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The whole weekend wasn’t a complete loss. I’ve now found a hotel which has the South China Morning Post. Better than that, I got it for free.

I went to the Trader’s Hotel where I was trying to find the Business Centre, but seem to have headed in the wrong direction. As I was coming back down the stairs, I saw they had a copy in the lobby lounge (where the two Filipino girls were still singing as they did last year). I took a copy over to reception and asked if it was possible to buy another. The woman working on reception called someone who brought the paper over, but when I tried to pay for it, I was told that I didn’t have to.

I went back last night and asked about the Post. I told them that I wasn’t staying in the hotel, but again got given a copy. I did ask if they were sure it was OK just to give me the paper, but they declined any payment. In Beijing, it’s sold in the hotels for ¥16.50, which is over twice the Hong Kong price of HK$7 (c. 52p). When I went over to the Trader’s tonight, the paper hadn’t arrived yet, so I couldn’t get the Sunday edition.

As for the rest of the weekend, it was a truncated version of what we did in August and February last year. Really nothing new came out of it, and we’ve all lost our weekend.

We had to take all the textbooks from our school as well and barely made any use of them. There was no reason why the out-of-towners couldn’t have brought their own copies. Actually, this is doubly annoying for me because I strained my lower back carrying piles of books to the minibus on Friday. That’s been a pain all weekend.

It snowed on Saturday morning. It was just small flakes and didn’t survive long. The weather was depressingly grey, misty, and cold.

We had pizza for dinner on Saturday night a little place not far from the International School. We couldn’t believe how cheap it was compared with Pizza Hut, but the fare was your actual real pizza made by someone of Mediterranean origin.

There are quite a lot of foreigners around that part of Changzhou, and not just at the hotels. I saw several who obviously lived in the area.

’Bout time for a shower. I have to get up early tomorrow. Oh joy.

[04.07.13. This must’ve been when we had two conferences in one year when one was sufficient. The pizza place was probably Monkey King. The hotel kept letting me have copies of the SCMP, but they got increasingly less happy about it even although I offered to pay for the paper.]

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