Saturday, 14 January 2012

Made it to Taoyuan!

It’s raining which it looks like I better get used to- that’s what the forecast predicts every day for the next ten days.  We did not land mid-fireworks display… it would have been an explosive beginning to this trip but I think I’ll get my share of fireworks with New Year's Eve.  We did get election updates mid-flight and it sounds like over half the votes are counted so we should have a verdict soon.  I’m currently waiting for Penny, a university student to arrive to go to our hotel and I’m feeling ready for action!  I’ve got a free map (which is more than I can ever say in India) and I’ve already exchanged some of my currency. 
First impressions?  Nothing too notable yet.  Starting in Japan, I noticed people wearing masks and there’s big quarantine health inspection stations.  Wireless access has been free and readily accessible so far and getting through customs was supersmooth.  Although my internet has converted to Chinese characters, and the airport is probably more well-translated than elsewhere, I don’t foresee language being a huge issue.  Especially considering that various students and university professors will show me around throughout the week.  From my interactions so far, Taiwanese people seem incredibly hospitable and accommodating so I look forward to getting to know them.
It’s 11:40 PM here and lying in a bed is the last thing I want to do after spending 24 hours sitting on a cramped plane.   Adjusting to this 11 hour time difference is going to be tricky- its weird how two days vanished in transit.  
Tomorrow, I’m touring Tainan, Taiwan's oldest city with Professor Shieh and Penny.  I can’t wait to start exploring and stretch these cramped legs!