Niamh’s host family in Shanghai was, one might say, controlling. She hated having to sneak around behind their backs but she couldn’t very well last the whole school year without seeing her new boyfriend.

The back alleys of Suzhou would have to do. It was only 25 minutes by train from Shanghai (providing you didn’t accidentally purchase a K train ticket, which involved an inexplicable 7 hour journey) and they would never think to look for her there.

She told them she was popping down to the AllDays for an ice cream. She hoped they wouldn’t notice how long it took.

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