|analytical Q||May-Aug 2000||Sept-Dec 2000||Jan-Apr 2001||Discussion|
JET AND TIME LAG
The seven hour flight from Baltimore to London was not long enough for a decent night's sleep nor short enough to watch two movies. This full flight was full of teenagers and loud Americans. As the ear plugs I requested never arrived, I sat there trying to daydream of better things in life.
Dawn broke on the horizon slowly. Above the clouds, I could see the sun crescent upon the surface, reminding me of the gentle sunrises in the heart of Africa only a year ago. Yes, I became fascinated by sunrise and sunset in Kenya. Now, above the earth, I see a familiarity that's comforting.
The captain informed us that we've landed into a typical London fog which would clear and warm up later. At 6:30 am, I could hardly stomach a breakfast, but instead tried to get home as quickly as possible. After a fast train and a slow taxi, I got home by 8:30 am. Home was a cold house with no sign of my ginger cat.
Having only twenty-four hours to unpack and repack for my next trip, I was keen to multi-task as much as possible. While my first load of laundry was being washed, I hopped into a full bath to soothe my aching joints. Afterwards, I lay down to take a short nap - which became a long four hours!
After putting away the second load of laundry, I set about unpacking the rest of my suitcase. But first, I longed to play the piano. So I sightread through Handel's suites and other Baroque pieces.
The chores of unpacking, clearing up, organising, etc were boring but daunting. Compared to the momentum and excitement of my travels, these house tasks were punishment for having fun. How can I minimise the things I acquire so that I have less to unpack? The thought of having to sort through my expenses and notes put me to sleep. And sleep welcomed me on the fold-out futon in the living room. I slept until the sun went out.
Tomorrow we shall lose an hour due to daylight saving's time. However, I will lose yet another hour flying eastward. Two hours gone - and I will still crave for sleep to get over this transatlantic jet lag!
It's not just falling asleep at the wrong time, but waking up at the wrong time and not being able to sleep. Jet lag affects the body's natural biorhythm and sleep patterns. My cure is to have a light diet and go swimming whenever possible.