By my calculation I have been awake around twenty two and half hours, but I still need to stay awake. It is nearly 10pm local. Local being Vancouver time and I have flown in from London, England.
Writing this is a part of the strategy to remain awake, sat in the lobby bar of the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel, with a beer, a note book and my laptop. The flight over consisted of two movies, a read of the Sunday Times and over the nine hours of the flight 4 small bottles of wine and a G&T. There was also a small doze somewhere Greenland and one of Canada’s northern islands. A doze not a sleep so I maintain the twenty two and half hours claim for wakefulness.
The general rule I follow when travelling across time zones is always, always go to local time. So I need to stay awake, otherwise I will be up even earlier tomorrow than I am already going to be.
There is nothing worse than waking up at stupid o’clock in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep. All you do is end up waiting. Waiting until it is respectable, or near respectable to be around the public areas of the hotel, for the cleaners to have finished their work and for the overnight staff to be thinking of going home.
A few years ago in New Orleans, pre Katrina, I was up early and went for a walk down to the Mississippi and found what turned out to be a reasonably famous cafe for a coffee and cake and some very early hour. I remember rising sun breathing warmth in the day and people enjoying the freshness of the morning before the stickiness of the Louisiana summer started to bite.
My stand out memory of that morning was the reaction of the cafe customers to a troop of men in fatigues out an early morning run in formation and doing that american thing of singing responses to the sergeants refrain. To a man, and women, the coffee drinking cafe customers stood and applauded the men who were serving the flag. They stood again twenty or so minutes later when the men returned.
As a Brit it is a little hard to fathom this overt display of patriotism. It seems too far over the top. The apparent sincerity of their display confusing. If a bunch of Brits stood up and applauded soldiers running past the first instinct would be that they were taking the Michael. I guess that display that morning was a good example that despite sharing our language Americans are indeed foreign.
It was an interesting morning, that day in New Orleans alongside the Mississippi.
The time is now 10.35pm, I no long need to stay awake. I can finish my beer, sign my check, publish this drivel and take myself off to hopefully a long a peaceful sleep.
Bye bye for now.