This one is gonna get sappy…
Dating in China would imply Chinese girls, wouldn’t it? Not necessarily. Behold, expat girls too, lost love, bittersweet memories~
I remember the first time I met Julia. I was at the usual pub with my pals, where we often frequented on the weekends. It was her birthday. I learned right away she was older than me. Up to four years.
She was so beautiful. And she still is. Tall, long legs, my height exactly. Bright blonde hair, dyed. She dressed casual, wore a white T-shirt and tight jeans. A very cute, very feminine face (sometimes tall women have more rugged squared-off faces, but not her). Perfect body, slim but not too much like that anorexic style of bar models.
Always elegant. She spoke English with a sexy Eastern European accent, a softer version of Russian. I have Slavic family and I know the general tone, but it turned out she was from an EU country. I wasn’t wrong in guessing that she studied in Moscow. She lived in Shenzhen as a classically-trained music teacher, and even performed at major concert halls on occasion.
I didn’t think I had a chance with her at all. Anyway, I was with Mona at the time.
I recall asking her how she felt turning that milestone age, and she said she didn’t feel different.
I probably didn’t make much of an impression the first time. I was just another white guy in the crowd. I tried to be funny, tried to be nice, but when you’re an expat you meet new faces constantly. Only a few stand out and prove to worth remembering. I wasn’t that special, not yet.
Well, we were in the same social and professional circles, and often crossed paths. From bar to bar, and even within the same garden, we’d bump into each other and say hello. I started seeing more of her. I started being more memorable. We’d hang out and text each other and generally be friends.
One day, I was dancing on a clean E pill and I flirted with her and made her laugh. That’s all, and it was a great night I remember it fondly.
The night things finally escalated. Me and another guy were at her apartment late. Perhaps we both had something on our minds, some subtextual competition. My American friend eventually got tired and left, while I stayed into the early hours of the morning. We sat together on her sofa and somehow I found the courage to kiss her.