i return to cambridge the same time that karen did. it startled me a bit, because i wasn't expecting anyone in the foyer. she was excited to show me the blood glucose insulin pump and the glucose monitor they attached to her. each of those devices has a needle that goes into the skin to actively measure and administer. she said it hurt a little bit, but she'd only be wearing it for the next 2 days, to try it out for the diabetes conference she was participating, to allow caregivers to experience what a diabetes patient feels. the insulin pump was empty, but the monitor was active, wireless transmitting to a device that looked like an ipod nano except the LCD was a line graph with second by second update of blood glucose levels. these are some fancy devices, but they do seem uncomfortable for a patient with an active livestyle. hopefully they're working on ways miniature them even more.
karen didn't have dinner yet so i heated up a slice of my quiche in the toaster oven. she said it was pretty good, and thought the ham was a good addition. she didn't think it tasted too salty.
tonight i ironed out the details of my new york city trip next week to see wangyang. originally i was only supposed to be there from tuesday to thursday (coming back thursday night), but now i've leaving monday morning and coming back thursday afternoon.
it was hard finding an affordable hotel. airbnb was an inexpensive option, but it felt weird (and slightly unsafe) living in a house with strangers (typically they're landlords; now i know how my roommates feel). there were also a few sketchy listings, like a stained futon under fluorescent lights in somebody's living room.
hotels were more expensive, and cheap ones were far from manhattan. wangyang only wanted to pay $60/night, which is next to impossible in new york city. the only way to do that was to share a hotel room and then split the cost. to make it less awkward, preferably a room with separate beds.
there was a motel 8 in astoria for $80/night that wangyang pointed out, until she realized it only had one bed. the best option i could find was a red roof inn in sunnyside with two queen beds for $129/night, which comes out to about $65/person (before taxes and fees). wangyang then found a chinese-operated place in flushing named surprisingly enough flushing hotel. for a double room with two double beds it was $108/night. after fees and taxes, it works out to about $60/person. it would've been nice to live in astoria as it was much closer to manhattan (7 stops on the N train to time square), but not much else as it was in a scary part of town. flushing is farther away but a lively area with scores of asian eats so we'd never go hungry.
wangyang ended up paying with her credit card. she said she didn't have the cash to pay me back (but i did), and i figured she might also be able to take the receipt and get reimbursed from her company. i talked with her briefly via wechat afterwards, because texting was just too slow. it was strange hearing her voice, i haven't heard it in almost 3 years. her personality was still the same though. i wanted to know if she'd already booked her philadelphia and washington dc hotels yet; it was a negative on either. she told me that she may have to return to the factory tomorrow, to pick up some paperwork, but she was hoping they could just email it to her instead, so she could leave early for nearby philadelphia just 30 minutes away by uber driving.