July 2nd, 2008
01:04 AM ET

Deja Vu

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/02/art.neil.taiwan.jpg caption="Neil Hallsworth shooting port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, a hub for shark fins. The majority of the fins make their way from here to china, where they're eaten as a delicacy."]

Neil Hallsworth
Senior Photojournalist

I'm having Deja Vu, 2 weeks ago I was pulling up at the same JFK terminal, dealing with the same baggage issues

Its Sunday and after the rain, thunder and lightning. Shortly before I arrive at JFK airport I can't believe the flight actually going to leave on time...we board early...then get stuck on the tarmac for nearly 2 hours. It's painful. To ease the pain stuck on the tarmac the airline offers us cocktails On the small TV screen in front of me there is a slide show of 3 tempting specialty drinks, one called the Mile High Mohito…I'm so bored at this point I flick through the sky mall magazine and actually consider buying the hot digity dogger (pop up hot dog maker).

Finally we're airborne. But we land so late in San Francisco our connecting flight to Taipei is long gone.

Now the fun starts—finding the baggage—12 cases of gear that was checked all the way to Taipei, so we can get on the next available flight. But finding it is proving somewhat difficult. Neither airline admits responsibility for having the baggage. All we are told is, "they're in the system."

Over the next 5 hours the words "they're in the system" haunt me. No one can find them in "the system."

The system...the system!!! My mind drifts to a scene form the matrix...right now though I'm hoping Morfeus of the Matrix will pop out open is left hand and offer me the blue transporter pill...then I can wake up in Taipei with all my equipment.

We eventually arrive on a different airline 12 hours later, minus 2 bags.....one of which I really need for the first shoot. Muphy's law I suppose.

Filed under: Neil Hallsworth • Planet in Peril
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