Hi guys! It’s Thursday now and I got back last Tuesday. I can’t tell you guys what an amazing trip it has been. First of all, it was my first ever trip on a plane. It was.. exciting. So let us start from the very beginning and I have a feeling it will be a long post.
The day of my departure:
The 23rd of August, I wake up around 7 AM. Even before my mother and John do. They said they would wake me up since I have a hard time waking up in the morning. But that night I almost didn’t get any sleep. Let’s call my friend TY since those are his initials. I had been talking to TY until 2 AM that night and I almost wanted to stay up the entire night so I’d knew for sure I’d be tired enough to sleep on the plane. Alas, I found myself to be very tired so slept for a few hours. When I woke up the first thing I did was take a shower. Since I knew I was pretty much going to be travelling for an entire day. I then decided to eat a sandwich even though I really wasn’t hungry. It wasn’t long before my mother and John also woke up and they were very quiet about me leaving. I almost thought they didn’t care much about it. Finally an hour after I’d woken up, John had made the first comment about it. We were all smoking in the garden of our house but I was the only one standing. Of course out of excitement and being extremely nervous I couldn’t even think of sitting down. “You nervous, Naomi?” To which I replied: Oh… Of course not! Not nervous at all.. No no… Just extremely nervous.
They had decided they wanted to leave around 9:15 so we could be way ahead of time and we could avoid any possible traffic jams. Thankfully for me(because I am pretty sure I couldn’t handle any more drama) there were no traffic jams at all, all the way to Amsterdam. When we got the airport, John dropped me and my mother off because he wasn’t allowed to park his car there for very long. My mother and I smoked a cigarette and John came to us anyways. My mother shot three pictures of me standing infront of the Airport Entrance and shared them on her Facebook immediately. Then when we had finished two cigarettes it was time for my mother and I to head inside. I said goodbye to John and walked inside.
I was extremely nervous and both my mother and me didn’t know what to do or where to go to. We asked some staff questions about the checking in and getting your boarding pass and then, 2 hours and some minutes before I had to board I embraced my mother tightly and tried to hold back my tears. She said she wanted me to be safe and return home safely. And as soon as I would land, I’d have to let her know. I agreed to do this and walked through the line of people to the security area as my mother kept waving until I was out of sight completely.
This was it… I walked on and saw a passport control point. I had to stand in line and put my passport in a machine the moment it was my turn. Everything was well and so I moved on to the next point: the checking of the luggage. All this time I still had both of my bags. The big black bag I wanted to check in the plane and the white one I was going to carry with me as hand luggage. They checked my bags and I went through the machine , which was a bit odd for me but I managed. On the other side of the machine(the one where you lift your arms so they check your body scan) both my bags came out. I had sealed my black bag before I went through the security in the entrance hall to make sure nobody could put anything in it. The woman on the other side of the body scanner told me it wasn’t allowed to seal your hand luggage like that.
“But this isn’t my hand luggage. Only the white bag is my hand luggage”. I told her. She then smiled and asked me: How do you want to get the black bag with you then honey? You were supposed to check that in earlier.
But because she saw nothing weird on the scan of the bag, I was allowed (only this once) to take both my hand luggage and my regular luggage with me on the plane. Even though, the bags together were already starting to weigh down on me, I decided I’d take her offer and just do it. It would save me a lot of time when I’d arrive in Taiwan because I wouldn’t have to go through Baggage claim.
I arrived at the lounge of the Airport and ordered a Caramel Frappuccino at Starbucks and a croissant to eat. I wanted to make sure I had some food inside my belly but not too much in case the flight would make me sick. I had some pills in my hand luggage in case this happend but I’d rather not use it. After two hours of waiting and talking to TY on Facebook Messenger in the mean time, it was time for me to board. I got extremely nervous at this point but remained to look calm. I walked through the hallway that connects to the shuttles and found mine. There I had to wait a few minutes before I could get on the plane. So I decided to update my status on Facebook, telling everybody I was leaving. I messaged my mother and TY that I really was going now. I get on the plane and look for my seat… When I finally find 33A I am shocked.
