I think I was complaining about airports yesterday, but I have to say, flying out of the international terminal at San Francisco was pretty convenient. The process of checking in with China Air went smoothly, with short waits at each step of the way. Our passports were reviewed at check-in, at security, and then again at the gate, but the security check was very smooth, and the China Air staff were very pleasant and professional. For the first leg of the flight we were in the airplane for a little over 15 hours; that had to be a brutal work schedule for the cabin attendants. Laura and I slept intermittently, and were reasonably rested, but anxious to stretch our legs in Taipei. The three hour trip from Taipei to Ha Noi was fine too, and even checking in through customs went easily. We may have gotten superior service, because the diplomatic line had no customers, and we were waved over to that window. We’ve seen our first rice paddies and working water buffalo on the way from the airport to downtown, and even though we missed rush hour, were still treated to an amazing show of motor scooter ballet. Some scooters carried massive loads, others carried three people, and numerous scooter-drivers were texting as they traveled next to our van.
Laura would have made the first entry today, but she hadn’t had a shower in 39 hours, and after just a brief exposure to temperature and humidity both in the 70s, thought that should be her priority.