Apple Testing Time

Nicholas Quirke was in full preparation mode on 25 September 2020 and the trip to the hospital which now accompanied every departure from Beijing was the challenge for the day. He was prepared to leave early but this was delayed as the Apple SE Watch he had bought arrived unexpectedly. This meant a good hour and a half was spent setting up the new watch with a solo band that Peng seemed to covet. It was fun discovery the delights that the watch offered him though his response to instructions was a little lacklustre. Once it was set up, charged and on his wrist he set of to the hospital. As he left the flat he discovered that the renovations to the block were continuing with all the windows in the corridors being replaced. It was another sunny day with the temperature and in excited mode he cycled the familiar route only to find on arrival that the depart was shut till 13.30. Experience taught him that he needed to have paid in advance and he went to the third floor to practice his limited Mandarin. He needed to kill some time and cycled to a nearby tea house called Elegant Coffee for a very expensive pot of tea and to enjoy the Ma Shu, or Mochi as the Japanese called them, that he has bought with him. He needed to make the most of the expenses and he stayed a lot longer than he had anticipated. The visit to the hospital was completed very swiftly as the surprise of the nurses he flourished his receipt and paperwork. A swift, painless dip of a stick down his throat and he was cycling back to Caishikau. Finally he had reached a point where he and Penny were ready to record their podcast. It was coming up to her 60th Birthday and it was a good way for them to celebrate with him being so far away and with lockdown laws being put in place in the UK there was not much celebrating she could do. They had a lot of fun talking through elements of his trip and he was suddenly very conscious that he had been away for 9 months and his world had completely changed. The expectations he had set out with were being fulfilled in a completely unexpected way. The lack of regular income still bothered him but he promised himself that when he had returned from his next venture into deepest China he would give finance his focus. The exciting viewing that evening was the latest episodes of ‘Raised by Wolves’, which continued to be compelling viewing. He was prepared for the next day and travelling and though he felt unsettled and impatient to be on the road again he managed to fall asleep with some alacrity.

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