We make holes in teeth!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Taiwan Day 0 - In Transit

Full picture set of the day here: Flickr set or slideshow.

I never really count the day of flight as a day of vacation, but we end up spending 1.5 "days" from leaving the house to walking out of the airport in Taiwan. The real time is about 24 hours (24.5 this time) but with the time difference we left the house on Wednesday night at 7:30 and got out of the airport around 9:00 on Friday morning. It's not a vacation day but it counts for something. So I call it day 0.

Day 0 was the flight, and that's it. It sounds like a reasonably easy endeavor. Pack, get on plane, get off plane, and spend 6 weeks in another country. But going halfway around the world makes everything tougher. Aside from the considerable packing we needed to do for a trip this long, the travel is a battle of sorts in it's own right. Unfortunately, this trip is pretty boring and going on about the flight isn't going to be that interesting to many people not in the airline industry. And even then, I'm sure they've heard it all before.

The food was airline food. I remember the food on our first trip here was reasonably good. But as one might expect, the bottom line has been maximized which translates to: You eat trash. The airline immediately puts you on Taiwan time, so you get on and eat lunch, since it's about noon in Taiwan. Lunch was some sort of pork and mashed potatoes.

With the meal, of course they serve spreadable butter. Most of the people reading this will already know the story of my butter-in-law, who asked us to bring 2 tubs of spreadable butter with us. For those of you who haven't heard the story before, that's pretty much it. Well that, and I've changed his title from brother-in-law to butter-in-law, either way he will referred to BIL most of the time.

One of the options on the TV is to show how far you've gone and how far you have to go. The first leg is the shortest, and it's long:

One of the leprechauns (which is what I call the green-clad stewardesses) gave Julia some stickers to play with. It was a big hit, and kept her pretty occupied for much of the trip to Alaska.

Just like I can't imagine how one got through an 8 hour work day without the Internet, I can't imagine what flight used to be like before electronics. Here Nat & Julia sit back and relax and waste some time. I don't love the expression "waste time" but when you're stuck in an 18" wide seat this long, it's not like living in the moment is always a great thing. There is a notion to "be here now" but to me that begs the question: What if "here" is jail?

Mom gives up while Julia watches on:

Finally, Julia gives up also and I find myself with 2 little feet on my lap:

Julia wasn't thrilled when we woke her up in Anchorage. The trip there is longer, but the layover gives you a much needed mental break. Still, she doesn't look like she needs a break so much as more sleep:

The layover was short but then they had to de-ice the airplane. I'm not sure why you need to de-ice the plane when it's 19 degrees. In the air the display says the temps are -62. Either way, we were a little delayed but not much. One of the leprechauns helping with the overhead arrangements:

Leg 2, the mental image is enough to crack your sanity:

Not long into the second leg, the feet come back:

I slept on & off 2 different times for about 2 hours each. Nat slept a bit more than I did. And Julia did about 7 hours in total. I kept a little 1 line journal of the trip and took a picture of each line. I was going to overlay them in a time lapse video but the idea sounded better at the time and nothing explosive ever happened in my head so nothing gold came out. I read a bit (went with Sci Fi: Hyperion), played some games, played with Julia, and slept some. The trip wasn't short by any means but before I knew it we were having breakfast served:

Somewhere along the line Julia refuses to not make a face at the camera now:

Welcome to Taiwan:

The leprechaun army awaits their luggage:

Eventually, the bike is found. I had a feeling it wouldn't come in on the conveyor, and I was right. We found it after everyone else was gone. It was standing off to the side with someone else's guitar. Welcome to Taiwan, bike!

Finally, we leave the airport. One very short, but mentally long journey ends, and another begins:



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