during a lull in the intermittent showers i took out the newly modified trek for a test ride. the more horizontally inclined handlebar felt a lot better, and so did the adjusted brakes. i know it's purely psychological but the thinner handlebar made the bike feel lighter; however it still felt just as slow as the old version. the bike shifts well downwards, but shifting up it'd get stuck in 3-4 gear. this is probably a derailleur alignment issue, the trek never shifted smoothly to begin with. it also has problems engaging the 7th gear (smallest cog).

i rode all the way to belmont, where only my father was home sleeping. i spent an hour outside tinkering with the bike. first thing i did was to adjust the shifters/brake levers so they're pointing down instead of splayed out to the sides. i then fiddled with the derailleur, adjusting the setting screws (at least those that haven't rusted shut) and resetting the shifter cable. no matter what i did, it still catches in the middle gears when i upshift and i can't seem to engage the 7th gear. i'll play around with the derailleur alignment tomorrow (worse case scenario is i buy a new derailleur (a cheap shimano brand on amazon costs $13) - worst case scenario i have to get a new derailleur hanger).

i was in belmont for more than just bike mechanic work; i was there to also watch the UEFA champions match between barcelona and ac milan (8:30 european time, 2:30 local time). i was rooting for milan because they're the underdogs but i also wanted to see messi score a goal. after 90 minutes, the final score was an exciting 0-0. the 2nd leg is next week.

immediately after the game i rode back to cambridge. this morning i noticed some bloody phlegm stains on my bathroom rug so i treated the spots and set it out to dry. my roommate went to work late today (10:00) and i got up just as soon as he was leaving. he came home relatively early at 6:20. while he was eating noodles for dinner, i casually asked him to be careful about his spitting. as for me, i had some cheese tortellini for dinner.

my parents did a lot of eating when they were in taiwan. one thing they noticed was a proliferation of mainland chinese tourists. they arrive by the busload and crowd everyone out. they also bring with them some infuriating mainland customs, like bargaining for everything even when prices are clearly marked. since they stick to mainly touristy sites, they can be avoided by not going to those places. having said that, here are some food photos: