USA Here We Come
Trip Start Jan 04, 2011
27Trip End Jan 28, 2011
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On the way back to BCNC we stopped at Chiangmai University so that I could pick up a Beginner Thai Language text
We were served lunch at BCNC but students did not eat much because their buddies gave them snack food at Doi Suthep. We had about 1 1/2 hrs to complete our packing. The Thai buddies were accompanying us to the airport so we took the blue bus and the college van. Pi Jip, Pi Anan and Jing Jo met us at the airport. I was blessed again with wonderful Thai desserts that Pi Anan brought me for the flight. This was the first year that we had problems with the weight of our luggage. A fair amount of student luggage was overweight so we had to do some shifting of items. Everything finally worked out. The Thai buddies and many faculty/staff came with us to the airport. The airport was filled with the smell of Jasmine from the flower necklaces they gave us. There were a lot of hugs, goodbye wishes and pictures being taken. The Thai buddies once again encircled their American buddies and provided one last BCNC cheer. It was just beautiful. You could find both students and faculty crying. Despite all of my psychological preparation I too could not hold back the tears. I know we will stay in touch by Skype and email but it is still not the same as being present in this beautiful country of Thailand
We had another pleasant surprise as 4 students and I were upgraded to Business Class once again. We received passes to enjoy the Thai Airways Lounge for refreshments but until we got through security, it was time to load the plane. I had 1A. First seat in the plane and by the window. I was given an English newspaper and diet coke to start out the flight. We were than given a menu. I had oriental chicken thigh, roasted potatoes, unknown veggies, rolls, ham salad and a chocolate dessert. We enjoyed the movie, "Social Network". I was able to catch a little nap. One of my students sat beside a rather large Monk. She was so nervous because in Buddhism, women are not to make any physical contact with a Monk. She was so afraid that their arms would touch in the seats. She was very pleased to report that was not an issue.
We arrived to Taipei Taiwan at 8:35 pm. Once again we arrived in rain. We went through customs and found the hotel shuttle fairly quickly. We stayed at the Novotel Taipei Taouyuan Airport Hotel. This is the first time we have been to this hotel. It is very close to the airport and is very modernized. I have attached some pics. I hope you enjoy them. We have 5 rooms with 2 people per room. The room also includes a morning breakfast. I have never stayed in a room like this.There are metal push plates throughout the room that do various things. There is a "magic" frosted window between the bathroom and bedroom. It is normally frosted so you can not look into the bathroom. However, there is a button that you can push and the frosted glass becomes see through. Really cool. They have all kinds of gadgets in this room. The bed was superb. Love it. It was so comfortable. I guess the biggest surprise was the toilet. When you lift the lid the seat electronically warms the seat. There is a computer panel on the side of the toilet that provides for extra amenities. You literally need a manual to operate this potty. So, when do you think this technology will hit the USA market? I would buy it. Once we were settled in, students began connecting with family and friends via email, FB and Skype. The students ordered dessert via room service last night as everyone one had late night munchies. Going to sleep around 1 am. Talk with you in the morning.