7:45 local time on Sunday morning:
All of the airport officials speak English! I think I need to go pound the pavement a bit and struggle to make myself understood in order to feel like this is the real thing. Though, that being said, I had a little practice at that when my new friend - a middle-aged woman from Taipei, who gave me her phone number and told me to call and visit when I got a SIM card - humored me and spoke with me in Chinese for a while. Despite my limited Chinese so far, I'm already getting used to the constant use of four key phrases: "I didn't catch that," "I don't understand," "Can you please repeat that?" and "a little slower, please."
Bad news: I barely slept on the plane. Maybe those seats are supposed to work for Taiwanese (i.e., short) people, but leaning back or sideways in any form - pillow or no pillow - was incredibly uncomfortable for me. So I'm pretty tired. But not really jet lagged per se, I don't think.
Good news: All other aspects of the flight were great. Used a little Chinese, made a friend (see above), got three meals. Note: Airline food is MUCH improved since last I flew - either that, or China Airlines rocks U.S. carriers. Probably some of both. But really... red wine (international waters, Kelly McLaughlin! International waters!) and a passable imitation of cheesecake?! Make some tall-person seats and I'll fly with you some more, my friends!
Also, I've gotten responses to about half of the 20 or so inquiries I sent out on Friday regarding Tealit ads for language exchange partners and rooms for rent. Now I'm off to wade through them all, update my podcasts, take the bus to ICLP (note to fellow ICLPers: NOT the taxi; from what I read the latter is literally 10x more expensive), get interrogated in Chinese, and stomp the streets to check in on four prospective hostels. (ICLP note #2: I'm not doing the whole YMCA thing unless the hostels disappoint me immensely; some hostels here have excellent reviews, and YMCA is 3x as expensive.)
Also, I need to buy a camera or the Light Fellowship will disown me. And that could be troublesome.