It’s 7:47 a.m. here in Taipei (6:47 p.m. in Toronto), and I’m sitting here at a neighbourhood coffee shop patio, planning out my day ahead.
After departing from Toronto, I arrived at O’Hare International in Chicago only to find that my flight to Tokyo was delayed by seven hours and I’d have to spend the night there, before catching the connecting flight from Tokyo to Taipei the following morning. I know that no-indoor-smoking laws are great overall for the health of everyone, but as a dedicated cigaretter, if I’m not mentally prepared to not smoke (i.e. for 7 extra hours), that shit is unbearable.
Throughout the 7-hour wait at O’Hare, I went outside 3 times for 10 minutes each, only to have to come back in and stand in line for an hour to get through security clearance.
Tokyo was nice; we got rounded up and shuttled over to Nikko Narita Hotel, where I had last stayed 20 years ago on a family trip to Asia. As a smoker, I love Asia. Indoor smoking lounges everywhere.
I arrived in Taipei Touyuan Airport and was the last to leave the baggage claim area. Where the bumbaclott was my checked luggage? Turns out, through the delay and subsequent airline changes, my checked baggage arrived a few hours earlier than I did and was at the “Unusual Circumstances (lol) Office” by baggage claim.
A half-hour bus-ride to the city center, and a two-dollar cab-ride got me to basecamp, and I’ve slept ’til now, which rocks because that means that I’m more-or-less adjusted to Taipei time… paid to be an owl while in Toronto
Getting around is a pretty big problem for me. Although I speak Mandarin well enough to converse day-to-day with everyone, I don’t know how to read a lick of Chinese. All of my interactions at stores, restaurants, and coffee shops begin with me prefacing with: “I’m from Canada, and I know how to speak a little bit, but I can’t read or write. Can you tell me what…………” I’m pretty confident that people think I’m legally mentally challenged.
Taipei has free wi-fi everywhere in the city so it’s pretty easy to get a hold of me via FB, TW, and What’sApp.
I’ll be blogging and vlogging relatively frequently, so be sure to come back often, post your comments, and remind me that you love me!
See you all… perhaps never (the food is just so unfreakingbelievable here).
Your friendly neighborhood Maurice!