i went to go wait for the shuttle at my usual time, 7:30. it was lightly drizzling, but i pulled up my hoodie and ignored the fact that i was getting damp. my days of seeing fy in the morning are over, unless i walk the 15 minutes distance to the other side of town to catch the other shuttle bus where she lives. i figured guo would abandon this stop once fy moved closer to where he has his apartment, but was happily surprised to see him shuffling up to the big bus minutes before departure. there was no reason i couldn't take the big bus anymore but i opted for the medium bus when it arrived. at the next stop wang came onboard, that guy who's been to western sichuan a bunch of times. i sat with him at the back and showed him the photos i loaded on my tablet pc. we were the only 2 talking for the entire 30 minute ride to the office. turns out he's never been to ganzi before, just way too far and not enough tourist attractions to make it worthwhile for the casual vacationer. in other words, the perfect place for me.

"see, you look much better today without your beard," xianglian said to me. i didn't get the chance to tell her that the beard is my default look. i shaved last night, the novelty of the beard wearing off. "you should grow it out for 2 weeks," fy said to me as we were walking to the cafeteria for lunch.

after lunch i realized there was a red sox game today and i'd missed it. fortunately the outcome was good, the red sox now lead the cardinals 3-2 and need just one more win to be world series champions. i must not miss game 6! which is thursday morning china time, but wednesday night back in boston.

i met a salesman from beijing while taking the shuttle bus from kangding to the airport, who also ended up sitting next to me on the plane back to chongqing. friendly enough guy, but i didn't like his politics. he was in litang on business, and told me the scenery wasn't all that great and he thought tibetans were violent and lawless. i couldn't disagree with him more. he saw all the photos i took from the window of the plane and asked me if i could send some to him. i said i would, and a promise is a promise, so last night i picked a few of the worst ones (ones with the plane wing) and e-mail them to him. this morning i got a reply. not even a thank you but just a rude request for more photos. that e-mail was followed by another one 2 hours later asking for more photos. that is one person who will not be getting anything more from me.

after work i met loren for a walk. maybe not my first choice for a nocturnal strolling companion, but anything to get out of the house. he lives even farther away than fy, and i waited for him on the street corner where he lives. i was already so hot when i arrived, i stripped down to a t-shirt. i got a chance to wander around his neighbor, which has a few unique restaurants, including apparently one that serves dog meat. i will not be eating at that restaurant, dog meat is where i draw the line.

there was some miscommunication and loren ended up waiting for me at another intersection (not a cross intersection but a t-intersection) a few minutes away. we ended up walking around the gymnasium twice (the track field was closed due to rain earlier, but it wasn't raining at that point). i asked him about the apparent fight he had with our boss mr.lee while i was gone, since there was an e-mail trail of heated arguments. i basically listened to him talk the whole time, which is one of the services i offer as a friend. it's the same service i'm hoping to offer fy, who earlier texted me a message saying she was being worked to death and i told her she could always vent out her frustration with me, because apparently i'm a pretty good listener.

i got back home around 8:00. after a shower, i did a small load of laundry, including the white shirt i wore today. after the wash had finished, i actually ironed all my shirts while they were still damp.

i got in touch with my parents. my father tried to turn on the heat in my house yesterday but wasn't able to. i told him about the hidden catchsafe button by the furnace lid that has to be triggered before the furnace will ignite. he went back to the house this morning and was able to successfully heat up my place (50°F though, just warm enough to keep the pipes from bursting). at a later date he might turn off my hot water heater and maybe unplug my fridge. even without anyone living at my place, i still pay about $10/month for gas and $12/month for electricity.