Kunming Curse

Nicholas Quirke was horrified on 26 April 2021 when the flight attendant chose the moment Peng had gone to use the convenience to explain to him that the young man whom he noted had been moved to the sea directly in front of him had suspected COVID 19. His high temperature and persistent coughing had disturbed the passengers next to him and he had had his temperature checked and he been isolated in the row. The hostess also said that they would be delayed getting off the plane as officers needed to come and escort the ‘suspect’ off the plane first. Nicholas suddenly felt the prospect of his travel threatened and sat in alarm as Peng was not there to question the steward about the circumstances. A cavalcade of possibilities played through his mind. They had been seated in row 47 but Peng had asked for them to be moved up the plan and thus fortune had bought him directly in the line of fire. He stopped drinking or eating and conveyed the information to Peng as soon as he returned. He watched the powerful indictment of bulling ‘Better Days’ for the rest of the journey and endured the painful wait for the man to be escorted off. There were staff in protective suits on their arrival and a the atmosphere around the seats where they were sitting was tense. He was taken away in an ambulance and they finally got off the plane when they learned that he had received his final vaccination the day before and was suffering the side effects. His initial temperature check had been over the acceptable limit, but the crew had checked him a further two times and he was ok. As they waited for the baggage the culprit actually appeared and Nicholas cheekily took his photograph. Despite feeling some relief he couldn’t help but think that this was the third time he had been in the environs of Kunming and any association with it was cursed. Fortunately he was not stopping there and was for the second time during his visit going to the beautiful shores of lake Erhai in Dali. Peng had never been and as their next destination was close he was happy to revisit and play guide. They traveled to Kunming train station and then got the train to Dali. Though they were not on the same hotel they were close by and as soon as check in was completed they went to find something to eat. A hot pot with a difference. All local mushrooms and fungus and corn bread and tofu grilled on the side. The food was very tasty and once eaten they walked along the shoreline and enjoyed the warm evening and the sight of the lake in the night. They got some water, some snacks and retired to they hotel for an early nights sleep.

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