here in china, when i'm unhappy, i have a tendency to simply run away. such was the case after work. i asked XL out to dinner and once again i was denied. "i already have dinner plans," she told me in that vague way. when we were waiting for the bus outside the office, i asked her was she was going out with, and she simply said nothing. finally she did reveal it was a departmental dinner, of which i wasn't invited. "trying to have dinner with you is harder than pulling teeth," i told her. she smiled, not realizing what i meant was, "i'm probably not going to ask you out to dinner for a while because i can't take another rejection, and thank you for making it so difficult to hang out with you."

instead of having to endure the company of her department, i made a run for it, hopping onto the korean bus to get back into town. i knew one of my new coworkers was onboard and asked him if he was interested in having dinner. he said nothing, until i realized he can't handle spicy food. to be in chongqing and not be able to eat spicy means you're probably going to starve. i didn't like what i'd become, a desperate man begging coworkers to go out to dinner with him. it shouldn't have to be this hard. i also wanted to ask zengfei who was also onboard (hitching a ride on the wrong bus like me), but she was sitting with some guy, and after she got off she hightailed it out of there, not giving me a chance to track her down. but by that point i already decided what i was going to be doing tonight: instead of dinner, i'd go home and get changed and go running at the track field.

i haven't ran since december, so more than 3 months ago. i brought my mp3 player for music and my cellphone in case i wanted to take some photos. i also had my withing pulse clipped to the waistband of my running shorts. i ran for 10 laps, for a total of 4000m. during that time, i saw a girl get hit in the face with an errant soccer ball, and i nearly tripped over that same ball (i was tempted to kick it out of the stadium). the final few laps were struggles, but i finished nonetheless. during my cool down walk around the track field, i could feel my thigh muscles getting sore already. still, not bad for somebody who's been sitting out of the running game for a few months.

instead of returning home for dinner, i stopped by the 24-hour noodle shop and got a bowl of chicken guts rice noodles for RMB$10. afterwards, a custard pastry from the bakery (RMB$3.5). i came home, showered, did a load of laundry, then ironed some clothes. in between that time i managed to chat with both my father and mother.

XL texted me in the evening sometime around 10:00, which is now our nightly routine. i didn't ask her about dinner, nor was i very much interested since i wasn't invited. when we're alone and chatting i feel sort of close to her, but then when we're at work, she's a completely different person. i wanted to let her know that from now until i leave, every single free hour not spent with her is an hour wasted. i don't think instant messaging is the correct venue for such announcements though. i have just but 87 days left here at work.