A Scalding

Nicholas Quirke was preparing for another journey on. 1 September 2020 when he spilt a cup of boiling hot tea on his thigh. It was a long time since he had scalded himself and other than running the burn under cold water he was at a loss of how to deal with the situation. He was going to need some cream and medication and Peng ordered some to be delivered to the hotel as well as some eye drops, as his eyes seemed to be infected again. The accident curtailed any plans he had for the morning and once he had treated himself, feeling a little sick, he had a cold fragrant tea from the lobby and had a sleep. By the time he woke and started to prepare for his journey to Dali, the burn had started to form into a large blister and looked like a disgusting growth on his leg. He had no problem getting on the train and with the series of misfortunes that had accompanied his stay he was relieved to be departing Kunming. He had company on the train, a young boy and his mother, and it wasn’t long before the boy, on his mother’s lap, tapped her and pointed vigorously in his direction and thus began a beautiful, if short friendship. He was offered a slice of orange and later sweets and he taught the boy to say hello and to read the logo, ‘The Little Plane’ on his tee shirt. To the delight of the surrounding people, Nicholas said “Very happy to meet you” in Chinese. Another really lovely and touching encounter. In the Didi to the hotel he was called by reception. It transpired that there was a recent local edict saying that all laowai should be housed in the same hotel irrespective of how long they had been in China. Peng negotiated and they agreed to check him in and see what happened. It was a nervous start to his stay, particularly as his room had a stunning view of Erhai Lake and the mountains And he did not want to lose that. Thanks to Peng he settled in his room and then set off to a pharmacy to get some iodine for his terrifying blister. Peng sourced and ordered a meal for him which was needed to feed his pain. Rather than go back to the hotel and possible eviction he walked along the shore and settled in a pavilion on the pier to film the sunset. At the hotel his room, on the top floor had a terrace which the rooms opened out onto and he got into conversation with two young men, Beta and Fisher. Fisher was going to study in London in 2021 and they exchanged WeChat addresses. Then it was goodnight and a good nights sleep.


  1. Hello dear Nick. That blister looks fierce! Lovely to receive all your updates. Stay well dear friend, Kim xx

  2. Hi Nick!!!! Beautiful photos ( except for your leg )! I hope you are healing up quickly & feel better.

  3. Ah, I read your posts in the wrong order! That explains the blister and fear of the police! Lovely interaction on the train x

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