Monday, October 19, 2009

Taipei - Leg #1

Arrived safely after an uneventful 13+ hours to Taipei. I sat in a middle seat (horrors), but next to my traveling companion, Cathy, and on the aisle side was a nice Texan who was heading to Hanoi for some work with a non-profit that he is a member of. Gratefully, he slept a shorter period than I and was both accommodating and merciful when it came to letting me out to use the loo. I find that long haul air trips are sort of akin to beer parties in college. You know - it takes a long time to realize that you have to pee the first time - but then it's like you have to find the ladies about every 30 minutes. Only, when you're in the middle seat of an airplane your problem is compounded by having to ask some stranger's permission. Although an eerie similarity is that there's typically urine on the floor in both college beer parties AND airliner bathrooms. Drag.

Highlights of the trip so far:

  • We ended up collecting about 200 pairs of jeans to take with us (along with a full load of letters to the sponsored kids and the little gifts to send them). We jammed it all in to a couple o' duffel bags. And got them in to the car. Bag weight limit? 61 pounds. Duffel #2? 81 pounds. No wonder it seemed a little bulky. But, thanks to some quick work o' repacking, reshuffling and adding stuff to a bag that was already weighed - we managed to get them all in. My carry-on bag (supposed to weigh 15 lbs) now weighs significantly more and my backpack is stuffed to the gills. I am weak - dragging this stuff around is HEAVY!
  • I took the drugs (from my super informed neuro) and managed to get a full 9 hours of drug induced slumber. I adopted the ear plug, black scarf over the head, quilt wrapped around combo mummy / burka look to block out the world. For those that know me I would like to add that they served dinner while I was snoozing. I am not one of those people that turns their noses up at plane-food. Bring it on. I rarely miss a meal. I snored right through tonight's dinner - another milestone thanks to modern pharmaceuticals!
  • When I woke up from my beauty sleep, I found to my dismay that my seat-back video wasn't working. Neither was the guy's next to me. Lucky for us we were flying Eva - a kindly asian airlines where when things don't work, somebody actually gives a rat's ass. Along with my over weight back-pack and rolling suitcase, I now need to heft around a little paper bag filled with sweets and tea. AND, another bag filled with 6 little fancy winnie-the-pooh kid's flight entertainment satchels! Plus, I have been assured over and over again that they will be making dead certain that my in-flight entertainment is working on the leg from Taipei to PP. Love it. So much more civilized than domestic carriers. Even if it doesn't work, they make you feel better about it!

Well, time to get off my butt and head on down the hallway to get myself some of those tasty shrimp dumplings. I know it's only 9:00ish in the morning here, but darn, they smell good and I really should get on my regimen of eating my way through Cambodia. So what that I'm not even there yet. Best to get a jump on it!

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