Day 63 - Hotpot and How to Hail a Cab

Sunday, April 10th, 2016
Smog Level: 2/3 Mountains

Didn’t get to bed until 3am. Around 10, I drag myself out of bed and start buckling down on work. At 10 to 1, I have to leave to tutor. You know how I said that the girl had told her dad that I was bad at vocabulary? Apparently Shimou had mentioned that in front of the Maggie herself, who then said “I didn’t say that!” It’s hard to tell who’s lying at this point, but whatever. She's an ongoing client.

During our lesson, I wonder how the words “prisoner” and “jailer” could seemingly be the exact same thing, yet hold completely opposite roles. That must be very confusing. French sometimes had those issues, but luckily Mandarin has been exceedingly logical.
After taking the hour train ride back home, Shimou and I go to a cheap hotpot place in the mall for dinner. Hot pot, if you forget, is where they bring a pot of broth that simmers, and you put various items in the broth to boil. Kinda like fondue.

Hot Pots (tomato on the left, spicy curry on the right)
One of my Chinese friends from Melbourne, Sunny, had asked me to edit one of her papers. I thought I’d have more time, but apparently not. Shimou tried her hand at using the yogurt machine while I barely squeeze the editing in before we both have to leave to meet one of the DnD friends at the train station. The cab had dropped him off at a strange spot, and he doesn’t know the area. I say goodbye to Shimou at the station and go in search of my lost companion.

Once reunited, we wave our hands like dainty women from the wild west. Think of how those women would wave a handkerchief - palm down, hand waving between straight and limp wrist. This, dear friends, is how you hail a cab in China. It takes a good 15 minutes before we find one that’s available.

[Nerd On]

Seems our characters are somewhat static at this point, so I’ll say what we got: female Moon Elf Wizard, female Tiefling rogue, male tiefling bard, and some giant praying mantis monk. Oh, and me, the male, alcoholic, hobbit wizard..

We’re still in that cave. After equipping our stuff, we hear our captors coming to check on our room. The grog is enlisted to set them on fire while I hide in the chest that contained our equipment. Good thing, or else I would’ve been set ablaze, too. If you recall, I had jumped in the barrel and my clothes were soaked in it.

During the fight, I managed to poison someone, but made the mistake of getting close enough for an archer to shoot me through the heart. Well, that might be the end of me. Seriously, based on the roll, standard rules would make me insta-dead. Luckily, the house rule was something different. One of my colleagues gave me his blood. An hour later, I grew a tail. What a predicament.

This is "Coca Cola"
We venture through the cave, not knowing where we’re going, until we come across a herd of underground, giant cows. They’re being herded by gnomes, who mistake us for drow (evil dark elves). We show them the drow scalp of the boss from the last fight, which is our ‘in.’ Sweet, not we're tagging along to their underground city.

Some of the cow things seem to be drooling black stuff from their mouths that kills anything it drops onto. One of the bulls eyes go bright red and it starts attacking us. The fight didn’t last long after the Moon Elf Wizard shot a fire bolt at the cow’s black stuff, causing the damn thing to explode. After the explosion and viscera clears, we continue onward.

Apparently we’re like, 20 floors deep. Remember the old guy in the cage? He got us to agree to escorting him to the surface. This’ll be a stop over on that little venture, I suppose.

We have to go see the Wizard here so that he can give us a potion that lets us speak gnomish. Up to this point, one of our colleagues was translating it all. Off to see the wizard on some golden bricks where we came across a straw man, an iron man, and a wimpy lion. Once reaching the wizard, he gave us tea that translated everything for us. Finally.

One of Bob's Students drew these
The party then split up. I don’t know where the rest went, but the two wizards, me and the moon elf, had a spell swap with the bigwig wiz, who also allowed us to copy each other's spells. Sweet, that is extremely useful.

And after that, we were given enough experience to level up and called it a night.

[Nerd Off]

The cab driver wasn’t entirely sure how to get to the GR mall, for some reason. We wandered some of the nearby, back streets that I vaguely recognize but am still unsure how to navigate. Everything looked vaguely familiar, but I didn’t know which was the right way. At least I know “turn left/right” and “go straight.” Eventually, I arrived. 

All was well.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Time (noun)
shí jiān
[shur jee-an]
e.g. "{xiàn zài} {shén me} {shí jiān}" = "{now} {what} {time}?"
[she-an zai shen me shur jee-an]

busy (verb)
e.g. "nǐ máng ma?" = "(are) you busy?"

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