Routine Bureaucracy

Nicholas Quirke was organising his day around his bi monthly visit to the Exit / Entry office on 23 September 2020 to collect his passport with his latest permission to stay. The weather was appalling. A thunder storm raged but as it was also Wednesday, which was cleaning day he filled in time with housework. In the midst of his domestic chores the tripod for his GoPro arrived and he tried both it and his head cam harness out. This added to the mundane fun of dusting, hoovering and mopping. Feeling much more organised he also managed to fit in some ironing as he watched episode 4 of  Lovecraft Country.  Lunch came and they tried out another self heating meals they planned to take on the train to Dunhuang with them. By the time they had eaten the rain had eased and Nicholas left for an afternoon of dealing with officialdom. When he reached the Bureau, anticipating another fuss about his GoPro, he put in in his bag before it went through the scanner. Of course, they didn’t ask to keep it, so their fuss last time he was there was purely making life difficult for him. Collecting the passport was a simple routine, though he was £16 lighter each time he had to update his status. It was still wet and threatening to rain and he sought shelter in the Vegan cafe he had visited previously. He ordered a Long Jin Green tea and a chocolate cake which looked nothing like the picture in the menu though he still bought 2 for Peng. He couldn’t relax too long as he had to register his accommodation again at the local station before it closed. He was still surprised that each time he registered they put his detail into the system all over again, he even gave them the previous form to copy from. It was another easy process now that he was familiar with, even if it did take them a while to get everything sorted. The rest of the evening passed watching another episode of Lovecraft Country and watching the first episode of ’Ratched’ before he sat down to zoom with the talk group who that night discussed Disney princesses and in Particular ‘Mulan’ He was very interested to learn how they perceived the west depicting an ancient Chinese story. The answers were not favourable. They started the class late and it finished late. He was tired but satisfied by his day and was happy to let oblivion sweep over him.


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