fiction

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Big in Beijing

A fable from expat pond life – by Carlos Ottery

 

Some thought Leroy a loser. Honestly, he was probably more of a drunkard than anything, but first and foremost Leroy considered himself a DJ. Sure, he wasn’t averse to moonlighting as a language teacher for extra cash. After all, what was the point of speaking English if you couldn’t spread the love a little, now and then?

In fact, Leroy was doing rather well for himself, pulling in about 7000 kuai a month from the Old Oriental Learning Centre alone. And his income could easily jump up to nine or even 13K if he factored in the DJing, not to mention the bits of journalism, and the copy editing he did for hotel brochures. Let’s put it this way, Leroy had no problem getting a round of beers in.

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Love Anywhere

A short story from Beijing – by H.L.

 

That summer, whenever Wang Fei played guitar at Xiao Peng’s bar, he always offered cigarettes to his audience. It was more than just following etiquette – he took careful note of which girls did or did not accept. Most did not accept at first. He would play two or three songs and then offer again. Some would still not accept, and for them, he would sing his throaty fireside hymn.

They always accepted after the throaty fireside hymn.

READ ON...

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Going South

It's a two way street – a story by Jason Y Ng

THIS SHORT STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN AS WE SEE IT

 

Chongjun nearly knocked over a woman when he got off the Southern Airlines plane. This sort of thing happened to him all the time, for even when he walked he had his nose buried in a book or a magazine. Dui ng tsu ah, he apologised to her in halting Cantonese, quickly slipping the book he was reading – The Complete Guide to Low Light Photography – back into his tattered leather attaché. Hong Kong people were squeamish about any form of physical contact, the 32 year-old Shanghai native had to remind himself from time to time.

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Going North

A short story from Hong Kong, by Jason Y Ng

THIS STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN AS WE SEE IT, AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE HONG KONG WRITERS CIRCLE

 

William removed the laptop from his carry-on luggage and placed it in a grey plastic bin. In a swift, almost choreographed swing of an arm, he grabbed another one from the stack and in went his keys, loose change and Blackberry. As the 35 year-old architect waited to walk through the metal detector, the Shanghainese woman in front of him set off the alarm with the cell phone in her pocket. William shook his head at the sorry display of inexperience. A few moments later, it was his turn to step through the gantry and there wasn’t a single beep. Of course not, he thought to himself with satisfaction.

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Halloween Land

Gate-crashing the China party – fiction by Isaac Beech

 

Seb Spatt got his first Anti-Social Behaviour Order, the infamous “Asbo”, for spitting over a railing at Alton Towers amusement park, without seeing the middle-aged lady with the perm below. It was also the first Asbo paperwork at Hampshire Constabulary where the name and the crime read the same. The next year, Seb Spatt got booked for indecent dress (long story), shoving a Streets album down his tracksuits in HMV, and buying shots for minors in a pub at 20% mark-up to cover his own poison.

When Seb Spatt got a black eye and gave a busted lip in a fight with a bouncer (long story, other guy’s fault), he didn’t bother turning up to the station for his summons. That was it. The last straw. Nothing else for it now. His only choice was clear.

Seb was going to China.

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