Day 136 - So Hot

The Sunset as we walked to the train
August 21st, 2015

With nothing in particular to get up for, the days get pushed back. So long as I can make it into town in time to do official business, everything is simpatico. As I mentioned yesterday, I am supposed to hear from the school about how their luck went with the Chinese government on Friday - Today. I’m feeling a little anxious. Thinking about it won't change anything, so I generally don’t.

We're going out for dinner with all the housemates - our treat. They won’t accept cash as payment for letting us stay. Shimou goes about cooking, chatting in mandarin, while I spend most of the day playing games and listening to informational talks on youtube. Best combo ever. Around an hour before heading out, I get in gear.

Spicy Dinner!
Apparently we're going to a szechuan restaurant. For those of you who aren’t aware, that’s supposed to mean hot hot hot, spicy. Shimou is worried about me and my tolerance for spice, which in turn makes me worried because Asian spicy tends to be a lot hotter than Western spicy.

Sunny, Luke, Leo, Shimou, and I are seated and handed mostly-mandarin menus. It’s alright, they have english titles and pictures, plus little chilis for a spice rating. I choose something 1 or 2 chilis while the others order unknown things in mandarin. The plates arrive, and the hottest looking one is placed in front of me. There are heaps of chili flakes clinging to every piece of meat and capsicum on the plate. Whatever, I decide to test it. How hot can it be, right?

What a deal!
What you think would be at a Japanese Store
Each chili flake is about 75% the size of a hole punch. I’m chewing this piece of meat and enjoying the flavour, wondering if I should keep chewing or swallow it quickly and see where the peppers land me. I find spice usually takes up to 30s to actually sink in, but I risk it and keep chewing. Finally, I swallow and wait.

And wait. And wait some more. It gets a little hot, but nothing unbearable. I mean, I didn't even have to take a drink except for to wash down all the left over flakes stuck in my throat. Totally doable. I try all the other dishes and find that the above is actually the spiciest. I laugh because it seems I can handle it better than the Luke, who is sweating from the spice. I haven’t eaten anything spicy in a while, so I figured my tolerance would be garbage.

The bill was… not so enjoyable at this restaurant, but it’s still cheaper than rent anywhere other than the gutter. We have no plans after this, leading us to wander into a Japanese store where every item in the place was $2.85. I know you're probably thinking ‘oh wow, a Japanese store! Must be a lot of weird stuff in there!’ Me, too. Sorry to disappoint, but most of it was mundane. Useful, and definitely worth $2.85, but mundane.

...But it's mostly this.
We stop at the open-air cafe from the first day, Brunetti’s, and grab dessert. It seems that the roommates have some tension between them, particularly toward Leo. I don't really understand what the situation is or where it’s coming from, but it’s obvious based on the interactions and body language. I tried a coffee with a name that I'd never seen before,* stumbling through the ordering process because I didn't understand the follow up questions through her thick French accent. Turns out it’s just espresso and liquor (sambuca in this case) which was detestable, particularly when paired with nutella cheesecake. Not want. Bù yào.

Sunny is supposed to be the best girl at billiards in the women’s pool at her university, though Leo may have been pulling my leg. He tends to do that. I do know she likes to play - she asked me how good I was on one of the first days here. I’m alright, not very good, but I get lucky. We’ll see if I can stand a chance against her.

with Leo and Luke in the background
We walk a few blocks to the pool hall, grabbing a drink while we wait for a table. First up is me and Sunny. She won.** They play a few games, except for Shimou who doesn't know how/want to play. After an hour or two, we walk back to the train station. Leo points out the tallest building in the city, saying that the public can have access to one of the top floors to look out from. Again, not sure if he’s pulling my leg.

We catch the train home, and disperse like gas. As you may have noticed, the school never responded to me. I followed up with an e-mail asking how the attempt went. No reply, which doesn't make me optimistic.

Editing Music: Falling Away With You by Muse

*Café Corretto
**We did rematch later and I won. Wooh!

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