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 grey, uneventful Brussels, my girl and I headed off to China for an unforgettable year of teaching and travelling.
We’d been hanging out in Qingdao for just over a week when S and I decided on a change of scenery. Not that we were getting sick of the place; quite the opposite! By now we’d uncovered the best beaches on the outskirts of town, taken a major chunk out of the restaurant scene and were pretty much part of the furniture at The Lennon Bar. “Where you go?” whined Paul Ramon, affable lead singer of the pub’s resident rock band. “To Yantai!” I replied excitedly. “Just for a break… we’ll be back in a few days”. “Ok, ok” he hummed thoughtfully, “Yantai is ok… but be careful about jellyfish… they fucking everywhere”. Smiling politely, I couldn’t work out if he meant that a) there were lots of Jellyfish, b) loads of them having sex or c) both.