Yesterday continued to get more hectic after I posted. When I spoke to Rudder again there seemed to be no prospects for his getting home anytime soon; there were buses coming to take the people who had been stramded by the trains but the first one had finally arrived and could only take a fraction of the crowd. Just then I realized that the property management office would probably let me use their spare key if I could get there in time before they closed. I confirmed that with them and went tearing out of the office, forgetting to let Rudder know what I was doing (his parents also had my mobile phone). I drove home worrying about possible traffic jams and also that they wouldn’t let me use their key, once they realized I probably couldn’t return it before they closed (because once I got into the apartment I couldn’t leave again until Rudder got home with my key). Neither fear materialized; I got there in time and the woman there couldn’t have been more helpful. (Which is unusual in itself; she may not last long there. They’re usually polite but not terribly helpful.) Rudder finally got home at 6:30 or 7. He was supposed to row at 6 but his partner also got caught in a traffic jam so that was canceled which is good because we were both wiped by then. Oatmeal for dinner for me and popcorn, books and knitting and couch-sitting were the rest of the night.

Incidentally, the trains were stopped because an earlier one had hit a person on thetracks – I don’t know if it was suicide or what. So it was a real emergency, not just badly-time maintenance or anything like that.

I’m still thinking about the requirement for the Taiwanese office to have my parents’ passports in order to validate my birth certificate. Mom’s sending the copies today. Which is pretty nice if you think about it; I’m sure she’s not thrilled about our going into a country with earthquakes and typhoons in the news, that’s half a world away from her. I have no idea what would have happened if my parents were 90 years old, feeble and without easy access to a photocopier. Or what if we’d been estranged, and I wasn’t willing to talk to them much less to ask a favor, or didn’t know where they were? Or if I’d been birthed by the sort of ‘parents’ who would be unwilling to do any favors for their offspring? Or, possibly more common, what if they were dead? I know a number of people, more or less in my age cohort, who have lost one or both parents. Last I heard, most people don’t save the passports of their dead relatives and if they did they wouldn’t be valid.

It seems unlikely that Taiwan doesn’t want any immigrants – they certainly want our company to open up this faicility there, and it clearly has to be staffed with at least some imports as well as local people. I assume they’d find some way to deal with any of those situations. I just wonder what.