Weather Warning

Nicholas Quirke was expecting bad weather on 24 July 2021 as the effects of a Typhoon were due to be felt in the city though he still made plans over breakfast to go to the Power Station gallery which he had missed out on before. He asked the chef about Vegan food, but she was on the phone and not very helpful. The the rain though ddid manifest itself and he went out into the downpour but really did seem too much and he returned to the hotel to wait it out. He would have to leave by 12.30 and the later it got the more he had to accept that he would have to forget any sightseeing and just get himself to the train station when the time came. He was relieved to be able to take it easy as the night before he had taken a few knocks from fellow punters and was feeling a little bruised and weary. It was an easy but long journey to the train station and he recalled travelling to the same station on that route on his previous visit when he took a train to Hangzhou and because of the layout of the station which was immense, he had nearly missed his train because he had struggled to find it. He found he was in a similar situation but he was more accustomed to getting help and asking people. It really was a very long station and typically his platform was number one and completely the opposite end of the concourse. He was quite hungry too but the queues were either too long or he could not identify a suitable dish and as time ticked away he realised he would have to board. He joined a queue which seemed ridiculously long but somehow managed, but hated himself for it, to inveigle his way into the line close to the start. he felt bad as he used his ignorant laowai status to get him in but if someone had tried to push in front of him in the same way he would have been a little angry. Oddly he went through another conversation on board with the occupant of seat D telling him he was in the wrong seat and they should be in the window. He was delighted to see the lady in the seat behind him admonished the man and told him Nicholas was right. The journey was spent watching the view, watching some TV and blogging. It was still light when they arrived at Beijing South Station and he decided to cycle back but it took him awhile to find a bike. He stopped to try and get some chips but they didn’t have and and he ended up walking through his favourite Hutong. He refreshed himself with a shower and they sat down to watch ‘Pig’ though the title and the fact that Nicholas Cage starred did not really inspire him as it seemed that for too long the actor had been associated to a quagmire of crap but his brooding and often vulnerable presence in this unexpectedly engrossing film gave it a really profound gravitas. He really wasn’t expecting to be touched in any way by the story of a kidnapped pig but the current of the story telling flowed in such an unpredictable direction he found himself at times almost breathless with anticipation. It was a journey of discovery not to be missed. He craved sleep and rest but somehow it was reluctant to take him and it was a while before he finally drifted into an uneasy numbness,

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