the price of the repair. It seemed a satisfactory outcome but one that still cost him £300 and some pain in parting with it. The process only took 5 hours to resolve and he did end up making a friend with Cass the Technician who tried Numerous attempts to get a new phone for half the cost. Exhausted by the effort and the waiting he returned briefly to the apartment before setting off to meet Peng for their usual Wednesday night out dinner. They were dining that night at Lin’s, a smart vegetarian restaurant near Solana Mall and Sun park, which was an area he was now familiar with. As he was early he stopped at a Moka Bros cafe and enjoyed a jasmine tea. There was some excitement in the air as it’s was 20th May, or, as the Chinese write it 5/20, which another day when ‘Love’ is celebrated. Apparently when you say 520 it sounds like Wo ai Ni (I love you), though in pin yin its written as Wu er ling, which to Nicholas’s eye seemed nothing like Wo ai Ni. However the closeness in sounds was enough for the Chinese to get giddy about the number 520 and when they arrived at the restaurant all the tables, including theirs, were strewn with rose petals, a proper lovers tryst. The restaurant was vegetarian which meant that most of the dishes were Lacto/ovo and it took nearly an hour to make their order from the very extensive menu. When the dishes came they were deliciously flavoured though he did have to raise an eyebrow at Peng’s order of Vegetable lasagne which seemed oddly out of place in the array of Asian dishes. It was his first proper meal since fasting and the effort of eating made him strangely weary. On the way home the subway trains were jammed packed and he suddenly longed for the days of Social distancing. They also encountered a street dance which is a Chinese past time he had yet to see in the UK. It was good to end the day with some activity and he could feel that it hadn’t been entirely wasted in the Apple store, but ‘oh the expense’ still made hime feel a little sore.

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