Without the rigidity of the weekly schedule, students were left to their own devices on weekends. Some commuted to the nearest city where they would teach English, helping sustain their stay at the academy. Others traveled to nearby towns to stock up on supplies or simply escape the confines of the academy.

Being his first weekend, Andrew decided he would remain at the school, perhaps walking to the closest village if boredom became an issue. Thriving on a routine, he set himself small tasks like writing and practicing the techniques he had covered over the first week. Also, he had his first experience with a Chinese washing machine leaving him with a soggy batch of clothing, having selected a setting that did not involve a rinse cycle.

The day rolled by at a lazy pace. By late morning, he was alone at the academy and this was the closest he had been to complete isolation. It dawned on him. Perhaps his China adventure was a lesson in personal contentment. He had to learn to be happy and fulfilled by himself, without the crutch of material possessions and a support network. If he could master this scenario, going back to a world with friends and family would be a cinch.

At the academy he could read. He could write. He could train. He could contribute to the upkeep of the school. There was no reason he shouldn’t feel satisfied with this lifestyle. After all, he was living the life of a Kung Fu student of years gone by, albeit with modern supplementation.

He vouched that by the conclusion of his time here, he would develop a greater appreciation for the simplicities life had to offer.


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