by my own personal work calendar, i was supposed to have today (sunday) off. all the chinese workers on the korean half of the company were getting 3 days off, which is officially the number of government-sanctioned off days for the qingming holiday. the irony is everyone on the chinese half of the company only get one day off, and it's not a real day off either because they basically switched saturday and sunday. but i decided to come to work anyway, because 1) the weather was gross (rain and fog) and 2) i'd get a chance to hang out with XL.
all that changed, starting on the bus. i got onboard first so i can find a pair of free seats. when XL arrived, she went to go sit with her married bus boyfriend instead of me, even though she saw me. it annoyed me at first, but in the 25 minutes it takes us to arrive at the office, it sort of festered into something that put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. when two people like each other they usually want to spend time with one another. that's kind of the definition of mutual attraction. sometimes i feel this from XL, but there are other times when i don't feel it at all. relationships shouldn't be this hard, so it really makes me question what's going on. if she doesn't like me in the same way i like her, i'd like to know. with my days here in china numbered, i don't like to waste precious time.
how i manifest my anger is by not logging into QQ and avoiding talking to anyone. in my deluded mind i imagine people getting worried about where i am and desperately asking coworkers if they'd seen be. the truth is probably nobody really cares or even notices. if anyone is hurt it's probably me, because the work day can get even more boring without some instant messaging to punctuate the boredom.
mr.lee was surprised i came to work today. "why you are not on vacation?" he asked me in his thickly korean-accented english. he thought all chinese were on 3-day holiday. i told him the chinese half of the company were only given one day off. he said maybe for construction managers, but for white collar office workers like me, there's no point in coming in. as for why he's here, he told me it's korean company policy to always have some management people on staff every day, regardless of holiday, and it was simply his turn this week. he didn't seem resentful, and maybe it's probably due to korean workaholicism. what he said to me gave me the impetus i needed to maybe not come into work tomorrow.
i was tempted to skip lunch, and instead just eat ramen by my desk, as another display of displeasure. i went to the cafeteria to check what was on the menu today and decided to eat the office meal after all. lihui sat with the contract department so i had no choice but to sit across from XL, whom i've been purposefully avoiding all day. i didn't talk to her, and in fact, i kept my gaze in the opposite direction. the food wasn't very good, either too salty or too oily, so i just picked at it. XL ate noodles and took off her glasses. it's a terrible thing to say, but she looks very unattractive without glasses, her face seemingly to appear larger, her eyes tinier. noticing that little detail actually made me feel better, like maybe i should trying finding someone who's a little prettier (once again, a terrible thing to think, but my mind tends to dwell in dark places). i finally broke my silent treatment and asked XL when she was going on her vacation (4/10).
after lunch, i caught LXL and XL on their post-lunch stroll around our office building and walked with them. i told XL i was going to make her mother some kimchi (after she said she likes the korean fermented cabbage) but i didn't know how to make it not spicy and salty, since i know her mother eats on the light side. XL said kimchi isn't spicy, at least not compared to chongqing spiciness. she said i could still make it, and even if her mother won't eat it, she herself will. the interesting thing was she didn't tell me it was a waste of time (like she normally does with most things i do), so that means she thinks it's a good idea as well (to get in her mother's good graces), even if she won't tell me directly.
back at the office i rejoined the land of the living by finally logging into QQ. soon afterwards i received a call from the courier saying my package had arrived. he already called this morning verifying i'd be in the office on a sunday. it was my re-ordered shirt in a slightly larger size. later i tried it on to see how it fits; fits well, i just need to take it to the tailor after work to shorten the sleeves.
* late afternoon outdoor chat with the contract department; i joke that i'm going to changshou lake with XL's mother tomorrow, XL thinks i'm actually serious
* koreans leaving at 5:00; a rare time when they actually leave before the chinese employees. after they leave i shut off my computer, no point in working
* before mr.lee left i asked for the day off tomorrow
* getting on the bus with XL; she sits next to LXL; i asked her if she has any empty jars, she tells me not to bother making kimchi, i get off the bus and take the medium bus instead
* after work visit the tailor then visit 3 different supermarkets to collect kimchi making ingredients; missing shrimp paste, improvising with some live clams.
* making late night kimchi: 4 tablespoons of table salt, added to chopped napa cabbage and daikon radish
* no late night chat with XL but sunmeng texted me letting me know she got a job as a tour guide at ancient changshou; sarah also texted me randomly asking what i'm doing.
* using dongle