My Stories, The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo

Fiction: The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo (Part 7 of 20)

I’m posting a section a day of my epistolary romance novella The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo. You can read it online for free here (click on the “Perilous Life of Jade Yeo” category to access the other posts), or you can buy the ebook at Smashwords or Amazon. The ebook contains the complete 23,000-word novella.


Wednesday, 3rd November 1920

I am in Paris, the city of romance! It is a most peculiar place. You walk along gazing at the wonderful pretty buildings and their graceful wire railings to the tune of your intolerable aunt going on at you for not dressing better and not being married and not having a respectable profession etc. etc. etc. Then suddenly the scene is interrupted by the pungent stink of manure and urine, which rises out of nowhere and envelopes you. It is difficult to have the correct sentiments about the sight of the Eiffel Tower lit up at night when the smell is that of a poorly kept public toilet.

But we have had wonderful food, despite Aunt Iris’s faces at the bills. I know I say a great deal that is unConfucian and unkind about Aunt Iris, but she has never forgotten herself so far as not to appreciate good food. Today we had a sultan’s spread of a brunch: gigantic cups of milky coffee, little flaky croissants and sugared crepes, perfectly spherical roast potatoes like tiny yellow suns, crispy bacon and fat sausages and a bowl of scrambled eggs like liquid gold. (I suppose not quite a sultan’s spread, then, given the bacon and sausages.) And for dessert, yoghurt with an elegant comma of raspberry coulis in it, and skinless pink segments of grapefruit that burst juice all over your fingers when you picked them up.

The grapefruit was a novelty. It is like pomelo, only smaller, bitterer and more pink. I must see if I can bring one for Ma to try the next time I go home–whenever that is.

I have written a letter to Ravi. I saw him last Tuesday and he said he would like to hear what I thought of Paris, so he shall. I have written the letter twice and have copied it out fair once. I expect he won’t answer it, though.


East Asian girl holding a mirror

Photograph by Panorama Media/PanoramaStock/Getty Images

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