The Long-haired Ladies of Yao – 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.

“So that was Guìlín!” I exhaled, sinking deep into the back of my chair as S plonked a couple of beers down on the table. We’d just returned to our base at Backstreet Youth Hostel, pretty much collapsing at the bar. “Maybe we should have gone for two nights” she yawned, stretching her arms, “ah whatever… no regrets!”

Our flight from Xian to the southern city of Guìlín was a swift two hours and fifteen minutes. But with so much to see and do in the surrounding area, not to mention the clock ticking down on our flight to Amsterdam, we’d decided on just one day in Guìlín. But boy had we made that day count!

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