after a night of heated blow drying courtesy of my multi-functional air conditioning unit, my black leather converse (elevated to the proper height using 2 tall plastic stools) were dry enough to wear. maybe not 100% dry, but 90% is just as good. the scary thing is i noticed last night there was some fuzzy white mold growing around the edges, which i wiped off, but it just goes to show you how pervasive the mold situation here is. the hot air did make the room feel stuffy, and i was afraid it'd suffocate me in the middle of the night because i was having difficulty breathing. i was very happy to wake up this morning, alive.

i had enough of hard-boiled eggs for breakfast and decided to get some pastries from the bakery downstairs. when i got there though, the shelves were already empty. i guess the secret is to buy the night before if you want pastries for breakfast. no problem, there was still the buns place across the street. so imagine my surprise when the place was closed. that place is never closed, even on weekend mornings, they're always churning out buns. closed for good or just a vacation? who knows, but the ramification is pretty extensive, since a lot of people get their breakfast here.

as for the busing situation, zengfei has been taking the big bus recently because the medium bus arrives so late nowadays. this throws a kink in my plan of "accidentally" sitting next to her on the medium bus and getting to know each other. but i still continue to take the medium bus, just because there's less people and gets me to the office faster.

yuwei was once again absent (she better have a doctor's note, because 3 days off when the boss is away on vacation is just too suspicious), but loren as well. he did call me an hour later, said he was still under the weather and wasn't going to come in, which i already guessed when he wasn't here. so the department is once more missing 60% of the staff. i'm the only person who hasn't taken a day off since mr.lee went on vacation on friday. but my day is coming, saturday is still my tentative mental health skip work day.

texting with sunmeng, i discovered her parents' have shared birthdays today: her mother turns 46, her father 50. it makes me feel super weird that i am just 7 years younger than her mother. i probably have more in common with sunmeng's mom than i do with her. i told her how i've drying my shoes the past few days, and she said i could use the spin cycle on my washing machine to dry my shoes. i told her even if this was possible, i couldn't read the chinese instructions anyway. "invite me over to help you," she casually requested. so i did, tentatively scheduled for this sunday.

sunmeng asked me if i was happy today. it took me a while to answer. "i'm okay, neither happy or sad," i told her. she then told me she was sad. reason? her korean boyfriend recently told her that even if they were to get married, due to the demand of his construction job he might be away for long periods of time, and during those periods he may have other girlfriends, and asked her to understand. this was enough reason for her to want to break up with him.

this puts a new light on our sunday washing machine appointment. i'm actually kind of scared, knowing what i know now about her current availibility status. it's one thing to be joking about it in the office, it's another thing for her to be in my apartment on the cusp of breaking up with her wannabe-cheating boyfriend. my sunday just got a little more interesting.

nobody commented on my new hairdo, which means 1) it's not as bad as i thought and people just don't notice, or 2) they do notice but don't care. the only who noticed was sunmeng, whom i met outside the office entrance for a cold and drizzly morning break. she herself got a new perm, just the ends, and will probably need to get her hair colored as well at some future date since her roots are showing.

without loren or fengya to remind me it's lunchtime, i ended up at the very back of the line. but without loren here, i could sit where ever i wanted, and when i saw wangyan sitting alone, i grabbed the chance to eat with her and chat. she told me about these apples she bought in jiuzhaigou that were green with red flecks and the best tasting apples she'd ever had. i asked her about the whereabouts her friend yuwei. she told me she wouldn't be back in the office until thursday. thursday? she's been absent from the office since saturday. i knew wangyan where she was, and went ahead and asked, before i realized she wasn't going to tell me anyway, and i probably didn't want to know.

zhang anshun came to ask me where loren was. apparently the company boss needs a document which yuwei has, but since she won't be here until thursday, she passed the responsibility to loren, who isn't here today either. our department is a real dysfunctional mess when the boss isn't here.

in the afternoon i texted sunmeng again. she told me she went to yanjia during lunch. i didn't ask her why, but later she told me: it was to meet her boyfriend. he was still trying to convince her that it was perfectly okay for him to see other women, and even called her immature for not agreeing to his arrangement. i asked sunmeng what her friends say when she told them, and they all said the same thing, that she needs a new boyfriend.

i ended up eating the office dinner. not because it's anything delicious, but because it'd save me time so i wouldn't have to look for food myself when i got back into town. once in changshou, i went to the chongbai department store to check out prices on replacement bedsheets. a package set that includes bedsheet, duvet cover, and 2 pillowcases go for about RMB$230-270 for the least expensive selections. i then went to the supermarket to look for the same thing, which surprisingly were actually more expensive, although i could get just a new bedsheet for around RMB$150. maybe tomorrow if it isn't raining i may try to go into old changshou and see what they have there.

i was prepared for a lovely evening of laundering when the washing machine started to leak torrents of water during the final few minutes of wash. the hose that connects the faucet to the washing machine is loose. i may be able to fix it if i had a screwdriver, which i'll buy tomorrow night.