My homeward-bound journey started smoothly on January 12, 2009. After 17 hours of flying, with a transit stop in Tokyo, I arrived in Taipei, safely and in one piece, all luggages intact. On the way I enjoyed 3 movies, 3 meals and a very pleasant conversation along the way with my new friend and next-seat neighbor Bob, a global account manager for a semi-conductor manufacturing equipment supplier. Off to a good start already!
Dad was there to pick me up at the airport and was happy to see me. He was afraid it was going to be too cold for me with Taiwan in the midst of a severe cold front and advised me to wait inside the terminal; however it was too warm for me inside the terminal and I decided to wait outside. I had with me the same down jacket that I wore to Alaska--and Taipei couldn't possibly be colder than Ketchikan! The temperature was 8C Celsius upon arrival--which is considered extremely cold in Taiwan. I found it a bit chilly, but rather refreshing and pleasant, especially after the long stuffy flight.
I find Taiwan a slightly different place each time I return--that's always good; it means the economy is moving forward. This time, I arrived at the new building--Terminal II of the Taoyuan Airport. To start off, I saw a tomato-headed mannequin sitting and using a laptop, with signs indicating that there is free Wi-Fi at the airport. Well!! That's a good and new thing. Free Wi-Fi at the airport!! I like it in Taipei already. Last I checked at the SFO airport there was NO free Wi-Fi--in fact there is no free anything at the SFO!!
Got home, was late, went to bed. That concluded my first night in Taipei.