Namahottie wrote:And bday wishes too.
You know Oprah's got your back, baby girl!
Forumosa has been there even before I was here. And I feel like I've grown up on Forumosa. I have learned a lot about life and about myself from when I was a talkative 21-year-old who thought she was hot shit and knew everything to a talkative 27-year-old who is still working on her egotism, such as not referring to herself in the third person, but is much more aware that the world is much bigger than her own experience and education will ever cover.
Forumosa has helped me sort through my thoughts on all sorts of things, helped ease my worries about finding a job here and then went and helped me get my first job in the 11th hour.
Later it helped me get my...uh...actually, every job that I held this past summer, the summer of that difficult break from my first employer. I got four job offers through four generous forumosans - Limey, dangermouse, Loretta, and jdsmith. I wouldn't have been able to survive through those tumultuous three months if it weren't for them. I also got my current job through an ad on Taiwanted.com.
I got my very luscious 12th-floor downtown apartment (with a breathtaking view of the mountains of northern Taipei) through an ad on forumosa (I'm glad that I saw it as soon as my landlady-to-be posted it because it was a very sweet deal).
It helped me refind Iris (through the circumcision thread, no less!) a few months after I met her IRL. And it kept me from going insane with loneliness when I was working a ten-hour day with a one-hour commute each way (basically, my life revolved around work from the time I left my apartment at 6:30am until I got home after 8pm) so I had no time to do any more socializing that from my computer before I had to go to bed and get ready for that 5am wake-up call. Fortunately, that commute was for only 6 months before I found a closer apartment in Muzha (through Forumosa, again).
Through Mother Teresa, I went to my first Games Club, back at Shuang Yu Cafe in 2002. Which in turn introduced me to the mythical island of Catan (and its subsequent settlers, cities, and knights...and one typhoon day all of them and its seafarers to boot over an 8+ hour gaming session) and taught me that not all of the great games out there come from the labs of Milton-Bradley or Parker Brothers.
It helped me be there to celebrate Alleycat's when he opened his first restaurant (taking the shepherd's pie and macaroni and cheese off the menu is the only business move of yours that I question 'cause they was good eatin').
One infamous thread taught me how to swear in Mandarin.
Another thread lead me to Ubud Sari on Bali which in turn lead me to yoga, meditation, and surfing. I won't tell you which thread that was, though.
Except after my experience, I am a believer, no matter what modern medicine says.
It has given me tons of chances to ponder "what-if" from everything from fantasies like "if I won the lottery" to tough choices like "if I knew I was carrying a child with birth defects". It has taught me that the best way to keep loving my conservative friends is to stay out of the IP forum... ah, I remember when the Open Forum was where politics were discussed... and to not take myself too seriously. Except when it comes to teaching. Dammit.
It has also taught me that I am not the only one who thinks the way I think and that the world, or at least Taiwan, is full of gifted, eloquent, thought-provoking writers.
Also that ninjas are wa-ay cooler than pirates.
Ah, the tear-inducing, breath-taking, headache-causing laughs I've had from reading things on here and the times where my hands shook as a thought tried to escape my fingers faster than they could type it (I'm sure my typing speed has improved as a result too... 610,000+ words is a lot, after all).
And most importantly, forumosa has taught me that there is a human side to board discussions which from the day I met my first forumosans (ones that I had talked to online, as opposed to ones like Iris, Okami, and Ironlady who I met before they were full-fledged forumosan legends), has humblified me to think before I type...well, okay, not always, but I never thought about the people on the other side of the screen before Forumosa.
Last, but definitely not least, I met a bunch of cool people. If I tried to list all the great people I have met, my word per post count average would double...which considering how high it already is and how many posts I already have... well, I never was a math major, but it's a lot.
Thank you, Forumosa for all the years, tears, and cheers. I may never understand Chinese culture, but I'll always have Forumosa to explain it to me over and over again with loving patience.