The flight gets held for a bit while the attendants have our passports at the kiosk and are speed-mashing buttons like crazy trying to figure something out. It is 1am at this point. Eat shit SaChriX, this flight better not take off without us.
They give Agent Getz a piece of yellow paper and get him to sign it. I get the gist that it’s basically saying Eva is not responsible for letting a bunch of freeloading westerners into their country with no exit strategy. Agent Getz grabs it and rushes down the ramp to the plane. The button mashing continues for Tha Queebs and me.
15 minutes later and we’re still waiting by the ramp. Fortunately so is the flight. We get the same yellow paper and an explanation, “Since you have no flight out, no place to stay currently and no visas, we have no way to know that you actually intend to leave Thailand.” Riiiiiiiight. “Please sign here.” We sign, we get our copy, we hit the ramp. This type of victory comes with no applause.
The flight is 14 hours long. It goes by surprisingly fast as I’m in and out of sleepy land for most of it. I also picked up a rather enjoyable book that I’ve shaved 2/3rds off of already called Under Major Domo Minor by Patrick DeWitt. Quick synopsis: a young chap, Lucy Minor, who is small in stature and a compulsive liar, doesn’t quite fit into his hometown. He shuffles off to a castle to work as a helper-type to the major domo in charge of the estate. So far the book is equal measures cute and violent and intriguing. The setting is mysterious, the characters are fun and funny, the pace is great, the dialog is silly and straight, and the emotions and actions are wonderfully conveyed. It has an old-timey kind of language to it, sort of flowery Romantic Era-esque. So it feels like rolling Blake’s Songs of Innocence + Experience, a Brothers Grimm fairy-tale and a fun postmodern love story, with the whimsy and consumability offered by Tom Robbins, all pulled together into a fable that’s fit for adults. I’ve never read anything by DeWitt before but I’ll definitely be picking up another.
Queenie is reading The Girl on the Train. Says she’s enjoying it as well. She’s using an Eva airlines barf bag as a bookmark.
At around sunrise we’re coming on approach to Taipei with the sun’s breaking magenta over some cheese grater clouds. We’re on the opposite side of the plane for the full majesty but I snap a pic. The terrain below is all beautiful farm lands, lakes and rivers. This marks the second time this year we’ve all been in Taiwan and the fond memories of our recent trip come pouring in. Wish we could stick around for a bit actually.
We’ve time traveled into the future by 15 hours, skipping ahead to Saturday the 28th now. Funny how that works. We deplane and look for our gate. It’s not on any of the monitors yet so we hang out in the Hello Kitty Breastfeeding area for a bit.
And the Hello Kitty store
We fail to white guy talk our way into 3 separate VIP lounges and settle for the food court instead where we order 3 large Taiwan Pijou. Ahhhhhhhh nice and cold. That’s sweet after a 14 hour flight. We also get some steamed buns and a fried rice and meat plate. These come with mystery soups and I’m already in “Is there fish in that?” territory. There was fish in that.
After the food Queenie gets pumped to play a round of Three Man and immediately starts clearing away the dishes. “Ok, let’s play Three Man!”, “Three man?! Jeeebuz, it’s 7 in the morning Queenie”, “It’s happy hour in California”, “Whoa whoa calm down, we’ve got to be at our gate in 20 minutes.” Ha, that was unexpected. Especially from Queenie. (If you don’t know, Three Man is a super fun progressive dice game that is also the single most punishing drinking game possibly in existence. It’s recently made a dramatic comeback in our circles due in no short part to some rather legendary late night games under the stars at some now defiled National Park campsites). 7am would have marked my earliest game of Three Man to date and maybe first in-airport round as well. Shit we probably should have played.
Get to the gate for our Taipei to Bangkok segment and it is already boarding as well. We get on without hasslehoff this time, do some seat shuffling with people already parked in our seats, and are off to Bangkok!