Literature / Expat Jimmy

Expat Jimmy is a 2017 novella by Travis Lee which follows James on his first day in China as he's shown around by Adam, a jaded seven-year expat.

Expat Jimmy is available from Amazon.


Expat Jimmy contains examples of:

  • Bookends: The book begins and ends with a seven-year laowai meeting a new teacher.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Adam's speech to James when they first meet.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The main plot takes place in one day.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Adam's response to the jumper on the bridge.
  • Lost Lenore: Adam's wife. Dead before the story begins, we have enough clues from reading to know that she died but how she died is left open to interpretation.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Adam drinks considerably all day, to no apparent effect.
    • Subverted with James, who nearly throws up and has take a couple breaks.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Adam's advice to James about Chinese women takes on a darker tone when you read it the second time, knowing that Adam's wife is dead and he feels responsible.
    • James quoting Marco Polo's final words might fly by most readers the first time.
  • Shout-Out: Several references to The Seven Year Laowai. James mentions having read Lost Laowai and Middle Kingdom Life prior to coming to China, two popular expat websites at the time.
  • Title Drop: Adam condescendingly refers to James as "Expat Jimmy".
  • Time Skip: We jump ahead seven years for the epilogue.


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