this morning i talked to the guy in charge of housing, asking him to call the cable company to ask about my still offline internet service. when i went to go look for him in the afternoon, he was gone, and i forgot to call him, kind of hoping the internet would be up when i returned home. unfortunately it's still down. so once again tomorrow morning i'll be talking to the housing guy. without internet i'm still able to function, but it's inconvenient. i'm still writing my blog, then uploading the latest posting from the office during that one hour break period after lunch. unfortunately a lot of people are also surfing/streaming at that time, so the network gets painfully slow. the thing i haven't been able to do is videochat with my parents. i haven't spoken with them since i arrived (via phone), but they called me again tonight at my new chongqing number.

i had some actual work at the office today, translating a change alert notice into a change proposal. it took me about 2.5 hours to get it pretty close to finish. also during that time the IT guy signed me up to a QQ account and assigned me my official office e-mail.

lunch was okay, everyone was laughing at the way i hold my chopsticks, said they'd get me a spoon next time. maybe that's why i don't like eating rice, noodles are much easier with chopsticks even if you hold them wrong. i felt a little weird after lunch and had to poo in one of the stalls. this is pretty historical, because since i've been traveling in asia, i've trained myself to poo in the morning or at night so i never have to poo in a public toilet, which often times are disgusting. the stalls at work though were pretty clean, with real toilets and toilet paper.

i hit my work endurance wall by 3:00. fortunately in another hour we experienced an office blackout. work came to an abrupt stop as the temperature in the office slowly started to creep higher. with so many engineers and construction guys around i figured it'd be a quick fix. the problem was one of the transformers overheated in the high temperature (loren was joking about that, turns out to be true, it's in one of our change proposals). it took them a long time to get the power back on. by then they were already serving an early (5:30) dinner. today they had marinated duck which tasted like lamb to me. we sat with a girl who sits in our cubicle area and after seeing me eat, she said she never thought she'd see someone eat slower than her. everyone's a critic at the office cafeteria!

the company also gave out backpacks to all the employees, embroidered with the copy logo in white and a message proclaiming 10 million man hours of safe working environment. i didn't think i'd be getting one since i'm a contract worker, but one of the office managers handed one to me as well. i think i confused her when i told her i'd be willing to hand it back if they didn't have enough. what am i going to do with a backpack anyway? it's definitely not going to fit in my touring backpack. also i'm pretty anti-branding and would never go out carrying something with a big company logo on it.

for someone who likes to explore new places, it's a crime that i haven't looked around changshou any further other than the area around the nearby mall and supermarkets. i've already been here almost a week, isn't it time i go out and see what else is out there? after dropping off my stuff at the apartment, i took a quick shower, changed into a t-shirt, and went back out. walking out of the building i passed a girl so beautiful i almost couldn't look at her because she was so stunning. i didn't realize models lived in my building! maybe she works in one of the businesses from floor 1 to 3 (a combination of spas and restaurant). apparently it's pretty popular because i see people going to the 3rd floor (restaurant) all the time. i'll have to check out as part of my continuing exploration.

i decided to walk down taoyuan avenue, towards the rotary that goes to another residential/commercial enclave. i saw the map earlier at work and i was hoping i could just do a big loop. the grand plaza in front of the changshou stadium caught my attention so i went to investigate. vendors were setting up streetside barbecues and banks of bicycles of all shapes and sizes were being rented. it wasn't night yet so people were just beginning to trickle in.

i continued walking, following where i could see commercial areas. this being the chongqing/sichuan region, i passed by a lot of different hot pot restaurants. i even saw a restaurant called "big taipei" which seemed quite popular and i'm sure i'll definitely come here to see what kind of food they have (maybe this sunday if i'm back early from chongqing).

i eventually found the yonghui superstores, a place i heard about today, the largest supermarket in the changshou area. they sold pants at a very affordable RMB$140, which is about what i paid back in pudong shanghai. so i might stock up before i go, since they do custom tailoring for free. i bought some bananas, which was one of the things i wanted to get. i've been wondering if my dizzy spells (i still get them) might be related to a potassium deficiency? but i've had my blood analyzed twice (taiwan and china) and they never spotted anything (maybe they weren't checking my potassium level, i'll have to check the records). i also wanted to get some hair gel (my hair can get a little frizzy) but the cheapest kind was RMB$18 for a large bottle. i don't need that much, but i don't think they sell travel size gels. i wonder if i could use hand lotion as a styling gel? i guess i'll find out tomorrow morning!

okay, it's almost midnight, i'm already late in going to bed, i'm going to be tired again tomorrow morning!