“Do I really only have that little space for my legs? Well.. Maybe once we start flying it will be more comfortable. After all, this flight is 12 hours.” But I was wrong. Once I sat down, it really didn’t get any better at all. When we took off, it felt awesome! Not once did I feel sick or bad or scared during take off , flight and not even with turbulence. It just reminded me of a bumpy road in a bus. Two hours after take off, I got a big meal to eat that was actually really nice for an airplane meal. I tried to watch some movies, but turned them all off after 20 minutes of watching… I tried to get some sleep but that also didn’t work because the sound of the plane is quite loud. I was able to see down below until we reached Budapest, that’s when the clouds were in the way and I tried to get some more sleep. When it was ”morning” even though you have no sense of time anymore on a plane ride that long, we got another meal. This time a bit smaller but still very good and enjoyable. Then a few hours before landing we got another big meal. Then FINALLY, I arrived at Bangkok, Thailand. This was going to be my lay-over airport. I had to get off the plane(even though nobody had told me this before) , I got a re-boarding pass and had to go through Bangkok’s security check as well. That’s where they took away my washing detergent because it was 200 ML’s and thus, too big to carry with me. For the love of everything, I just couldn’t find my re-boarding gate. Nothing was on my re-boarding pass so I decided to ask the staff. Their english wasn’t quite good but they were really helpful. As I almost started to cry because I only had 20 minutes left to board, the guy who helped me finally found my gate and walked me all the way to it. So that I wouldn’t get lost. Then he said goodbye and I kept thanking him. There I was waiting for 15 more minutes and decided to message TY and my mother.
Getting on the next (but still the same) plane, I saw we only had 3 hours of flight left until arriving in Taipei, Taiwan. That’s when I got nervous again. Not because of the flight because that’s awesome… This time I got nervous because I was about to meet TY for the first time. Was he really going to be there, waiting for me at the aiport? I mean, we had been talking literally every single day, since the day we met in October last year but still…. Was he going to be there? If he sees me, what will he think of me? I am a big girl, always have, always been. And guys, he’s the friend that I was falling so hard for. Since the first day I met him on ePenpal, I had a crush on him. But it only got bigger and stronger because he’s such a great guy. Really different from European guys and that’s what I loved so much about him. This guy was mature, knew what he wanted and what he didn’t want, he was looking for a real relationship but couldn’t find anyone, he wanted the same things in life I wanted. And ontop of that, he’s just the sweetest and funniest guy ever. After three hours of flying… I arrived. I had to go through immigration (which was a whole different story on it’s own, believe me) but when I finally got through immigration…. I put my bags down on the floor of the entrance hall and when I looked up… He had already spotted me. I saw him and suddenly got more nervous. What was that look on his face when he saw me? Did he look disgusted, tired, what? Why doesn’t he smile? Is he not happy I’m here now???
The first hour or so went by slowly. It wasn’t awkward but it wasn’t entirely smooth either. The moment I stepped outside… The weather… Oh my god. Tropical, for sure! I can’t even describe it.. It’s like a hot wet blanket is being put over your entire body and my sweat glands were working overtime. I arrived there on the 24th of August and it was time to move to the Hotel.
From this part on, I am not going to be extra extra specific apart from a few more things… I just wanted you guys to know how my entire flying expierence went.
The first week went by slowly. I had a lot of trouble withdrawing money from ATM’s there. On day 3, I still didn’t have any money and TY had paid for everything up until that moment. Then I had to call my bank all the way from Taiwan to figure it out and we were able to find a bank that accepted the Cirrus a.k.a Maestro logo that I have on my card. Finally being able to pay him back, I was happy again. The first thing I noticed about Taiwan, is how nice the people really are. No fights, no screaming, no yelling.. No nothing. And strangers are more than happy to help you out if you need a cab or any other help at all. Especially because I was a foreigner, some elderly people were super nice and asked me a lot of questions. The second thing I noticed: All cab’s are yellow!
Over in my country the cabs are whatever color the driver wants their car to be so seeing REAL cabs that were yellow was pretty funny. The prices in Taiwan are extremely cheap if you come from Europe, where we use the Euro. NTWD(New Taiwanese Dollar) is pretty awesome and it feels like you’re rich over there. Cigarettes… wow. Just wow. The same quality of cigarettes, the only difference is that the cheapest pack of cigarettes over there, is 1 euro and 20 cents. The most expensive one, might be up to 3 euro’s. However my cheapest one over here will cost me 6 euro and 20 cents… So, this was amazing. When the first week came to an end.. I also noticed another thing………..
