Shan Shan had saved up all week for the bike. Or rather, he had repeatedly asked his father for the money to buy it all week.

Either way, it was a hard earned bike and he was proud of it.

He parked himself outside the main gate at Nanjing’s DongNan University, slid on a pair of red plastic lensless glasses, lit up a Lesser Panda cigarette, and tried to look sufficiently bored. His facial muscles were stressed from the effort.

His parents and high school teachers had never warned him how exhausting tertiary education would be.

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