The top three first impressions of Asia

For the past 48 hours I have been on a complete odyssey in Taiwan. This is my first time in Asia altogether so immediately it was clear that I was on another planet. Obviously, when talking about a place you cannot just generalize the entire continent, that would be silly. But within our first layover in Osaka, Japan, and touchdown in Taipei, I already had some interesting impressions of the area.

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Like a zombie I walked off the plane in Japan after a 12 or 247 hour flight, I’m not sure, sometime in between that. It kind of felt like three weeks but I digress. Anyway, I couldn’t help but realize that everyone spoke exactly like I had heard on TV. I wanted to have a different more worldly impression of the people there but nope, they all just sounded like anime characters. I have also never felt tall in my life, so this was a new thing as well. Everyone seemed to just scurry below my feet and move really quickly to herd us like cattle into the correct lines. Once the chaos was over I found myself inside the lounge for China Airlines and that was a new experience altogether. The very first thing I ate was a triangle of rice of course. But this was no ordinary rice – they did something magical to it that I think involves grilling and teriyaki sauce.

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Now this kind of statement might get me in trouble but I can’t help it. Another three hours later after arriving in Japan we touched down in Taipei. In my defense, things like basic motor skills and depth perception were completely off. So as soon as the automatic doors swung open at the airport the first thing that came to mind was, oh my goodness, this entire country smells like a Chinese food restaurant. I know. I’m so sorry.

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The last unique thing that happened was all of the attention. Thank God I’m not a tall lanky blond like one of my travel companions. That poor thing is getting stopped like a celebrity around every turn. But I didn’t realize I quickly had to learn how to say “How are you” and “Thank you” in Mandarin because people were going to demand I acknowledge them all the time. Not in a pushy way, but more like hey, I want to see if you can understand my cool English skills even though they are limited to one or two words. This is mainly just the teenagers. But it is fun and everyone is very friendly, at least to my face, which really is all that matters when everyone is speaking Chinese.

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Oh and then we got caught in a massive downpour. With thunder and lighting. While standing on a flooded, very tall bridge. So that happened. I may be smiling but I’m whimpering like a small child on the inside for fear of being barbecued. ADVENTURE!

-CrookedFlight

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About CrookedFlight

Eileen Cotter Wright is an American expat living in London, UK. She is a freelance writer and owner of group travel site PureWander.com. Despite losing her passport the first day she left her home country, she's continued to roam the earth with gusto for about a decade. Besides bolgging, she freelances for a variety of outlets, including Buzzfeed, matador Network and BootsnAll. You can keep up with her hot mess adventures on Twitter @Crooked_Flight and on her personal blog CrookedFlight. View all posts by CrookedFlight

4 responses to “The top three first impressions of Asia

  • Erin Elizabeth

    Just wanted to share my hiliarious Ecuadorian adventer with a fellow writer. Would love to hear some comments about it from you. Hope you enjoy.
    http://www.atruetalltale.wordpress.com

  • CA

    Just so’s ya know… I’m pretty much obsessed with your adventures and for some reason never comment, but I’m commenting now. I stalk you like a famished hunter and love every one of your posts 🙂

    • crookedflight

      Do you know I have tried at LEAST six times to leave comments on YOUR blog, and every silly time it deletes it?! No lie. Usually it’s gold too and the funniest thing I have ever written and then woosh, gone. I love how we’re both having adventures of very different kids, but crazy nonetheless! PS we should chat, you’re one of the first to know, I started a business with someone for a family travel/backyard adventures magazine, would love your input (and maybe writing talent!) when the time comes!

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