saturday. working. enough said. i went to bed a little late again, around midnight. had no problems falling asleep, didn't realize i was that tired. my new morning routine is turning on the heater at 6:30, my nokia cellphone snooze alarm going off again 10 minutes later at 6:40, and finally crawling out of bed by 6:45. that still gives me about 20 minutes of bathroom time, then i spent the remaining minutes getting dressed, making some tea, and possibly some breakfast. i leave the apartment by 7:20. today i wore my white shirt (now a little off-white) that sort of opens up whenever i sit down because the fit is a little off. i plan on retiring this shirt when i can get a few more new ones.

i bought some more meat buns this morning, skipped the soy milk on account of the bad experience i had yesterday. i ate outside the bus, in the 4 minutes of cold weather, waiting for 7:30 to come around. one by one i see people come and climb onboard, nobody wants to wait outside. i noticed a new morning restaurant, in between the 24 hours chongqing wonton and the meat bun shop, called 夜来香 which they translated as "chengdu tuberose". just so happens earlier this week i was listening to "夜来香" by teresa teng (鄧麗君). i'd heard the song before but never knew what it meant until i read the translated lyrics.

saturday. today is about taking it easy. i have sunday off, then another day of work monday before i'm done with working until next year. i'm pretty sure our counterpart on the owner side - many of whom are europeans - will no doubt be taking it easy next week as well.

mr.lee told me he's returning to korea tomorrow for a business meeting and won't be back until christmas day. i'm still not sure if he celebrates christmas, but coming back to work on christmas day seems like the sort of tragic thing only a true workaholic would attempt to do. yuwei is also leaving, destination unknown, taking monday off, returning on tuesday. seems the only person not taking any personal days is herbert. i thought he'd be returning home for christmas like many other filipino coworkers, but during our team building dinner he said he won't be able to leave until march (because he'd already used up his vacation days visiting his wife in the hospital when she was undergoing thyroid cancer treatment).

i love making charts. it's a fairly mindless task and it gives me a chance to exercise my creative muscles. that would be a dream office job, making charts all day. tweaking the font size, picking cell colors, making sure everything matches.

work is actually a great place to work on my blog. those lengthy text posts you've been reading? they were probably written at work, because i don't have time to write them when i get back home with my 4 hours of free time. you'll notice weekend posts are usually very light in text, which is because i'm normally busy on sundays. every night and every weekend i think about retroactively updating my blog, but it's a hard thing to do. i have a mountain of photos i still want to upload, but those will have to wait. maybe i can work on it during my christmas vacation, but probably not. given the choice between doing something and working on the blog, the choice is very clear.

another thing i love doing in the office: crafting e-mails to request manhour numbers and equipment list from various engineering and procurement/contract groups. i'm pretty sure my thoughtfully written e-mails go entirely unnoticed by most of my recipients, where english is not a first language. when they write, it's usually a canned letter, with headings that don't match the person and perky signature greetings that contrast with the e-mails' sometimes-serious content. and the content! it's understandable, but would fail any english writing course. i shouldn't judge though, because they're written english is far better than my written chinese, which is virtually nonexistent. how i write, i usually like to begin with a compliment, then make my request, then end with a heartfelt thank you. and when they write back, i always send them a little personalized thank you e-mail, something about how their contribution is an invaluable part of our work, or how well they responded in a timely manner.

in the late morning something awful was happening in the office: some construction guys were doing demolition work in the ceiling right near where we sit. imagine working next to the sound of jackhammers. why didn't they schedule this work for a day when not everyone wasn't in the office? of course a lot of the koreans were complaining, but the chinese seemed to have a higher threshold for discomfort. the jackhammering continued, anyone who could took an early lunch.

* cost control went out drinking last night

it was quiet after lunch until at exactly 1:00 when the jackhammering started again. i couldn't work after that, pacing around the office and going outside as often as possible.

* lihui came to work around 2:00

*xianglian: when a girl shows me a photo of one of her girlfriends and ask me if i think she's pretty, it's a trap.

* ask PMJ info about fuling city (there are a few places called "chongyi")

* liu's last day and final good byes - 3 filipinos return to the philippines for the holidays

* LH and i going to old city to eat mao cai, taking the small shuttle bus along with a few old changshou coworkers