The reaction to my last post was stronger than I anticipated. Sure, that weekend I was really upset, but putting text to screen and hitting Publish made me wonder if I had overreacted. According to almost everyone, I not only underreacted, but if he had been with some of you rather than with me, his favorite body part would’ve been in jeopardy.

Thanks for all the support. Just don’t forget: I allowed it. Sure, he pole-vaulted every single boundary a gentleman wouldn’t even consider toeing, but I didn’t tell him to quit until the very end. He set the boundaries. I fussed internally and blamed him for not respecting my unspoken boundaries. A mind reader he was not, and yet I expected him to pick up on my signals.

This signal means, “WOO! He’s twenty feet away!”

Lesson learned: speak up.

I’m doing fine now. I don’t even want “it to rot” like I wrote in Chinese at the bottom of the post (passive aggressive, party of one). He’s a jerk with a limited future, and he knows it. What a sad, pathetic life.

In their defense, I told them to write every adjective they could think of on the board. The timing was just interesting after the Chubby Chaser Incident.

Anyway, enough of that. My friend Caitlin will be coming to visit August 23, and she and I will leave Taiwan together on Saturday, September 1. Two years and roughly five days in this country: I’m not setting any records, but that’s a pretty decent jaunt in a foreign place. Taiwan and I have had our ups and downs, but it’s going to be hard leaving.

It’s going to be hard to leave the woman by the window who has inches-long gray mole hair.

I’m excited, but yeah. Leaving will be difficult. I have a pretty nice little life carved out here. It’s time to start the next chapter, though, and hopefully the next one’s as happily ridiculous as this one has been.

I’m coming back and will hopefully live nowhere near the Gulf of Maxico.

My 30th birthday, which I’m careening into headfirst, is the perfect start to what will be a life-changing August and fall. The Taiwanese regard a woman’s thirtieth as the true start of her life; she’s a woman. I’ll be working that day, as my application for a national holiday seems to have gotten lost in the mail, but my housemate Chocolate, who turns 30 five days after me, and I have discussed going to Taipei and camping out in the lounge of the W Hotel like two sophisticated women.

Birthday August 7, last day of work August 17, Caitlin August 23, US-bound September 1, new career starting in 3… 2…

Mere days before the apocalyptic typhoon!

Uh, yeah, about that. No job yet. I’ve sent out roughly 25 applications in the past few months. Yesterday I was supposedly going to knock out five cover letters/applications thanks to a half day of work for Typhoon Fakeout, but then my afternoon turned into a long, unattractive snoozefest. I’m pretty sure three people came into my room at different times to talk to me, but I did little more than mumble, “Huh?… tired… uhhhhhhh.”

Here comes the rampaging typhoon!

Sorry and love to Emily, Chocolate and Boabi.

So, yes, the job search continues. There are quite a few applications out there that I’d like to follow up on with a singing telegram admonishing them to hire me, but since they said “No phone calls” on the posting, I suppose a barbershop quartet might be a bit much.

The rainy aftermath of the devastating typhoon!

In the interim, I need to focus on my health and ease out of my winter padding, seeing as how spring is already over and summer is glaring me in the face. If my kettlebell were here, I’d already have bikini tan lines but, alas, it sits in my parents’ house, waiting for me to come back and swing it around.

I’ve also got to spend as much time as possible with my Taiwan family. Today Jessica, my youngest student, came up to me as I was leaving. She looked concerned.

“You leave when?”

After I assured her it was almost three months from now, she brightened up. That time will fly, though, and soon I’ll be hugging her one last time before I leave.

This kid is a ray of sunshine.

Yeah. It’s going to be hard to leave.