Taiwan is encircled by an all-encompassing reality distortion field. Sometimes, this invisible force does untold things to my well being and sanity. And, sometimes this same unseen flux does amazing, delightful things…
I spent the last few days rather anxiously looking at my enormous bike case with the weighing scales lurking nearby and the pile of luggage I am expecting to take on board with me – comprising all my clothes, presents and electronic ephemera. Surely, surely, I was going to get slapped with some almighty overweight charge; 1100 NT per kilo, or about 18 quid.
After arriving a good few hours early, I sneakily put my extra hand luggage into a locker for an hour (cost 100NT / 1.60 GBP) and went over to the check-in desk, enquiring about an earlier flight. The lady clearly took a shine to me and was fascinated that I was carrying a bike in a suitcase. I manoeuvred with maximum enthusiasm through the standard catechism – “where am I from, what do I do, why do you have a bike, how long have you been in Taiwan, are you single etc.” – and was rather horrified to see I was a full 8 kilos overweight.
Keeping up the smiles and conversation, I watched with delight as she waved it onto the belt, only to promptly jam the x-ray machine with its massive girth. Maintaining eye contact at all points, I also managed to bag myself the early flight, which means I will have an extra hour of Gin and Tonics in Hong Kong airport – the one vision I have had for the past week of grind at work.
Roll on Christmas, and thanks be to the Reality Distortion Field of Taiwan!