On the deck of a cruise ship in southern China, two grey-haired men stood in silence, shoulders touching, looking out to sea, as other passengers bustled on board and settled in for the journey to Vietnam. Among them was Yang Yong, a 35-year-old banker who boarded the Costa Atlantica with his elderly parents. He told them he got a cheap deal – his mother was pleased, but his father was less enthusiastic. For Yang, it was important that they join him, so he did not say much about the trip. They thought it was just a family holiday. Aged in their 70s, Yang’s parents had been worried about their unmarried son, even arranging blind dates for him in the hope he would meet someone and settle down. Sitting with them after breakfast on the second day, Yang dropped the bombshell.