XL gave me some rash cream to use on my hands after i showed her the extent of my dermatitis yesterday on our way home. i thought it was going to be some chinese medicine cream but it turned out to be betamethasone dipropionate, which is what i have at home (but in an ointment form). i returned it to her but she told me to keep it, since she got it from the office clinic anyway and could always get more.

there was a meeting held by the construction managers and all key members of the contract and cost control departments were invited to come. i was asked as well, as the only representative of the claim deparment for the chinese half of the consortium. i showed up about 20 minutes late because 1) the e-mail invitation was written entirely in chinese so it took me a while to realize what it was, and 2) the e-mail didn't say where the meeting was going to be held. midway through the meeting i was asked to explain what kind of evidence the construction management department needed to provide me in order to make a claim. i didn't have anything prepared so i improvised. even though it was a little scary, i felt relaxed and just winged it. hopefully i didn't sound like a complete idiot.

i sat with wangyan during lunch. i taught her the word for "carrot" and for "bean sprouts."

i knew xianglian and the rest of her contract department were going out to dinner again. with whom i didn't know, but i knew i wasn't invited. i was determined to turn a bad situation into something good and planned on going to old changshou to take some photos and get some dinner. however, around the time everyone was leaving the office for home, xianglian came up behind me, rattled my chair, and asked if i wanted to join them for dinner. i hid my excitement but this was what i was hoping would happen.

turns out the new guy in their department was treating them to dinner. we went to the ganguo restaurant near my apartment, the same one we went to a week and a half ago. it was the new guy, mahui, LXL, XL, and myself. i would see everyone again tomorrow for dinner, when i plan on treating at the restaurant next door (i made a reservation this afternoon).

after dinner everyone went one way while XL and i went the other. mahui told me to walk XL home, which i was doing anyway, my excuse being i had to go to the supermarket to get a few things. it was still early - 8:15 - i asked XL if she wanted to shop for pants, but she was all set. seemingly ready to go home, she changed her mind at the last minute and decided to go with me to the supermarket to work off her food. we passed by block of dancing ladies at the plaza. xianglian handed me her purse and trenchcoat and jumped into the fray. her silhouette in the dark, prancing in her new shoes, was probably the prettiest one out there. she danced for 2 songs then we continued on our way to the supermarket.

i bought some ricola and some gum before we returned to our respective apartments.

back at home i did some laundry. i spoke with my father in cambridge, then my mother in taipei. i saw my 2nd aunt and my big aunt as well.