Welcome to Taiwan!
It has been a RIDE. Literally. Bus, plane, car, well I suppose that’s it. Tomorrow I’ll be able to add scooter to that, as we are practicing, but I’m so nervous.
Where can I even begin? Today has been so long and we’re not even done yet. After a 15 hour flight of fitfully sleeping, I arrived at Taoyuan Airport in Taipei at 530am and lugged my somehow enormously heavy backpack to luggage carousel 5 to look for my giant duffel bags. I’ll admit to feeling both embarrassed and worried about the remaining bags that I had to pick up, but it seems like everyone brought similar ones.
Feeling like Harry Potter, we pushed my trolly to customs and through the electric doors into the main arrivals area, where we were immediately granted with ‘Fulbright ETAs?’ and signs. My first impression of our ‘helpers’ was that they were friendly and wanting to help. My first impression of my new friends was that of joy and relaxation. I had met a few people at JFK two days prior while we waited for our flight, but here we ALL were, pushing trollies loaded with cumbersome bags but we all had this in common. Coming to a new land, whether we’ve been here previously or not. I can say now, at 8pm, that we’ve all become fast friends.
We’re all in a daze, and somehow still going going going. We were shuttled by tour bus from the airport to the train station to pick up some Fulbrighters who had arrived earlier, to Luodong to drop off the first set of ETAs in their apartments. About the apartments. We drew lots, since they are all so different and we weren’t aiming to become attached to anything just yet, because we could move in a month, depending upon where we are going to be teaching.
Soon, it was my turn. I was a bit nervous, because they had ordered the rooms 1-3 in order largest to smallest and I had a three. Our assigned apartment was also the only one without a closet, but I guess I lived without one in London so I can here too. There is just that feeling of never really unpacking that I don’t relish. I dreaded having to lug my behemoth bags up the stairs, so luckily Jim and Eric were there to help us. They are somehow affiliated with FSE, but I’m not sure how.
I’m so tired though. You can have the full scoop tomorrow, if I have more time 🙂