Luzhou - Los Angeles
It was time to make the rounds and say good-bye to our Taiwanese friends. We stopped by Diamond Boss’s place where the usual crowd gathered. Jon had a few beers with the boys and we even signed Two Horse’s shirt as a souvenir for him to remember us by. It was hard to believe we had been in Taiwan for a month. For dinner Ryan (aka Red Bean) wanted to take us out to dinner but we thought it would be more fun to do something low key at home where we could hang out with friends. We had a barbecue on the roof deck and invited Johnson, Patty, Ryan, and Arvin. Arnold is a master at the grill and cooked our favorites including tempura, green beans, corn, fish, and sweet potato using his secret sauce. I still consider it one of the best meals I have had in Taiwan. We reminisced about our time in Taiwan and everyone was impressed at how much Jon’s Mandarin had improved since the first day. No one wanted to leave but it was a workday the next day. Our new friends made us promise that we wouldn’t forget about them and to come back as often as we can.
Our good-bye tour wouldn’t have been complete without a stop at the breakfast club. We met them during our first day in Taiwan and so it was only fitting that we see them again on our last day in town. I am thankful to these women who have become my sister’s ya-ya sisterhood. After brunch my sister and I went to the hair salon for an extensive hair treatment, which included a very relaxing head massage. Getting my hair washed is one of the things I will most about Taiwan.
Before we knew it it was time to head to the airport. It is amazing how much we had accumulated over our time in Taiwan. We were going home with one large suitcase, two carry-on suitcases, two backpacks, one tripod case, and one conical hat we had to hand carry so it didn’t get crushed. We had a lot of luggage but luckily we didn’t go over the weight limit. My mom is one of those people you see at airports with their suitcases open taking out things because they have exceeded the weight limit. As we checked in the ticket counter representative informed us that we overstayed our visa by one day and needed to rectify it with immigration services before we would be issued our tickets. I couldn’t believe this was happening. We asked the Jetstar representative in Malaysia twice if there was a limit on the visa when we purchased our outbound ticket from Taiwan. Of course we hadn’t bothered to look at the stamp on the passport indicating a 30-day visa and it was our 31st day. We marched over to immigration services and explained our situation. There was a loop whole to the whole situation. Since our visa expired on a Sunday there was no way we could extend it if we wanted to so we could leave the next day without a penalty. Imagine our luck! I was armed and ready for a battle with immigration services and the airline company but there was no need.
We finally got our boarding passes. We grabbed a quick supper at one of the restaurants airport. Then it was finally time to say good-bye to Grace and Arnold. Both Grace and I tried to hold back our tears but it was just too much for us. I just hope it won’t be another five years before I see her again. We boarded our flight and were on our way home. It was going to be a 12.5 hour flight, enough time to watch four movies.
This is our last daily detail and though at times we dragged our feet writing them I am glad we did. It was a great way for us to capture the spirit of our adventure and we hoped you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!