it was cold enough last night that i pulled out the duvet cover from the closet and used it as a blanket.

i purposely took the smaller shuttle bus this morning, hoping to avoid my stalker. this wasn't the small minivan i've rode in before, but rather a medium-sized bus somewhere in between the minivan and the full-sized bus. for some reason it was mostly ladies, including one young woman who is probably the most attractive person in the entire office (i think she's a safety engineer or something). ms.pan wasn't on this bus, maybe she rode the smaller one, or woke up late and ended up taking the larger bus.

today's weather was a repeat of yesterday's. i had my umbrella but it wasn't raining very hard so i never bothered using it.

i chatted with ms.pan in the office via instant messaging. i told her my incense story from last night and sent her a photo. she said it looked an awful lot like the incense they burn in the public bathrooms to mask the odor. sure, enough when i went to the bathroom, i saw almost exactly what i bought yesterday. different brand, but similar plastic jar, with a metal stand in the shape of a bottle gourd instead of a crane. but yeah, i bought bathroom incense for my apartment.

i finished listening to lexicon by max barry. it had a powerful ending that almost made me cry in the office like a crazy person in front of his computer. a good read/listen, highly recommended. good enough to listen a second time. listening to lexicon was what made the past week bearable. now i don't have anything else to listen except my collection of 400 favorite songs or probably one of those streaming oldies stations via itunes. i'll be on the lookout for a new book on tape.

maybe i should be flattered i have an office stalker? although i managed to avoid her on the bus, i couldn't avoid her in the hallways. i passed by and she waved hi to me a little too enthusiastically. we've never even been formally introduced, and she thinks we know each other.

i accidentally got a sloppy serving of fish for dinner. i thought it was pork or chicken but it was fish. really smelly slimy fish too, that nearly derailed the rest of my dinner. i ate around it and threw out the rest.

i sat with loren on the bus but when i saw ms.pan sitting by herself, i excused myself so i could go sit next to her. we had a good laugh about my choice of incense. i told her about the cutting board i made yesterday, and she told me about some of the easy food i could make. then she asked if i watch any television, and i told her i only use my HDTV to watch downloaded american shows. she told me about a movie she saw the other night, a non-chinese movie. she only knew the chinese name, until a boy in front of us - overhearing our conversation - said it was "underworld". i asked if vampires were involved and he said yes.

at that point i suddenly became very depressed. even if you disregard the slight language barrier problem, there will still always be a culture gap. the shows, the music, the food, the events i grew up with, none of these people will ever understand. because of that, we will only have so many things to talk about before we simply realize we don't have a lot in common. a pretty face only goes so far, i would much rather prefer someone who i can have a conversation with, who share my sense of humor. these relationships i've been cultivating the past few weeks all seem to diminish in that instant once i made that realization.

i went to cbest supermarket again, this time to get some eggs. i bought 7 organic eggs for RMB$6.22. i also bought a carton of yogurt drink (RMB$10.59), here's hoping it's got a little bit of sugar at least but i'll drink it regardless. i then got an assortment of moon cakes, since in 2 weeks it's the mid-autumn moon festival and everyone eats moon cakes. i bought 2 different turkey leg moon cakes (RMB$6.90 each, why that's even a flavor i'm not sure, but they're pretty good and probably the only time i'll get to eat turkey this autumn) and a bunch of mini moon cakes in various flavors (RMB$18.90/kg): pineapple, date paste, beef, plum. the good ones i'll get more of for next time.

when i got home i discovered i accidentally cracked one of the eggs. luckily they were in a plastic bag so i didn't get yolk everywhere. this seems like a weird coincidence, but i got 7 eggs last time as well, and the woman weighing my eggs (a lot of loose items like eggs and produce have to get weighed and stickered before checkout) took out one of them to make 6 and never told me why. it seems like the universe only wants to get have 6 eggs at a time, never 7.

maybe because i didn't eat very much for dinner, but i was still hungry. so i ate one of the turkey leg moon cake, the one from yunnan. salty, sweet, with a nice crumbly texture, it was pretty delicious, i'm getting more next time.

i watched the season premiere of homeland. it must be a leaked version because some of the visual effects elements haven't been added yet. i was going to watch another episode of the bridge but i only have so much time in the evening and i needed to do other things.

sometime around 9:30 i made a long distance call to my new health insurance, asking for a prescription refill on my diovan. it's a little complicated because it requires a prior authorization notice from my doctor, but the woman on the phone was super helpful after i told her my situation (in china, prescription running out, need a refill). it was also nice talking english with an american. i've had a few short conversations with roger, but i forgot how much i love speaking english. i'm not at a loss for words like i am with chinese since i have an extensive english vocabulary to work from. maybe this weekend i'll see if i can get in touch with american emily in chongqing so we can hang out.