The walk to the station is familiar - through the North Gate. City Mall is almost deserted, but the Q Square with it’s upscale stores has more foot traffic. We find N.Y. Bagels Cafe across from the Starbucks in Q Square. We settle in to a cozy booth and order American-style breakfasts, Steak and eggs for William and scrambled eggs and bacon for me. Mmmm. It’s a very expensive breakfast by Taipei standards ($34 USD), but worth every cent.
The hotel arranges for a fixed-priced taxi to the airport. It costs $1,000 TWD ($33 USD), a savings of $600 TWD ($20 USD) over what we paid on our arrival. Our temperatures are scanned as we enter the airport. We answer the mostly-standard questions about coronavirus at the check-in counter then breeze through security and immigration. Soon we are settled into the lounge, snacking as we await our flight.
We arrive at O’Hare a few minutes early. The International Terminal at O’Hare always means a 15-20 minute walk to Immigration. As we start to get close to the Immigration Hall we encounter a long line. OMG ... we have efficiently been processed through Immigration 12 times in different countries since January 9th. The worst is the US. The queue is at least 500 people. The sad part is that I don’t think the US is being more thorough or discriminating than a country like Singapore. William and I are happy we took extra steps a couple of years ago - we have Global Entry which allows us to use a kiosk and avoid the long queue.
We catch a shuttle to an O’Hare hotel for the night. We hit the hotel bar for an appetizer (chicken wings) and some beverages then grab some zzzzzz’s. I’m able to sleep until 8 am, but William only makes it to 6:30 am.