English isn't my first language, it's my third (after Cantonese and Mandarin). I've only been using English for about 6 years or so. It must be a similar scenario for a noder who doesn't use English as a primary language as when I was first using English to communicate.

Writing a decent essay was one of the hardest things in my life before E2, to be honest. As I sit there and write, I could start thinking in Chinese, and the next thing I knew, I was writing Chinese on paper. E2 let me think more naturally. Writing boring essays on the social-economic situation in Indonesia doesn't really get my head going, but writing about abortion does. I think I've become a better writer after Everything....

Writing in a foreign language isn't a handicap, it is a challenge. I feel that if you can put your inner feelings on paper, then you've truly mastered a language. I still can't do it in English. Heck, I don't even speak English half the time. My speech degrades into a mixture of Chinese and English when I talk.

I still frequent the local Chinese message boards. It is interesting to read about the internet experience from an Asian point of view.