Day 131 - Do the Café Hop

The State Library
(Goddamn, I love working in this place)
August 16th, 2015

I'm procrastinating a lot, using Shimou as an excuse since she hasn't started moving yet. I know this is procrastination the same way that I know me moving will also spur Shimou to get started.

Luke had suggested Shimou and I check out a cafe called Manchester Press in the CBD, which closes at 5. We manage to find it at 4:40 after taking the train into town and tracking it down the alley of an alley. Nice place, not too expensive, good coffee, and had a menu of bagels as over-the-top sandwiches. Didn't try any, unfortunately, because the kitchen was closed.

We wanted to do work at the state library, given the luxuriousness of the large study area. So nice. I feel so ivy league. But the drawback of that is we make it there to find out that it also closes shortly. We have 30 minutes to work, allowing me to finish editing a post and setting up the schedule for it.

Naked Baby riding a Lizard, Why not?
Another cafe is sought out across the street in the shopping centre, called Gloria Jeans Cafe*, which is open until 7:30. Finally, I can bite a chunk out of my reviews. At this point, I realize I'm basically doing an assignment a day that would have made me feel worn out in university. I have to edit at least one post, more if I want to give myself some wiggle room, and write at least one post a day - more if I want to get idea posts down. On top of that, I'm working to get a comprehensive review on both Bali and Perth. Oy vey.

On the other hand, I'm building the habit of learning to motivate myself to work, and actually enjoying it for the most part. Sometimes I feel a minor tinge of stress when I let it pile up or dread having to write up a day that I didn't particularly like/want to remember, but that’s part of the process. Rack it up to catharsis.
Kebabs for Dinner Tonight!

I bite a big chunk out of my Bali review before the cafe closes. I make a set of flashcards to nail down the mandarin question words, and come up with as many useful questions as I can while we ride home. Shimou is being very patient with helping me.

At Luke’s place, the three housemates are in the kitchen and three dishes of food are on the table. Shimou makes her Cola Chicken, and I strike up conversation with the one roommate whose name I still don't know. He invites me to try some Chinese “wine,” which is 53% alcohol**. Sure, why not?

We talk about chinese culture and how people can sometimes be expected to drink a 500ml bottle of this “wine” during certain occasions. I did the math (hopefully correctly) and one bottle is approximately 14.13 bottles of 5% beer. I’m wondering if he’s just taking big, or if these dinners are super long because… that’s enough liquor to kill me, let alone people much smaller than me who may or may not have the enzyme to efficiently break down alcohol.

On the way to Manchester Press
Manchester Press
(These pictures are not in chronological order, deal with it)
Despite the other roommates cooking something for the dinner, they didn't eat, leaving Luke, Shimou, and I to enjoy it together. He tried to stop me from eating one dish because it was chicken tripe***. I said I'd rather try something and decide whether I liked it before I knew what it was. Knowing what it is will potentially taint me against something that I would otherwise try and maybe like. This one was pretty good! Still not entirely down with trying blood curds though…

During dinner, we talk about the different education systems and study habits. Luke says he’s good at memorization, which he likes to do. I ask how he does it, and he says just sheer repetition. I suggest a mnemonic (chaining and linking), which spurs me into running through an improvised list of 10 objects with him. He picks it up quickly, as most people do, and seems impressed with the idea of it. Actually, he seems more into the idea of memory systems that most people are, googling it immediately and reading about what mnemonics are. Satisfaction.

A Good Picture of Shimou
After doing the dishes, I find Housemate Sunny, Luke, and Shimou in the living room (my bedroom) quietly speaking mandarin. 

“Talking about the other guy?” I quietly ask
“How did you know??”
“You're quietly speaking mandarin - a language I couldn't if you spoke it directly to me - in a room without one of the housemates, who is also home.”
“You should be a detective,” Luke said

A Bad Picture of Me
I used to practice reading people and seeing what I could tell about others by simply observing. It was obvious enough, but I'll take it! Shortly after, Sunny goes to bed, leaving me writing and the other two chatting in mandarin. Luke turns in a while after, and I catch up with people back home while slowly finishing my write up of the past couple days.

I said I'd get up at 10 the next morning, and I am just getting to bed at 3am. Going to be a rough morning.

Closing thought: I’m still thinking about the price of the eraser and pencil sharpener combo. All I can think is “I didn't cheapen myself for $166 dollars, why would I allow myself to do it for $1.25?”

*Australia's Starbucks, so I hear
**It's pretty smooth. Much nicer than sipping vodka or whiskey, if you ask me
***Again, tripe is stomach. Chewy, chewy stomach.

Editing Music: "Loveland" By Milky Chance

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