After a happy, prolonged period of stabilisation and life-altering romance, I finally bid farewell to Belgium in the summer of 2009. Uninspired by life in gray, uneventful Brussels, my girl and I headed off to China for an unforgettable year of teaching and travelling.
Battling through the rush-hour-melee at Beijing Railway Station, S and I doggedly made our way towards Waiting Room Number 2, an air-conditioned hall the size of a small European country. Inside, we settled down in one of the endless rows of metal benches, gazing up at a giant information board, an incomprehensible parade of fluorescent Chinese characters. Which was our train? Was it leaving on time? Should we present ourselves to someone?