Flying around the globe creates very interesting phenomenon regarding time. The time difference is one of them, and the International Date Line is another. The resulting jet lag is not-so-interesting one.
I got up at 6:00 AM, two hours earlier than average, to catch flight to Tokyo at 8:55 AM, Dec 6, 2004. When I arrived in Tokyo, I happily found it is already 12:35. The 2 hour and 40 minutes flight ate one hour of my day. I love to lose one hour in my schedule. It meant I was closer to my bed so I can have a nice sleep earlier, right?
I was somewhat tired after the trip, but still excited. In the next five hours, I waited in the long line of Japanese custom and took train to the city of Narita. It was 10 minute train’s ride from NRT (Narita airport). I was really tired after walking with my big bag on my back – I regretted that I hadn’t checked it in at Shanghai airport so I went to the United counter to check it before my NRTSEA trip. At 5:25 PM, it is already dark outside in Tokyo. It may because the latitude of Tokyo is higher than Beijing. The winter of Tokyo seems like Beijing. Seated on a Boeing 777 of flight UA876, I reviewed the 200 pictures I took in my short stay in Japan, concluding that the day just passed was a very meaningful day.
Night came. I fell asleep, dreamed, waked up, ate/drunk something, fell asleep again I repeated the circle again and again on the plane. I guess I slept 50% of the trip, ate 30%, and idled 20% of the time on the aircraft. When I was so bored and I wanted to stop this journey as soon as possible, I found there were still 4 hours left in the journey. Long night!
The most interesting part of the story happened when I arrive in Seattle. After 8 hours of flight, the clock at Seattle airport indicated that it was 7:55 in early morning on December 6, 2004, the same day I left Shanghai. It was exactly the time when I completed the check-in procedure at Pudong Airport. It was so funny.
After that, I waited in the long line to pass the U.S. custom, claimed my baggage, rent a car at Avis, practiced driving on the foreign land for one hour and successfully drove to hotel via I-5. Since the training starts the next day, I conducted city tour in the afternoon, had simple lunch and dinner and bought a cup of coffee in the first Starbucks store in the world. I spent the night to watch an experiment drama named Holiday XXX from Live Girls!. It was fantastic. The two actors and two actresses performed the one-act drama three times according to three different scripts by three different writers. There are 10 audiences during the play.
When the drama ended, I chatted with the artists. I mentioned: “It is so nice to end the day of Dec 6 with such a beautiful drama. It is the longest day for me in 2004″. Someone asked road on my way back hotel. I laughed. “I’m afraid I have no idea. I just arrived in this city this morning.” I said. Meanwhile, it came into my mind that “If you asked me about the day of Dec 6, I am more confident to give you an answer because I have stayed in this day for 40 hours already.”
P.S. This page is published at 12:14 AM 12/8/2004