Chasing the sun

We have slowly walked back and forth through Taiwan International Airport several times. We arrived shortly after 6 am local time and our next flight doesn’t leave until 2 pm. It already feels like we’ve been travelling for days: Fort McMurray to Edmonton, Edmonton to Vancouver, and Vancouver to Taiwan. I’m feeling rather crusty after a full day and a half of sitting in an airplane. My socks and shoes are ripe and I can use a shower in the worst way. For those who are wondering - those who know me very well - I survived the 13 hour stretch, though I was unsuccessful in my quest to have a successful in flight urination. My dysfunction, which seems to be improving with age, still kept me hostage on this long flight. I can’t explain it. It’s not like I have a fear, it is just that the tap stays shut no matter how badly I want it to turn on. I came up with a theory on the flight that travel, of a long duration, takes a toll on my body and my body pays me back by refusing to allow my bladder to drain. The good news is that the moment we got off the plane and into a terminal washroom, the relief I had been waiting for finally arrived. In truth, I didn’t suffer half as much as Heather thought I did. She really worries about me and my disorder.

The China Airlines plane was something else: massive, spacious and comfortable, with bathrooms that offered soothing music. I liked the tunes and the bathrooms, and visited multiple times, trying my best to get the water works moving.

Despite my full and insistent bladder, I was still able to sleep, haltingly but surely, six to seven hours. Heather, too. The choice she made to spend the extra money on a family couch (we purchased the middle seat) was inspired.

I am struck by the aura of conspicuous consumption in this airport: store after store of luxury brands, expensive Scotch, and fancy gift items.  I am not sure why this surprised me, but it did.

The people are friendly and English is offered as the natural alternative to Chinese. Very service person seems to have a rudimentary understanding of our language.

One curiosity is the number of people walking around wearing air filter masks. I can’t help but wonder why some do and some don’t.  Is it paranoia or is there a real risk?  I have no idea.

I am excited to get to our final destination today in Bangkok and have a shower. We will take a train tomorrow (Tuesday) to a rural community to stay at an AirBnB. A few days later we will go and play with the elephants. I can’t wait.


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