Getting to Taipei was quite the adventure, fraught with challenges.
So at 5:30 am on 2 April, bB was ready to get to the airport. I opened the Taxi Booking app on my iPhone as usual, only to get a message saying I have to download the new app (which wasn’t an upgrade of the old one). Now I have been using the app regularly so it was surprising. And I have been so used to using the app that I just didn’t think about the old way of making a phone call. So I downloaded the new app, and punched in my address, which the app refused to recognise for some reason. Something about the way the address was typed in terms of street and avenue etc. So I opened the old app and copied my address over. Finally, it registered.
It then took another ten minutes before a cabbie decided to take my booking. Hence, I was cutting it a little thin… Thankfully, there wasn’t any traffic jam on the way and there wasn’t a long queue at the check-in counter.
I checked in with barely no time to spare to get to the gate. I still managed to grab myself a croissanwich from Burger King (best junk food brekkie ever) to take on the plane. Dashed to the gate, after drinking up my bottle of water from home, intending to refill my bottle before the gate.
At the check-point right at the gate, metal detector went off on me. They made me take off my Delish boots, and that still wasn’t it. Turned out to be my watch. WTF? That watch has gone through a thousand metal detectors with no problems. THEN they made me empty my bottle of water (which I had filled in the departure lounge). WTF? So out I dashed and poured water in a bin, and dashed back in again. Thankfully they didn’t make me re-queue.
So it turns out we have to refill our bottles at this water cooler that was right inside the gate, right next to the friggin plane. Departure lounge water is not safe. WTF.
Flight was relatively pleasant, thankfully. A friendly French old gentleman was seated next to me and made cheerful banter now and then (when he wasn’t snoring). He also gave me his meal on board because he was too full and didn’t even expect to be having a meal on board (apparently his office booked this flight for him to travel for business). “You guys fly budget for business?”, I was kinda curious. Turns out he had a meeting to catch and Jetstar had the best flight timing.
The take-off was super rocky due to weather conditions, but I must say the rest of the flight and especially the landing was the smoothest I have ever experienced, even compared to Singapore Airlines. It hardly felt like we were even moving. Funny since this is an even smaller plane. The descent was incredible. I have no idea how it was done but I did not have a single moment of that stomach-dropping sensation. Not even once. I think we had a super awesome pilot.
So we landed well and off I went, got my money changed at Taoyuan Airport as planned, and collected my luggage. Then, another challenge struck. A double-whammy. First, the queue to buy a Taiwanese SIM card was crazy long. Fine. I joined the queue. THEN, as I got to the counter, my Hello Kitty iPhone cover refused to be removed. OMG. I struggled. The counter girl struggled. We struggled and struggled, and struggled some more. We just could not get it off. I started to imagine being stranded here for days, trying to remove the damned phone cover. Thankfully, a group of young Singaporeans helped. One of the boys actually managed to pop it off, after more struggling by everyone. OMG. It was quite the friggin nightmare.
By this time, I was a good hour late to meet my hired driver to take me to the hotel. Thankfully he was very nice and patient.
I was so hesitant to pop the cover back onto my phone…
Who knew Hello Kitty would be so persistent?
Riding in comfort. Feeling a huge sense of relief. Hoping there would be no more incidents.
And we were in the city!
x o x o