The plane welcomed me with soothing Chinese music, almost too soothing making it pretty eerie. Especially when the same music is playing at a godawful hour somewhere lost between timezones when visiting the bathroom in the middle of an articifial night.
Besides the overly soothing music the flight was extremely… smooth. If I understood correctly I ate businessclass vegan food with significantly more fruits and (roasted) vegetables than the persons around me… Their envy looks were blissfully ignored while I finished my roasted pepper salad with asphargus 🙂
Luckily I got some sleep – dreaming of crashing planes of course – between the movies and yes there we landed on uncharted territory!
When walking through the airport towards the costums, I realized that all airports share a monotized space; grey floors, functional lightning, sad ornaments stowed in corners. Only mystical characters of the far East revealing that the time travel of the last 13 hours indeed brought me to another place. Very sweet and giggly girls helped me to fill in my immigration form and pointed me towards the end of the crossing border process.
A warm welcome
As I stepped out of the border zone, Lily waited for me to welcome me. She is such a lovely character that will pamper me for the coming days, making sure that everything will run smoothly. I feel like a celebrity, it’s incredible.
She took me out for lunch to a vegetarian place which, after a lot of consulting in Chinese, could provide vegan stuff. While we were eating, Lily gave at least half of her plate to me so I could try it. What was the point of negotiating a vegan meal if I could eat her stuff too? Oh the mysteries that are born from language barriers.
Here my fake-celebrity status went for a whole new level when I was asked to sign the wall of this amazing restaurant…
All this is not good for my ego, being treated like a king. Especially when you’d see the hotel I’m staying in, it’s such an upgrade compared to the fields and campsites I’m used to sleep at.
It feels uncomfortable how decadent this trip is at the moment; Lily is so sweet, the flight was so smooth, the people are so nice here and everything is well planned.
Tomorrow is a last bit of sightseeing of Taipei and then we head east to pick up the bikes! Because of a stormfront and snow, the cycling route unfortunately has been altered a bit; I will not be able to say that I have cycled to entire island of Taiwan anymore. But we will see what awaits around the corner!