Well, I’ve finally arrived here in Taipei, Taiwan. As usual, the flight was a drag. For those of you who have never gone through this, the flight over the Pacific ends up being a total of about 18 hours, spread out over 3 different flights. If you’re starting in North Carolina like me, the first flight is typically to a major airport somewhere else in the US. The most common ones are in Chicago and San Francisco. From there, it’s a 12 to 14 hours flight across the ocean.
After that is the flight from Japan to Taiwan. This takes up only 4 hours, which is pretty insignificant when compared to the monster of a flight before. So between waiting for connection flights to take off, the numerous delays due to maintenance or bad weather that always seem to occur when it comes to air travel, and the time spent on the flights themselves, we’re talking about a 24+ hour ordeal.
When I first arrived here in Taiwan, it was 12 AM. By the time I got to the hotel via shuttle, I immediately fell asleep (being on the opposite side of the world really messes up your sleep cycle). The next morning, as I got up to look for somewhere to eat breakfast, I finally got a chance to take in the surrounding. At first, it was a bit of a culture shock for me. All of the buildings seemed so cramped together, and it seemed like the majority of the shops were run by locals, as opposed to being chain stores. Of course, after taking in these images, I immediately had a small mental breakdown (I mean, I had a cool, calm, collected moment of reflection) and started to second guess my entire trip over here to Asia. After I had a closer look around, though, I realized that despite the differences between this place and my home, it is really quite nice.
Unfortunately, the weather has been rainy since I got here so I haven’t been able to get any good pictures of the the scenery, but I’ll hopefully have some on my next post pending some good weather.