after an english muffin sandwich for lunch, my mother called me asking if i'd gone to chinatown yet. she told me to pick up some pickled mustard greens, baby bokchoi, ginger, and kikkoman tonkatsu sauce. i finally left by 1:30pm.

today was hot but temperature was only in the 80's, about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday. it actually wasn't too bad, given how hot it was this week. i did a lot of sweating and promised i'd get something to drink when i got to chinatown.

i went to ming's market first, bought most of the stuff my mother wanted, other than the sauce, which was only available at c-mart. the price for long beans (mistakingly labeled as baby bokchoi) was $2.49/lbs. with 24 beans per bundle.

when i got to c-mart, a military blackhawk helicopter swooped low across the sky just barely above the buildings, wonder what that's about. c-mart was having a sale on bitter melons, 98¢/lbs. not only that but the melons were massive, zucchini size, i never seen bitter melons so large before. longans were back on sale, i bought 2 large bags, $10/each. cherry plums were also in stock again ($2.99/lbs.), i picked a bag for my mother. when i checked for tonkatsu sauce, they were all out. fortunately i have an unopened bottle at home i can let my mother have for the time being.

i left chinatown by 2:45pm. even though i passed by haymarket i didn't make a stop because i was already carrying so much stuff. i also have a large watermelon and two cantaloupes waiting at home, i couldn't eat anymore fruit. i got back home by 3:15pm.

my mother told me that a new astrophysicist couple was coming to boston tomorrow and my father was going to go pick them up from the airport. supposedly they're here for 3 years. my mother also told me that kevin told them today that he's going back to china in a few weeks. seems rather abrupt, but this is good news because that new couple won't have to share the bathroom with kevin, who's incapable of using the toilet without peeing everywhere.

at 4pm i biked to the community garden to check on my bitter melons. just as i hoped, david was there as well (i heard late afternoons is when he's usually there), tending to his garden. he asked me what special fertilizer i use for my tomatoes because they always seem to perform better than his tomatoes. i said other than the miracle-gro gardening soil, i don't use anything else. he did confirm that he does use commercial fish emulsion. when i asked him about his soil, he said they're organic, mostly lobster compost, but he suspects it doesn't have enough nutrients. he told me the butternut squash currently on the vine is his 4th, and the two kabochas are his only kabochas despite growing so many leaves. he was thinking if he gave them more fertilizer they might produce more squash, but i told him it was already late in the season.

as for my bitter melons, the green one that started to turn a little yellow yesterday has now turned completely orange. i suspect it's going to burst either tomorrow or sunday, i'll need to come back and check on it. the white melon is still white, but i'm starting to see some flecks of yellow. maureen told me they too will turn orange and burst open as well when left to fully ripen. even though david said he's grown bitter melons before, he never knew they turn orange and open up. while were were chatting, he told me he was 18 in 1968 (which meant he was born in 1950, i thought he was younger than that), and also got drafted (not sure how we got to talking about that).

i ended up staying at the garden longer than i expected, watering my plants, chatting with david, before finally leaving at 4:45pm. i continued biking to walgreens, to get some more spicy almonds on sale (blue diamond extremes). they were all out of the cayenne, only the ghost peppers were left. i got two cans (BOGO) and returned home. i tried them, they're definitely hotter, like habanero pepper hot, but still edible. i prefer the cayenne though, when things gets crazy hot, it's more like stunt food, nothing you'd actually eat to enjoy. i checked their website, there's one that's even hotter, the carolina reaper. that variety they didn't have in the store, but not sure if i want to try it even if they did.

for dinner i finished the rest of my cranberry walnut chicken salad, making it into one final sandwich. i also made another bowl of smashed cucumbers. this time i added some hot chili oil sauce i got from chinatown today. it's sichuan flavored (meaning lots of peppercorns) but it's actually a taiwanese brand. it smelled very fragrance and delicious, but unfortunately i added too much rice vinegar to the sauce which overwhelmed the other flavors. i only had a plum for dessert, forgetting that i had watermelon, cantaloupe, and longans in the fridge.