After writing my last exam in Taiwan I just had little more than one day to finish all errands, clean up my dorm, pack my bags and say goodbye. I will only be away from Taiwan for a month, but when I return a lot will have changed. Some of my dearest friends will have moved home. Those 24 hours I felt sick, confused and exhausted, but in the end I managed to finish everything on time.
At Saturday night they followed me out to my waiting taxi and I saw my bags getting stuffed inside. When I pictured saying goodbye I thought we will have oceans of time – but everything was over so quickly. Absent minded as I was I asked the taxi driver to take me to the airport. That was where I was going after all, wasn’t it? But as he started to ask about terminals I got unsure and felt that something was wrong.
My friend opened the taxi door and double checked that the driver and I could understand each other. “Airport?” He laughed. “Are you crazy? You are going to the HSR train station! What are you thinking with?” It was good he corrected me or that would have turn out to be a very expensive ride. And so we finally waved goodbye and the taxi left.
For a moment I felt tears building up in my eyes and I thought I might start crying. But immediately the taxi driver started asking questions and talking. And talking and talking. He was talking so intensely all the way to the station I didn’t have a chance to think of anything else than to focus on understanding the Chinese.
When we arrived to the station I paid, grabbed my backpack and left. I almost made it to the entrance before I heard a voice behind me. This time he spoke to me in English.
“Excuse me, excuse me! Your luggage! You forgot your luggage!”
Apparently I had overlooked the fact that I was only carrying a small backpack and not my oversized giant suitcase. First forgetting where I was going and then forgetting my bag? Before I even left the city I live in? I was quietly asking myself how I would possibly, in this exhausted state, make this long trip by myself. After taking the short train ride I took a bus and so I was ready for the first flight.
Wearing my big, bright blue face mask I boarded the plane and tried my best not to sneeze more than absolutely necessarily.