rocknload: (NCIS ☌ dinozzo is smooth like butter)
So apparently my Mandarin has taken a pretty massive leap forward, all of a sudden, because it's like I fucking woke up three days ago and could understand half of everything I freaking hear, could start up conversations and ask basic questions without really thinking about it, and almost immediately started forgetting my native language. That might sound cool but I mean, think about that particular combination of skills. I UNDERSTAND HALF OF WHAT I HEAR. I TALK WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT WHAT I'M SAYING. And now I guess I know just enough to get myself into trouble now and so we have, ADVENTURES IN BEING BRITTANY, NOT THE SHARPEST TOOL IN THE SHED, WHO TODAY 好好好, 對對對ED HER WAY TO ACCIDENTALLY ORDERING ABOUT A HUNDRED FUCKING DOLLARS OF JIRO WANG MERCHANDISE.

Actually, that about sums it up. To pay myself the only compliment I'm willing to do here, my Chinese must've been pretty okay, because the lady easily understood my questions, she assumed I could understand her. I mean she kept it simple but she wasn't talking in baby Chinese. I showed her my list of the drama DVDs I was looking for—I wanted something to watch tonight, so I'd written down like half of everything my favorite Taiwanese idol has ever appeared in that I was vaguely interested in. She complimented my Chinese handwriting, she disappeared into the back. Then she returned and said in Chinese, "I'm sorry, we don't have these right now."

"Oh, that's okay," I said, in Chinese. "Thank you!"

Then she said something I wasn't paying attention to because I was all, holy shit, I'm totally having a conversation in Chinese! I nodded enthusiastically, because that's what you do when you don't understand what someone's telling you. "Okay, okay," I said, except it was really like, "Okay okay okay okay," because that's what you do in Taiwan. Seriously, I've carried over a rapid-fire, "Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah," into my English. I feel our tongue lacks this valuable tool.

"Then, can I get your name and phone number?" she asked me.

"Oh, sure!" I said. I can write both of those things in Chinese, which is an awesome language, if you didn't know, and so of course I eagerly did that. Actually phone numbers are pretty much the same in every language but I totally had to explain my terrible handwriting to her, in Chinese, so that counts! "We'll call you when these come in," she said. I was like, dude, awesome. Because I totally knew what she said! She took my name, number, and my list, which should've been a fucking clue, but processing languages that are not English apparently take my entire brain. I smiled and nodded and turned and walked away, feeling pretty pleased with myself.

... And then I was like wait what.
rocknload: (JGL ☌ .....................)

I told you guys, lawnmower strapped to a cart. My dad said they used to have these back in the States, before they came to their senses.

Every morning I wake up to the garbage truck, which sings like an ice-cream truck except with fewer notes and it parks outside my building. For half an hour at a time. The first time it shows I'm usually too dead to notice, since that's around the six am mark, but around eight when it shows up again, jesus. I rolled over and tried to cover my face with the pillow but since it's like eighty-five degrees in my room on most mornings sleep is precarious anyway and yeah, the pillow isn't cutting it. So I start most mornings out with hate in my soul.

Follow that up with my failure this morning to realize that the water fountain display said "100" because it was dispensing water that was in fact 100º Celsius, and even as an idiot American I really should've figured that out, y'know? "Is that steam? Really? Ohcrap." This is an excellent way to start my first day of school—which technically doesn't start until eight tonight, but, you know, whatever. Whateveeeeeeeer.

My friend K. is taking courses in Chinese, which I think is completely nuts even though I plan on doing exactly the same thing next semester. Looking at her course material though, looks like I'm going to have to fucking study man. Because, well, shit. The reading alone looks like enough to make me weep. Weep, because in five months that's me.
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May 2011

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