Nicholas Quirke was always up for exploring the restaurants on offer in the city and on 24 May 2021 as ‘The Vegan of Beijing’ chat group had recommended ‘Peach’ at Hulu for some good Vegan fare he and Peng had decided to make the effort. As he was teaching and the establishment was in the vicinity, 3.5 km, he would meet Peng there after his classes. He left the flat by 7.30 and the evidence of the storm the previous evening was still showing in the streets. He cycled the whole way as the air seemed fresh but he was still really hot and sweaty by the time he reached the school. He had two lessons which meant 4 hours work. The first was simple and straightforward with Apple and Micheal who I were as mischievous as always. The second lesson was with teenager Chloe who had become sulky and was always on her phone and not paying attention to the lesson. As the content was more sophisticated he was feeling the pressure to make it lively and entertaining. The course subject of holidays was not particularly exciting and his feeling by the end of the class was that he had failed but they had got through the two hours even though it felt like 7. He was relieved to get back on a bike and cycle to the restaurant. Peng had made his own way and they met on route and as the new sunglasses he had ordered had arrived that morning and Peng handed them over at a traffic lights and he immediately changed his look. The restaurant served a western style menu and typically it was teeming with laowai who lived and worked in the area which, was predominately full of Embassies with the German compound directly opposite. It was a glorious day and they were seated outside but not before a 20 minute wait for seats in a small cafe next door. The food was good and an average price and though the sound of German and french percolated in the air giving the street a cosmopolitan feeling and he sensed he could idle the whole afternoon away there if it weren’t for the popularity of the place. For once they did not linger in the area and find somewhere for tea but rode to a station and took the subway home. They had started watching Zack Snyders “Army of the Dead’ a zombie heist movie the night before which sounded like a great combination and he had fun watching it, even cheering inside when baddies got their just rewards but it felt overlong and there were plot inconsistencies and it failed to win his affection. Nevertheless high spirits led him to another good nights sleep.

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