After 30 hours -- from the time we woke up at our home in Charlotte on Wednesday, March 17 to the time we set foot in our hotel room on Thusday, March 18 -- we have finally arrived here in Taiwan! It has been a fairly uneventful day, in a good way. Travel included a drive from our house to CLT airport, three flights (Charlotte to Chicago, Chicago to Tokyo, Toyko to Taipei), and a cab ride from the airport to our hotel, Dong Wu. Traci and I agreed that our longest stretch, 12 hours from Chicago to Tokyo, was not that bad at all. Luckily, we were entertained by a few fairly decent movies (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Everybody's Fine) and at least one really awful one (Whip It!, Drew Barrymore's directoral debut. What did you expect?).
Our layover in Tokyo was when the fatigue really caught up with us. Though we were there around 3:00 PM in the afternoon, our bodies were telling it us it was about 3:00 AM. I try not to think too hard about the time difference anymore because one time I actually almost convinced myself that if you fly in just the right flight path over the north pole, that time travel is actually possible. Anyway, we got some good sleep in Narita, as well as the final flight.
Had no problems whatsover in any of our various checkpoints, and so far, everyone we have dealt with has been quite friendly to us gringos. Especially the cute, sassy old lady on our Tokyo-Taipei flight -- she was a vegetarian, so I traded my salad for her chicken. The Taiwanese have been incredibly friendly to us, as we were told they would be.
I'm so glad we had the opportunity to travel with Kristi and Ian a few years ago when they adopted Kylie from China because I think it prepared us for the jet lag and culture shock of being in an Asian country. It's still a bit of a shock, but I think being in China lessened the blow a bit. It STILL feels like you're on a completely different planet, what with all the Chinese characters, different styles of dress, different sights and smells, etc.
The bad news right now is we can't upload pictures just yet -- sorry, world! We are still unpacking, and I'm not sure which pile of clothing and beef jerky our camera adapter is hidden in. Once we locate that, we promise to get some pictures up.
Stay tuned! And thanks to everyone who is/has been supporting us back home through your prayers, financial aid, love, and friendship. You all are in our hearts as we embark in this journey, and we can't thank you enough.