Park, Pu’er in the Purlieus

Nicholas Quirke was distracted by a number of possibilities on 5 June 2020 and it took him a while to decide what his day would entail. He would get in a bike and explore, but final destination was unknown. Peng was collecting his new car and Nicholas was keen to join him for a ride, but he also wanted to get some reading done and do some work on a CV as the possibility of a teaching job was looming. They worked out a route through the city that would take him to another park In the southern outskirts, and this time a park dedicated to sport. The days temperature was soaring again and as he had never functioned too well in extreme heat there was an element of him that felt like staying indoors and nurturing his usual pallid features but he got on the bike and prepared to cycle the 9 miles to his eventual destination. It wasn’t longe before he was feeling relieved that he had embarked on this journey it was another area he had really experienced for himself and once again the huge highways, the immense buildings gave him a sense of wonder and slight fear which he decided he really rather liked. The unknown really did give him a buzz. When he arrived at his first destination he had to cross the highway via one of their footbridges which unusually seemed really shoddy and there were Electrical leads and wires everywhere. I honour of Peta and he ‘uninstaresting’ photo feed he started to snap some pictures. Her realised that the bridge was being remodelled and the wires and extension leads were the result of the work and workers which gave the enterprise a ‘Do it Yourself’ feel which was rather charming. The park was a little disappointing and though it promoted sport and healthy endeavour the only area that was populated, and that was mostly by old timers like himself, was the table tennis. There had been a restriction on team sports and swimming which still had not been lifted. The good news was that day Included the alert level in Beijing being dropped to 3. There would be no more temperature checks, Hutong could open and it was said by the middle of June Cinemas could start to reopen and theatres start producing again. This would open up a whole new world for him. The heat made him feel very dry and he advanced to his next location to a nearby tea shop in a mall. He arrived at the location his map sent him to and it seemed very run down and unappealing. He went into the building he was directed to and it seemed to be a plumber suppliers. He asked where the Teahouse was and got completely blank stares. He was clearly not a familiar sight in this part of town. He was lost again! He re checked the online map and it gave him somewhere completely different. He cycled to the mall and once again was in area where there were several large malls and his mind told him that it was not feasible that all the malls could function and survive, English towns had one mall and they barely got by. He tracked down the bookstore where the cafe was and once again he noticed that places in Beijing all had English slogans on the walls, which was good for him as they seemed delighted to have a Lao Wei customer. He got a message from Peng that he was on his way And met him on the road to begin the remainder of the cycle to pick up the car and have supper. He had a near death experience on one of the back streets And was relived once they got to their destination in one piece. It was a really smart car and Peng enjoyed playing with the controls and features of the vehicle. They drove to a mall where they were going to eat, but first Peng purchased a scooter! The food was good but one of the dishes came with tiny little sea creatures in it which he accidentally ate a small portion and felt sick for the rest of the meal. It was quite late by the time they got back and it was clearly time call it a day to hit the sack.


  1. Sounds like you had a day of utilities: plumbing and electrical leads.
    I’m sorry I HAVE to point out another lovely typo in your first 2 or 3 lines. Joyous idea to explore IN the bike: visualising you, Nick, travelling through a tediously tubular bike interior like Fantastic Voyage !! x

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