The spectacle continues.

Nicholas’s Quirke was amazed on 22 June 2020 by the ease with which he was able to return goods and get a response. If he experienced the problems he had with his GoPro in the UK he was certain it would be an absolute pain to return, taking it to the post office, or a local shop and put it in the system, it would take weeks for a response, calls to a customer service department, time wasted waiting on the phone, or sending emails, eventually he would get it back with time and energy spent. Here, Not only was it collected from the apartment at a convenient time but within 24 hours they had informed him that there was indeed something wrong and that a new camera would be sent to him immediately. It still meant he was having to use his old camera for a few days on which the time setting seemed to be wrong but he was pleased that it was resolved swiftly. He had given up bemoaning the fact that he wasn’t in Shanghai and accepted that this week was going to be relatively clueless, but there were still plans to be completed. Peng’s Licence plates had arrived and would be fitted and it was the perfect time to follow up on the visit to the spectacle mall and with his negotiator in tow get the glasses he needed. The first task was to fit the number plates, which the proud new car owner managed to do with swift and patient focus. Then at 11 they set off on the 6 mile ride to the Mall. It was another hot day and progress was slow, but steady when they arrived he discovered that there wasn’t just the one mall he had been to dedicated to the sale of spectacles but 3! He did a lot of browsing again and when he eventually found the frames he liked he had to have an eye test. This was the first time he had to have his eyes checked and a prescription for reading glasses to his amazement, once the process was done he had 2 new pairs of glasses, which meant in total he had 4 pairs with him and 3 sunglasses! This was not minimal travelling. This had all taken up a large part of the day and by the time they got home it was time to eat. It was Dragon Boat Festival on the 25th of June and part of the celebration involved eating Zongzi, a glutinous rice pyramid with bean paste, jujube, dates and nuts as fillings, with family and friends. The tradition is to wrap zongzi in leaves of reed, bamboo, forming a pyramid shape. The leaves also give a special aroma and flavor to the sticky rice and fillings. The reason the Chinese eat this dish is as a memorial ceremony for the ancestors, dating from before the Jin dynasty when it offically became the festival food. Nicholas got to eat his first Zongzi before they watched a thriller ‘You Should have Left’, and heading for bed.

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