Postscript to the below: My frequent flyer card was waiting for me as I went through the gate at LAX. Y’all got yer stuff t’gether!

Much later…

I’ve been in CKS International Airport for all of 15 minutes and I’ve already embarrassed myself through my inability to recognize that the faucet in the men’s restroom had to be actually and physically brushed against to activate, as opposed to waved under like I’m used to. My hands waited dumbly for water that never came until a local peered around my shoulder, shoved his hands into the thin gap between the faucet and my own, and said, “You have to touch it like this (he demonstrates, lightly touching my hands in the process… which I find strangely familiar at first, and the slightly demeaning later, as if he’s trying to teach a small, dumb child).” He continues, “It’s different from…(looks at me)… from, uh, the U.S.” He said it kindly, and with a beatific smile on his face, but I still felt like an idiot.

Despite spending something approaching three months in Taiwan last year, I fail to remember encountering anything like this faucet. Hopefully, I can sit here quietly and without incident for an hour, until my plane to Hong Kong leaves.

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