Monday, March 2, 2009

LEG 3 Complete Tokyo to Taiwan

Well i arrived safely in Taiwan, 20 minutes early.  I was very excited about this.  So now it looked as though i would make it to the hotel before midnight, which is super great.  Cause the longer the sleep before the first day of work the quicker i seem to acclimate to the new timezone.

Here again i feel the amazing race competition beginning. You see, once you arrive in Taiwan, you have to go thru customs. Knowing this plane is holding 300+ people, i don't want to be at the end of the line in customs. PLUS the sooner i can get out of the airport the sooner i can get to the hotel.  So as we are landing, i am mentally preparing. Making sure my documents for customs are all prepared, making sure i have all my stuff put away, so that when the seat belt sign is off i can get up and get my stuff out of the overhead with out having to open it and pack stuff in.  ANd most importantly, I am eyeing up the passengers around me, which ones can i move faster than, which can i shove and which can i just be rude and cut in front of....dont forget, they are all thinking the same thing.  Keep in mind they are mostly mid-aged asia and white business men.  So they are looking at me weird to begin with (female, little, not dressed in business clothes, matter of fact, dressed very causally).  They wont see me when i zip past them...i can do i just slept for the last 4 hours. As soon as i sat down on this flight, i fell asleep and didnt wake up until we started our descend. am curious though if i talk in my sleep on the kinda felt like i did, because i was having uber weird dreams.

ok so seatbelt sign goes off, let the race begin. i manage to get into the isle and get all my stuff, cut in front of the 3 people in the seats ahead of me.  am feeling pretty good. its easy getting off the plane and now the fast walking begins.....hurry hurry, its a first in, first out policy in customs. ok i see it, documents in hand, passport in hand....i get in line and yes, i am one of the first from our plane, however another jumbo jet or two landed before us, so there are about 300 people in front of me in line and about 300 or so behind me now too.  Of course customs is the like grocery store because they have 30 "check out" lines available but only 4 open.  what is this, do then not know when planes are coming in?  fortunately i only waited for about 20 minutes. i was clear.
Now the race is still on and maybe even more intensely.  Ya see, now you have to go get your luggage.  Knowing that i have 4 bags, 2 checked and 2 in hand, i am gonna need a cart.  so i was able to identify my baggage claim number while in customs line..#1. I get to the baggage claim and of course the hand carts are not at #1, but they are at #6.  So i make a mad dash for number 6.  The urgency here, is with so many planes landing at that same time, they run out of carts.  And if i have to carry all my bags out of the airport, i am going to be hurting.  So i get to baggage claim 6 and WHEWWW! i get a cart.  Ok i turn and look at #1, and bags are already coming out. so its a mad dash with the cart back to #1. Breathing heavily now. i wait patiently for my bags....o about another 20 minutes. I keep watching because ya never know when the little Asian woman who forgot her glasses happened to pick up your red suitcase instead of her own.   
While i am waiting for my bags, i notice a sign stating Declarations.  I forgot all about having to go thru declarations.  oops.  well no worries. I grab my bags. and head thru declarations.  ya see, if you get stopped and didnt declare something say of value, they will fine you and a bunch of other stuff.  Well my plane is the put my head down, dont look anyone in the eye and just go thru quickly, kinda get lost in the crowd.  
It worked! i didnt get stopped.  Ok now i have to walk thru this hallway and look for my name on a sign.  all the drivers and what not wait in this area to pick you up.  I will be looking for a sign with my name.  And nothing. i dont see it and i walked all the way.  There was another option to walk to the left instead of right and there were some folks down there with signs. but it is kind of one of those spots at the airport where once you walk thru, you cant go back.  so i stand there trying to figure out another plan.  hmm. well its 10 pm. i could take a taxi, but thats gonna be dicy.  i dont really have a contact to call.  I could call the hotel, but i would of had to written their number down, so hmmm...not really prepared for this one.  ill just stand here until someone comes and talks to me......5 minutes.......and 10 minutes.......oh wait! someone is coming my way AND he has a sign...YES it has my name on it! wheww! what a relief!  well into the car we go.  now we have a 2 hr drive or so to the hotel!

more to come!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad you got there! Please be safe and keep the blog comin!!! Love ya, Chris.