(May 31 – June 6, 2010)

Finnair flight attendants could maybe lose a few years. One Mandarin speaking attendant had a really odd haircut. Cool.

Next to me sat a Frenchman. I asked if he was going to Beijing for business or leisure. He didn’t answer. I didn’t speak to him again the next 8 hours.

I saw Invictus on Finnair from Helsinki to Beijing. Excellent film. Saw the 20 min. documentary too. I wish Clint Eastwood would live forever and keep on directing films. Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood are the best in the business. Quite a tandem. They read each other’s thoughts.

Rucola and cheese lasagna is the recipe for quite edible airplane food.

One young man collapsed as he was trying to leave one of the lavatories. I didn’t think that it smelled that bad. And even though he was a Finn, he didn’t appear to be drunk. He was taken care of by flight attendants who brought him oxygen. He took a brief rest and returned to his seat very grateful. All the rest of us could do was sit and stare. Like a car crash happened on board.

Never saw the end of Guess Who. It was Bernie Mac’s last film. He will be greatly missed. And yes I still have a crush on Zoe Saldaña. From Uhura to a blue avatar, she’s all woman.

It takes 10 teenybopper Chinese folks to scan carry-ons in between flights at Beijing Airport security. “Water!” Maybe they are the reason my luggage never arrived in Taipei from Beijing.

Beijing Airport is grandiose. They have really interesting cold, warm and hot water dispensers available for use and the musak will put you to sleep after a redeye flight. They even hire people to wipe down every single seat in the airport.

On Air China from Beijing to Taipei, never sit in seat 55H. It doesn’t have armrests that one can lift up. My scrotum didn’t appreciate that for the next 3 hours.

It takes 12 Air China flight attendants to do what 7 Finnair attendants can do. I take back my earlier comment. Experience and wisdom supersedes youth.

On the Air Bus rolling on the highway from TPE to Taipei Main Station, 7 or 8 cows were standing on the back of a truck. Covered in mud. 4 faces pointed in one direction, the others facing another. Watching buses and cars pass them by. Honk honk moo.

In Taipei, there is a 7-11 every 30 paces in every direction.

Formosa restaurant knows how to make traditional Taiwanese food. I was thankful for good company with an old colleague. And for the extra spicyness on the side. I won’t ever try to eat boiled pork knuckle again however. Not a big fan.

Asahi beer is rather good.

After 24 hours of torture under the direction of Beijing Airport Security, my bag finally arrived at my hotel confused and heart-broken. Time heals all wounds.

The Official Computex Sweetie Girls wouldn’t be allowed in some countries. Young, saucy and downright nice to look at to say the least. Eye candy for nerds.

Taipei 101 is not to be missed. The building doesn’t sway in the wind at all. Certainly not like my experience at WTC NYC December 2000. The 600-ton damper hanging in the middle of floor 88 has something to do with that. Excellent views from the top. It would take a colossal earthquake to bring down that beauty. I hope mother nature doesn’t test it.

Hotel Dolamanco is a pretty decent place to stay. Good location. Nice room. However, I’m not sure the staff understands everything I say. Perhaps life is better that way. I don’t mind.

Sun Yat-Sen’s Memorial Building is an awesome spectacle. I can see some marching taking place here for special ceremonies.

Men’s urinals in Taipei are 15cm lower than in Europe. Doesn’t faze me personally but it’s noticeable.

Ice is hard to find in Taiwan.

Taiwanese and Finns share at least one thing in common. Uncanny silence on public transportation irregardless if bus, subway or high speed rail.

Taipei 101 mall has a very nice food court. Be advised that most local outlets don’t sell liquids. Get them from the ‘market’ grocery store before you order.

Either the Computex Sweeties are jailbait or I’m getting old. Most likely the latter.

It’s interesting to play Spot The European or Americano. I’ve received the occasional eye contact and head nod from other foreign visitors. As if to say ‘”yo wussup, I feel your pain, look at all the little people.” Or to the effect of “Computex?, yup Computex.” It’s like this special club where we stand out like sore thumbs.

I’ve tasted the local cuisine and it’s not too bad. Could use more hot spices, but that’s just me. I’m talking about food only.

I take that back about the Hotel Dolamanco staff. One young man was quite knowledgeable about the Icelandic volcano cloud. Plus Ellen is very helpful.

Out of 120 cable channels at the hotel. 10-12 are financial advisors reviewing global stock markets, 5-7 are home shopping, 5-7 are educating people about investing funds. And I can barely tell them all apart from one another.

The high speed rail to HsinChu is quite an experience. Trains are made in Japan and ride on French tracks.

Starbucks at HsinChu high speed rail station was a godsend for one particular CEO.

If you enter a taxi in Chinese Taipei or HsinChu, you better have your destination written out in traditional Chinese script.

I’ve been informed to not trust the water, ice, shrimp and mayonnaise. What a pity, I was just thinking of putting those all into a blender with some vodka.

One major problem with large trade shows. You can never find a chair to rest your feet when you need one. It’s like the event management decided to hide those all away because the fire marshall made them.

Every evening Gran Torino was on HBO: “I once fixed a door that wasn’t even broken yet.”

Katherine of Cathay Pacific at Taoyuan International Airport is exquisitely helpful and charming.

Cathay Pacific flight attendants can attend to my onboard needs anytime they wish.

Lufthansa is always punctual, precise and the attendants are extremely helpfully. I also love the fact that of all four airlines I flew on this journey, it is a real luxury to have real metal cutlery in your hands for a Lufthansa lunch and dinner. Achtung baby.

27 hours door to door. Tough to endure, easy to forget.

Thank you Taipei and thank you to all I’ve been fortunate to meet. Rock on. Asia rules.