“So are you guys backpacking through Taiwan?”
“All of Asia actually”
Everyone that learns that my final destination isn’t Taiwan tries to sell Taiwan to me. It’s not a hard sell, but perhaps their tourism is flagging.
“What is a geese?”
I thought on this for a bit, trying to explain the plight of geese at work to someone who apparently didn’t know what the word meant.
“Large, angry ducks, this high.” I held my hand to my hip. “Very mean.”
“Big angry ducks.” He thought on this for a bit. “This is called geese. I think I know similar, is called a…goose.”
“Multiple goose are geese.”
“English is a strange language.”
“Multiple moose are still moose.”
“What was your favorite food while you visited America?”
“I did not eat any American food!” He sounded put out “I only ate strange food, on my first night, we went and got Vietnamese, and the next night, Indian food, only the last night, did I eat pizza.”
“That’s all American food in my book.”
They were showing a video about Taiwanese delicacies, one fish was being flayed and laid out elaborately on a plate.
“This fish is very common in biology labs.” He said gesturing to the small screen in the back of the headrests. “As a host for parasites.”
“And they’re eating it.”
“Very good for growing nematodes.” He seemed pleased at sharing this fact as the family began to eat the fish.
I poked at my airplane food.
The time for our connecting flight in Taipei came and went. In broken English our flight attendant told us to consult the ground crew. As we exited the plane, in that kind of jet lag dream state we met the ground crew.
“Hong Kong? Transfer to Hong Kong?”
“Yes, that’s us!” I waved to the man holding a sign with our missed flight number on it.
“You missed your flight.” He said and pointed to the number. “Please consult our ground crew.” He waved frantically down the terminal.
Our flight to Hong Kong, the last flight out of Taipei was 90 minutes of Happy Birthday in a kind of Youtube Kids hell that they had written about last year. Every time the cg generated birthday party ended, the toddler would tap over and over until it began to play again.
The mother would sometimes wake up and turn it back down, but it is only one touch gesture to turn it all the way back up.
Everyone seemed too tired to care.
It was the first time that I was upset at how intuitive a user interface was.
The midi horns started to play Happy Birthday again, and then they got louder. You can play Happy Birthday 20+ times in 90 minutes.
Hong Kong has never had a more grateful arrival than me.