Another late summer evening in Yangzhou, and Ian and I have landed at Ronnie’s bar again. I could write an epic on the expat bar in Yangzhou, how I’ve come in with different friends or met up with different friends, sat at the bar for a private talk or sat out back for a chat with everyone who turns up. Some nights are sipping beers and talking about literature and writing, some nights are shots, love and existence. It’s been a great summer with these guys.
On this particular day, I’ve spent the afternoon in Starbucks working on my latest freelance project, naming dwarves and elves for a new game. I could also write an epic on how much I want to turn my fun and awesome freelance work into a legitimate adult job, but I’ll skip it. I’m excited to do the work, and excited to tell my Yangzhou friends that I can’t hang out today because I am making a dwarven genealogy.
I tend to only really notice good things and good times in retrospect, but writing dwarven backstories in a Chinese coffeeshop is a recognizable highlight. That’s a real thing I did, you guys.
Anyway, a couple of beers later, Ian admits he named his childhood cat out of The Silmarillion.
“So, there’s a lasting significance in the names of dwarves and elves, huh?” I ask. “Good to know.”
“Do you read fantasy?” he asks, possibly to distract me from giggling and calling him a secret nerd.
“I liked Tolkien, but I could have done with a few more women in it. Actually, I feel that way about most fantasy novels.”
“It was a different time,” he says.
“Yeah, women hadn’t been invented yet.”
Snark aside, it was another perfect day in Yangzhou.