Jia Jia and the Warriors – a short story from China.

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After a happy, prolonged period of stabilization and life-altering romance, I finally bid farewell to Belgium in the summer of 2009. Uninspired by life in grey, uneventful Brussels, my girl and I headed off to China for an unforgettable year of teaching and travelling.

The slow train from Beijing to Píngyáo was a long, plodding twelve-hour slog. We could have paid a bit more and cut that time in half, but it was the start of our trip and we figured there was plenty of time. Having gone for the overnight train, we also reckoned seven to eight hours of bunk bed sleep would wipe out most of the journey. And so it proved.

I was feeling awfully reflective as we chugged out of the capital towards the final chapter of our Chinese adventure. Although she was sad that I was leaving EE, Tracy had been really gracious during my final weeks. She helped us sort out train tickets and threw a school party to ensure I was sent off with great fanfare.

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