Crashing Out

Nicholas Quirke was venturing forth in Beijing again on 11 September 2020 once he had finalised the admin that had been occupying his time. It felt good to have a purpose beyond escaping the din that the builders continued to make and felt liberated as accompanied Peng on a cycle ride to the dental hospital before parting company to explore the Museum of Ancient Architecture, housed in the Temple of Agriculture. It was a surprising space comprising temples of Heaven and Earth and where, once a ceremony had been completed, the Ming and Qing Emperors would actually don ordinary attire and work the farmland. Aside from enjoying the temple atmosphere and once again feeling the tide of History with every step and glance he made, the exhibition halls were a truly fascinating dive into the the history of Chinese Architecture, many of which examples he had actually seen during his visits to the cities around China and in particular he was delighted that only the day before he had seen the unique Tianjing Temple Pagoda which featured in the exhibits. There were many wonderful models of pagodas, and examples of the construction techniques used throughout the long history of building and design in China and Beijing. He was surprised that it was 3pm by the time Peng’s long ordeal at the dentist was over and he had exhausted the exhibits to be examined. They met up and cycled to the famed Metal Hands coffee house, though as only a tea drinker there was absolutely nothing for him to drink and he had to endure watching his friend enjoy a coffee and an OTT cream desert. He took the opportunity to do some work, before the left the Hutong and headed to Beijing Fun and the Muji hotel where he enjoyed a tea and some sweet potato fries. He had intended to make some more soup for supper but as it was late they decided to eat, cheaply and simply and Peng suggested a meal of Xiang Guo, another dish where, like hot pot, you chose the ingredients and it came in a great big bowl which was shared. He was happy to set of for a third venue and was happy to be reunited with his GoPro and as he wielded the camera and kept an eye on the couple on a scooter who kept coming dangerously close to him he almost collided with vehicle and once again came a cropper, crashing down to gravel on his bike on which the brake failed to work. The gasps from the many witnesses seemed more humiliating than the the pain from his grazed and seriously bloodied knee. After cleaning the wounds with an alcohol wipe, he bravely got back on and they made their way to the restaurant. The food was delicious and for a while he forgot the pain he was in. They walked back 3 km to the apartment and started to watch Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things, which seemed to be a meditation on relationships and death and as he wanted something light and silly this was not fare he was in the mood for. Instead he treated his wounds with iodine wrapped his knee up in a bandage and went to sleep.


  1. That knee looks really nasty. Perhaps you should of had some stitches Nick and let a professional clean it up. X

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