Sunday February 21 - appox . 10:30pm local time - cueing up to board my 13 hour flight to Taipei (I've lost count of how many times I've made this journey, must be over 20 by now). Reading materials, check. iPod, check. Food and beverage to last the duration of the flight, check. Extra hoodie to combat the inevitable Arctic Chill setting of the airline A/C, check. Exit row seating - Score! Infant baby 5 seats away - only potential red flag in sight (patience is a virtue and I can outlast any crying infants until they zonk out from sheer exhaustion.
Tuesday February 23 - approx 5:30am local time - luggage pickup and hotel shuttle, minimal sleep on the plane isn't a big concern. Our first meeting is at 10:00am and we'll finish by early afternoon. First order of business was a swim at the pool - rooftop setting, 15 meters if I was lucky. I'm a tad zoned out as I walk past the ever crucial water quality stats. My mind was oblivious to the temperature conversion that it had just failed to perform.
WTF ! ! ! I know that I'm a complete sissy when it comes to long swims in cold water, but who in their right mind sets this pool at nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit ? Note, there are lane lines which would suggest the potential for lap swimming.
30 minutes later my lungs are on fire and every muscle in my body has turned to jelly (jelly that's been sitting on the kitchen counter top for 5 hours because you neglected to put it back in the fridge immediately after use). Oh well, enjoyed the view and scenery. Of particular interest was the fact that I could see a vast blue sky (a rare occurrence to be sure), especially this time of year.
We capped off the meeting with a late lunch at Din Tai Fung (absolute steamed dumpling heaven), no doubt an impossible act to follow for all future meals during this visit now. A solid nights sleep and the early bird grabs the first available tread mill in the hotel dungeon (yawn). Better than nothing I guess. An uneventful and long day only meant an early morning flight over to Macau the next day.