I have a number of German friends due to some international gaming that I do. They've caused me to realize how LAZY most Americans are when it comes to languages. I don't think I know a one of them who isn't fluent in their native German, our English and one or more other languages. Some of our "folk" have difficulty with their own native English.
You asked about where to "chit chat". The upper forum areas are grouped around differing area of interest. You can post anywhere you'd like but will probably spend most of your time in either the CALS (Caregivers of persons with ALS) area or the "Off Topic" area. As you read and participate in existing threads, you'll begin to get the feel for what is what. I'm glad that you've jumped right in and didn't stay "safe" in that darkened corner.
Also, after some predefined number of posts, you'll be granted the ability to send private messages. These are posts that only the person(s) you send it to can see. Many of us also use Facebook and are willing to accept "Facebook Friend Requests"... which then allows its messaging to become available. And I've got several CALS and PALS from here with whom I regularly communicate via email.
If I could offer one suggestion, it would be to "PARTICIPATE". Don't worry if at first you feel you only have questions... we all did. Get in and ask questions... let us know that you're having a sucky or good day... we're all on a similar roller coaster. What makes this place so great, is that "we get it". And though one's well meaning next door neighbor can be quick with a "hope you get better, soon" retort... you'll find us better equipped to hold your hand, lend an ear or point you in a right direction.
Hello y'all. My name is Ralph, I am the person with ALS wishmobbing talks about in the original post. The progression of my disease is quicker than a rat in the sewers. I am trying to cope as best as I can.
So sorry to welcome you here as well metronome. You will find so much support from people who totally understand.
Feel free to start a thread of your own up the top in the general discussion area for PALS. Unless asked not to participate CALS do jump in there as well. I love this forum because CALS and PALS get to talk together!
I think it's not laziness or the opposite in other countrys. Here it's the sheer necessity, without a foreign language the world is very small, wheras english will get you around the world. (Add spanish and chinese, then you're probably fine anyplace.)
And thanks for the pointers on how to use the forum. Staying safe isn't my style. I was surprised to read how many people just read but aren't members. Earlier I saw 990 online, of which only 40 were logged in. But it figures, for years I only read in a cooking forum, looking for recipes. It's easy to ignore all the dingbats and just pick out the information you need. Here it feels different, so you have me on your hands now wether you like it or not, hehe.
Good occasion for a shout out to all the silent readers! Hi! <excessive waving> Drop in for a drink at the pub, if you ever feel like company!
Jim, your last paragraph makes my heart feel warm and fuzzy. I'm on it and would even like to read/post more, but at the same time I know that I shouldn't make it a new daily task on my to-do list. It is tempting though. I spent years of my late youth in a band fan forum where I met the beautiful man who just introduced himself, metronome, under that exact same name. By now I call him Ralph, but for the sake of internet nostalgia I'm happy to call him metro again. :-D
You are coping better than a rat in the sewers, metro! Greetings from 1 meter away!
Welcome, Ralph. Sorry that you find yourself here, but happy to know you have excellent support.
Jim- My husband's family is Dutch, and it's the same thing. The Dutch are generally fluent in English (sometimes more than I, a native speaker of it) and usually a few others too. It's fortunate for us lazy folk that English seems to be the international science and business language too.