Taipei, Taiwan “She’s so Heavy-Handed!”

Direct flight from Seattle to Taipei. Thirteen and a half hours. Some Asian airlines are among my favorites — clean, roomy, with good food and good service. China Airlines is not one of them.

The guy next to me was a major noodle slurper. He sort of held the plate in front of his mouth and vacuumed it up, the fork used only as a peripheral aid. This method is perfectly polite in China, but then again so is genital electrocution. He also had terrible body odor, a penchant for protracted ball-itching, and a bad case of the jimmy-legs.

I mimicked his slurping sounds in open mockery. He didn’t seem to notice. I mounted a rock hard thigh wall to limit the range of his leg wiggling. It had little effect. Finally I resorted to the pettiest of retaliations: farting.

The plane did have private screens with loads of movies. I watched Across the Universe, which is an atrocity. It’s like half-baked Hair, only with inexplicable access to the greatest song library of all time and free reign to butcher it in service of a trite, ham-fisted narrative. I like Julie Taymor, but in the "I Want You" number, when she had a group of G.I.s in Vietnam carrying the Statue of Liberty on their backs and singing "She’s so heavy!" I wanted to grab a parachute and crack open the emergency exit. Lady, your visual metaphor license is suspended indefinitely.

Boy, am I cranky!

Darjeeling Limited made me miss trains in India. And they made the country look exactly as orangey-brown as I remember it.

I landed at 6am and I can’t check in until noon. I’m downtown, so I’m going to go wander.