Today, there were meetings. I wasn't at any of them because I was informed that the ones I was supposed to be attending were at my employer's office. It turns out that they were in fact at our competitor's office. I would have hiked from one to the other but...
My guts are remorseful. Perhaps it's because, in spite of warnings, I drank the tapwater and large amounts of it. Perhaps it's because I had a very large bowl of soup that was 20% noodles, 10% meat of some sort, 5% eggs, 30% oilslick, and 35% hot peppers for lunch. For whatever reason I became acquainted with the bathrooms outside my hotel. I have been theoretically aware of bidets and their function for some time, and I have nothing against them. I didn't know they were popular in China. Given that much of the plumbing can't handle toilet paper so that most toilets in China have more-literal-than-usual 'waste-paper' baskets next to them, it makess sense that they would be installed to cut down on the amount of waste-paper used. In either case I was surprised and really quite unhappy to find this out through a self-activating bidet. Mostly because my first panicked thought was that it was some sort of grotesque and horrifying second-world malfunction of the sewage system that I had never imagined as a possibility.
Having ended up not at the meetings, I ended up getting to know some of my co-workers from other parts of the world, coding along in a relaxed and chatty atmosphere. I rather missed this sort of conviviality from my earlier times at a university where we'd have people get together late at night in computer labs alternating between doing homework, chatting, and playing X-Risk. At normal office encounters at least some number of people are engrossed enough in problem solving that universal chatting would be rude, so having people in semi-hack mode is kind of nice.
My first attempt to withdraw money from an ATM failed. I think this is just because the keypad was upside-down and I didn't want to have my card eaten for trying the wrong PIN in China three times in a row. I'll wait a bit and try again and if that doesn't work, wait until business hours in the US to call the bank up. I told them I was going to be in China so hopefully they'll allow it. I /really/ hope I'm going to be able to get cash, otherwise I'm going to have to eat all my meals in the hotel (since nobody else accepts credit cards) to make sure I have cab fare.
Also someone just showed up wanting to clean my room while I was typing so I went out to look for a 7-11 to see if I could find some sort of stomach remedy there. Looking at a map now it's obvious why I got lost. It was described as being 'behind' the hotel, but it's much further northwest than I expected. Either way, I ended up finding my way home by following the smell of a Kentucky Fried Chicken (apparently they're really popular here) back to it, and from there I was able to find the gigantic technicolor flashing 'LOVE' sign that apparently indicated a yogurt store and from there make it back to my hotel.
I woke up early this morning, so I might sleep soon, I'm not sure. I'll probably stay up a couple hours so I can call my bank, though.