Nicholas Quirke was setting off with some trepidation on 20 July 2020 to the Exit Administrations Service centre to try and extend his permission to stay. Other than travel he had no reason to be in China at the current time and therefore was asking to stay for humanitarian reasons. He was safer in China. It was an early start then temperature was high and set to reach 34 degrees and he was feeling tense. He was glad to have the reassuring presence of Peng as he went through the routine of having photographs and documentation scrutinised and examined. They asked him to write a letter explaining why he wanted to stay, which the official seemed to accept and agreed to his request, granting an extra month to his visit which meant he Could be in China till the end of August. If he need to increase this by then he would have to make another request. Nicholas thought he was going to become quite familiar with the building and its Environs. It was going to be a week of administration as residency notice with the police also ran and he would also have to get another nuclei acid test done before leaving Beijing for a weekend. Visit o the coast. On the way home, they passed the Lama Temple which he was sad to see was still closed but it inspired him to start plans to visit all the ancient temples when they opened. With this out of the way, he was able to focus on some writing and with restrictions fully lifted On accessibility he headed into the Hutong’s to a cafe with a rooftop where he could sit in the shade and work. It was surprisingly busy and he chatted with some of the clientele who were excited to have the opportunity to practise their English. Walking through the Hutong’s opened up a completely different side of Beijing life. He saw people and families socialising, working, eating, giving their chickens a run, though he couldn’t help but think that they were to be someone’s dinner sometime soon. He passed a small theatre, still closed a very talkative cached bird which silenced itself when he saw a camera looming at its bars. He was surprised to see many shops, markets and independent traders in the streets which were completely different to the malls he had been frequenting. He felt enervated by the heat and the work he had done and as they watched the Brazilian thriller Bacuru, he fell asleep.


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