Wuhan Woohoo

Nicholas Quirke was on the move again on 20 November 2020 though it was only a short trip to note the milestone that was his birthday on the 22nd. They were headed to Wuhan which was a city he had not even heard till it hit the headlines in January of 2020 becoming synonymous with the COVID19 pandemic and earning a reputation as the most reviled city in China, maybe even the world. The horror stories of residents of an entire housing block dying and bodies being dragged out onto the streets was still alarmingly fresh. The city though was trying to rebuild its identity and now mercifully free of the virus was offering visitors free access to its attractions, including the Yellow Crane Tower and the East Lake scenic. Park. It seemed a fitting city in which to celebrate his 60th birthday, making it among the most memorable of his life. He still had 2 days though to lurk in the embers of his 50s and flying from Daximg airport to Wuhan in the early hours was definitely keeping a flame burning. They left Beijing in the dark and arrived in Wuhan in a gloomy daylight. He was the first off the plane as the only Laowai on board and he needed to be checked in separately. At the hotel, they we tree upgraded and once Pent settled down to do some work Nicholas went for a walk along the Yangtze River. It was an ox journey as he took a subway and planned to cycle the rest of the way. After alighting at the maps station exit he found himself in the middle of a building site with no idea where to go. He followed as path which actually turned out to be the correct one but the presence of the immense construction site never left him and he actually thought he had been directed to the wrong place as there was no sign of the river at all. He eventually arrived at a small gateway which, once he was through opened up the landscape into a broad immense view of one of the world’s longest waterways. He enjoyed his walk and the scenery even managing to get down to the rivers edge with the swimmers and fishermen who were surprised to see him but very friendly. The water seemed filthy and reminded him of his evening with Amrit on the banks of the Ganges. He met up with Peng and they cycled across the city through many of its backstreets to see The Yellow Crane Tower. The Crane being particularly apt as in China it was a symbol of longevity and on the occasion of his 60th it was most definitely pertinent. There were great views of the city and river and the two tiered Yangtze River Bridge. He had not had lunch and was feeling hungry and they enjoyed a delicious spicy seiten snack on a stick before having reganmian a traditional dish from Wuhan known as hot and dry noodles. They ate in the establishment of the originator of the method of cooking, Bao Li. The eating should have but didn’t end there and they cycled through some really poor areas to have Dou Si, a shredded bean dish in an authentic style street cafe. From the living conditions they passed through and the cramped dirty streets, it wasn’t surprising that the virus had taken hold so quickly. The owners were very excited to have a laowai in their establishment and offered cigarettes and liquor, both of which were declined. They took the subway back to the hotel and thus the day ended.

4 Comments

  1. Hey Nick, wishing you a very happy 60th birthday from sunny Hove! I’m following you every step of the way…much love, jo (moore) X x X x

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