Everyone loves Dressing Up

Nicholas Quirke was cold on 18 January 2021. There was a bitter wind blowing as he made his way to the first day of a week long reading and drama workshop at the school. It was a 9 am start and he left the apartment at 7.30 to make sure he was there to prepare for the long day ahead and really felt every atom of the minus 11 atmosphere . There was a 3 hour reading session in the morning with an hour and a half lunch followed by a 3 hour Drama session in the afternoon. This seemed an incredibly long time for children to focus and he felt for himself too. They were going to be reading ‘Aladdin’ and he had obtained the Disney animation and the live action versions to supplement the reading and performance. He had 4 students who seemed to be engaged and respond well to him. As he anticipated there were some troublesome moments but overall the students, Tony, Leon, Amanda and Hover were fun too be around. He trekked to the Galaxy Mall in search of a salad for lunch but ended up dining in Joy Express where he had eaten once before and his plate of cooked veg did not stray far from the raw food diet he had been adhering to. For the afternoon he only had 3 students and after playing some drama games the children enjoyed watching some scenes from the movie and translating this into a drama class made his life a little easier. The school had provided some props and costumes and it became apparent that they loved dressing up and finding the right hat or bit of jewellery for the role became a source of great entertainment for them. By the end of the 3 hours their attention and engagement were flagging which, was a sensation he shared with his pupils. Once the class finished he headed to Xuanwumen and Mobe, the hair salon he frequented for a much needed haircut. The staff were used to the laowai now and were playful when he got his camera out to record their Chinese New Year decorations. Peng worked for an international company who were holding a week long online conference which he had to attend and it left Nicholas to his own devices. With no time to pursue his usual pursuits he had to cram everything into the few spare hours he had and having already worked a full day his enthusiasm for it had waned. It also meant there was no time to relax and no movie viewing that evening. The sense of adventure and exploration that had motivated him for much of 2020 had now completely disappeared and as he went to sleep his thoughts were on the how his time had suddenly turned into a familiar routine pattern.


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