The purpose of this trip, ostensibly, it for me to learn to speak Mandarin enough so that I'm not entirely pathetic at it. I'm not entirely sure this plan is working, because most of the time, I'm either coding or trying not to fall asleep or trying to figure out all of the technical vocab I entirely lack. About half the time, the people around me switch to Taiwanese so that I get completely lost.
All in all, it's sort of weird, because I feel homesick a lot in weird ways, and I remember this from my first trip to Taiwan a long time ago. It's a feeling like, "huh, I don't belong here, either," which was really painful back then, and it's mostly just annoying right now. Perhaps even more than in the US, I feel like people treat me like a freak, an outsider, and it's fair to say that I am, but I'm kind of tired of being treated like an idiot just because I can't fully articulate myself. It's always kind of awkward when yet another person assumes that I can't understand what they're saying, when I'm just not good enough to actually speak back with conversational competence. This whole thing is mostly brushing up against the fact that I'm not the most talky person in English, either, and my first instinct is usually to withdraw and hide in my computer.
I can't complain about the food. There is so much deliciousness all the time. Nom. It's all so excellent, and I always miss it so much when I go home.
I can complain about the insects, though, because omg, I am now covered in bug bites and it's not even like I've spent that much time outside. I have, on last count, two on my right knee, one on my left knee, one on my left shin, one on my right ankle, one on my left foot, one on each of my shoulders, one on each of my arms, one on my torso, and one on my right ring finger. I think I'm probably missing some, and I'm sure the number of these will double by the end of tomorrow. I'm not even kidding.
In addition, I've decided to go on reading the Temeraire books, because they were sitting around my house, and I needed books to bring with me on this trip. Currently, I am in the middle of Throne of Jade and trying desperately not to wince every single time Yongxin shows up. Or, you know, spending time wondering how awesome it would be to toss Laurence into the ocean. Repeatedly. It's kind of interesting to contrast the weird, exoticized Chinese of the book with, you know, the actual Chinese people around me here. WHATEVER, DUDES. I realize that this is what being a fan of Glee must be like for people who give a shit about anti-oppression work. I don't even have awesome song and dance numbers to use as a good reason for continuing on. (And yeah, you can say whee! dragons! but I feel distinctly left out of that squee, for reasons I have articulated before. AND YET I am still here.)
I'm going to be bringing the company computer with me to mainland China when I go in that direction in a few days (and ahahahha, let me tell you about funtimes trying to operate a computer when you can't read the language the whole operating system and window manager are using) so I don't know if I'll get around to typing up the kink_bingo fics that are slowly managing to dribble out of my brain. I hope to get more written, at least. My writing mojo has been all over the place over the last semester, and I am slowly trying to regain it.
Also, dumplings are delicious. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Wow, this is a rambly, not-entirely-coherent post. I think I'll continue to blame the jet lag.
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