Dashed Expectations

Nicholas Quirke was expecting a lot from 18 September 2020. He.had read his astrological star chart for the day which promised to be one of the most exciting that he had experienced for a long time, and from the perspective with which he started the day, it could prove to be the case. He was due to be teaching his first class and was attending the opening of a photo exhibition, ‘Peking to Beijing’. It looked like a very formidable day. After a breakfast of MoonCake and a faux crepe caramel he waited for the elation to begin. As with many things disappointment seeped into his twenty fours from an early point, it looked like the class he was meant to take was not going to happen as not all the parents had responded to the change of teacher and he would have to wait before he was able to make a start in his new career. He had intended to spend the day preparing the class but as this was no longer required he decided to visit a nearby Temple, an ancient Mosque only a few streets away, which had been closed until recently. He set of in brilliant sunshine and spent a few minutes observing the painters at work on the outside of the block in what looked like very dangerous conditions. He had not got very far before he realised he should be in long trousers to visit the mosque and he started back. An old gentleman saw him walking and stopped cycling his cart and indicated that Nicholas should have a lift. At first he said know, but it was clear they were going in the same direction and so he hopped on and enjoyed the short ride. By the time he got to the Moaque it was actually closing so the window of opportunity had been missed. As he walked back to the apartment he decided to take a walk in Xuanwu Park which would also give him an opportunity to write the card he had bought for Peng’s Birthday. He made himself comfortable in a one of the pavilions and got out the card, only to discover he had actually bought decorated envelopes and there was no card. Still, he wrote in Chinese on the envelope and when he finished and sat upright, he discovered he was surrounded by a group of enquiring young and old eyes. He said hello and then everyone sat down and started talking in English, Chinese and he had a very enjoyable conversation with the children. It had attracted a large group and he was being asked questions in both languages by the young and old. One old lady kept saying he should be a teacher. He needed to get back as he had arranged with Peng to go and work in a tea house. They went to Lafayette Mall and discovered that they only sold tea by the cup and not with an never ending pot. He still had the exhibition opening to attend but discovered that Peng had thought they were going the next day or Sunday. They decided not to go but he was disappointed that he would not be at the opening and meet the photographer, a British Chinese man who had been living in Beijing for 5 years, recording the sights and people of the city. When he weighed the excitement of the day up with the disappointments the scales fell heavily into the negative. He was not dispirited but he reminded himself not to put too much faith in the soothsaying that had predicted ‘Excitement’. Peng tested out his new GoPro9, Nicholas was coerced into getting a bargain Apple Watch. At the apartment the day ended with another satisfying viewing of the latest episode of ‘Raised by Wolves’. He went to sleep looking forward to celebrating Peng’s birthday the next day.


  1. Loving hearing about all these interactions you’re having, sounds like the children love you, must be destined to be a teacher! x

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