Citizen Quirke

Nicholas Quirke was feeling beyond grateful for the good fortune he had had in meeting Peng. On the 23rd May 2020 they had a number of tasks to complete to ensure that his stay in China continued. His visa had been automatically extended to the 31st July due to the COVID19 regulations and as this meant he could now stay till then their first task was to register with the police and get and extension to the Accommodation Registration form so he was now authorised to be living in Beijing till 20th July 2020. Though he was now the owner of a Bank Card he needed to have the phone number in his own name and so their next visit, after an uncomfortable trip for Peng to the China Post office, they went to the China Mobile office, where the number was successfully transferred. This meant he could now demonstrate his health status wherever he went in China and hopefully it would put an end to the worry he was having to do about staying here and travelling. The health Checks for the next few trips were now in place. His only concern now, was what lay beyond them 31st of July. He either had to apply for an extension which meant justifying his reasons for being in China or leave and then come back when he would have another 3 months. As he reflected on the future, he realised how indebted he was to Peng, as without his support there was no way he would be here still. He had made the seemingly impossible in COVID19, possible and his understanding of the system had enabled Nicholas to have a home and enjoy as much freedom, in the City and now beyond, since Quarantine had ended as he had been allowed. Getting him travel ready was not the final kindness Peng would demonstrate he was sure, and humbled he would have to go on finding ways of demonstrating his gratitude. Perhaps it was the added presence of a person in his home or just part of the journey of building a new lifestyle But Peng had become obsessed with minimalism and over the past few days had been spring cleaning vast amounts of collected and useless ephemera and today was his final push to clean out the walk in closet which had been crammed with myriad articles. Nicholas resisted the urge to claim any of the items offered him as his living out of a suitcase lifestyle prohibited him though his eye had been on several interesting and he felt a slight pain seeing things go in the garbages. Hopefully the local residents would reclaim some of the belongings Of value that were sent packing. As they were driving out of the city the next day they went to collect the car in evening after a light supper. Feeling a little weary from the day and satisfied by his new status Citizen Quirke went to bed.

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