OK...looks like the long ordeal is finally over and I am here in Taiwan, with passport/visa/health in hand (knock on wood).
After the 14 hour flight, where they made me check in a third bag (which meant rescuing PomPom and Carlito-my beloved stuffed toys- so they wouldn't get checked) I arrived in Taipei at 6AM there time (I am 17 hours ahead of Torontonians). The flight was uneventful but saw some good movies, slept and had noodles for breakfast.
I am a little behind the training for my job as I was suppose to arrive Saturday but was delayed due to the passport fiasco. But today I rest.
I also met my hotel roomate who is from New Zealand and will also be teaching in Kaoshiung. All is well otherwise. I will go sleep for a bit and get refreshed for what is sure to be a long two weeks.
On a positive note people here seem to be really friendly. Even the customs agent had a chuckle when i told him about my ordeal in LA!!!