ah, nothing like taking some drugs before going to work. the combination of allergy and cold meant i need a little help to control the symptoms. so i took a tablet of that super powerful cold medicine. it takes an hour for the effects to kick in. by the time i arrived at work i was in a state of pharmaceutically-induced consciousness. after 2 hours, everything felt all at once serene and buzzing at the same time. i was also drinking plenty of hot tea, replenishing the fluids i lost through my still runny nose. oh, and my cough seems worse, not a dry cough like before, but a thick cough ripe with disease. i can tell i'm dehydrated because even after 2 tall servings of tea, i don't need to go to the bathroom.

it is tuesday but it feels like a monday because it's the first day back at work after the 7 day national holiday. some people are still on vacation, while others had been working a few days during the holiday. there's some weird construction rule that says each department has to have somebody on duty. i actually sort of wanted to do this because it meant having my national week long holiday moved to a different week, with a lot less people. but i'm still a newbie and it'd be pointless for me to be manning the helm.

the drug didn't seem to do anything for my runny nose nor my cough, which was the whole reason why i took it in the first place. maybe if i didn't make the medicine, things would've been worse.

i picked up the package that arrived for me last wednesday but i wasn't able to pick it up because i was enroute to luxian. fortunately it wasn't anything fragile, because the cardboard box was all crushed on one side. this was my 3 month supply of losartan (new high blood pressure medication), "smuggled" in from boston by my cousin's wife when they were attending their daughter's wedding in new hampshire, then shipped from shenyang when she got back last week.

after lunch, i sorted through the remaining photos (i bought my netbook), picked out 771 best photos out of 6500 to share with my travel companions. one by one they passed around the usb thumb drive. 700+ is a better quantity than the 6000+ i gave them from our trip to chishui. they will probably never look through that entire stack.

guo sent everyone a cost breakdown of our trip. i told him earlier that whenever i paid for food that he should consider as my treat and not split the cost. he chose not to listen, and once again, somehow i'm owed money instead of having to pay anything. i don't understand the math, and when i told them i wouldn't accept the money, guo said i could treat next time. with my american-level salary, i could've funded the whole expedition (RMB$3900, about US$639, with includes transportation for 4-5 people, hotels, food, admission tickets) and i still would've been fine with it.

by the end of the day, my total drink intake was: 4x 15 oz. insulated tumblers of tea (3x black tea & 1x jasmine), 2x cups of instant coffee (i was already pretty amped up from the drug, add the coffee, and i was looking over a cliff), 1x cup of instant milk green tea, 1 bottle of water, and 1x lunchtime yogurt drink. i was finally back on my normal bathroom schedule, which is less than every hour.

i play these little games to test to see if fengya is interested in me or not. it's pretty immature, total junior high school level antics, but i never really evolved beyond those techniques, to be quite honest. at this point i'm kind of okay either way, especially after i confessed everything to guo that night we were in yibin. he said he'd talk to her, get the inside scoop, but he said she likes me. that's nice to hear, but my gut says no. like for instance, on the bus back into town after work, i sat down first, to see where fengya would sit, and she sat in the seat behind me. i took that as a bad sign and was in a crummy mood afterwards, pretty much running off the bus and not looking back and tearing off my shirt on my way back to my apartment.

slightly depressed, i was determined to destroy the track field with my awesome running. like before, i took a shower before i went out. not really for running purposes, just i felt too gross having spent a whole day at work, i needed to cleanse myself, even though it meant i'd need to take another shower as soon as i got back from running.

i left the apartment by 7:00, arrived at the track field by 7:10, finished my 4000m run by 7:40. i kept looking to see if i recognized anyone from work (especially one in particular) but saw no one. that just made me feel more determined to run fast and run hard. however, by the time i was done, i saw guo walking, listening to music on his cellphone. i ended up walking a lap with him. we were just talking about who else we might see at the track field, and mentioned zhouke (zk) because she was saying how fat she looks in all the photos i took of her. sure enough, we saw her and her boyfriend arriving. we ended up walking probably close to 8 more laps, and i even ran a lap and a half when guo went to go use the bathroom and i jogged to catch up with zk. her boyfriend was going at full speed, leaving her far behind, which i thought was kind of a dickish thing to do, but she didn't seem to mind, that's their system. he ended up going 6 laps before stopping to a walk.

zk and her boyfriend stayed behind to walk/run a few more laps. guo and i left by 8:35 and headed to the yonghui supermarket, the largest one in new changshou. we were afraid they'd be closed by 9:00 but they don't close until 10:00. guo was buying a bunch of ingredients for making breakfast and dinner (he doesn't eat the office dinner), i bought a toothbrush, some eggs, and some yogurt drinks. since it's close to where our korean coworkers live, i saw the head of civil engineering at the checkout line. coming out, we ran into some of the younger koreans, wearing stylish civilian clothes like maybe they were coming back from having gone out.

back at the apartment, a woman got into the elevator with me and didn't press any buttons. i thought that was weird, but figured maybe she was an 11th floor neighbor. turns out, she waited for me to leave the elevator before pressing her floor. huh! not like i'm some psycho or something, i was carrying a handful of groceries. if i ever see her again i'll play her game and press the topmost floor, see what she does.

i did a load of laundry, but don't have enough plastic hangers for all my clothes, so i was draping them over chairs and washing machine lid and anything i could sort of hang something from. note to self: buy more hangers! another additional 6-8 should do it.