Zongzi Day

Nicholas Quirke was preparing to celebrate a 2nd Dragon Boat festival in China on 30 May 2021 which was not until 14th of June. By the end of the day he had indulged in both sweet and sour Zongzi which is a notable part of celebrating the festival. It is a tradition that people wrap zongzi in leaves of reed, bamboo, forming a pyramid shape. The leaves also give a special aroma and flavor to the sticky rice and fillings. Zongzi was originally used to worship ancestors and gods; in the Jin Dynasty, the dumplings were officially designated as the Festival food. At this time, in addition to glutinous rice, the raw materials for making zongzi are also added with Chinese medicine Yizhiren. But before he enjoyed these treats he had work to do and after leaving the home and disposing of the refuse he realised he hadn’t got his phone with him. Two of the apartment block cleaners were at the door and kindly let him in. He collected the forgotten item and departed once more as he left the building he had a message to say that the first class of the day had been cancelled. He felt vaguely foolish as he returned again to the amusement of the ladies who were still gossiping at the doors. This meant a more leisurely morning and by the time he left for his class the sun was really beating down. He cycled to the class which after the previous weeks lesson of dealing with a sulky teenager he was not looking forward to. By the end of the lesson he was feeling quite pleased with himself as he had managed to engage her in a really stimulating conversation about the future of food including, Artificial beef, 3D Printed food, breathable chocolate and eating insects. She was so engrossed in the lesson she even wanted to skip her break to keep the discussion going. He was in good spirits heading back and even cycled to Beijing train Station rather than Chaoyangmen to get the subway. The remainder of the day passed in watching movies, eating a sweet Zongzi from Starbucks and devouring some delicious savoury plant based meat ones. He finished watching the astonishing NTL Homes production of Angels in America as he enjoyed a chai massage and managed to squeeze in 3 films into the day. ‘Together, Together, a real charmer and though it made no serious comment on surrogacy it’s depiction of the journey and the friendship that develops between the two lonely souls engaged in the process was heartwarming.. He was skeptical about watching ‘Cruella’ with Emma Stone but found it to be a surprisingly fun ride. He really warmed  to the characters, enjoyed the imagery and found the soundtrack fabulous. Of course it said nothing perceptive about Dodie Smith’s terrifying creation and lacked depth but it made perfect viewing for a Sunday afternoon. They also found time to see the end of ‘Falling’ which was a story of dementia that he found quite hard to stomach . The dysfunctional family dynamic with no laughs left a sour feeling after viewing. Willing the death of it’s protagonist is a strong and unwelcome feeling and was not the sort of bleak depressing tale he liked to go to sleep on.

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