This trip has been unusual in many respects so far. Here I enumerate and comment on them for my own amusement and because I'm running on limited mental power—you know, that feeling when you've slept several hours in 20 minute bursts on a loud plane?
It's about 11:30am here, which is 7:30pm "yesterday" at home. That's weird enough.
- It all started when I arrived at SFO and went to the EVA Air counter to check in. They struggled for a long time and eventually told me that they couldn't find a record of me in the system. I presented the paperwork from the travel agency that handles Yahoo corporate travel, they hit a few more keys, and changed their story. The EVA system said I had a paper ticket. My printout said I had an electronic ticket. Grr.
- I called the "emergency" travel number for our agency to see if they could sort it out in the next hour or so, allowing me to actually go to Taiwan. They did a bit of checking and learned that I was, in fact, booked with a paper ticket. Nobody knew where that paper ticket was, so I had to buy a new one on the spot and the travel agency (since it was their screw-up) would likely eat the cost of the first one.
- Amusingly, the second ticket was $0.10 cheaper than the first. But it involved far more effort.
- With 30 minutes to spare I wandered into one of those airport stores that sells luggage locks, power converters, and other random crap. I decided that it was time to buy a nice travel pillow to ease the 14 hours of sitting in (and attempting to sleep in) a 747 seat. The verdict? The pillow represents the best $12 I will probably ever spend at a major airport.
- Once inside the plane, I realized that seat 37A offered a pretty good view of the left wing of the 747. But it was destined to be dark for the entire flight anyway. Worse, the ventilation system was the loudest I've ever experienced. And I left my noise canceling headphone at home due to lack of space. Doh!
- Luckily my little headphones did the job and my iPod Shuffle lasted the whole trip.
- The airline food was decent.
- The 747 was an older model, thus did not have individual LCD screens at each seat. My hope of spending half the flight watching movies and the second half sleeping (so that I could get on the "right" sleep schedule) didn't pan out.
- When they handed out the little form you must complete before they let you in the country, I noticed that it asked for a "Visa Type" and a "Visa Number." I then freaked out a bit because I don't have a Taiwan Visa and nobody told me to get one. I was about to get really pissed at the travel folks but then had a thought. I looked at the stamps from my last visit to Taiwan and realized that I didn't one back then 'cause it was a short trip (or something).
- My transportation from the airport to the hotel was flawless. Yay!
- The Sheraton Taipei is a nice place. They leave some fresh fruit in your room, so my lunch today consisted of an apple, banana, and one of the granola bars I brought along. It's like I never even left California!
- Yahoo has a deal that gets me free breakfast and free Internet access here. That kicks ass too.
- I'm tired but cannot sleep. I hope to solve that later this afternoon.
- It was foggy this morning (kinda like my head) and is now bright, warm, and overcast.
I'll try to say something more substantial tomorrow along with having more interesting pictures.
Posted by jzawodn at November 08, 2005 07:40 PM