Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Taiwan Trip Wrap-up

It is now Tuesday afternoon, two days after I returned home to Easton.  I need to wrap up the Taiwan trip because some readers get upset that I "leave them hanging" (you know who you are) when I don't do a closure piece.  So here it is.

The flight home was absolutely delightful.  We were whisked to the airport, through a special security gate, and to our departure gate with the greatest of bureaucratic ease.  Flopping into my business class pod, I endeavored to be strategic about the fifteen hour flight by staying awake long enough to eat the sumptuous meal they had planned and then watching a movie.  I did both, selecting "Million Dollar Arm" for viewing, and I was not disappointed.  About five hours into the flight, I changed into the Viet Cong pajamas they gave us for the flight, not because I was not already comfortably attired, but because I knew I'd be wearing those clothes for an extended period and I felt I'd given them a rest.  Mask on, earplugs in, and off to sleep--but only for two and a half hours--at which point I woke up and tackled some work projects for a few hours.  Then, another movie--"Draft Day", which was exceptional.  A bit more work, another meal, and voila--we landed in New York fifteen hours later but only three hours after we took off by local times.

My traveling companions all checked bags, but I did not, using my new rolling, hanging, bag suitcase that fits in the carry-on bin so that I could avoid the hassle.  Additionally, my enrollment in Global Entry meant a quick walk to the kiosk, insertion of my passport, fingerprint check, answering a few questions and I was then clear of immigration.  Because I had to wait on the others, I went out into the lobby of the airport and called the motel that we were booked into for the night, in order to get the scoop on how to get there.  One port authority bus to another part of the airport and then onto the hotel shuttle.  Easy enough.  We arrived at our Best Western at around 2330 and took to our rooms.  At 0800 we were up and out, back to JFK to hop on the shuttle to Dulles, then the drive back to Easton. I got home at around 2PM and was greeted by two sloppy labs and The Kitten.

The rest of the day Sunday was brutal, as I just wanted to go to sleep.  But I stayed up long enough to watch "Once Upon a Time" and then went straight to sleep, awakened by my alarm Monday morning at 0600.

It was truly a first class trip, in terms of accommodations, meals, and travel.  Additionally, it was a top-flight intellectual experience.  We got to talk with some really smart people, and we learned a great deal about a part of the world few of us know well. I can tell you straight out though, that I am not sure I'd ever fly that far again UNLESS is was in biz class.

So, consider this trip wrapped.  Thanks for your interest.

1 comment:

Mudge said...

"Additionally, my enrollment in Global Entry meant a quick walk to the kiosk, insertion of my passport, fingerprint check, answering a few questions and I was then clear of immigration."

Global Entry enrollment is so last decade, CW. The much faster and far-less intrusive way to get past immigration along with considerably more generous benefits is to enroll in La Raza. It's VIP treatment en route, through and well after you get to the border.

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