The flight started well enough. I was lucky to get one of the Sanrio co-branded EVA Airways planes. That means Hello Kitty everywhere, from the airplane exterior, to the cushions, the entertainment console, down to the cutlery. It did not end there. At Taipei, I was greeted by a huge Sanrio themed waiting lounge and even a Hello Kitty breastfeeding room. Hello Kitty’s been naughty, about time, she’s 39.

The next leg delayed three times. Once was an “scheduled” delay of 35 mins. When that ran out, they asked for another 20 mins. When everyone had boarded the plane and it had taxied off, we got another message saying that they had to tow the plane back and check something. I thought I’d be in for a couple of hours of delays or worse. Fortunately, if you can call it that, whatever the problem got fixed after a reboot. Yes, a real reboot of all the systems, air conditioning, lights all went down for a minute, and we all looked at the Linux penguin while the entertainment system when through its booting up process. The 747-400 is an aging plane now.

I was brought to the hotel by a nice driver, and was placed into a suite. Well, kinda. It’s like two adjoining regular rooms, but the beds in one of them was replaced with a sofa bed. So there’s like a lounge room and a regular room.

Great view of the bay and the convention center.

Shortly after I settled in, my welcome package arrives, with lots of swag. A suped up travel pillow, a set of travel power adapters, a passport cover and a travel bluetooth speaker among them. Nice!

Next morning, I went to the convention center and was registered. The TED event is crewed by hard-working, adaptable, professional, meticulous, and most importantly friendly and helpful people. I am amazed at how they are able to juggle so many fragile glass balls in the air and make it all work, and it’s the people that do it.

I was standing on that famous stage seen in so many videos during my rehearsal and I am happy to report that I didn’t screw up terribly.

Bit of scary news though. Codename Colossus is still stuck at customs. They just failed to pick it up on Friday and can only do it on Monday. Add to that the fact that my talk got pushed forward to Tuesday, means that I’ll have only Monday to get my Colossus to work, and hopefully steal a few minutes to rehearse with it on stage with the guy that is pushing the toy on stage, the video wall guy  switching the video feeds, and the guy with the handheld camera getting close ups. I am not panicking because these guys are such pros I am sure they’ll figure something out.

Fingers crossed.

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