The Simple Life

Nicholas Quirke was enjoying another simple day on 20 may 2021. From his smoothie breakfast, marinating tofu for lunch to his setting out for the school he took it easy. It was a special romantic celebration day in China due to the date though when it was explained he scoffed at the premise. The date in China reads as 05 20. This sounds in Chinese, pinyin as Wu Er Shi. ‘I Love you’ in Chinese is ‘Wo ai ni’ Apart from the first character and syllable he could not make the two phrases sound remotely alike and laughed for a long time at the preposterous excuse for making a celebration day. ‘For All Mankind’ was another TV series that had been entertaining him, particularly when he was having his evening chair massage and as he ground down ginger and spices for the marinade he watched the dramatic season finale. There was a significant birthday coming up and he wrote a card and cycled to the post office he had used in Chaoyangmen which was unlike the one he had been using. Very straightforward, no additional packaging, cost less and it arrived in a timely fashion. He was still enraged by the time he had spent at the local branch of China Post in January sending a small present in for his friend Peta, who had never received it. By the time he had reached the school and removed his rucksack the outline of the bag was marked on his back with sweat. He felt unbelievably uncomfortable. His lesson with Harry and Willis had an additional student ‘Leafy’ whom he hoped would stay as he got more pay for an extra student. A routine day that ended with an accustomed movie. The phrase ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ came to mind after seeing ‘Riders of Justice’. He had glanced quickly at the poster and title and snorted with laughter when this was suggested as a film to watch. The simple discovery that it was Danish and helmed by Mads Mikkelsen was enough to quell his amusement and after seeing the cool confection about coincidence it completely stole his heart. Its premise was intriguing, its script inventive, witty, touching and subverts every action film he had ever seen. The interactions between  the actors were nothing short of sublime and as infuriating as these guys seem there was something in him that wanted to be friends with all of them. It paved the way for a happy nights sleep. Nicholas Quirke was ready for a more active day on 21 May 2021 and though Peng had to go to his office to work they agreed to meet at the U-Town Mall in Chaoyangmen for lunch and afternoon tea placing him in the vicinity of work. He had agreed to take on a new class on Fridays and was actually looking forward to seeing the Twins Jason and Tim and Sissi again. The mother had asked for them to be given dictation which seemed an archaic way of working but he had prepared a short paragraph. The class went well to the point when they started the dictation and this was so hated that Tim refused to do it and Jason’s who had started tore it out of his book. This was a disappointing outcome and he felt despondent about the outcome. He raised the issue with Jenny and it turns out that by dictation they meant a spelling test on the vocabulary he set. He was feeling a little disconsolate by the time he got home but the mood was lifted by watching a wonderfully simple story of a severed hand searching to be reunited with its body. ‘I lost my body’ is the tale of the hands owner journey to its separation and unification and it is moving and beautifully illustrated by a team of french animators. The swift change around was helped by the arrival of a box Magnum Vegan Almond ice cream which had just been launched in China. Soothed by ice cream and a good film he was able to put his disappointment behind him and enjoy a good sleep.

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