Today is my fourth day in Taipei. I had no problems escaping the winter weather and snow of New York, when I left on February 5th and experienced no flight delays. However, when I arrived at the Taiwan Taoyuan Airport I figured that I should put on a raincoat, knowing that Taipei is rainy this time of year. When I opened my luggage to retrieve my raincoat, I discovered my luggage had arrived wet. All of my clothes and several items inside were soaked! I'm glad that I found this out before leaving the airport because I was able to file a claim with the airline about this. That's the bad news.
The good news is that I somehow had the good sense not to put any of my equipment in my checked luggage. In the past I have just thrown my camera or video camera in my checked luggage because it would mean less to carry on. With all of this nice new equipment and such a long haul flight something told me that I had better not take any chances. Boy am I ever glad I did that! That's a huge disaster averted.
For the majority of my stay, one of my uncles has generously offered to let me stay at his apartment in the Shih Lin district of Taipei. I've settled in quite well with the help of my uncle's neighbor and friends here. I've even done a few loads of laundry already because what the airline to offered to cover cleaning my clothes wasn't enough to get everything cleaned.
Taipei has most definitely been overcast and rainy. I had forgotten how rainy and wet Taipei can be at this time of year. When I lived in Taiwan, I lived in Kaohsiung most of the time, which in contrast has been quite sunny the last couple of days.
I realize that it is quite meaningful for me to be staying here in Shih Lin as it is the ancestral home of my of Su Beng and mother's family. In fact, when I embarked on this project I didn't know about this connection. It turns out that my granduncle and Su Beng were good friends and classmates.
Yesterday, it was raining when Su Beng's assistant Bin Hong arrived in a taxi to pick me up to go to Su Beng's residence in Sinjhuang. The night before I had heard the heavy rain as I slept and when I awoke it was still raining.
Su Beng and I have not seen each other since 2011 when he was in the U.S. for a visit.
I brought Su Beng a little piece of New York.
We talked about scheduling regular times to meet during my stay and about what I will need to complete his biography.
I am going to have to get the hang of using all this fancy new equipment!
We stopped for lunch- hot pot which is the perfect thing to have on a cold, wet and rainy day!
After that we resumed talking until about 4pm. It was just as it has been in the past when we would meet around 10 or 11am, break for lunch and continue talking until 4 or 5pm.