A Food Switch.

Nicholas Quirke was irritated on 10 March 2021 when he learned that the classes that were set up for Wednesday and Thursday were cancelled. He wasn’t given an explanation and for some reason he did not ask for one. He simply accepted the fact and then proceeded to moan about it. It did mean his plans for the day changed and when Peng suggested going for lunch at Jing Ding Xuan he readily agreed. It was a Wednesday though and meant that routine dictated his morning was spent doing household chores. There was a severe pollution warning and this meant the wearing of ultra strong Face Masks. These N95 masks were even more suffocating than the surgical masks which were the predominant protection against Covid but ‘when in Beijing’! The lunch as always was spectacular and the minute they walked in they were being offered theVegan menu, not because they were recognised but because the restaurant was now proactively encouraging people to engage in their ‘Beyond Meat’ dishes. This was a complete change from when he arrived last year and they scoured the city for suitable dining establishments. This notable conventional establishment, with a number of branches across the City, was not somewhere he could have envisioned dining at that time but now he was able to eat within its hallowed halls it was fast becoming a regular haunt. It seemed that every day new Vegan establishments were opening or restaurants were adapting their menus. The pandemic had shifted the consciousness of Chinese diners and the impact was quite astonishing. The chefs in the restaurant were continually adapting traditional chinese dishes to suit the Vegan appetite and new on the menu that day was a Sweet and Sour Pork with pineapple, Steamed louffa in Soya Bean paste, braised dried tofu, Golden Tofu, Pan Fried Dalian Huoshao Dumpling, Huangqiao Sesame Cake and DanDan Noodles. He had tried some of the dishes before but adapted to suit his ‘Su’ diet and this meant a different taste and texture. With the addition of the ‘Beyond Meat’ the taste was now closer to the authentic dish. He really had not expected to indulge in quite the way they did and eating 8 plates including the unbelievably sweet and greasy Sesame Bing, stuffed with brown sugar and sesame paste, completely bloated him. They retired to the nearby Corner Cafe and allowed the feast to digest. Only the previous week the river had been frozen and now the temperature had risen sufficiently for it to have completely thawed and to flow again. He was starting to experience problems with his ICloud and he began the long process of trying to resolve the problem by getting rid of some of his raw footage which was now in the tens of thousands. At home they resumed the Angels in America marathon and started part 2 Perestroika and resumed eating with the arrival of the chick pea snacks they favoured. The dark content of the play was not conducive to relaxation and they suspended the culmination of the three and a half hour epic for another night, choosing instead to retire to bed and sleep.

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