Travel So Far

by Paul Fischer

Journey to the airport

The cab showed up 15 minutes early and I wasn’t able to have my normal fried egg breakfast. I rattled me so much that I forgot to grab my big camera. I didn’t realize until I got through security at National that I missed it. I am a seasoned traveller. I always use 3 bins when I go through the x-ray machine. This time I only needed two, which worried me, but I didn’t figure it out until I got to the other side.

I need to pay better attention to some things. I really do. Who goes on a birding trip and forgets their birding camera? Yours truly, that who.

As soon as I figured it out I jumped on the Coconut Telegraph and started beating the jungle drums. The tribe woke up on Tweeter and Skype and came to my rescue. Marc, a.k.a. Grailwolf, offered to pick the camera up from home and ship it to me in Asia. Marc is a brave man, and is now learning how far down the rabbit hole you go when engaging in international shipping.

The hope is that the camera will meet me in Japan. It’s an expensive mistake, but not as bad as if I had to buy a whole new one. We’ll be bringing home a nice gift for Marc and his new bride Heather. They asked for a Japanese school girl. I don’t know what the limit is on those, we’ve got 3 requests now. I wonder if I can get them in the duty free shop. 🙂

Got to Japan and was able to get free Internet from the ANA airlines lounge which I think was a level below where I was charging my laptop. Not great throughput, but enough to get email and see that Mark and Marc had been in contact and all was being taken care of.

Martha and I had sushi in Narita Airport in Japan. Oh man, it was awesome. It was fresh and flavorful, and very close to the best I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to taste it outside the airport. My assumption is that airport sushi should be a 6-8 on a scale of 1-10. Which means it can be a whole lot better outside the airport.

The trip to Taiwan was a lot shorter than I thought it would be. Didn’t realize Taiwan is 1 hour behind Japan. So our 3.5 hour trip became 2.5 hours. We caught a gypsy cab to the hotel. For a while I thought we were being taken for a ride, but the cost was reasonable and even though I thought we were going in circles, we weren’t. The hotel was nice, and we dealt with the first leg of adjusting to the new time zone.

OK. The hotel was better than nice. It was actually pretty cool. And fried eggs on the American Breakfast side of the buffet were a delight. The hotel staff were amazing. They got us a cab to the bullet train to Taichung and let us pre-pay. The train hit a top speed around 300 Kph. That’s about 186 Mph! It was so smooth and fast it was awesome and very very clean.

Mark Forman met us at the station and took us to our hotel. Then we toured a city south of Taichung where they do a lot of fishing. That’s were the current batch of Flickr Photos were taken. Today we’re supposed to hit the electronics markets. Mark and I are going to see if maybe we can’t think of doing some things to introduce some products into the US market. Who knows, maybe we’ll find the next Tickle Me Elmo.

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