There is No Banquet Without a Finish

Nicholas Quirke was forced to think about an ending for his China odyssey on 2 June 2021 when he paid a visit to the exit / entry bureau. He had always wondered how he would feel when they told him ‘No more’ and though he had some arguments prepared their assertion that there were flights every day was an impossible one to quash and so he had to accept that on 8 June 2021 he was going to have to pack his bags and return to England as the Chinese hospitality had finally run out. He only had 6 days to organise a flight and get himself home and though he knew full well that he had been living on borrowed time for the past year and had really experienced a most amazing journey during that time he still felt despondent and regretful that he couldn’t have just another 30 days to plan properly for his return. He had become accustomed to life in Beijing and living with Peng and it would be a very difficult wrench for them both. He had planned to go to Veggie Table to sample their new vegan ice cream but once he got there some confusion about what he wanted and feeling too downhearted to treat himself he turned around and made for the subway to go home and be maudlin with Peng. He had lost interest in the day which though grey had started well and on his subway journey to the bureau he was impressed when his train terminated at a stop, Xizhimen that he had never been to before and he discovered a really beautiful series of tile illustrations depicting the Great Wall. On arriving back at the neighbourhood he was cheered briefly by a greeting by the concierge with a letter from home . The mood though for the rest of the day was low and he started to make plans for his return. Peng decided that they would go together the next day and appeal the decision and Nicholas half heartedly agreed though he fully believed that the officials would be intransigent. He didn’t purchase a flight but did start looking at quarantine requirements and where he would live on his return and what he would for work now that the sad demise of the Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventure had been announced. There was a momentary lift in the mood when an order of a special commemorative box of Magnum Vegan Ice creams arrived, complete with plate and he was at least able to indulge in eating some comfort food. Appropriately the movie they watched was ‘Spiral. From the book of Saw’, a film so gruesome it had him squirming in his seat and gripped in horror to the end. He had never seen any of the series and did wonder what Samuel L Jackson saw in the script to make him want to do it. It suited the overcast mood and his sleep was equally dark and disturbed.

1 Comment

  1. Wishing you luck with the appeal…..we will miss the blog so much. I am with Patrick just now and he says Harvey and Cole will be really pleased to see you. Suzy.

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