the temperature gauge on my tablet pc said it was 34 degrees outside this morning. was that even possible? i didn't think it got this cold here. i should get a real thermometer and stick it outside my window so i can get an actual reading, but all the thermometers here are celsius only which i can't read. i didn't make any breakfast, having finished all my sandwich ingredients yesterday (not a day too soon, i was beginning to get sick of sandwiches after 2 weeks straight eating it). it was brisk when i left the apartment, perhaps feeling more so due to a covering of morning fog. i went to the newly-reopened meat bun place (same management, just newly renovated) and got 4 meat buns and a soy milk for a total of RMB$3.

the bus arrived later than usual today and there was already a group of people huddled together waiting. i stood outside until our 7:30 departure time, eating my meat buns, drinking my hot tea, breathing out a constant swirl of white smoke. xianglian sat next to me, chatting briefly with her eyes closed, trying to conserve her energy until we arrived at work. she asked if i was going to chongqing again this sunday (no) and said she'd be able to cook lunch again.

when i went to go take out the soy milk from my bag, it was already leaking. i dumped it in the trash but not before i got soy milk all over my seat. i wiped it off with a wet towel, but it took about 2 hours before my seat was dry enough to sit. in the meantime i just perched on the edge of the seat.

mr.lee seemed to be in some distress this morning. when i asked him if anything was wrong, he mumbled something to the effect of, "this is very bad." i noticed his limp. less than an hour later he disappeared. i asked yuwei, who told me he went to the hospital because his back was acting up again.

this morning i also dropped off my resume to mr.yi, the project manager for the korean half of our consortium. my resume seemed very unqualified for whatever construction-related work he might have in mind for me. it didn't even have the updates of my work here at this office, since in my mind what i'm doing now still doesn't qualify as real work. but who knows, worth a shot.

our morning cohost meeting between our group and the owner's group was cancelled this morning, due to lack of info on a finalized performance roster. the meeting has been moved until after the holidays (western holidays that is).

i talked briefly with liu today, got his contact information so we can meet up again if i'm ever in shanghai.

i may not be going to chongqing this sunday, but i am now incapable of simply staying home on my single day off. sleeping in late? what a total waste of precious time! i want to see if i can go to another ganji. this sunday falls on a 2-5-8 day, and as far as i know, there is only one ganji, in bake (八颗). i will have to ask the drivers again if they know more places. or i could just really take it easy and just explore old changshou, there are still a lot of places there i haven't been to.

without loren around, all the team members from cost control gravitated towards guo during lunch, leaving me without a group to sit with. i did however sit with xianglian and some contract department people. contract department as a whole eat 15 minutes earlier than the cost control department, but i managed to catch some stragglers.

i forgot, but i went to bed very late last night, almost 1:00. i was still able to wake up just fine, but by the afternoon, the lack of sleep was catching up to me as i struggled to stay awake.

after 4+ months of working here, i finally managed to make wangyan my QQ chat friend.

i didn't eat the office dinner tonight, instead deciding to go home and cook some frozen dumplings. by chance i bumped into xianglian, also on her way home. we sat together in front of the bus. i tried to talk her into having dinner with me tonight, but she was determined not to eat anything tonight, just drink some water and go to bed. her lack of appetite is not compatible with my dream of eating at every single changshou restaurant before i go. she showed me photos on her samsung phone, a lot of food snapshots for someone who seems to not eat very much.

walking to the chongbai mall, i noticed a new xinhua bookstore in one of the parallel commercial storefronts. i made a note to come back and check it out. at the mall, i went upstairs to the gym to pay RMB$100 for the "privilege" of switching over my gym card to my name. returning home, i went to the bookstore. this is the first and only bookstore i've seen in changshou. most of the books there were textbooks and study guides, but i did find a map books section. i ended up buying yet another chongqing province map book for RMB$16, this one a lot more detailed than the other two in my collection. i also saw a mao cai restaurant nearby.

finally, i bought half a pound of roasted chestnuts for RMB$10. i was so engaged in eating them that i nearly ate the whole bag before i remembered i still had frozen dumplings to cook. the dumplings themselves aren't anything special, it's the sauce that makes or breaks the meal, a combination of hot pepper sauce, soy sauce, and black vinegar. if i had some garlic or cilantro, it'd be perfect. i ate while watching an old episode of brooklyn 99.

there are no visible changes in day 6 of my sichuan paocai making. the rock sugar have dissolved though, which is a good sign.