i tried not to let it get to me but still i was a little peeved that XL decided again not to sit next to me on the bus this morning. maybe i'm that special friend she chats with online at night but totally ignores at work and refuses all my dinner invitations. everybody's got a friend like that, right?

i bought 2 fried pancakes for breakfast, RMB$1.50 each, from the buns shop. they seem to be all the rage these days, as coworkers opt to try these pancakes instead of the usual meat buns. i ate them at the office; they're okay, but a bit oily.

short skirts are making a comeback in the office now that the weather had steadily become warmer. the office fashionista seems to be zhangling, who unlike some other girls, never wear the same thing twice. it's one of the things i look forward to when i come to work, to see what she's going to wear the next day.

lihui and i went to go find wangyan for lunch, our special club of misfit coworkers who don't have a normal lunch group to sit with. speaking of fashionistas, wangyan seems to be another one. she turns heads where ever she goes, but my relationship with her is strictly platonic. today i taught her the words "lettuce" and "cabbage."

after lunch i saw a big group of people walking outside, headed by my frenemy guo, with xianglian and mahui tagging along. when i went outside to investigate, they were gone. i assumed they all took a stroll outside the office boundaries, which bothered me to no end. when i suggest the idea to XL on several occasions, she always rebuffs my proposal. but when guo brings it up, everyone's onboard. so i sat outside brooding, playing with my cellphone. that's when i heard XL calling my name from a distance. turns out they never went outside, but took their usual route circling the perimeter of the office building. i followed them for 2 laps before parking myself back outside to pass the 30 minutes remaining of break.

originally XL was supposed to come over to my place and pick up the korean kimchi i made for her and her mother. but she had after work plans and said if she could come a bit later. on the bus she sat next to LXL. i got off the bus early so i could investigate a paulownia tree across the street from the chongbai mall.

i got a good chance to study this paulownia. it was shedding flowers and i picked up a few. it doesn't seem as fragrant as the paulownia back at home, but maybe because it's been pruned so that all the flowers are way up high. the flowers themselves still smell pretty good when held up close. the flowers are slightly different than the paulownia i know. these ones are less velvety, and they don't have a fuzzy brown sepal at the base of the flower (i think that's what it's called). i must've looked like a crazy person, standing out on the street, with buses careening down the road within a few feet behind me.

back at my apartment, i decided to go up to the top floor - the 22nd - and see if i could get any good photos. i'd never been up that high, not sure why until now. i snapped a few photos from the open windows at the ends of hallways. i was ready to go back downstairs when i saw stairs leading up. i decided to investigate. i was surprised and wasn't surprised when i found that the roof was entirely accessible. of course china with its lack of strict safety awareness would allow people to go up on the roof of a high rise apartment building. i snapped a few photos before xianglian called me, saying she was on her way to my place.

it was 8:00, she asked if i ate, which i didn't. she said she ate already, which wasn't a surprise, with whom i didn't ask, but i assumed it was with her roommate and her roommate's boyfriend. it didn't occur to me until later that once again, somebody else invited XL out to dinner and she accepted, but when i ask her, she refused 9 out of 10 times. it makes a boy wonder. anyway, besides the kimchi, she was also here to help me sew a button onto a pair of pants. one thing about XL is she's quite the homemaker. cooking yes, but also other household skills like basic sewing. i've never sewed on a button before, so when i asked her to teach me, she just did it herself. as for the kimchi, i tried a few pieces, they tasted both sour and spicy. i was going to give XL the bigger jar, but she was reluctant to take even both, saying it'd be a hassle to take back to her hometown when she goes on her 10-day vacation tomorrow. finally she took the smaller jar after i told her i spent all this time preparing it for her and her mother.

later in the evening (9:40), while i was ironing some shirts, XL texted me. we talked about old clothes before it got late enough that i had to sign off to work on the blog and go to sleep.