T minus 3

Great news (for me, at least): BOTH of my suitcases arrived in Los Angeles – ahead of schedule! Thanks FedEx and the Ship-it Shop (love that name!) in Summerville SC.

I’m in SFO visiting with my youngest, having left SLC after seeing my older two children and four (count ’em, four) grandchildren!  I sat on the SLC > SFO flight next to a Chinese gentleman who, along with his wife, was taking his only child (a son) to college.  He spoke fairly good English and was very excited to learn that I love Chinese food. We talked a bit about Wei Wei and how the Chinese government is making small strides towards recognizing basic civil rights. One hopes that is true.

I received all sorts of great travel tips from my youngest (who is fluent in Mandarin) along with guidance on how to pronounce and use basic words. My goal is to learn one new word a day. She will also be sending me more “insider” information on Taipei from one of her teachers, who is a native.

NOTE: one thing I learned today (not related to the Chinese language) is that Netflix blocks all foreign IP addresses. In order to access your Netflix account overseas one needs to download a “hotspot shield”: http://download.cnet.com/hotspot-shield/ . I’ll let you know how that works out.

Next stop: soCal, my jumping off point for Taiwan and a visit with my parents! I have a lot of last-minute items to take care of before I’m out of cell phone range.

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As for me, I will take the road less travelled…

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