Retracing Footsteps

Nicholas Quirke was a winner again on 19 June 2020 when he discovered he had for the third consecutive day maintained the goal weight in his on-going competition with Peng who was now going to have to spend the next 2 weeks as a vegan. He was accustomed to set his own pace during the weekdays as Peng was generally at work but he was seeing out his final day of employment with his company and working from home and Nicholas had to be respectful and try not to disturb the last hours in post. This meant it was difficult to keep focussed and on track. As he still wasn’t working he was trying to be canny with his money and this meant withdrawing Yuan from his UK account on a ‘no exchange rate fee’ card and paying it into his Chinese Bank, he was saving himself pennies and wondered why he was bothering too jump through hoops to save such a small amount. It meant he had to go to the bank and as it was ‘too darn hot’, he would rather stay in the air conditioned apartment but felt obliged to get out. Once he was on the road and on the bike he felt the compulsion, once his mission to pay money into his account, to keep going and it happened that the direction he was headed in took him to the hotel and area he had been in at the end of January when he had first arrived. It was an interesting trip down memory lane and also a good 8 mile round trip. He had last seen the area in snow when it had looked grey and forbidding and extremely alien. Now in its full bloom in Summer and with his knowledge of Beijing and its roads it was a familiar and inviting place to be. The ride took him to Quianman Street, and with time to kill he decided to walk agin down the historic road and through its winding Hutongs to have a tea in InWe at Beijing fun. He had expected, with the current situation to be checked and for the Hutongs to be closed but to his surprise not only were they open and he could move f=rely through them, but he discovered a street that hadn’t been open before. Admittedly it was a rather run down affair, but it had the first really varied graffiti that he had seen and he enjoyed the tawdry shops and bars and inhabitants that he passed. He had a cup of tea and then went back home to have a supper and join Peng in playing a Prison escape game on the Even with the air on it was hot work and clearly Role playing an convict, got to him and his look captured the moment perfectly. It was like being in a tv series and quite a splendid way to end the day.

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