Gamania in Taiwan: Day 0
Posted on Tuesday, September 6 @ 11:30:15 PST by Nicholas Tan
I will not apologize for being grumpy. I just lost a day of my life.
Also, this is Day 0, because the Gamania Game Show doesn't start until tomorrow really, but I might as well get this started while I'm still awake.
I arrived at San Francisco International Airport, with the helpful car ride of Jade Kraus from Game Informer, at 4:20pm on Monday. I had the option that morning to walk down to the Chinese supermarket Ranch 99 about five minutes from my house for dim sum, but since I was going to Taiwan, I decided not to ruin the experience. So instead, I had come with my stomach full with Jack in the Box—one Extreme Sausage and three Chicken Sandwiches with bacon, no mayo. Nothing like good ol' fast food before I forget what America tastes like.
After meeting Josh Laddin—who was watching one last episode of Mad Men via Netflix on the airport's crappy Wi-Fi—at the gate, I found my seat, 63 H, on a plane that had nearly 70 rows, which today only had about a fifth of the maximum passengers. Josh and I were immediately giddy with the thought of horizontal sleep and leg room.
I was also surprised at the entertainment package: Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Super 8, Bridesmaids, Blitz, Taiwanese mahjong, sudoku, three versions of Pong. With laptop on hand, I was fully prepared for a 12-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean. (Side-note: Turbulence is the enemy of the 3DS.)
The flight prepared me for another thing that makes me feel the most Chinese-American as I can ever be. I'm not fluent in Chinese, either Mandarin or Cantonese, but I obviously look Chinese. So I get the pleasure of witnessing unique facial expressions of Taiwanese attendants on Taiwanese flights expecting Taiwanese-looking people to speak Chinese... before having to repeat their instructions to me in English. Or their hand gestures with a smile that hides their disappointment. I expect to see this everywhere I go in Taiwan. Of course, I'm not projecting my guilt onto them at all. Shut up. You don't understand me! I kill you!
We also met Avery Wong, a cool, all-around awesome developer/freelance photojournalist who wears one of those thousand-dollar instant cameras around his neck that makes everyone else's camera look like... I hate him. His room number is 1010. We're living in the Park Taipei hotel. (GR is not responsible for any murders that may happen because of this blog post.)
With the long flight and International Timeline shenanigans, Josh and I stumbled into Taipei on Tuesday 10:00pm. 28 hours?! Ugh. Help. Luckily, we still had enough energy—and hunger—to explore the nearby vicinity of our hotel, all of which reminded me of Hong Kong with a bit of Tokyo. Within a three block radius, there were four 7-Elevens and only one Starbucks. Yep, we're definitely halfway across the world. (I'll let Josh show the special "console" we saw there.)
That said, I went to a Family Mart and got dried fish strips, one milk tea, and two way-too-hot, way-too-oversteamed buns. So never mind... convenience stores suck everywhere. (I added the belt, because belts make everything more exciting.)
Check back with Josh and me as the Gamania conference continues throughout the week.
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