Taiwan! But before that …..

Day 1:
Well, I finally made it to this island….. after many fits and starts, I have arrived. Prior to getting here though I had quite the adventure.

In LA for training, I scheduled to drive up the same day I was flying out of SFO. I was doing great time (about 5 hrs) and then disaster struck — I blew out my front driver side tire. Big-o bang and then clunk clunk clunk. If I had to have a flat then, I lucked out. I pulled over right behind a state trooper who was already there with a tow truck and a big rig that was having problems. I found out that I had a crappy and rusted out spare, no jack and nothing to take the tires off with. The trooper had the spare equipment, the big rig had the ability to pump air in my airless spare and I managed to get to the local Wheelworks and fix my tires.

All the while I finished packing and got on the road to pick up my friend coming back from Malaysia with his wife. Handed off my car keys to him so he could look after my car and I was on my way to Taiwan. Lucky me! While there the flight was overbooked and they were offering a great deal for people to fly the next day. I was so tempted, $400 travel voucher, $150 hotel voucher and a guaranteed seat upgrade the next night. I decided not to because Tony was waiting and I was anxious to get going. I didn’t need another reason to delay my long awaited trip to Taiwan.

I settled in quickly and well, before you know it, the family in front had a temperamental baby. Couldn’t stop crying all the way there. It was unreal. The baby was in pain and the parents, I dunno, but I think doing that to a baby is abuse and cruel and unusual for the passengers. The only way the baby stopped crying was to be held and carried but the parents didn’t do it and insisted that the baby lie in the portable crib. Shoot, I would’ve carried the baby and slept standing up.

In between the crying, I caught Master and Commander and The Other Side of Heaven. Slept some and was pretty well relaxed. The 747-400 was a little cramped, but managable considering in the past two months I’ve lost 1 waist pants size which so helped. If not, these Boeing seats are small. I think the Airbus seats are a little bigger.

Now I’m typing this in Tony’s office. Taiwan is all rain. Worse than Seattle and London combined. It looks like that for the next couple of weeks which is a total bummer. It’s alright, my trip here is mostly business anyhow. There was some culture shock but not too much. One nice thing is that it looks like the US. Driving from the airport to central Taipei, it looked a lot like Norther Jersey Turnpike into Holland Tunnel. Driver’s are crazy though… Saw a little Toyota cut off a large bus and almost thought there’d be an accident. Didn’t realize a bus could be so nimble but it’s par for the course I gathered later in the day.


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