We all heard of jetlag: when your body moves to another timezone so quickly that the mind has no oppertunity to get used to the changing situation. It's a luxury problem: when a trip accross the Atlantic meant risking your life and many weeks on sea, the body had plenty of time to get used to the new timezone (and lack of vitamin C). Now we race to Phoenix in 14-17 hours, and only because we stopped at Atlanta first.
Some of you have never flown these distances, either east or west, so let me get your mind going: our flight took off in Amsterdam on 10:45 AM, and we landed in Phoenix at around 7PM, after a flight of more than 16 hours. As we flew west to the North American continent, the sun moved with us (so to speak), and by the time we landed the day in Amsterdam had ended, but had followed us all the way to Phoenix like a needy puppy.
This isn't so bad, though. Sure, it's a 32 hour day nearly half of which is spent in a presurised tube, but, again, it's a luxury problem. We all had long days, right?
Now, the way back...
On the way back the opposite happens. Where on the way to North America the day followed us and we could barely outrace it, this time we go in the opposite direction, and the day races right past us. I say day, but I really mean: night. You had long days. Did you ever have a short night? Did you ever have one spent in a cramped, noisy space where sitting is all you can do? And when you get out of 'bed' it's the middle of the day when it should be the middle of the night? This is the part that breaks me, every single time. It helps if I can catch a few hours of sleep, but honestly, it takes strength just to keep going through the rest of the day. And you have to, or you'll ruin your sleep cycle entirely! Wake up in the middle of the night with your body screaming "Time to get up! Hey, want some breakfast? Huh? Huh? Huh?"
This explains then why Beedoo! woke me up at 3:30PM the next day. It took quite a while to get my body back on a regular schedule with enough rest to be fully operational again. As for Kayenta... She was kind of zoned out for a day or two. And then she was fine. I think maybe her brain is a bit more flexible than mine. :)
Might be better if I had anything to add.... Okay, well... I've experienced this sort of jetlag much less than Arno has... after all, he's been doing this trip in varying degrees since 2000. I've made the trip to the Netherlands and/or back a number of times... but trust me, it doesn't get any easier.
Having just said that, we managed to arrange things a little better with our flight times, and arrived in the Netherlands around 11am this trip, rather than at 7 in the morning, and thus could crash sooner. Which we did, as is evident by our 3:30 waking time. Going both directions, it just seems like I can't get to a bed soon enough.
What kind of irritates me on these trips, is when, on our second leg of the trip, people start whining about what a long flight it is. BULLSHIT, people. If I can make an 8-hour flight in a middle seat without even standing up, you sure as hell can stay in the goddamn plane for three and a half hours without bitching about it!
For those not aware, our full trip consists of a trans-Atlantic jump of 8-9 hours, usually followed by a bit of a layover, another flight to Phoenix (3-3 1/2 hrs), and then a 2 1/2 hr drive to Flagstaff. We start early in the morning, especially if the dog is coming along, and end very late in a place where normally, in the Netherlands, it's already well into the next day. This is also a real bitch if you can't get to sleep on a plane. >.<
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