yangfan was wandering around our cubicle area in the late afternoon. she found a piece of dove dark chocolate on WWY's desk and was about to leave with it before WWY caught her in the act. "do you want some chocolate?" i asked her before she was about to leave, disappointed. i showed her my cache of dove chocolates inside a round cookie tin. i gave each of them a handful of chocolates, both leaving happily. later WWY wrote on her QQ zone that american dove chocolates are better than chinese dove chocolates.
i sat next to WWY on the medium bus going home. she peppered me with questions about what it's like to live in america. since i was getting off at the same stop she was, she asked me where i was going. i was a bit evasive, and she said, "oh, are you meeting your girlfriend? i haven't seen her in a while." i never did answer. i was meeting someone but it wasn't who she thought.
i went to the top floor of chongbai mall to the movie theatre and called sunmeng. she asked me where i was, i told her i was already at the movie theatre. she seemed confused. i told her i was upstairs, by the peking duck restaurant and the sushi shop. she seemed to understand and a few minutes later i saw her. waiting inside one of the restaurant was one of my coworkers. i'm not sure if he saw us, and if he did, whether he was confused to see sunmeng again, who left the company back in december.
i soon realized i made a terrible mistake. i just assumed when sunmeng said she wanted to go see a movie she meant the movie theatre on the top floor of the chongbai mall. but apparently there are 2 other movie theatres in the old city, and that was the one she meant. so i made her come all the way out to the new city for nothing. the movie we wantd to watch - captain america 2 - was playing here as well, but the only showing was 9:50.
we decided to grab dinner first and see what happened from there. originally we were going to go eat at the sushi restaurant, but it seemed a little empty on a friday evening, and most of the good stuff was probably already sold or gone bad. there was the peking duck restaurant, but that seemed a little fancy. sunmeng recommended the new steakhouse at the soon-to-be mall across the street from chongbai. so we went there.
the first thing i noticed at this steakhouse was the salad bar. there was probably only 8 things to choose from at the most, but i'd never seen a salad bar in all of chongqing. i may come here and try the salad one of these days (it comes free with certain entrees, or RMB$25 separately). we got a fairly private table at the back of the restaurant with a window view of the outside but soon realized it was hotter and stuffier back here (the waitress had already warned us) so we moved out closer to the front of the restaurant where there was air conditioning.
we ended up ordering some fried calamari as an appetizer, a 9" thai pizza (medium size, the largest is 12", the smallest 7.5"), and a shared tall pitcher of cold lemonade. it took a while for the food to arrive, which made sunmeng complain to the waitresses, but before i warned her about angering the waitstaff (anything could happen to our food in the kitchen). the portion for the calamari were tiny, as well as the size of the pizza. sunmeng kept talking so much that she hardly ate. we exchanged office gossip, everything from romeo's slew of illegitimate children, to sunmeng dating one of the koreans in the office and going out to dinner with many of the korean managers. she also told me how each one of them took turns trying to woo her back to the project after she left.
the bill came out to be about RMB$95. a little pricey given the lackluster food quality. the calamaris were okay but just not enough. the thai pizza tasted like hawaiian pizza, and the tomato sauce was probably similar to ketchup because it tasted too sweet.
it was only 8:00. originally i was just going to call it a night, told sunmeng we could catch the movie tomorrow night in the old city. but she said captain america 2 doesn't start until 8:30 back in the old city, so we had time to make it. in hindsight we should've just hailed a taxi, but sunmeng followed me lead when i whipped out my changshou bus pass. it took us 20 minutes to get to xiexin plaza, and some more minutes to actually get to the theatre on the top floor of the mall. the theatre was a lot more impressive than i'd imagined, reminded me of the kendall landmark theatre, but with more spacious ceiling space. i was going to treat but sunmeng rushed to pay before i could get out my money. each ticket was just RMB$25, not bad for a 3D movie. they gave us glasses before we went inside, heavy industrial-looking rubberized ones with a security dongle to prevent people from stealing them.
the screening room was larger than the largest screening room i can remember back home in the US. but like at home, the start of the movie featured a stream of trailers. there weren't that many people watching captain america 2 on a friday night, only because this movie had already been playing in china for a few weeks, so it was new anymore, relegated to their secondary screening room. sunmeng had bought snacks while she was waiting for me at the mall earlier and handed them out to me. if we came just a bit earlier, i would've bought some popcorn, the classic movie theatre snack.
captain america 2 thankfully was not dubbed in chinese but retained its original english, with only chinese subtitles at the bottom. the only time i had problems was the few pieces of french and russian dialogue, since i couldn't read the chinese translation. the movie itself was okay, typical comic book action hero film, i tried not to think too hard about it in order to enjoy myself.
the movie finished by 10:30. we made our exit out of the theatre. the mall was already closed by then so we had to use the back stairs which presented some problems because there was no lighting as we descended (i used my cellphone screen from illumination). out on the street we hailed a cab. sunmeng got out first, to her house in the old city. i continued to the new city. not sure why, maybe there was some taxi cab shenanigans, but after the initial RMB$5.60 fare, the meter quickly jumped to RMB$9.30. i didn't care, i was tired and i wanted to get home, glad it wasn't raining even though it looked like it would with all the strong winds.