i sat next to zengfei on the bus. we chatted about breakfast, about homemade soy milk (you can basically use any beans, from yellow to green to red to peanuts and corn), and the way i cook back home in the US. i gave a packet of vanilla hazelnut tea as a present, and let her sniff the tea in my tumbler (she was not repulsed, which is a good sign).
the custodian ladies asked me if that girl got in touch with me on QQ yet. i said no. turns out it's not the relative of the lady who first spoke to me, but the other custodian lady, her niece. once again she re-iterated her best quality, which is she has a house. i take that to be a very bad sign. people marry young in china, and attractive single women go off the market quick, at least here in chongqing (it may be different elsewhere, like in shanghai, where the standard of living is higher and women marry later if at all).
zengfei sat down with lihui and me during lunch. but for some reason on the other side of the table sat fengya and guo. i got to the cafeteria early enough that i scored some wontons, but they weren't that good. zengfei was joking with lihui that he never knew they both are from wanzhou.
after lunch i went to the contract department to do some show & tell with mahui and xianglian, but ended up attracting the attention of a bunch of other contract department members. i was showing them all my various id's: american driver license, american passport, taiwan passport, china work visa, and taiwanese residency card. i also showed them some american and taiwanese money which none of them had seen before.
i had another annual ceremony dinner meeting at 3:30, but an hour before it began, mrs.gu called me to the cafeteria. they were having sneak previews of the various talent portions from each construction contract companies. it was sort of like a casting call audition except everyone was in. first there was a synchronized marching dance of the security guard ladies. then one of the ladies did a sensual solo dance accompanied with a flutist playing some chinese bamboo instrument. next were the girls of CC7 doing a "rolly polly" dance. finally 3 contractors performed a poorly choreographed techno dance.
manfred attended the meeting for the first time, which meant everyone had to speak english just so he can understand what we were talking about. we were going over the order of events. yuwei and sarah worked on the speaking parts for the cohosts and later gave me a chinese copy to translate (which i'll do with the help of google).
loren called me from shanghai, asking me how i was doing, telling me to come visit, and sending me a photo of an early thirtysomething shanghai girl he wanted to introduce to me. as for his new job, his daily hours are only a slight improvement over his old hours - 8:30 to 5:30 - but at least he doesn't have to work on saturdays. and he found an apartment within walking distance to his office. shanghai is still far from his home in yangzhou, so he plans on only going home every other week. i may go visit him the weekend after chinese new year. while i was at it, i called yangyi, who's currently in shanghai as well, but leaving for venezuela tomorrow. he'll only be gone for a month, and should be back that weekend i plan on visiting shanghai. i can't wait.
xianglian and i didn't leave the office together but ended up sitting next to each other on the bus going home. she asked if i wanted to eat some mao cai, i said sure. originally we were going to go to a place next to where we live, but for some reason that restaurant was closed, so we ended up walking to the mao cai place lihui and i went last week. it was a longer walk and in a slightly cold and wet evening. we collected a lot of ingredients so i rushed to pay (RMB$54) even though xianglian said she was treating. she managed to talk to the owner and get my money returned so she could pay instead.
turns out xianglian was so eager not to go home because her roommate's sister and her sister's boyfriend were staying in their apartment. so add her roommate's boyfriend, and that's an awful lot of people. worst part: the sister and boyfriend are still until the start of chinese new year, so at least 2 more weeks. i plan on inviting xianglian out to dinner as often as possible within the next 14 days.
not how we arrived at the topic, but xianglian fed me some gossip about jessica, the girl who met us in chongqing looking for a dance outfit. she told me jessica at one point went out with an ugly korean guy in the office but broke up. xianglian was describing him to me but i couldn't figure out who it was. "ugly people have good hearts," i told xianglian.
afterwards she came with me to the chongbai supermarket. i was looking for salad ingredients, but ended up just getting some salted eggs (for my rice porridge) and some canned babaozhou. we bumped into yangxu, who was there with his girlfriend. maybe he was curious why xianglian and i were doing in the supermarket but he played it cool. afterwards we ran into a korean coworker who was there with his wife and newborn baby. xianglian - who is a bit baby crazy - followed them like a stalker, hoping to get a chance to play with the baby.
when i got back home, it was around 8:30. i ironed some shirts then took a shower. i ate some more bing tang oranges.