mary dropped some big new this morning when i woke up at 10am: she's going back to china. only temporarily, to deal with some business, but no additional details. when i asked her if it was personal or professional, she smiled and said both. when would she be leaving then? tomorrow morning 9am, her ticket already purchased.

originally she thought the condition of her visa (which is directly related to her harvard program) was that she couldn't leave the country, but apparently she heard about somebody else doing it as well, so she knew it was possible, although she wanted to talk to the school administrators to find out for sure, to see how long she can be gone. she also asked me about the rent, but being the nice guy that i am, i told her not to worry about it, just pay me when she gets back. but something didn't sit right, and i kept asking her if she knew when she'd be back, but she couldn't tell me. is it a few weeks? or a few months? she wouldn't give me any details, although she did say that if she was gone a few months, then there wouldn't be any point of returning.

it somehow doesn't surprise me that she decided to go home at a moment's notice. the amount of drama she created just living at my place for less than a month, certainly in her own private life back home she'd have more of it. besides, she already decided she wasn't going to classes the rest of the month, so what does it matter if she's here not taking classes or in china not taking classes? what bothers me though is how she won't divulge any details as to the reason why she's leaving all of a sudden. it's seems sort of rude, downright antisocial. that shouldn't surprise me either (given i don't even know her real name), and a part of my really just doesn't care at this point, but still, out of courtesy, out of basic human interaction, she should tell me something.

mary needed help getting to the airport. because she was bringing back 2 suitcases, her best option would be a car. she heard of uber, but without a working smartphone, she can't use this service. her flight wasn't until 9am (boston logan-new york kennedy-shanghai pudong), and i told her that the MBTA starts running at 5:15am. i warned her it'd be challenging with all her luggage, but she seemed game. but when i was telling her how to get to the airport (that you have to switch from the red line to the silver line), she said it was too complicated and decided to go with a taxi. she gave me a 1-800 number she found online, but it was for a limousine service. i just called a cambridge cab company, reserved a 5:30am pickup ($40 fixed fare, plus another $6.25 for toll).

mary's imminent departure reminded me of visiting astrophysicist carmen arriving in cambridge at the end of the month, who knew both pau and lara, past renters. she got in touch with me at the end of january asking if my place was available for 2 weeks, but unfortunately i already rented it out mary by that point. but now that mary was leaving, the guest bedroom was available, if carmen wanted it. so i got in touch with her, but she told me she already found a place, and paid as well.

i finally got in touch with general awning yesterday, regarding replacement parts for my parents' broken awning. they told me that they don't actually manufacture the awnings themselves, and that i should contact the actual manufacturer (nuimage awning) directly for parts. today i called nuimage. i didn't realize they're located in maine. they had the parts i wanted - a pair of aluminum brackets for just $3.50 (additional $5 shipping) - and i order them over the phone.

i left mary to deal with her last day in cambridge (until she comes back that is), and got a ride from my parents after work to go to market basket. i gave them more details regarding this mary situation, and both of them said i should've collected the rent money for march. one problem is she could decide not to come back until april, which means she won't have been here for all of march, and which case she can argue she doesn't need to pay rent for a month that she wasn't here. but from my viewpoint, since i'm reserving the room for her, and since she won't tell me when she'll be back, i can't rent out the room even if i wanted to. i think any other landlord would not have been so lenient with her. i thought about it, and the more it began to bug me, like maybe i was getting the raw end of the deal. but i already told her not to worry about the rent until she got back; how can i ask for the rent now?

after dinner in belmont (we ordered persian kubideh takeout), i got a ride home, first stopping at the cafe so my father can bring back hailey and check it on my grand uncle. i helped upload the supplies we bought earlier from market basket.

i spoke to mary and found a way to broach the subject of next month's rent. i played good cop bad cop, with myself in the role as good cop and my parents as bad cops. i told mary that if was up to me, i'd let her pay the rent until she came back, but my parents advised that i collect the rent now, sort of like a reservation fee." she didn't think too much of it since this is how a normal rental transaction usually goes down. she said after she packed up her luggage early tomorrow morning she'll give me the money.