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Published: October 1st 2017
Geo: 25.02, 121.45
Once the flight was underway, and after lunch, I slept about an hour. Also got a couple of protocols developed (yeah!) so will have less work in the next two weeks.
At Narita, Paul and I took a quick tour of the airport to stretch our legs, until our back were nearly giving out carrying the weight of our backpacks; then to the Red Carpet Club, where we sat in the sunlight and nibbled. Also took a shower, which felt wonderful … though it probably didn't help keep us awake, so warm and comforting.
By the time we were called out of the RCC, the plane had already boarded. We found our seats (no one in the middle between us – yeah!) and settled in. Right as the plane was about to pull way from the gate, we were hit by a big aftershock. Looking it up later, we learned it was a 6.1 magnitude – pretty strong, but our big 747 definitely jumped up and down a bit. The airport authorities then closed all the runways until they could be inspected. It took about 25 minutes, which wasn't too bad, but then there was a back up of planes waiting to take off. We still arrived Taipei at bit early, because of the winds. It did make us wonder what they would have done if a plane was on its final approach when the trembler hit: is it safer to let it go ahead and land (figuring the odds of damage are low) or to have it pull up and go around again (even though this is a dangerous maneuver)...
Paul and I both slept almost the entire flight from Tokyo to Taipei. Upon arrival, as we were walking to immigration, we were forced to go through a "radiation detector" – they said it was required of all flights from Japan. No one seemed to be glowing, so we were allowed to continue to immigration control. Here, … the clerk gave Paul a long, hard look, and also cross-checked his name against some printed list. He then said to us, “You're in Taiwan for three days?” When we responded, “No, a week,” he said with some surprise, “A week?” but still cleared us. Wonder what all that was about. Got our bags, then went outside and found the driver sent from the hotel. Long drive into town, but at least traffic was light. We were passed a few times by kids in hot-shot cars with giant spoilers, racing each other on the freeway.
We arrived at the hotel just before midnight … lovely little boutique hotel, and very welcoming. Our room is right next to the kids (who, we knew from facebook, had arrived safely) and has a very relaxing feel, very spa-like. The entire hotel is very spa-like, and comfy. We said Hello to Kyla (no sign of Keegan), then went to sleep. So very nice to be in a real bed.
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