i woke up this morning and biked over to julie's community garden to water her plants while she was away on her mountain retreat this week. apparently watering vegetables is quite complicated and she left me a page of directions, in case i did it wrong. i did everything she asked, including pulling off all the dead cosmo flowers (that one wasn't even written down, i had to remember it!), but i didn't use her special yellow canvas bag to "transport" the vegetables i took.

i bought a chinese newspaper from the porter square vending machine for my great uncle before heading over to the cafe to share some tomatoes and peppers with my parents (there was no way i could've eaten everything). seeing that i had nothing to do, my father asked if i could run down into the city and 1) buy a copy of a chinese edition eyewitness guide to boston (from chinatown), and 2) register the foreign exchange kid coming to live at my place next month into an english class (at downtown crossing). earlier i had called renata, promising her i'd help her move, but it wasn't for another hour so i figured i had time.

i went to chinatown to get the guide book (the store owner recognized me) then parked in downtown crossing (on a sidewalk, along with several other motorcycles) and walked to boston academy of english on temple place. the "academy" was abuzz with activity, as young and pretty international students came in and out (i wasn't quite sure if this was a school or a modeling agency). i waited by the main desk until a cute japanese girl from across the room saw me and said she'd be right with me. maybe she thought i was just another international student trying to enroll in an english program. instead of letting her guess, i told her right away that i was here to sign up somebody else, and was just here to collect some information. the people there were amazingly friendly and helpful. a young man with a european accent asked about my khmer writing t-shirt. when i told him where it was from, he said he'd been to cambodia as well; i feigned interest. with literature in hand, i left the office, but not before thinking this would be a great place to work.

i called renata before i left, telling her i'd be in JP in 10-15 minutes. maybe in some make-believe world a person could drive out of the maze of congested one-way streets that is downtown crossing in just a few minutes. however, this was not the case today, as i circled the area during peak lunch time hour until i was finally able to break free. even then it took me a while to get to renata's place since there were some road construction work. i didn't get there until almost 40 minutes later. "i fell asleep waiting for you," renata told me as she came downstairs to let me into her new apartment.

the place was a 2-room loft with an amazing bonus backyard deck the size of one of the rooms. the apartment was empty except for the few things renata had moved from her friend jane's place a few blocks away. since neither of us had lunch yet, we walked to the purple cactus to share a burrito. even though i only had half a chicken burrito, it still took me a long time to finish it.

next we went back to jane's apartment to pick up the rest of renata's stuff. although we didn't have any cardboard boxes, we made do with plastic bags and makeshift containers. we drove back to renata's new place and moved everything in.

while renata sorted through the stacks of things we just moved in, i was busy cutting strips of non-stick rubber padding (with a pair of tiny cosmetic scissors) to put on the shelves. i also plugged in the tv (unfortunately no free cable) and the stereo. renata was very grateful for my help (even though it was nothing) and kept on thanking me. i volunteered to assist her in moving the rest of her stuff (including her bed and heavy furniture) from her parents' place this weekend, but she already had two other guys lined up for the job. i think that's just a guy thing: if a girl asks you for moving help, you must say yes, even if you're a quadriplegic in a wheel chair, it's something primal. throughout the day renata would get calls from prospective employers for job interviews. while we were both admiring the sensual bumps on her inflatable mattress, her friend jane called, asking us if we wanted to take an ice cream break.

we met jane at j.p.licks, where she was filling us in on some back-to-school news. later while she went to run errands, renata and i went to gadgets to do some browsing, then visited a farmer's market in the parking lot of some bank. it's peak season for tomatoes and there were many heirloom fruits on display. afterwards we went back to renata's place where i got on my motorcycle and returned to cambridge. the sky was starting to look grey and i was afraid it'd rain, but i got back without getting soaked, and the weather remained dry for the rest of the day (which meant i didn't water the garden in vain).

i spent the evening eating chinese dumplings, taking in a red sox game, and enjoying a few more episodes of it's always sunny in philadelphia (on fx), the funniest show you're not watching.