just from my 2 days 1 night in shizhu i took over 4000 photos. combined with the thousands of photos i took from wanzhou and chongqing, it's going to take some time to sort through them all and find some choice photos to upload. today i returned to work. not sure what's the point since most people are still on their chinese new year vacation and won't be back until sometime next week. the day was uneventful and went by surprisingly quick. after work i went to get some groceries and had rice porridge for dinner.

i was afraid i'd forgotten how, but i got up for work with my familiar morning routine, with the new startup time relegated to 6:50 now. earlier at 6:30 i'd turned on the heat setting on the AC, so the room was toasty when i got out of bed. i also boiled a pot of water before using the bathroom. there was a very light drizzle this morning as i left the apartment, catching the elevator with zhangkai, who also came back from his vacation (late last night). even though he's from nanjing, he returned from shenyang, having vacationed in china's northeast, visiting places such as harbin (a favorite chinese wintertime destination for ice scupltures).

i wasn't prepared for how few people were returning to work this early. there were only a handful of coworkers waiting at the bus stop. from overheard conversations, most people returned as late as possible, arriving at the airport last night. arriving at the office, the korean and filipino coworkers were already waiting for us. unlike the employees of the chinese half of the company who had at least a week off (most people had more, combining their scheduled 2-3 months vacation days as well), workers on the korean side only had 4 days (at least for the non-chinese employees). with so few people at work, the office was quiet. there was also a laid back feeling, since with people still missing, not much real work could be done, so everyone (excluding the construction supervisiors who are always busy) just pretended to be busy.

a stack of binders covered my desk area. they belonged to loren at some point, disappeared, and now resurfaced again, a present for me. i moved them all off to the side. my second surprise was the internet wasn't working, and i couldn't even access the local servers. lihui the IT guy wasn't here (i wasn't particularly surprised, but maybe a little annoyed) so i had to fix the problem myself. i checked the ethernet cable and even replugged it a few times but i was still offline. finally i was prepared to snake the cable to another empty cubicle to see if i could borrow that internet connection, but replugging the cable in one last time to test suddenly made everything work.

there was nobody in the contract department (the department i've been trying to affiliate myself with now that i'm the only person left in change & claim) except for one person: little ZK. we chatted a little bit before, she loves to travel as well, having been to western sichuan, italy, dubai and africa (twice to the subcontinent). she told me before but i forgot, but she's from yongchuan (between chongqing and luzhou). she said people might show up in the afternoon so they could at least count today as a full work day. she informed me that XL might come back on monday, but having spoken with XL before she left, i'm pretty sure she's not coming back until later next week (after my birthday, naturally). it was kind of weird that she brought up XL though, or maybe i've been too obvious with my attention. later i sent little ZK an e-mail asking her to be qq buddies with me so she could check out some recent travel photos i've uploaded to my QQ zone.

* lunch time splatter
* sitting with manfred
* getting into the work groove, day going by faster than expected
* chat with grace about hot pot (she had the day off)
* sorting through photos during lunch break
* deciding whether to eat gan guo hot pot tonight
* qq zone music (huge library, is this legal?)