China Fit

Nicholas Quirke was still reeling from the swift reversal of fortune on 5 June 2021 and as a result there was an aura of unreality to the day. His mind was telling him he should be packing and organising himself for departure but he was free to roam instead and going with Peng to the China Fit exhibition at the Olympic park was a suitably abstruse episode. Primarily they traveled all that way to see the ‘Vegan’ food section, the highlight of which was some delicious coconut ice cream. But it was fascinating to see the wide range of new plant based meat products that were now beginning to proliferate the market. There was also state of the art gym equipment including an activity wall on display as well as a muscle man contest. The highlight though for him was a parade of glamorous and elegant older ladies riding the escalators in vivid coloured Qipao , a type of body-hugging dress of Manchu origin. A high-necked, closefitting dress with the skirt slit partway up the side, known as the mandarin gown during the 1920s and 1930s, when it was modernized by Chinese socialites and upper-class women in Shanghai. They walked to the river and decided to try have lunch at the restaurant they had ordered their Christmas cake from. It was only 2 km away and they decided to walk in the blistering heat to the venue. Along the route they passed a newly built museum of the history of the CCP which would have its opening as part of the 100 year anniversary celebrations. It was a monolithic white building which, along with the red flag and insignia looked magnificent against the blue sky. He remembered exactly how to get to the restaurant but it appeared to be shut and they decided to walk further and go to The New World China Mall and green options. The food was healthy and delicious and they followed it up with a leisurely tea in grey box. By the time they got home he was ready for a movie and Peng was anxious to see the latest in ‘The Conjuring’ series, ‘The Devil Made Me Do It’. Exorcisms were always a little scary to watch and this new tale had a particularly creepy spin on the genre. The fact that this was based on a true story gave it a credibility that made him shiver particularly when they overlaid the credit sequence with fact leaving him feeling unnerved by the whole story. It was though a fantastic gripping story with some real spine tingling moments to go to sleep on.

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