i wake up at 6:30 every morning to get ready for work. today i was already dressed by 7:00. makes me wonder if i should push back when i wake up even later. but i don't like to rush in the morning, and it's better to have time to spare than not enough.

i dropped my tablet pc on the floor this morning. it was tethered to the power cord which i forgot was there because it was dark, and when i went to lift it across my bed, it yanked violently to the ground. the tablet still works but there's a small scratch on the glass surface. makes me wonder if i should've invested in a screen protector. it bothers me a little bit but the scratch is barely visible. it was bound to happen sooner or later.

i still can't get over how incredibly cheap breakfast is around here. 4 meat buns and a soy milk for just RMB$3 (less than 50¢). the only thing i don't like is the mad push of people getting their breakfast. if you're polite instead of pushy, expect to wait until everyone else gets serviced before you can get yours. the owners are super busy and expect you to know what you want because they don't have time to wait for you. but still, it's a small price to pay for cheap buns.

today is friday but since we work on saturdays, it's really more of a thursday. in my spare time i doodle little charts in my notebook, plotting out what a 6-day work week looks like. for instance, if you work 6-days, when's hump day? in my mind there are 2 consecutive 3-day work week, with 2 hump days in each.

my body still hurts from playing badminton on wednesday. at least i can walk around, but a bit gingerly and with some pain. i wince every time i sit down or get up.

pansusu told me the koreans were making plans to go see jiuzhaigou in sichuan during the 3-day mid-autumn holiday in september and told me maybe i could join their group. from the team building dinner we had 2 weeks ago, i'm on fairly good terms with a lot of senior members of the korean team. i wrote the head of their human resources and asked if there was any chance i could tag along, and i'd be willing to pay whatever the cost. he wrote back saying that they're not even sure if they can go because there isn't enough available seats on the flight. who knows if that's true or not, but the 3-day weekend is less than a month away and i should think about making some plans if i want to do a short trip to somewhere. in my mind there are only 2 places worth visiting: mohe, near arctic china; or kashgar, xinjiang province next to afghanistan. maybe 3 days i should keep it more local, and save a long distance trip for my week long vacation after a 2 month stint.

ms.pan and i became QQ friends today. we chatted briefly, griping about the long hours. she seemed fine with it, but i was more disgruntled, my delicate american work ethics not completely used to the grueling china hours. later during dinner, after i already finished eating, i saw ms.pan eating by herself and went to go talk to her for a few minutes. i think i broke some sort of social protocol because i left my tray behind. mrs.gu - who was sitting at the adjoining table - saw what i was doing and smiled.

after work i finally went with "huey" li the IT guy (that's the english name he asked me to pick for him, the closest match to his chinese name) to the older, more original part of changshou, known as the old city. we rode the company shuttle bus all the way back to the station in the old city. changshou sits along the banks of the yangtze river so much like chongqing, it has a storied history as being a shipping town. because of its already established infrastructure on some pretty hilly terrain, the old city remains relatively unchanged, with all the new buildings being erected in the nearby new city (where i live). people don't often come to changshou because frankly there really isn't anything here. but because of the lack of visitors, the place has an air of authenticity perhaps lacking in some of the more affluent and gentrified cities.

huey seemed like an expert but he'd only been to the old city 2-3 times before, coming here for the food. the local specialty seems to be a sort of hot dog with skewered meats. when we arrived, i quickly busted out my camera, because of the many photo opps: night produce markets, winding uphill roads under a canopy of trees, outdoor food stalls, night markets, department stores, grand plaza. the distance is probably about 2 miles. maybe too far to walk (especially in this chongqing heat) but just RMB$2 by bus. it's the sort of place i want to visit daily, and i wish i could live in the old city instead of the new city, since it has more character.

we walked around a bit, but found ourselves lost once it became dark. by the time we make it out to the main street, we were already by the xian bus station, far away from where we originally got off. this means the old city isn't that big, and given a single day, most of the area can be easily explored. maybe next sunday!

we took a taxi back to the new city. we shared it with a girl carrying a suitcase. i paid the driver RMB$5.90 but after we got off huey told me i could've given the driver less, because we were splitting the fare with the girl.

when i got home i did a load of laundry. still trying to decide what i'm going to wear tomorrow. my green short-sleeved shirt with the khaki pants? but what if i go eat hot pot tomorrow night, i don't want to get oil splatters all over the khakis. i guess i'll sleep on it. it's already well past midnight. i'm going to be tired tomorrow. but hell, it's friday, i should be allowed to stay up later than normal, even if i do have to go to work tomorrow!