Valerie and I returned to Okinawa earlier this evening and I am safely back in my apartment and unpacked. (Murphy had to leave and fly directly to the United States due to the illness of a friend.) Somehow I managed to come up with souvenirs for all of my kids and grandkids, even though my old staple, tourist tee-shirts, were very scarce - so I had to get creative.
Our plane did not leave Taiwan until 5:40 p.m., and that late departure allowed us to have a pleasant day in which we didn't have to rush. That is the best way to travel! I am taking tomorrow morning off so that I can sleep in and come to work somewhat relaxed.
Valerie continued to meet new people up to and including on the flight back to Okinawa. She truly enjoys talking to strangers, and they seem to sense that she is a good listener as well. As we were having dinner at the airport in Taiwan (delicious lasagna) this evening, she recognized that the couple in front of us were speaking Japanese to the waiter instead of Chinese. When it came our turn to be served, she asked if he was Japanese. The young man said that his father was Taiwanese and his mother was Japanese. Then he continued by telling us that he plays guitar in a rock band and he is the band's leader.
We ran into several English speakers, and most said that they learned a good portion of their English by watching American movies. The streets of Taipei carried many advertisements for American movies, and the locals also have access to American movie channels. Learning, it would seem, can be fun!
The trip to Taiwan was a success. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to visit there during my long Okinawan hiatus.