I'm sitting down and typing this almost exactly an hour from when I was frantically trying to process why on earth I was crying and shaking from my (aborted) attempt at the language utilization report. I added tags and a “heck if I know but be WARNED” trigger warning, scheduled it for midnight, and hitpublish. Then I looked at the clock and started moving, because it was just about 9:30 am my time. Also known as the time I had been aiming to leave for the train station, because today there is a NaNoWriMo kick-off in Beijing. It took me longer to get from my dorm room to the Tianjin train station (~40 minutes) than the ride from Tianjin to Beijing on the high speed train (33 minutes) will take. Which I find amusing. Also a story about transportation inside and between cities. Seriously.
I think it says a lot that I am much better at handling crowded subways, crowded train stations, and navigating unfamiliar environments (my first time in the Tianjin train station was yesterday when I bought my tickets, and I didn't do any scouting beyond what I needed to do to get the tickets) than I am at answering a few “simple” questions about my use of Chinese. Yes, there are some English subtitles at the train station, but most of the translations are sufficiently laughable that I wind up using the Chinese anyways or asking people “If I want to do thing X, where do I go?” The asking is done in Chinese, and the answers I get are generally in Chinese. Sometimes they try English. Sometimes that works, and sometimes I get sufficiently confused-looking that people think I must have the problem with English. Which, yes, I do, but not the one they're probably thinking it is.
And now I'm sitting in the Tianjin train station, waiting for them to start collecting tickets for the train I'm going to be on. C2026 from Tianjin to Beijing South, 33 minute ride, cheaper ticket than the public transit between my mom's house and my dad's, no, really, it is, though that depends on the currency conversion. It's also a difference of a few dimes, but yes, a high speed train from Tianjin to Beijing is cheaper. Runs more often, too. It looks to be every 10-15 minutes that there's a train, and I think it's not quite as often but still a thing between either Tianjin South and Beijing South or between Tianjin West and Beijing South. I don't actually remember, but the point is there. China is way better at public transit than the USA is.
I think I got onto this line of thinking because I'm a little bit numb after my reaction to the language utilization report. I think that illustrating this numbness and how much I can dump words onto a page even when totally numb and also how little they have to do with my current emotional state when that happens and maybe something else I don't know might be useful to someone. Not sure how. Maybe with the idea that being able to put words onto a page or say words or whatever is very different from the ability to use those words to tell people what's wrong or what I need. Or to ask people for things. Though really my current state is a reaction to having asked for a thing. So I don't know. I think I'm going to tune out the world and stick to creative writing and NaNoWriMo prep and kick-off party things as much as I can for the rest of the day and hope my brain is working better tomorrow so I can study properly for Monday's Chinese test. Lining up the reports and the tests this way is kind of icky for me because the reports on how I've been using the language drain my brain and I wasn't even able to get it done properly so it's going to have to break my brain again unless they can fix it. Sad.