Somehow I always forget how much time is actually involved in sitting on an airplane to get to Asia. I know rationally that this leg of the trip, Los Angeles to Taipei, will take fourteen hours, but it seems completely irrational to wake up from a nap and see that there are still THIRTEEN HOURS to go. Then to finish the book I am reading, watch a full-length feature film, eat dinner, sleep some more, and still have NINE HOURS TO GO. Unreal.

Everything has gone smoothly so far. Chad and I had a successful kid hand-off at the Embassy Suites, where Bella and Dawkins will hang out with Jilyn for another day before heading back to the desert. We got to the airport three hours in advance of my departure time; and it was a good thing too, considering that the luggage x-ray line went out the airport door, to the curb, and then looped back into the airport. My luggage was all under weight (maximums for China Air: 31 kg for the main bag, 14 kg for the carry-on), and I remembered my passport. I didn’t wear any metal: not even my favorite belt Sue got me from Italy, so inspection was a breeze. I didn’t bring any liquids or gels in my carry-on (I only snuck on a beeswax chapstick). The only bummer was that the woman standing in front of me in one of the longer lines kept farting. Then I got onto the airplane and she was seated next to me. But that worked out too, because almost as soon as I was settled into my middle seat, another passenger asked if I would take her aisle seat, so she could sit with her husband. No problemo.

Unbelievably, the only things I forgot were things I normally never leave the house without: a pen! snacks! How could I leave for 23-hour trip without a writing utensil? At least I have my trusty powerbook. And I left the house without a single snack? I think it must be because I am used to thinking about feeding Bella, which automatically takes care of me – without her I am little off-kilter.

I am already enjoying being surrounded by Asian people, even in these cramped quarters, because of the food: dinner was (albeit airplane) rice with sweet and sour pork! green tea was served instead of coffee! On the way home I fly through Seoul, so I will get (airplane) Korean food. It’s really pretty crazy that I didn’t bring a single snack considering how much I obsess about food. Even my new chocolate-flavored Bubble Yum is inaccessibly packed in the overhead (along with my green tea mint gum). Luckily, breakfast will be served soon (choices: scallops with green pea congee or eggs/sausage/potatoes).

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