So I’m off to Singapore again, on EVA Airways – nothing spectacular, except that I’m stuck in the middle row of seats, in the middle seat – not exactly fun. But the Deluxe class seats are extremely comfortable, so I don’t mind. EVA has a Deluxe class, for CAD$100 more return, you can get business class type seats but with economy class food. Good deal, I think – especially with the trip being 18 hours of flight-time in total – one way.
So 12 hours later after departing Vancouver, I land in Chiang Kai Shek Airport in Taiwan. I have about two hours to kill before my next flight, it is about four hours to Singapore. So I’m walking in a fairly deserted wing of the airport to my gate – and I was glancing at the flight arrival monitors (big 40 inch LCD screens, I believe), and lo and behold, there was a Microsoft Scandisk window overlaid on top of the arrival screen! It was churning away, I couldn’t read the window text because it was all in Chinese.I wish I had a digicam at that moment. No surprise that most of these systems would be run by Microsoft software.
I get to the gate – and saw a sign saying ‘WiFi’ near the public payphones. Hmm – why not try it out? So I whipped out my laptop and proceeded to just go to “www.google.com”, and it redirected me to the page for HiNet, a Taiwanese WiFi/broadband provider. The page is all in Chinese. Then I saw the “English” hyperlink and thought – I’m in luck! But not so fast. That brought me to a FAQ page that proceeded to tell me that for non-HiNet subscribers, I needed to buy a HiNet prepaid card, bla bla bla, and that card can be bought online using my credit card. But unfortunately when I went to the link it provided to buy the card, it was in Chinese yet again. Since most of the link location text was in English, I thought by hovering my mouse over a link I might gain some clues to where the link might go to from the status bar. Quite frustrating. The contact page was indecipherable also, so I couldn’t e-mail the webmaster or public relations or something.
On my return trip back, I have a 6 hour layover in Taiwan again. I really wish I could get some wi-fi love then, but I’m not hoping too hard.