In response to a couple comments on the previous post about the sort-of-secret relationship Jia and I had during my first year in Shenzhen, I've decided to add to the story.
I spent most of the first summer living in the school apartment, which was also the storage space for the few returning teachers. All the other apartments were filled for a month with visiting Americans who were working at the summer camp in the unbearable Shenzhen summer. Jia worked six days a week, often until after 8pm, which meant I didn't see much of her. I spent plenty of time sitting in my air conditioned room, having a few beers in an air conditioned restaurant, or wandering through air conditioned shopping centers. I also continued studying Chinese in preparation for my parents' visit in August.
Part of my summer plan was to introduce my parents to Jia. Since Jia and her mom wanted to spend their brief summer holiday in Xinjiang, I planned for a few days in Urumqi. The other foreign teachers asked if I was going to meet Jia on my vacation since they all knew she was from Xinjiang. I figured there was no harm in admitting that we were at least friends (sooner or later they'd find out about our relationship).
As some of the teachers were leaving Shenzhen after their year at the school, we celebrated their departure. A few of the more gossipy foreigners loved to discuss our co-workers' love lives--and, of course, it came to me. Seeing as they were leaving, it was safe to let them in on my little secret. They weren't surprised--and one of them was fairly certain there was something going on between Jia and me because she kept running into us at odd times.
By the time the new term started, Jia agreed that it was safe to tell the foreign teachers about our relationship as long as they knew it couldn't get back to the Chinese supervisors. There were also two Chinese co-workers who were kept our relationship secret from the rest of the staff.