Well. I'm back in Taiwan.
After 24+ hours in transit, I arrived in Taipei to see my dad, uncle, and aunt waiting just outside baggage at Taoyuan Airport. Yesterday (I think - I lost a day), this was a site I could only hope to see.
It started with a cab ride to JFK, only to find my flight delayed from 11:45am to 1:30pm. I had a short layover in Tokyo, so it looked like I wouldn't make my connection. American Airlines was plenty snarky about getting me new connection info (thanks a lot), but eventually I decided this was a blessing in disguise, as now I could manage to have a few pre-flight cocktails.
Wandering over to the bar, I ran into a couple of fellow Brooklynites - Will (Flatbush) and Christian (Greenpoint). I ordered a couple doubles of scotch and settled into my bar seat. After learning that our flight was delayed another hour and a half (supposed mechanical issues), we decided the only thing to do was to drink more beer. Fine fellows, these guys.
Eventually we parted tipsy ways and boarded the plane. Thus began 12 hours of airplane food, movies (Batman: Gotham Knight - recommended), TV (Mad Men - recommended, The Wire - obviously, The Office - yeah, and Big Bang Theory - eh), and bad sleep.
The transfer in Tokyo was rather harmless (except for getting my gift of Johnny Walker confiscated), and I got booked for a later flight to Taipei. 4 more hours of flying and little sleep and we landed in Taipei.
Once we got to uncle's apartment, we settled in eating frest fruit (the most amazing grapes ever - it was like biting into grape drink) and Taiwan beer (also highly recommended). Dad, Uncle and Auntie talked about Grandpa before he passed away. This was definitely a case of "old age" and nothing more. He had a long and bountiful life.
Dad and I stayed up, drinking whiskey and talking about work, politics, and golf until about 4am local time. We turned in for some well-deserved sleep.