another busy day, which is a good thing, because it makes the day go by that much faster. still, even after a cup of coffee at 2:00, i was feeling sleepy around 3:00. maybe it has something to do with the fact that i went to bed last night at 1:00. first i was watching a downloaded BBC documentary on the early life of napoleon bonaparte. then i watched a little bit more of the east from bed before finally sleeping. i have no problem sleeping, it takes just a few minutes for me to fall unconscious; the hard part is getting to that point.

lihui gave me a software yesterday that allows me to bypass the chinese firewall from my desktop pc. i was able to log into facebook for the first time since arriving in china.

i uploaded a bunch of photos of my house in cambridge into my QQ zone account so my coworkers could see how i live back in the US. some of them were confused and thought the photos were of my apartment in changshou.

i spent my afternoon trying to lure sun meng into having dinner with me tonight. i told her we'd have a nice evening of lamb soup in the old city, followed by some taiwanese dessert in the nearby mall. i think i heard she has a boyfriend but she never brought it up. then she coyly suggested maybe we should invite some other people. i asked her who. she suggested fy. i asked her if they were fighting, because sun meng used to come around our cubicle area all the time, but i haven't seen her in few a few weeks. she said something that was kind of telling, "sometimes i don't understand her," meaning fy. but she said they're still friends. i told her it'd just be the two of us. the fact that it took her a long time to respond to my text meant she was debating whether to come with me or not. i told her it'd be strictly as coworkers, and we could even keep it a secret to protect her reputation from the gossip mongers. but in the end she declined my offer, said it was too rainy (true) and she didn't want to be outside in bad weather. i wasn't too disappointed, it wasn't really her i wanted to go out with anyway.

but i was already set to go out for dinner, and even told fy. why? because she's actually in charge of the dinner roster, and if i decide not to have dinner, protocol says i have to let her know so she can report it to the kitchen. this presents an awkward situation where i have to let her know i have evening plans. i don't think she cares the way she's been sort of ignoring me (not really ignoring, more like indifferent to my existence), but i was hoping for some sort of reaction, and of course i didn't get any.

later in the afternoon i was trying to think of who else i could ask. the simple fact is i'm sort of picky as to whom i eat i with. i briefly thought about asking xianglian (the girl who complimented my beardless features) but didn't. then once on the first bus leaving the office for home, i asked guo if he wanted to come to dinner with me. i don't think he thought i was serious and got off the bus without mentioning it again.

i took the company bus all the way into the old city. i got off at the 3rd rotary and walked uphill to the place where i saw a lamb soup restaurant. turns out it's lamb soup hot pot, and not very brightly lit and sort of hidden, not a place i wanted to eat. i'm glad sun meng didn't come, this was not what i had in mind.

so continued walking in the direction of the central mall. there i found the taiwanese dessert restaurant. i figured i'd have some dessert first, then return to the new city to find some dinner, probably some dico's chinese fried chicken sandwich. although this place only had dessert, they did have one unusual entree which was a container of spicy sour cellophane noodles (RMB$8). i decided to eat that first, then have dessert later. the noodles were okay, spicy but not that sour.

for dessert, i got a big bowl of shaved ice along with red beans, grass jelly, sweet potato (?!), and doughy nuggets (tapioca?). the cone of shaved ice reminded me of tibetan mountains. it was pretty good, but weird eating that stuff when it's kind of a chilly night. i like the chewy nuggets the best, maybe next time i'll just get nothing but that with the shaved ice. the bowl was big enough to share between 2 people but i ate the whole thing myself. later the owner asked if i was here on vacation. i told him i was in changshou working, and that i'm from taiwan. i don't think he heard me correctly because he didn't say anything, even though this is supposed to be a taiwanese restaurant.

i went to the yonghui supermarket to do some browsing, even though i really wanted to use the bathroom. the lady at the in-store tea shop brewed me a tumbler of special chongqing tea. it was so hot i wasn't able to drink it, but afterwards had a sip which tasted revoltingly bitter. i wanted to see if they sold any salad dressing, which is a big negative. i ended up buying a tin of mentholated gum drops and some spicy instant ginger tea.

i caught a 104 bus back to the new city. i really wanted the 101, which takes me to my front door, instead of the 104, which takes me to the other side of the mall so i have to cut through to get home.