November 23, 2010
This is my first trip to Asia. I’ve been nervous about this trip for weeks. Asia is going to be different
from anything else I know or have experienced and I’m worried about how I’ll navigate or get by. Fortunately, I’m meeting with friends soon and we can all
go through this together. The flight out from Seattle was uneventful. I landed in Seattle for a brief overlay to repack and leave some things behind and
upon exiting the airport thought I’d been misdirected and landed in Cleveland by mistake! It was freezing. My manager posted a picture of trees with snow
outside his window at work this morning. Brrrr! Fortunately for me, where I’m heading, temps will be warm.
The flight itself is long. I tried my best to sleep and found the inflatable head rest handy. When I was
satisified should get up, we were flying over Japan. The map suggested we flew right over Hiroshima. Something about all of the history books coming to life
in my mind, make the observation seem surreal. There’s a moment when I contemplate how close I am flying to mainland China, to the Koreas, and the lights on
the ground leave a sense of curiousity about the towns and lives below. Someday I will visit. For now, I wrestle with a breakfast of porridge and fish. Moments
like that have me wonder how I will survive on the limited Luna Protein bars I have brought for just such emergencies.
I’ve managed to watch only two movies on the plan, neither can I strongly recommend but they were ok. The first
was Killers with Kathryn Heigle and Ashton Kutcher (oh and how can I forget, Tom Selleck). The second one I seemed to have missed the name of it but it was
the guy from the ‘Office’ who plays an eccentric ‘idiot.’ He creates mousescapes using dead mice. I could have passed on that one. I hope I have the option to
watch Salt on the way back because I didn’t find it until too late this leg.
I only have a short layover here in Taipei, but walking the airport followed by sitting and people watching
while interneting, I can observe many differences from what I am used to. This particular group that has moved in around me is very loud, shouting across
to one another and strikes a stark contrast to the ‘Relaxation zone’ just next to us. In the Relaxation zone there are lounge chairs that give you a massage
tucked into the back of a modeled greenscape. I didn’t buy the token for this luxury but every chair was used and all of the loungers looked quite content. Maybe next time.