in the office today, fengya told me via instant messaging that she's thinking about quitting after her contract expires at the end of the year. despite the higher than usual salary, with the long hours there's actually a pretty high turnover rate at the company. in some departments, the lead managers have changed more than 3 times since the start of the project. if only they didn't make us work on saturdays! that's my biggest complaint. i think it's to follow the construction schedule, which never stops. those workers work day and night, through weekends and holidays. if i think i have it bad, those guys have it even worse.
i was determined to go running after work. in a perfect world, fengya would be there as well by herself, and in a moment of perfect timing, i make my confession, which i've already rehearsed a few times in my head.
i paid a visit to the office clinic in the afternoon, after loren made a comment about the severity of my coughing. i actually think i'm getting better, but if people are talking, then it's best to get some professional help. the "doctor" was just a bored looking guy in a lab coat sitting behind a desk. i didn't need an appointment, the room was empty, i sat down in a nearby seat. i told the "doctor" my problem, said i've had this persistent cough for over a month now. "oh, you should go to a hospital then," he told me. but he went to his medicine cabinet and brought out a cough drink for me to try.
back at my desk i tried the cough medicine. it's not a syrup, more like a dark liquid solution that tastes like a sugary combination of chinese medicinal herbs. it actually didn't taste all that bad, and chinese medicine can taste bad. i don't believe in chinese medicine, but figured i'd give it a shot. i didn't notice any improvement. i felt better after hiding in a bathroom stall and clearing out my sinuses by violently blowing my nose.
after eating the office dinner i got a ride back into town on the 2nd bus. i sat next to that kid from chengdu who's visited western sichuan a bunch of times. he showed me photos of the traffic jams in kangding. he was surprised by how many places in western sichuan and yunnan i'd already visited. dali. litang. xishuangbanna. he was going to hainan island during his vacation week, which happened to coincide with mine. "you should come with me!" he said. he also suggested i join an online travel group of folks already going to the danba/ganzi area. it'd save time, because they would drive themselves instead of taking a bus. i told him the bus was slower but more independent. he asked me what i do for fun after work. i told him i like to go running. "you should come run with us at the gym!" apparently some coworkers managed to buy into some cheap memberships by finding a deal online of people trying to dump their preexisting memberships. they paid RMB$400 for 6 months.
i showered and changed back in the apartment before leaving for the track field around 7:00. i wasn't sure who i would see there, didn't hear anything from anyone, even though i casually mentioned to fengya i was going running today. i got about 5 laps before i spotted fengya running by herself. she was holding her glasses in her hands, i waved a few times before she recognized me as i continued running. i ran for 3 more laps before i stopped, feeling a slightly cramping on my left torso. i walked one lap looking for but didn't see her before i spotted her when i walked in the opposite direction.
we walked a lap together. we were both recovering from our run, still slightly out of breath. it didn't seem like the right time to make my confession. i was hoping for another lap, but fengya said she had to get back home to wash her hair. so we walked back to our apartments. she said an office coworker was leaving the company this weekend to get married in shanghai and there would probably be some sort of farewell dinner tomorrow night. that let me steer the conversation towards the topic of marriage and relationships. i almost had it, but couldn't find the right opening to pop the question, and by then we'd already arrived at our destination. i said good night and went to the chongbai supermarket to get some cough drops and boxed drinks.
later fengya QQ chatted me about whether or not i paid for the last lunch back when we were in luzhou. seemingly out of the blue, she seemed concerned that my other travel companions might be taking advantage of my generosity. she still seems kind of angry that other people didn't pick up the slack when it came to paying.