Nicholas Quirke was given a lesson in Chinese superstitions on 26 August 2020, when in the lift of the apartment block Peng’s cousin lived in he noted it did not have a 4th floor. His cousin was in Inner Mongolia, due to be married and there were some deliveries which Peng needed to collect for him and Nicholas had been taken on a excursion across the city to the high rise residential area. It transpired that the number 4 is a bad number in China as it is close to the chinese sound of dead! This meant that people tried to avoid any encounter with 4 in, particularly 42 and 48, 54. Which are bad luck as 2 sounds like son, 8 sounds like father and 5 sounds like me, and these linked with the word dead is a troubling omen. It seemed an extreme measure to build and ignore the 4th floor and he then began to wonder if this was the case in every building and he hadn’t noticed. He was pleased to have had the opportunity to finally be in one of the towers that he constantly felt dwarfed by and see the view. They stopped at the apartment for awhile as Peng worked and Nicholas notes some wedding observances around the apartment including quirky photographs and a pair of gender identifiable glasses laid out on the bed: they headed for lunch at Joy City Mall and enjoyed another meal during which he was denied the spectacular desert Peng ordered for himself. Once again they found a tea house, Teasure and the set themselves up with a fancy pot of Jasmine tea and continued with their work. Nicholas was preparing for his trip to the South of China and was pouring over the sights and tripes he was planning. He was starting to feel excited but at the same time apprehensive as he would be travelling alone and heading to some relatively remote places. The final piece of administration he need to resolve was to collect the results of his test which unsurprisingly was negative. The evening was all about packing and final preparations. They started to watch a credential thriller Eden Lake, but it was time for his 2 hour conversation group class and he missed seeing the end. It did mean that he was ready for sleep the minute he finished as he had an early start.


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