We were walking around and because you drink A LOT more water and tea-related drinks, you’re bound to pee more. So TY tells me we’re close to a gas station and we’ll do our business over there. We walk to the public bathrooms and he goes into the man’s room (of course) as I walk to the ladies room. As I open the door…. I am confused trying to find the toilet. I close the door to see if it’s behind it… I mean… That hole in the floor with a flushing mechanism above it… that… no. That can’t be … How… How do you use it? What….
Most, if not ALL public female bathrooms have urinals in the floor for us women…. Yep.
I walked out and saw TY already waiting for me. I asked him: Uh… So… Where’s the toilet?
When he walks with me and opens the door he starts to laugh… That’s it. He tells me it’s because people here don’t want to touch anything with their naked body. Which makes a lot of sense, knowing I use toilet seat covers in my own countries public bathrooms. And apparently, a lot of women tried standing on an actual toilet while peeing and so accidents happenend. So they changed most of the public toilets to those urinals in the floor. You take off your pants, squat and do your thing……….. Yeah. I did not pee there in that moment but told him I’d rather go to a normal bathroom.
After walking for another 40 minutes we found a Campus where they had ONE ‘regular’ toilet… Though it was covered in ants on the floor, I was happy to take it.
All the time we stayed in the hotel in Taichung, TY had slept on the floor in his sleeping bag. He has his own student dorm room a few floors below my room but wanted to stay in my room regardless. I had a whole bed to myself and he slept on the floor but said he didn’t mind. Knowing he sleeps with no matras as well… and knowing he likes hard surfaces to sleep on… I guess he really didn’t mind.
We were friends…. Good friends. It felt good being around him. We went to Kaohshiung(his hometown) and stayed at three different hotels for one night and had to check out the next morning. However, this time we had but one Hotel room with one bed so he decided to sleep next to me. I had no problems with that! I knew he wouldn’t try anything(even if I wanted him to) and really, we would only sleep. So after sleeping next to him in the same bed for like three nights straight, when we went back to Taichung. It was my birthday.
We got a birthday cake, skyped with my mother(like we did every day already), he bought candles for me, and he was holding the phone while skyping my mother as he sang Happy birthday with my mother. He then told me to make three wishes and then blow out the candles.
The only wish that came to mind was: Please let us kiss before this vacation ends.
And I repeated it twice more because I didn’t expect more than that to happen, IF it would even happen at all. He had not given me any reason to believe so. But me, being the hopeless romantic I am…. You know… .Sigh.
That night when we went to bed and we were back in our old hotelroom he decided to sleep in his sleeping bag again on the floor. I thought that was kind of weird. After all, we had been sharing a same bed for three nights already with no problems. Why change his mind now? He noticed I was a bit dissapointed about that and said he didn’t shower so didn’t want to sleep next to me because he felt dirty. When I continues to mope around he said I was like a little kid that didn’t get what she wanted. In a joking way of course. To which I replied: Yes. ( like a kid would say ) . When we got up to turn off the lights he suddenly grabbed me and hugged me. Which was….. Weird. Touching eachother when you’re not a couple in Taiwan is really not done. There’s almost no contact of the skin or bodies against eachother unless you’re a couple. And even if you are you still don’t do it in public.
But it was also nice, the hug, the embrace. And I decided to just accept it and enjoy this moment. Still a little bit sad he wouldn’t sleep next to me. The day after my birthday we decided to not go outside because it had been raining the whole day and it was going to be raining the whole day too. We decided to lay on my bed, watching movies on his laptop. I already noticed he kept moving closer to me on the bed but didn’t think much of it. However, when we went for a cigarette in my bathroom he would keep touching my face and repeat the same thing over and over again: You’re so beautiful, you’re like a Diamond in the rough, you’re so pretty… You could be a model here.. The structure of your face is so beautiful… You’re so pretty you don’t even know it.
At some point I didn’t even know what to tell him anymore. I was too shy. Eventually when we were sitting on the edge of the bed, I wanted to kiss him on the cheek… He kept touching my face and giving me that look… A look you give someone when you like them. I wanted to, but when I moved my head closer to his, I chickenend out and just moved my head towards his neck… That’s how we sat there on the edge of my bed like that for a while. While he was stroking my back softly. We continued to watch more movies and eventually… he put his arm around me while watching movies.
