i went to bed fairly early last night, around 11:40. if i can go to sleep before midnight that's a major achievement. that gave me about 7 hours of sleep, more than i've had in a night in weeks (including chinese independence week, where i still woke up early to go out). i even woke up early too, disabling the snooze on my cell phone alarm clock so it wouldn't ring while i was indisposed in the bathroom.

i decided to take the big bus again this morning and regretted doing it. i sat next to fengya but we didn't talk. instead she was talking with guo who sat behind us, chatting about what a wonderful dinner they had last night. as soon as the bus started rolling, she put on her earbuds and went to sleep. tomorrow, i'm back on the medium bus for good. when we got to the office i noticed fengya's cute little outfit, short shorts over some patterned tights. i could tell she was a little self-conscious because she kept hiding herself behind her chair when she stood up.

i brought my netbook into the office today so i could manually back up my photos onto my external drive before i left for my vacation. i don't even know how many photos i have, but i think it's around 400gb, which can take a long time transferring via USB2.0 (even though the external hard drive is USB3.0). i like to key an eye on the transfer in case something goes wrong. i can probably do this at home, but normally i need to use my netbook and i don't like running the transfer at night when i'm asleep because i'm afraid something might go wrong.

while talk to my father last night (he was incapacitated at home after pulling his back), i mapped out my basic strategy as to how i'd get myself to western sichuan. saturday night i'd go to chongqing and spend the night there, hanging out with my californian relatives. sunday morning i might hang out with them some more before heading out to the northern train station to buy a fast train ticket to chengdu. the trip should take about 2 hours, in which case i'd stay overnight in chengdu, hoping to buy a bus ticket to danba for monday morning. from chengdu to danba the bus takes a whole day to get there, so i wouldn't be in danba until monday evening. in all it'd take me 2 days just to get to danba.

or i could take a plane.

the plane option wasn't available 7 years ago when i came here last. since then, an airport had been built in kangking. although i wasn't planning on visiting kangking, it is far closer to danba than chengdu. kangding isn't all that bad, a little gentrified for my taste, but still very tibetan. it might be fun to stay there a day or two, but i'm just passing through.

the amazing part is it takes just an hour to fly from chongqing to kangding. it takes an hour by air what it takes me almost 2 days by land. even better, the flight is cheap too, RMB$700, US$117. the only bad thing is there's only one flight per day and it leaves at 8:55 in the morning. that means i won't be able to hang out with my relatives in chongqing on sunday, that i'll leave for the airport by 6:00. i figured we'd meet again, if not in china then back in the US. it's harder for me to rich the heart of sichuan tibetan territory given my 8 vacation days. this also means i will skip chengdu altogether, although i may visit it on my way back if i decide to come home via bus/train instead of flying out again.

it's very easy to order plane tickets over the internet. the two big online airplane ticket sellers are elong.net and ctrip.com. both of them have english versions of their website. i went with elong because i used them to book my ticket from shanghai to chongqing. it's so easy to buy a plane ticket, i'm tempted to take a day trip by plane to some place one of these days (theoretically i could go to shanghai and back in one day, sort of crazy but doable).

i QQ chatted with sun meng again. i saw her today wearing platform heels with pink fleece sweat pants. she's very young (just out of college) so she's still experimenting with fashion, trying to figure out a personal style. we talked about language: while she was in college she studied 4 years of korean, enough to have a conversation but she's never used it in the office despite the numerous korean coworkers. we talked about the types of movies we like and she asked me if i liked singing and said we could sing english songs one of these days. she also asked if i like spicy food and if i enjoy hot pot. i said yes but hard to eat hot pot alone and she said i could invite her (and maybe fengya) next time.

after work i took the bus to the yonghui supermarket stop, to retrieve my 2 altered jackets. the shop - situated in a sliver of store front between a mahjong parlor and a massage place that doesn't look all that legitimate - seemed closed, but when i arrived a woman on the street pointed with her head to get the attention of the storekeeper. he doesn't actually do any tailoring himself, he just manages the store, marks where articles need to be altered with a piece of waxy chalk. i tried out the two jackets, they seemed fine. RMB$10 for the fleece jacket, RMB$15 for the sports jacket. basically US$4 for what would cost me around US$30-40 back at home. i'm getting all my clothes altered now!

halfway walking home i stopped to put on the sports jacket because it was a little chilly.

back at home i tried out the jackets again, this time in front of a mirror. now i'm just hoping it'll get cold soon so i can start wearing them!