WWY texted me this morning, concerned about the escalating trade war between the US and china. last week trump imposed tariffs on all china imports, and yesterday china responded by dropping the value of the RMB to 7:1 against the US dollar, causing the dow jones to sink nearly 800 points. the way she understood it was trump was angry that china had stopped buying american agricultural products like soy beans. truth is scarce in china and i considered it my job to make sure she knew what was going on. yes, china had stopped buying american soy beans, but that was yesterday's news, as the trump administration was bolstering the farmers by offering them aid to subsidize their loses. the farmers are just fine (for now), it's the US taxpayers who are suffering since we're stuck with the bill.
i told her there was no end in sight for the trade war as neither trump nor the chinese government will budge: trump because he's a narcissist and can't admit failure, china for geopolitical reasons can't appear weak international or domestically. the only solution seems to be voting trump out of office in 2020. the only presidential candidate WWY knew about was andrew yang, apparently he's getting a lot of chinese coverage (due to his ethnicity). i told her he wasn't going to win, with his crazy idea of giving $1000 a month to every american. i sent her ranking info about the democratic candidates, which showed joe biden to be on top. she asked couldn't trump's own party choose a different presidential candidate, i told her its by custom that the sitting president is the presumption nominee of his party. i told her not everyone in the US supports trump, and in fact trump lost the popular vote and only won through the electoral college. a lot of people want to see trump removed, and people are angry and afraid and those emotions drive voters to the voting booth.
minutes later i saw on the news that china had readjusted the RMB again, now 6.9683:1 to the US dollar. that made me a little sad because if the chinese yuan continued dropping, it'd be a great time for another china vacation. that was followed by news that the dow jones was rebounding after report of the yuan adjustment.
i had enough food in the house that i didn't need to go to the supermarket this week, but i went anyway, just to pick up a few things. i stopped by the beacon street walgreens first, there was a sale on almonds. i also wanted to get some gel but i forgot my 30% off on all items coupon so decided to hold off. after market basket i returned home.
i ate half a container of potato salad for lunch, before my sister called asking for my help to move some heavy things she wanted to return at home depot (floor tiles). she was taking hailey out for a walk and would call me back around 2pm. i decided to go the mass ave walgreens to get my gel. for some reason it was 50¢ cheaper here than at the beacon street store. it didn't matter anyway, not with my super coupon. i ended up grabbing some more almonds, a few bags of pistachios, and a package of beef jerky. in hindsight i should've stocked up even more, as that was a great coupon, ended up saving me 50% on top of the items already discounted.
my sister came to get me around 1:30pm. i helped her load the stuff into her car (wasn't heavy at all, a box of tiles) before i helped my father load two surplus rain barrels into the car. i then went with my sister to the watertown home depot before i got a ride back to my place.
i was hungry when i returned home and toasted an everything bagel along with some salmon cream cheese. the day looked like it might rain, with mostly overcast, but rain wouldn't come until tomorrow, despite the increasing humidity. i was almost tempted to turn on the AC, but it was still cool enough outside that i just left the windows open to air out the house.
annie came home before her mother around 6:30pm, her mother a short time afterwards. the two of them made dinner in the kitchen then ate. once they finished by 8pm, that's when i went into the kitchen to reheat my meat sauce and boil a cup of pasta for dinner.
while i was cooking, annie asked me if she could use my laptop charger. unfortunately it was the old magsafe plug, not the newer USB-C. so she got ready to return to her office to get her charger. i let her ride my utility bike, otherwise it would've taken her close to an hour to walk there and back. but the whole time i was worried something might happen. she seemed a little wobbly on the bike, and it was already dark, and she wasn't used to riding at night (i remember she said she'd only done it once before). i kept imagining her falling off the bike, or getting swiped by a car.
by the time i finished my dinner she still wasn't back yet and i was getting a little worried. i should've taken her on the back of the motorcycle, that would've been the fastest and safest option. but she finally returned, mission successful. i put the bike back in storage.
later in the evening she asked me if i could listen to her give her presentation for tomorrow and offer any any critiques. she spent the next 20 minutes doing a presentation on proto star and organic molecule formation. i was able to follow it only because i put on my engineering thinking cap, but subject matter was fairly technical and esoteric. i did catch a mistake, she said a 20m telescope when the slide said 200m. but the really interesting thing was her english, which was surprisingly good. afterwards i asked her if she had any foreign english teachers, she said no, just native chinese english teachers. her english had an accent, but not the typical chinese english accent, and her grammar was impeccable, i was really impressed. you don't get into an MIT/harvard exchange program if your english is terrible!
before she left, i asked her what her plans were for her final few days in cambridge. i asked about her stuff, which she had intended to ship to urbana-champaign, to a friend's place for safe keeping. turns out nobody can enter the dorms beforehand, so her friend can't be there to accept her package. she asked if i could then ship out stuff for her. how did this become my responsibility? she sensed my hesitation, and said her somerville friend could do it for her, even though she doesn't own a car. i didn't say no, but i definitely didn't say yes either. "what about your friend with the car?" referring to the boy who helped her moved a few months ago. she told me he wasn't here during the summer. i told her i didn't have a car, and to move her stuff i would have to make multiple trips to the nearest UPS store via bike. she said she'd do some research and figure out the best option. i ended up doing the research for her, sending her links to two college moving services.