like a glutton for punishment, i always seem to schedule my doctor appointments for early in the morning. so not only do i have to get out of bed earlier than usual, but once i get to the doctor's office, i have to endure another vaccination shot. today it was part 2 of japanese encephalitis. if you know how it ends don't spoil it for me, but i think it involves re-reading the informational pamphlet once more time, signing a waiver form stating i understand all the risks involved, getting my shot, and then waiting for 30 minutes to make sure i don't have any allergic side effects. i told my travel doctor about traveling through high elevation areas so she prescribed some acetazolamide capsules to prevent altitude sickness. the drug removes excess body water (it'll make me pee a lot apparently) and can also be used to treat glaucoma and some forms of seizures. there was no traffic going home: going to the clinic this morning, cars were bumper to bumper all the way down the length of beacon street. that's when a motorcycle comes in handy, as i sped down the bicycle lane, feeling the envy and scorn of all those stuck in traffic.

i worked some more on project N but because i didn't hear back from the clent regarding scheduling a progress meeting, i wasn't too motivated to finish. once again i'm saving some work for this weekend which i know from past experiences i won't do until monday.

in the late afternoon i went with julie to the reading REI to look for a replacement backpack for my undersized kelty. i didn't see anything i liked so i figured i'll do a little more browsing online. i got home in time to catch the red sox versus rangers game, which was surprisingly not postponed even though it looked like it'd rain. another tight game but the red sox managed to eke out a victory just as soon as it started to drizzle.

my arm still hurts from the vaccination i got this morning. the spot where i got injected has this throbbing dull pain sensation, almost like a muscle cramp. i'm hoping a late night bath will remedy the situation.

for those of you who are still not clear as to where i'm going, i finally found online a good map of china (i'm totally using it without permission, please don't sue me!) and have finally drawn out my tentative route:

the dotted line is the flight i'll be taking from shanghai to yichang (I'll buy the ticket when i get to china). in yichang i'll take a 3 day boat ride (the blue line) up the yangzi river to chongqing. from chongqing a train ride to chengdu (i have less than 2 weeks time to arrive here if i want to stay on schedule). from chengdu a 2 day bus ride to litang (13,000+ feet elevation). my father was supposed to rendezvous with me in chengdu and travel as far as yading (the path in orange), but he told me tonight he decided he can't go to china after all because 1) he doesn't think he'll have enough time to see everything (he only has 2 weeks) and 2) he doesn't think he's healthy enough for high altitude traveling. so it looks like i'm on my own again. it'd have been nice to travel with someone who can actually read chinese (i can only read a little) and having a companion means i don't have to be on my guard all the time but it's not like i haven't traveled by myself before.