what a terrible thing it is, not having any work to do at the office. it's like staring into the abyss and seeing nothing but 10 hours of boredom. there is only so much pretend work to go around before not even pretending can fill the void. salvation comes this weekend, when we have a rare saturday off. it's qing ming jie, a 3 holiday intended for people to go home and clean the family tomb. nowadays most people spend it going on a mini vacation. but for us, instead of 3 days off (as regulated by the chinese government), we are only getting one day. and it's not even really a day off, as we still have to work on sunday, so it's more of a weekend day switch. and we're probably only getting saturday off because there won't be any electricity in the office on that day, so it's not really a kindness at all. i'm still on the fence about whether or not i'm coming in on sunday. my boss won't be here, so it's the perfect opportunity for another skip day.

i received an e-mail this morning with the subject "change and claim team planned demobilization plan." in it were a list of names and when each of us would be demobilized, which is companyspeak for getting laid off. june 30th seems to be the last day for everyone except herbert, whom the company will keep until the end of august. the news of our impending demobilization left with me mixed emotions. at first i was kind of shocked, because in the back of my mind i didn't think they'd let me go until august, when my contract officially expired, and even then, maybe they might give me an extension. it sort of makes sense though, because the contractual deadline for the project is the end of may, but realistically the work won't be finished until months later and that's being generous. then i felt kind of relieved, that finally i'd be able to go home (although the decision to leave was always my own to make at any point in time). then i felt sad, that my little adventure here in china now had an expiration date. i won't miss the long hours and the lack of free time, but i will miss the people and the place and the food. if there was only some way to bring all of that back with me to boston! i'm quite the sentimentalist, and even in places where i've just spent a few hours, i feel a special connection to it. so this here changshou, and to a greater extent chongqing and the surrounding areas, having spent so much time here, it really does feel like home in a weird way. i'm sort of startled by how easily i can adapt to the chinese lifestyle. granted, the long hours still suck, and the crowds, and the filth, but there are also many nice things about china.

* tmall 招 财猫 太阳能
* trying to invite XL to dinner, first said she had dinner plans, but when those plans fell through, said she didn't want to go out tonight
* babao sweet rice porridge with boiled smoked sausages (sausages getting moldy, had to cook them)
* skyping with my mother and 3 aunts and grandmother all in taipei