i bumped into renee who asked to see my new fridge, after i mentioned it to her more than a month ago that i was thinking about getting a new one. she was interested because her fridge is starting to go, and better to replace it while the old one still works, instead of waiting for it to die completely. she wanted to see the inside and took some photos. later i discovered she tracked mud all over my house, but i was able to vacuum it up after it dried.
as is the friday custom, i made a trip to chinatown and haymarket in the afternoon. i was surprised to learn this was my first trip to chinatown/haymarket this month, and i haven't been there since the end of august. in fact, i haven't been to haymarket in nearly 1-1/2 months, the last time was early august. so i was overdue.
i pumped up my tires and left around 2pm, arriving by 2:30pm. i went to ming's market first, my mother asked me to pick up a few packages of three deer brand suancai (pickled sour mustard). i noticed a new store sign outside - it's now called lotus food (百合超市) - but everything inside was still the same.
next i went to c-mart down the street. they had more selection, i got some green plums ($1.98) which had a more evocative chinese name - 青蛇蛋 "green snake eggs." they reminded me of the cherry plums, or possibly pluots. i looked for kikkoman tonkatsu sauce, they're still out. they did have 3 flavors of buldak in stock - carbonara, (regular) spicy, and 2x spicy - but more expensive than the market basket price ($5.99 to $6.88). i find it a little ironic when non-asian supermarkets can sell asian products at a cheaper price.
final stop was haymarket. i used to get there from chinatown via different routes (following the greenway was a popular method), but now i take the most direct path, which is to cut through downtown crossing. they made it a lot easier ever since they installed dedicated bike paths, and the crowd size in DTX is still not back to pre-pandemic level, so it's easy to ride through. from downtown crossing i drop down to post office square (even more empty) before arriving at haymarket, about a 12 minute ride with traffic.
after i engorged myself on cherries during the summer, i basically stopped coming to haymarket as there was nothing i wanted anymore. i still managed to pick up a few things: $2 worth of long horn peppers, 2 fyffes pineapples ($3), 4 boxes of strawberries ($3), 5 limes ($1), and 3 packages of mini cucumbers ($3).
i left haymarket a bit after 3:30pm. i cycled for 12 minutes- 1.8 miles - arriving at kendall square, before i started noticing something was off with my bike. it felt like a flat tire, but when i looked back, it seemed fine. but a few blocks later i dismounted and saw that the tire was completely flat. i blame myself: that tire had ruptured once before and had a dangerous looking bulge. i already got a replacement tire, but was too lazy to fix it because it still seemed to ride okay, until today. there was nothing i could but walk the bike home. i still had 1.8 miles to go before i got home, and i thought about calling my father to see if he could come out and give me a ride, provided he drove the honda element today and not the toyota. when i checked the cafe webcams, i saw they were busy, so i decided to just walk it.
it ended up taking me 38 minutes to walk back home, 3x longer than if i was on the bike. after putting stuff away in the fridge, i gathered up my tools and proceded to fix the flat tire. pushing the flat tire for nearly 2 miles had basically damaged the tire, like shredded sidewalls, but i wasn't going to reuse that tire anyway, so it wasn't a big deal. my biggest concern was if it rim got damaged, but i checked, it was fine. i took off the tire and inner tube and brought the tube into the bathtub to check where it was leaking. this was a brand new tube that i just replaced back in july when i burst the previous tube. even though i had additional spare tubes, i was glad to see the tube itself was in good condition, just a tiny puncture hole on the opposite side of the inflation valve. it was a simply matter of roughing up the area with a steel brush, applying some rubber cement, than sticking on a rubber patch. i put the patched tube into the new tire and attached it to the rear wheel rim. it was just a good fit, i didn't even need tire levers. and with that i'm as good as new. the only other thing i need to install is the new chainwheel, which i bought back in march but still haven't replaced it yet.
while fixing the bike i discovered my glass phone screen protector is cracked again. the last time i replaced it was the end of july, so it didn't take long to crack it again. not sure how i did it, i think i must've pressed up against the bike with the phone in my pocket. fortunately i have a bunch of spare screen protectors, i'll put on a new one at some point.
once again i fell asleep at 6pm, waking up at 7pm. for dinner i made a bowl of luxurious korean ramen: a tbsp of kewpie mayo, a tbsp of gojuchang, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, tofu wedges, sichuan zha cai, fried shallots.