i saw the sun rise from my small hotel window. okay, that's not entirely true. my window actually faces west, so i would only be able to see the sun set if my view of the horizon wasn't blocked by so many tall buildings. but what i meant to say is i didn't fall asleep last night until 7am in the morning. there's definitely something going on this week, it's not just the cold medication. it can't be the drugs because 1) it was supposed to make me drowsy and 2) i've already stopped taking it since wednesday. it can't be because of sunmeng leaving in an angry fit monday morning, since we're back to normal again after i invited her back to chongqing. so the only conclusion i can draw is it's something psychological. i'm probably worried about my trip back to boston. i want to buy some things online but 1) i don't know what yet and 2) i don't know how. plus the fact that my 2 month staycation in chongqing is about 2 weeks away from coming to a close. back to the familiar of home, but also back to the reality, which is i really need to find a job, especially now that mary my psycho roommate will no longer be living at my place (which is of course good and bad). it doesn't help that i seemed to have found a renewed interest in chongqing, especially with night photography, and located more places to explore.

something strange but good happened last night. my redmi note 3 incrementally updates the system. the latest version of MIUI (LHOCNDD) (android version 5.1.1 LMY47V) finally fixed the VPN bug issue. you'll recall that my VPN would drop after about 2 minutes. i thought it was a china-censoreware issue since it was using a china OS after all, but xiaomi finally fixed the problem, although discreetly, as there's no mention of the fix on their fix sheet. i managed to run vpn.ac indefinitely, although it did take a while to find a server that will connect and the right protocol-port. i tried servers in hong kong and tokyo, but neither were very fast. i finally settled on a korean server using UDP-443. i was able to surf all my favorite sites without any problems. the one issue i had though was google photos wouldn't update automatically. i'm not quite sure what it is, either the great firewall throttling VPN traffic in general, or the hotel wifi throttling my upload speed. i can however back up google photos manually, although it's very slow, so i think the problem is speed issue. hopefully it will all resolve itself once i leave china. as of now i have about 4700+ photos on my redmi phone that needs to be backed up.

as we're on the subject of phones, ever since i upgraded to cyanogen OS 13 (13.0.ZNH0EAS2JK android 6.0.1) on my oneplus one, i've had icon issues. on my 4x5 grid home screen they're slightly smaller than before, and not properly rendered so they have a jagged appearance. icons in the drawer appear fine, just the ones on the home screen are all messed up. i tried looking for solutions online, but only a small number of people have this problem, and there doesn't seem to be an easy fix yet.

as i wasn't sleeping last night, i had all sorts of time to do other things, like take photos from my window. there was a loud explosion last night around 12:45am, sounded like the crackle of a lightning right overhead, but there wasn't that echo of natural lightning. maybe later today i will go outside and look for signs of damage. then around 1:30am street sweepers worked my street. there are various types of street cleaning. i've seen trucks that spray and sweep the roads, but i've also seen crew armed with pressure washers work the sidewalks. tonight, they were pressure washing the roads, a handful of utility workers walking the hose to make sure it doesn't kink, while a pressurized tank truck slowly followed them.

today's weather looks to be rainy but forecast says clearing up by this afternoon. i went out around noontime to pick up some dongbeibing (RMB6) and some egg tarts (RMB4).

in order to avoid the crowds, i eat at unusual times. like tonight for dinner, i ate at 5pm. that gives me a little bit of time to come back to the hotel, rest, then go back out for my night photography.