Monday, December 24, 2007

The Other Side of the World

I did it! I officially have another stamp in my passport! At approximately 11:00 P.M. on 12/24/07 (only 30 hours later than originally scheduled) I received my second stamp...the first being from Belize.

Thirty hours, you may ponder. I can say that the journey to Taipei couldn't have been more tumultuous. At 3 A.M. on the 22nd, after only a two-hour nap, I woke up to begin the final packing and preparation for departure at 7:45 A.M. from Austin. Ning's family and I arrived promptly at the airport. We stood in line for 30 minutes as the International Customer Service Rep helped only two customers! Since we were about 15th in line, this was alarming. As luck would have it, there was no pilot for our flight, and it was therefore delayed until 11 A.M. Since there was then a mechanical problem at 11 A.M., our flight was further delayed another 30 minutes or so...just enough so that when we got to the gate in San Fransisco, we saw our jet pulling away! No lie! Since there is only one flight leaving for Taipei every day, we had to stay the night in San Fran. We did see the Golden Gate Bridge and ate some mediocre seafood. Upon prompt arrival at the San Fran airport Sunday, we were told that our flight that was scheduled to depart at 1:10 was delayed for 4 hours.

I am happy to say that all of this misfortune led to a very relaxing experience known as Business Class! We were bumped up, and I am oh so thankful. Wine was free, so needless to say, I slept six out of the thirteen hours. :o) The food was very good for airline food. And I will be sad to travel Economy on the way home!

So I am now in Taipei and have already eaten. Ning and I walked around for about 30 minutes and now we are bonding at the Internet cafe. I will continue to blog every chance I get while I'm here, but I am tired of typing for now. This set-up is not ergonomically sufficient!