Southeast Asia: The Beginning

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Faithful Readers,

Part 2 of the travels has begun.

On Wednesday morning at 1am, we took off from SFO on Eva Air, the national airline of Taiwan. The ground and in-flight service was excellent, making the 12:30 flight bearable. I watched Skyfall, a very creditable entry in the James Bond series.

Eva has the onboard entertainment set up which is taking over, with individual AV console on the back of each seat.

We landed in Taipei at about 5:30 am Thursday morning, due to the Date Line change. Taipei’s airport is modern, spotless and…seemingly dedicated to Hello Kitty! Eva Air even has a line of planes, “Air Hello Kitty”! It’s really a big deal there. All in good fun.

One of my observations is that those little luggage carts in airports are free just about everywhere in the world, except in the USA. It is another way we welcome guests to our Country…no free lunch (or luggage carts)!

Since we weren’t staying in Taipei, but transiting immediately to Singapore, we just went into the Transfer line and were rapidly ready for the next flight.

In preparation for this trip, I had been thinking that in the Australia-New Zealand trip, I was still pretty much in Western Civilization, just transplanted to the South Pacific. I anticipated that the SE Asian trip would take me to another world altogether.

It still may, but here’s what I’ve noticed so far. Taipei is clearly Chinese. The Chinese took the island over from the original inhabitants (Formosans) and it is now thoroughly Chinese. But even so, English is ubiquitous. I never realized how much English (or Western Influence) truly is the Lingua Franca of the day. Here are some examples from Taipei and Singapore airports:

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