Just Another Autumnal Day

Nicholas Quirke was excited but nervous about the teaching opportunity that had presented itself and by 17 October 2020 he had managed to wring himself into a puddle of quiet anxiety. When he had envisioned doing some educating in China it had been at a college with adults. Now, the prospect of teaching four years olds in a foreign language was more than a little daunting. Though he prided himself on his rapport with youngsters it was going to require more thought, planning and expertise than his usual tomfoolery and gurning could achieve. The prospect of the possibility of some regular work bought with it the realisation that this now was more than just an extended visit to a foreign land, he was actually living here and that like the life he had left behind him in the UK it came with responsibility. Therefore each day, fresh, new and unusual as it felt, especially now that he was seeing the city was in full autumnal bloom, was becoming just another day. Since he had accepted the assignment his days had been spent reviewing the pages from the course book he had been sent. Though it occupied his mind he hadn’t let it overwhelm him and he had still managed to get out and roam about the city. On 15 October he and Peng took to the streets and cycled the 10 miles to Ti Koo li, once again peddling past his favourite view, to the Page One Bookstore to do some work in the cafe there. They went to a strange restaurant which seemed shut but they were ushered in and sat down. The waiters were apparently on their way. Lights did get turned on bat as the staff didn’t know which food was vegan or not they left. Next they tried an exotic looking Mexican Restaurant in a nearby Mall but was nothing on the menu for even Vegetarians. Third time lucky they went to QMex where they overate. On the 16 October, another glorious Autumn day, in addition to watching videos of Chinese English and exercise he cycled to a park and had a late afternoon tea at InWe. The adventure for the day was his walk back through the Hutong where after one wrong turn he got completely lost and had to be guided out by a social volunteer. 17 October presented him with a challenge after a trip to Livat Mall and another Ikea expedition as he discovered that his employer had misunderstood his question about the age range. He had prepared a class for 4 year olds. He was in fact to be teaching four 7 – 8 children. As his preparation had been around the course book it didn’t require too much adaptation and thankfully he had found out in time and wasn’t going to be delivering a kindergarten class to the older kids. Peng was running a Marathon the next day and Nicholas would meet him en route after his class so for both it was food, film and an early sleep.


  1. Nick! Your journey has been so exciting to read (and watch) and now you are teaching. I will be very interested to see how that pans out. You have always been great with children so I bet you’ll be a great teacher. Having just ‘retired’ from teaching myself I do find I’m missing it, so I will have to be satisfied living vicariously through your teaching experiences! Good luck Nick; I’m planning lots more travel adventures when this virus allows, so if I ever get to China I will visit you 😉 xx

  2. Love love love ❤️ it’s incredible to see you living a completely new life . Reinventing yourself and living . Miss you

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