Airplanes must be getting faster.
I mean, I know when I was making regular hops back and forth across the Pond because I lived in London and my family lived in New England (I’m still loathe to know the real reasons they all left when I moved back . . . ), they were slightly longer than a jaunt to Ireland is. But only by about an hour. Yes, the eastbound flights were overnight, and yes, they got in early, and no, I was rarely able to sleep more than 45 minutes. But at least there was time to try to sleep.
Last night, unlike any of my trips to the Midwestern United States, went so smoothly and quickly that we had to wait for ages for our bags at the end. There were no lines at security–the security guy who looked at my passport asked me how long I was staying in the country, and I told him, he stamped my book, and I was on my way. Until getting slowed down by the long wait at the baggage claim carousel, I mean.
As for the flight itself, well, it was just kind of weird. We took off at 6.15, right on schedule, and I read about a quarter of The Help. Then they brought dinner and I chatted with my seat-mate, a very interesting, friendly middle-aged woman who, though American, has been a university professor in Paris for 25 years. She was well-kept and well-educated and very nice, but I think it’s safe to say I didn’t need to worry about the garlic. We talked for probably longer than either of us had intended to or even really been interested in, and then she apologised and said she wanted to get some sleep, and I put on a movie. (Fortunately The Help, movie version, is showing on the way back to the US, so I can still watch it . . . but after I finish the book.)
When the movie I did watch concluded, there was only about another hour of flight-time left, and it was only 11 p.m. according to my body-clock. Supposedly. I wholeheartedly believe that the whole taking off and landing process ages people, and I feel like even a short flight to a place in the same time zone has the potential to make you feel jetlagged because of that, so maybe I didn’t quite feel like I do if Paul and I watch Dr. Who episodes or Harry Potter movies until too late at night. But neither did I feel like I was desperate for sleep.
In the meantime, it was morning in the place I was about to land. Granted, it was earlier than I normally like to get up (particularly post-Starbucks-baristadom), but there was no point in trying to go to sleep now. I got in a flying tube in the evening, and got out in the morning, and the entire span of time during which one normally sleeps just poofed right out of existence. I don’t remember ever feeling like a span of time had just not existed before. I’ve felt time was mixed up, sure, but not just . . . gone.
I do remember feeling this tired, though. In another strange rearrangement of time, my parents and I are celebrating Christmas together tonight. I suspect (besides the fact that we didn’t get to in 2011), this is part of their nefarious plot to keep me awake until at least 8 p.m. GMT, but honestly? I’m not sure that even with the incentive of presents, I’m going to make it . . .