Day 83 - Kafka-Esque

Saturday, April 30th, 2016
Smog Level: 0/3 Mountains

A nearly empty gym where I clean up the weights. Alone, it takes me only a few minutes to put them away. Why can’t the staff do this, if the patrons can’t be bothered?

Delayed Massages

I have been inviting Dan to come with me for a massage with the blind people for some time now, and it’s never quite worked out. Today's the day! We trod over around 2pm in the muggy 30ºC weather. I had been listening to brief summaries of famous authors and philosophers right before, so I bring up the topic of Franz Kafka. If you’ve ever read him, he’s pretty… bleak. 


It makes sense when you know something about his personal history. He once asked for a glass of water, and his father got so angry that he put him out on the balcony and left him there all night. “The Metamorphosis” is about a man who wakes to find himself a dog-sized insect, whose family learns they can do quite well without him, and slowly come to resent him. Like I said: bleak.

My Gym, standing at the Mirror wall. Those windows look out onto a small creek.
Favourite Movies

I asked Dan what his favorite movie was, and he said it was “(Still waiting on confirmation)”, saying that the first time he watched it, it made him realize that people his age in other countries were probably going through similar struggles to him. It humanized them. I felt bad to have such stereotypical ones as “Fight Club,” “Good Will Hunting,” and the less-so, “Waking Life.”

Where I was sitting, watching the workers.
They are somewhere on the right.
Smogged Meditations

It’s a long weekend, so people’s schedules are all messed up. Shimou is meeting with her step-mother for a birthday dinner, while I have games day today. Waiting at the bank for Shimou to take out money, I kept my phone in my pocket and sat on a perch, facing the widely tiled parking lot. There are some men working, coming to and from near my position to pick up working supplies. The thick, warm air rustled the leaves in the trees and almost made me forget that it was a heavily smogged day. Whatever, let’s be present for a moment.

We head to the mall to buy Shimou’s niece (cousin’s daughter) a birthday present. Ever since I was cued into the “Year of the Monkey” family planning method, I’ve been counting the number of pregnant women I’ve seen while out. Upon entering the mall, I saw 10 in 20 minutes. That’s one every two minutes.

Bob's Take on Chinese Beginnings

She goes her way, and I go mine to meet Bob-O. I tell him of my plan to slow down and increase productivity in the time I am actually working. He tells me I’m doing it wrong; the first three months should be crazy and you should feel out of control. Have to take advantage of it while China is still a “grand adventure!” and before it just becomes the humdrum same ol’, same ol'. Maybe, but I’ve felt out of control and hectic for a long time now and would rather work on overcoming that. 

The ability to change my lifestyle to one I actually want was one of the major pulls.

[Nerd On]

This is where the old people alwyas hang out
in front of my building. Usually playing cards.
If you recall, we left off with me interrogating the thief we rescued from giant spiders. Something seems off, but we can’t quite pinpoint it. Instead of lashing out - as I'd hoped - he just denies everything. Damn it.

We strip the room of valuables while the party rests and keep our eyes on this shady fellow. Things aren’t adding up, but we might as well see it through until we get some answers. He picks the lock from this spider-filled subterranean cathedral into the only other door. It leads to a sort of study. 

I let the Dragon-man go in first, assuming he would be better prepared to face whatever happens. The wee guy tries to charm him, but fails. Dragon-man plays along until he’s sure he wants to strike, and lays into the guy. Initiate combat.

He scrambles for this book he was looking for, and our bard uses a giant thunderclap spell that sends the entire room into disarray. Works in our favor, and the guy runs, trying to find the book and hide. Drago follows, with me close behind. I unleash a frost spell, which hits and causes him to mentally attack my alcohol-abused noggin. 11 damage out of my 14, but I’m still standing. The dweeb rabbits again, which leads him into the crosshairs of the other mage, who shoots a firebolt, knocking him into the wall and rendering him unconscious.

Random Koala-Man
We strip him naked, of course, and hogtie him. After several hours of searching the room and identifying what magical items he has, we find out that none of his equipment is controlling him. Still no answers, but hey, I got a ring that makes me better at stealing, and the ranger got a cloak that makes her harder to see. The bard got a lock pick set that anyone can use - even if they have no idea what they're doing.

We carry him to the gate of town, realizing on the way that he’s a psychic and that we can’t bring him into town. Call upon the Wiz, who tells us that it’s this creature that drains your intelligence until you’ve got none, then sets up shop inside your brain. Lucky I survived that attack, or I would’ve been braindead for a few weeks, and maybe, worse case, a puppet for a while.

Wizard puts him in stasis, we return to his Papa, who rewards us quite handsomely.

Adventure Succeed!

[Nerd Off]

After cabbing home, I meet Shimou, type up my notes, and crash.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Super (adj)
Magical (adj)

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