Taiwan 2010 – There are Stories Left to Tell

There are stories left to tell, like about the vomitorium in the classy restaurant inside the five-star hotel, but they shall have to wait until my return, for in about 30 minutes I’ll be heading out towards the airport to catch in flight 3 hours from then. The family will be staying behind for another 3 weeks and i already (accidentally) reduced James to tears when I told him I’d miss him. I have a feeling this isn’t going to be a pretty farewell at the airport.IMG_0001

Because the flight is in the mid-afternoon, there’s not much really to do today except pack and eat lunch. I convinced them to take Michelle (and therefore me) to Din Tai Fung for lunch. We got there early and between the 7 of us, we ate a full 7 steamers (70 dumplings). Put in perspective, my 18 isn’t that much, but it was a record for me, and this time Michelle was’t even in the running. Last time she polished off 14, this time only 10. James managed 9 this time and he was desperately trying to keep up (and surpass) his big sister.

When we left, the crowd was standing at about 250 people waiting to get in for lunch. Din Tai Fung is never hurting for business – nor should they be.

I didn’t mention much about our flight over on China Air. Frankly, we didn’t want to fly them, but flights were so tight and prices so high we didn’t have a choice. Singapore Air cut back on flights and no longer flies direct to Taipei from LA, which left out our favorite airline. Eva Air, a Taiwanese carrier, couldn’t get us flights on even close to the dates we wanted and were hundreds more per ticket (on days we didn’t want.) I had no major complaints about China Air (Which is, by the way, the national carrier of Taiwan, not China) except that their food isn’t as good or as plentiful, the stewardesses aren’t as good at English, and they’re really skimpy on water and drinks.

We had a 6 hour nightmare of a wait at LAX last time, this time the wait is longer and the flight back to Phoenix isn’t even direct. It would be another 11 hours back to Phoenix! Insanity! I’ve rented a car and will be driving back it will take 6 hours or so, but I can stop, stretch my legs and have pizza and Dr. Pepper.

I’ll see you on the other side of the world!