i woke up around 9am, debating to myself whether to run some errands in boston (MGH, chinatown, haymarket) before the noontime harvard lecture or afterwards. in the end i decided to go in the afternoon, since i wouldn't be in any hurry to rush back.
i made some coffee and tea in the late morning, it's still chilly enough that i prefer the hot drinks over the cold. i went with coffee because i still have some half & half in the fridge that i wanted to use up before it spoiled. i had some hazelnut coffee i also wanted to use up, but it was the caffeinated variety. it's been a while since i had caffeinated coffee so i must've forgotten how it makes me feel and why i haven't had it for a while. besides needing to go to the bathroom immediately afterwards, i become intensely jittering, and i actually did some vacuuming just because i was itching to have something to do.
i left the house by 11:40am, taking the newly repaired cargo bike with fresh brakes. the noontime lecture was titled, "the rise and decline of collective leadership in china" with a bonus lunch. the talk was a little dry and boring at first, but the key question of whether xi jinping planned on retiring when he reaches the age limit at 68 or continue to be the president of china indefinitely kept everyone's attention.
when the lecture finally ended at 1:30pm, i biked into boston. first stop with MGH, where i was getting some blood taken to figure out if i have hemochromatosis, a rare genetic disease. chances are i don't, but it's a formality before i get a liver biopsy. i went up to the 5th floor of the wang building but discovered the lab there was closed. that's why they sent me to the 2nd floor last time. so that's where i ended up going. i don't like the 2nd floor lab because it's always crowded and feels very impersonal. soon after using the bathroom they called my name. i had evgenia again, who remembered me from before. she was a little friendlier this time around, surprised that the lab work request was just for a single test tube of blood.
i cut across boston common to get to chinatown via emerson college. they were setting up the park for some kind of boston marathon event. actually, when i was at MGH i saw some people (mexicans?) who looked like they were in town for the run. i went to the lincoln street chinese supermarket to get some chinese cabbage and daikon radish for refilling the sichuan paocai jar at the cafe. i then traveled up atlantic avenue to get to haymarket. it's been 2 weeks since the last time i was here (which coincidentally was also because of an MGH visit), and i was happy to see they finally have gold nugget mandarin oranges again for just $2 a bag. i ended up getting 4 bags.
i biked to the cafe by 4pm. i gave my mother the gold nuggets (which she mistakenly call "ugly fruit" oranges), which are one of her favorites. too bad she's leaving for taiwan in a few days and won't be able to enjoy more gold nugget oranges while they're in season (but i'm sure they have delicious fruits in taiwan). i helped her stuff the paocai jar with chopped cabbage, daikon radish, and carrots before leaving by 5pm.