That made me look at him and he looked back. We just stared at eachother for a while and there was something. I always read about it in books and you always see it in movies right? Where there’s a pull?? Like two magnets.. A feeling that’s just getting stronger…. And then he moved his face to mine and kissed me.
My wish had come true. And for the FIRST time in my entire life it felt like an entire dream came true. I’ve always wanted to befriend a guy, and then end up being with him… I’ve liked him since the first day I met him and for the first time I’m not the only one who felt like that. For the first time I didn’t get rejected by the one I truely had feelings for. And when I kissed him… I wanted to kiss him back. With the other guys I’ve kissed it never felt like I really wanted to. But with him… The touch of his hand already made me weak and gave me butterflies. Imagine what his kiss did to me.. I was overfilled with joy and after the kiss I felt my entire face get warm so I hid it. To which he replied: You’re so cute.
The remainder of that evening we didn’t watch the movies we started anymore. We would kiss, touch and mess around the entire night. Just a side note… we did not have sex. He told me we both weren’t ready for that yet. But some day… yes.
It was so nice. I told him about the wish I had made and his reaction was a certain look in his eyes. A look that says he was really happy to hear that and then he kissed me again. He’s by far the sweetest guy I’ve ever met in my entire life and I stand by that.. Even now. When we’d sleep, he’d hold my hand the entire night. And if I left the bed to go pee and come back? – He’d grab it immediately again. He would kiss me on his own, hug me on his own… Put his arms around me on his own. For once, I was not the only one who really wanted this… We both wanted this and the last week went by way too fast…..
We went to Tainan, and some other places as well.. made lots of pictures and memories…. We enjoyed eachother’s company, we laughed, we watched movies, we walked a lot, held hands…. Everything. I never thought he liked me back… he was always so vague and distant when I even got a little close to him like that. And in the first week, I wasn’t even allowed to drink from the same cup as he. But in one week, a day after my birthday… everything changed. We were still friends at the same time. It wasn’t just like: Oh, we’re a couple now. No… We were still friends too. So if something awkward happenend during messing around with eachother, we’d just both start laughing like idiots and kiss eachother. We would still act the same way, talk the same way. We’re not calling eachother baby or honey all of a sudden. We already had our own petnames for eachother even before we met. But we’re not using them more now… Only when we want to. He’s still TY to me and I’m still Naomi to him. That’s the greatest part about being with your friend…. A friend loves you already. He’s already seen you in your best and in your worst moments and he still loves you. You discuss much more with a friend, so he knows you. He knows of you, about you. And still decides to love you. They truely love you for who you are. That’s why I’m so glad I’m now dating my best friend.
He’s the best….
When my vacation came to an end it got hard for me.
I knew I couldn’t hold him, touch him, kiss him or hug him at the airport. Because public displays of affection are just not done in Taiwan. The morning of my departure, he woke me up by kissing me…. It woke me up feeling happy and in love. But then immediately got sad because this was probably going to be one of the last kisses I was going to have for at least another year. Saying goodbye was hard and I was trying SO hard not to cry guys… He was so calm and he helped me relax. He told me: this is not the end, this is really only a start. Next year we’ll see eachother in person again, and we’re going to continue to skype with eachother like we already did. We can still talk everyday. See eachother every day.
Those words only hurt me more.. I wanted to stay with him and his beautiful country. I wanted nothing more than that. The feelings and energy this guy has given me and still gives me… is amazing.
I have promised myself to really go for losing weight this time. I am commited to it. Dedicated to it. He’s going to be my motivation. Next time I see him, I want his jaw to drop. He already thought I was beautiful? – Well, then you’re going to LOVE me after I lose more weight. I already started by jogging every morning since I came back home(which I’ve never done before). I am now counting my calories everyday and changed my diet to things with less sugar and fats. Also I’m staying away from potatoes, since that’s what the Dutch eat a lot.. but it also makes you fat.
And every time I feel like I can’t take it anymore… I think of TY. I think of him. Seeing him again next year.. maybe even this winter if we’re both lucky. And he’s my motivation, he gets me going on. I can do this, he helps me on Skype and he’s there for me…