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Travels Anti-Spinward

OH GOD.  Eastward transatlantic travel.  I knew it messes me up, but I forgot how much.  Well: I suppose I'll see the full extent of that later today.

Travelling against the sun.  It's a killer.  I remember the first time I visited the UK, leaving in the Chicago afternoon and arriving in the London morning.  Except: Due to the direction of travel, it's as if the speed of night is doubled.  Suddenly: There is no night. Greet the new dawn!  When we landed at something like 8am London time, it was only 2am Chicago time.  The time of night I would normally, in those days, only be starting to fall asleep.

Walking around my first day in London (something hotly and feverishly anticipated), on a night's slumber of zero, was not how I'd hoped to start that first trip.  I was still enthralled as I first encountered what would become my favorite city on Earth, but I also recall feeling as the shambling dead: brain-dead, rapidly deteriorating, and ready to fall to pieces at a moment's notice.

Ever since, I have always tried to time my eastward ocean journeys appropriately: Leave early in the morning, so I arrive into London at night.  I'll only have been up half a day, but the rigorous stupors of travel, combined with the presence of night, easily coaxes me to sleep.  When I wake up the following morning, I've already made significant progress on resetting my body's clock to its newfound clime.

But this time, no.  I looked at morning flights, truly I did, but the difference between one that arrived at night versus one that arrived in the morning totalled (if I recall) in the hundreds of dollars.  So I went against my better judgment and chose the overnight transit.  Further, I reasoned that the way to induce my body to fall asleep on the plane would be to upset my rhythms the night before, going to bed very late and rising very early, only allowing myself a scant few hours in bed.  I might sleepwalk through much of the day, but when the time came and the hour was necessary, I would easily fall asleep on the plane - ideally waking only upon our arrival into the London dawn.

Sure would have been nice if events had gone according to plan, no?

Instead, despite my shallow doze of the night before, I could *not* fall asleep as soon as I boarded the flight from Boston to the UK.  I read a bit on the Kindle, I read a couple of comics, and I was about to watch a half hour of television on my iPad - strictly to ease my mind toward cozy relaxation - when the airplane crew finally turned off the lights in the cabin, and instead showed on the monitors the time till arrival: just under four hours.  OH GOD.  I curtailled my Pad, snuggled into blanket and mini-pillow best I could, and put music into my ears with the volume turned low, with the hopeful intent of lulling myself to sleep soon as could be.

(Oh for crap's sake.  Only after the fact do I realize the name of the album I put on: Neutral Milk Hotel's magnum opus, In the Aeroplane over the Sea.  Of course.)

Once again: It was a lovely plan.  Yet though I did rest, I did not sleep.  Or if I did - for I recall some few abruptly noticed transitions of unconsciousness - then my sleep was measured not in hours, but mere minutes.

And this after a previous night of well-intentioned sleep deprivation!

We land very shortly.  Estimated arrival time: 7.45am London time.  2.45am Chicago time.  After disembarking, I'm to immediately hop a second, much shorter flight, before finding myself in Ireland: First time visiting Cork.

Once again, it's going to be a very, very interesting first day.

Also: Real-time journalling?  After so many years of not?  Huh.  Who knew?


Aug. 3rd, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
Part of my family is from County Cork...the other, from County Mayo...
I WISH I could remember the addy for the family farm and pub (What a combination, huh?)

Have a pint for me!

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