Big surprise. My trip has started with an interesting twist. Yesterday (packing day) started out beautifully. I woke up early and took a long walk with my neighbor (in 95 degree weather), so I would be able to go to sleep early and be rested for the trip. (We were scheduled to leave JFK at 8:55 a.m..)
I did laundry and organized the clothes, called the credit card and phone companies, made copies of my passport, packed, looked at few key Mandarin Chinese words on iTranslate, leisurely said good bye to family and friends and got ongoing text technical assistance from Hannah on keeping this blog. ("Why should I care?", I said. "I only have one follower, you, and you're only following it because you set it up for me." She assured me that many of my friends would check it out, but that "old people" didn't know how to actually "follow" blogs...God knows I don't.)
For once in my life, I was actually ahead of schedule and semi-organized. I was heading to bed around 9 when I called Chuni to confirm our plans (she was frenzied and hadn't started packing). I reassured her, smiled smugly, and turned out the light. My phone rang. I saw it was an 800 number and almost didn't answer, but did. It was a robo-call from Delta canceling our flight!!! At first I thought somebody was playing a joke. This couldn't be happening, but it was. Picture me, Chuni, and her son all on our cell phones trying to get through on the 800 line. Hours (and many gray hairs) later, we were confirmed on a 6 a.m. flight to Detroit with a 7 hour stopover before leaving for Tokyo, then on to Taipei arriving at 9:20 p.m. the following day. I got an hour of sleep. Chuni and her son got none!
I arrived at their house at 3:20 a.m. and for reasons I still don't understand, (something about bringing a bag full of text books for a cousin) I needed to unpack my very organized suitcase and dump my things in various carry-ons and other bags. Now, anybody that knows me at all can verify that somehow my entire supply of underwear gets lost when I travel. I don't know how or when, but it's a good bet that it'll happen this time, too. (Maybe I should take this luggage tag off my backpack?)
Since I forgot my banana and green smoothie in the car when Greg dropped me off, I was pleasantly surprised that Chuni's Mom, who doesn't speak English, had prepared us a hot breakfast of sesame stuffed mochi sweet rice wine egg soup. And do our gastronomical adventure begins..Mom had no idea what I was saying when I said "thank you" in what I thought was perfect Mandarin Chinese! We both smiled a lot.
We are now in Detroit halfway through our 7 hour stopover. I am doing something productive (kind of) by writing way too much in this. Being sleep deprived, Chuni gave me cart blanche to use any pictures I take of her and Michael, so this is what THEY are doing now...On to Taiwan!!!!