Friday, July 08, 2005

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Jodi came down with a high fever yesterday at work (a combination of stress, not eating enough, and the heat), so she's living at a friends house for a few days. They went to the hospital yesterday, and she got loaded up with over RMB 200 in medicine including, but not limited to, antibiotics, and bags of saline solution and injections that she has to go back to the hospital to get administered for the next few days. That's overkill, right?

We had dinner at her friend's house yesterday. After work I hoped on the light rail, transferred to a bus, and then they met me at the bus stop and we walked a block to her place. It's great: a single medium-sized room includes double bed built into a cove beneath some elevated cabinets, a fridge next to a wardrobe and cabinets with a TV on top, a small couch, a round card table in the middle of the room, several chairs, and a glass-topped desk. The far wall is dominated by a large window, closed, and the air conditioning was off (sick person in the room) in favor of a small electric fan. The near wall is taken up by the bed and cabinets; to the left of the bed is a small hallway under the elevated cabinets to the front door, which opens into a dirty hallway where the shared kitchen and bathrooms are. Jodi's friend kept calling it a "slum" (her English is pretty good), but I didn't think it was that bad.

I betcha it's every girl's dream to own a huge place where she can raise a big family and entertain friends. But myself, I want a place that's so small I can clean it up in two minutes and spend less than a couple hours of each day actually living there.

Dinner was fabulous: mala (sour) julienned potato and green pepper, cured pork and carrots sliced paper-thin, eggplants in brown sauce, and slightly-crisp cabbage flash-fried with hot red peppers. Each dish was a little spicy, but I'm trying to get used to that. I've decided to take the same tack with hot food that I do with mosquitos: I don't go out of my way to attract them, but I don't avoid them either. My standard response do "Can you eat spicy food?" has changed from a vacillating, eye-wandering "well..." to "sure".

Asa, are you in town? Reading my weblog? Let's do something tonight if you're not busy.


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