So on Saturday morning my time (I didn't change my blog's time zone when I changed my time zone, so I'm 12 hours ahead of it) I had an abortedattempt at a language utilization report, then moved my tuchus because I wasn't sure exactly how complicated/time consuming getting onto a high speed train to Beijing for the NaNoWriMo kick-off meeting would be. An hour later, I was rambling in a way that might have sounded coherent, but it was pretty irrelevant to any issues I was actually having. (I read through later and didn't change anything. It wasn't coherent. I'm not sure this is either, frankly.) Those posts were written from 9:20-34 and 10:20-45am, respectively. Not edited or anything. Almost nothing on this blog has been edited: I think Functioning Labels, which I've added a few things to, and Autism and Being Trans*, which I fixed some language issues in, are pretty much the only exceptions.
Anyways, this one got started at 7:25pm, just about 10 hours after I had my issue with the report. Two main things going on here: I feel like talking about my day, and I think that showing what my written language looks like at a few time intervals from semi-major issues is possibly useful.
Security for the subway and the train is a thing in Beijing, but it's very much security theater. It's also very quick. Stick your bag through an X-ray and that's basically it. I was able to get from outside security to on my train in three minutes this evening, and it was important that I did it about that fast because I was running for my train this evening. I mean, it wouldn't have been that big a deal considering that the Beijing South->Tianjin high speed train runs every 10-20 minutes pretty much all day, but it would have been annoying because I'd have had to stand in line and buy a new ticket. Buying tickets is more time-consuming than security is, significantly.
Anyways. I thought I had lots of extra time, since I was getting into Beijing South Station at 11:33 and the kickoff started at 3. If I'd known where I was going and/or Google Chome had not decided to try to reload all my tabs when I wasn't connected to the internet, causing me to lose my copy of the directions, I might have. As it was, I got into Beijing South Station, ate food, checked the directions which had not yet crashed out on me, saw what subway station I needed to get off at, and got on the subway. It was a bit of a long subway ride (~25 minutes on the actual subway line) but the Beijing station and the one where I needed to get off were both on line 4, so that was convenient. This is the part where the plans fell apart a bit.
See, I had the directions on skydrive, courtesy of the person who organized the party, but I didn't have them on my hard drive because what is being organized like that? So I got there and looked at the directions, but sometime between the Beijing station and then, Chrome decided to reload the page and so I lost access to the file. That was fail. I wandered around for a bit until I found an internet bar, where I was able to get online for half an hour for only 3 kuai. That's about 50 cents US. Not bad, really. It was the public computers with slow internet and only Internet Explorer, so that made it a little bit frustrating, and only the first page of the document would load, so I was working with incomplete information. That might be why still I got lost on the way there. Eventually I found it, though. At 2:55pm, to be exact.
Kickoff party was good. Small, which might have made it a bit boring for some of the other people there, but I like small. Small is good. Then we got pizza. Pizza is also good. The other thing I got was milk tea. Oh, and the volunteer who set this stuff up is an American who barely speaks Chinese. He teaches English in China, and yeah, I'm impressed with the people who aren't from China and don't read Chinese but manage to live here. I have enough fun figuring stuff out, and I actually speak this language. And read it. Reading it is kind of important, since a lot of the translations aren't much better than Google Translate. [I sometimes correct Google Translate when doing Chinese to English and submit the edits, which I think is how the edits are supposed to get a little bit better with time. It requires having enough understanding of the source language that you can figure out where exactly Google is going wrong, though.]
And then I ran for the train. Which I am now on, because I made the train. Pizza place to subway station was 20 minutes walking, then 27 minutes to Beijing South Station and a total of 10 minutes from getting off the subway to being on my train. I've done quicker subway to commuter rail runs at home, but the station at home is smaller and there isn't security. Also, the first and only time I did it in four minutes, I wasn't carrying anything and got on the wrong train. Oops. So I like to allow a bit more time than that. For a train station that I'd only been in for the first time that morning and which has security, ten minutes was cutting it pretty close. Good to know it's possible, don't really want to do it again. So there is how my day went (it was a good day) and my current level of languaging. I think I'm still going off on more tangents than usual, and if I had a major problem I'd have trouble communicating it, but I'm definitely more able to tell people stuff than I was this morning at 10:20.
And I think that's the sound of the train slowing down to get into Tianjin station. Home. Or close to it. 5 subway stops away, and then I can sleep. Sleep will be good. Gnight, all.