Saturday, July 14, 2007

Home at Last

I'm back! Last night I arrived at a temporary guest apartment in Taiwan where I will spend the next few days. I was on the road and flying the skies for about 29 hours.... blissfully short when you recall how earlier generations had to travel by sea! Though the flight was cramped and uncomfortable in economy class as usual, amazingly I actually managed to sleep a few hours.

Speaking of sleep, last night I slept soundly from about 10:30pm to 1:30 am... after that I was wide awake the rest of the night! Now, after a four hour nap this afternoon, I should be good to go until the wee hours tomorrow morning.... Jet lag is so fun. 

Best Investment Made for this Trip: A noise-reducing stereo headset. It really came in handy with a crying baby directly behind me during the first leg of my flight to San Fran! Hardly noticed him.

Worst Investment (in a good way): All the time spend pre-packing and meticulously weighing my 4 check-in overweight bags and two carry-ons. I had it all figured out to fork out an extra $400 to check my luggage (as it turned out at the counter it should have been $450 as the scale at the regional airport was apparently slightly different than the one at Dulles International), but the customer assistance at the check-in counter was apathetic and indifferent. 

Almost everything is done electronically these days. After the check-in computer console told me to speak to an attendant for customer service, the first attendant merely told me to use the computer and walked away for a break. The second lady seemingly pulled a dollar amount randomly out of the air. When I told her what I thought it should have been she merely responded "Do you want me to charge you more?" So now I'm grateful for an extra $130 I can spend somewhere else! 

Worst (Potential) Loss: The bag which holds my new hardly-used Acer laptop and Canon Digital Camera which hasn't appeared yet.  Hopefully it will make it down in the next few days. Praise God this is the only out of the four that I didn't need to pull something out of for the weeks ahead... I won't be needing any winter clothes when the temperature is in the upper nineties, or any books for pleasure reading while I study Taiwanese intensively for 4 weeks and look for a new apartment! Two Canadian co-workers told me last night that 4 of their 9 bags didn't make it with them on the same plane.