Yeah, so the coughing was bad. It was. But it was not half as bad as the sounds the old man started making as we approached our final descent into Taipei. It progressed from a full body coughing to some sort of hideous projectile situation, that triggered my gag reflex. Sami and I traded looks of alarm and started anxiously looking for signs that the plane had reached the gate. All we wanted was some fresh air....and maybe a drink. We had just wrapped up our 13th hour of flight, and things were getting dicey. One more plane ride was between us and a three bedroom luxury apartment in Bangkok. I could almost feel the hot shower on my shoulders. Oh wait, no, that was the old man coughing on me again.
So we gathered up sleeping children and carry-on luggage, and made a quick exit from the plane. It was freezing in the airport, which just lended to the already militant, cold-war vibe this place had going on. As we descended the stairs to the gate for our next flight, a huge sign read "Drug Smuggling Punishable by Prison or Death by Firing Squad in the ROC". I hoped to god they weren't talking about my Tylenol PM. Because really, I need that shit to get by.
We found seats close to the toilet - where I discovered the polar opposite of The Tokyo Problem. Here I was greeted with a squat toilet. And it is just as lovely as it sounds. A hole in the gound with outlines of a foot on each side, to help you better negotiate this most indelicate of situations. Please picture me in 4 inch heels and a black minidress, hunkered over this hole in the floor trying to keep my balance while using some sort of hideous spray apparatus in lieu of the toilet paper that apparently is some sort of decadent western phenomenon.
I came back to my seat so completely traumatized that I vowed not to use another public bathroom for the next two weeks. I sat down and settled our toddler on my lap with a coat covering her feet because it was so stupidly cold - I thought we were on the equator? Whatever, we'll be in Bangkok soon - it's warm there. As I stared off into space, trying to erase the visions of holes in the floor and flying phlegm, my attention was captured by another curious sign. "Escape Hatch"
This place is SO FUCKED UP.
After an hour or so, I went off in search of an internet connection....turns out that in Communist China, internet is free - the better to steal your identity or monitor your bank account? Surely not - but if Daffodil Campbell gets hacked, blame the ROC.
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