Wang Xiuying, 22 October 2020
Restrictions are diminishing everywhere in China. International flights are resuming, and friends who were marooned while visiting the US and Europe are flying back one by one. Plane tickets cost three to five times more than usual for an economy seat, and passengers have to comply with quarantine regulations on arrival: 14 days in a designated hotel, couples in separate rooms, no visitors allowed. They are tested almost every day, and have to put up with the not very desirable food provided – food delivery is out of the question. Afterwards, we throw a nice dinner party to celebrate their return to normal life. It’s the most we can hope for in 2020: a normal life. Other friends who are still stuck abroad (unable to get a flight or a visa) are missing a succession of delicacies: the crayfish season, the lychee season, the waxberry season, the durian season, the gordon euryale seed season, the sugar fried chestnut season, the pork mooncake season have all gone by. Will they catch the end of the mitten crab season, or will they have to wait another year?