My in-laws are visiting from Sydney and I wanted to show them Taroko Gorge over the weekend - book a plane ticket down Friday night and hotel. Hotel all OK over the phone as my eldest daughter has pretty good Chinese. Now as to the plane tickets…
Internet: domestic plane tickets only available more than 30 hours before the flight! Is this the Taiwanese steam-powered internet? I know that I can get an International e-ticket same day to Singapore but not to Hualien, obviously this is too much for the local travel industry.
I thought I’d try Songshan Airport. Arrive at 1PM yesterday, find the appropriate sales counter to be told that because flights are stopped due to the nearness of the typhoon the domestic computer booking system is shut down too! :fume:
After flights resume (3PM) I can make the bookings and buy the tickets. I hand over 6 passports(Granny, Grandpa, me, Mrs Llama and 2 Llama-ettes). “6 tickets, return to Hualien”. Lots of furious computering and a computer printout with 5 names is produced. I ask “What about mei mei?” Reply “Do you want a ticket for her too?”
I despair. After 2 years of this sort of stunningly illogical behaviour I can only but continue to drink heavily and sigh. No wonder the President’s daughter can have her maid’s wages paid from the public purse, or that lawmakers throwing lunchboxes at each other is acceptable adult behaviour, or telling children they can’t swim on a stinking hot day because the ‘water is too cold’ etc. etc.
I have dealt with indifference, inefficiency and rudeness in other countries but I despair for Taiwan ever really getting its bum into gear to encourage the International Community to see it as a valid nation: not a quaint, inefficient 2nd world backwater that makes a lot of computer chips and LCD screens. (Oh yes, nice food, friendly people etc etc etc)