On Sunday the 7th, I caught a 6:30 AM Air Canada flight out of Halifax. Three flights, five movies, three repulsive meals (one of which was a stale Subway™ sandwich for which I paid $5), 13 time zones, and about 2 hours of accumulated sleep later, I arrived at Kansai Airport in Osaka at 5:30 PM on Monday (I was greeted by a “Ground-Staff” who chirpily informed me that my suitcase would arrive the next day). Time elapsed: exactly 24 hours. I’m getting too old for this. Once upon a time, the jet-lag only affected me on the flight to North America. Now I get it even worse coming this way. What’s up with that? At any rate, I woke up this morning at 5:45 feeling somewhat human for the first time in four days. Eventually, I’ll get back to waking up at 8, as God intended, and all will be well.
What I noticed in the past two weeks –
• I went to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and noted that anyone I recognized was either gray-haired or bald.
• I contented myself by reading the Chronicle-Herald over breakfast, or flipping through pictures and hockey stories in the Daily News until my grandmother took it away to do the crossword. I did not have any direct access to the internet and did not miss it much. I don’t know how long that feeling would have lasted if I’d had, say, a month off. I did miss being able to send e-mail, and would probably have started writing letters again, if I’d remembered to bring my address book with me…
• Unless there is an earthquake, a tsunami or an election, there is never any news about Japan in a Canadian paper. Nothing. Ever. Three days out of Japan, it felt as though I’d left ten years ago.
• Although Christmas with family was great, the best part of my holiday was after New Year’s, when I could lay on my bed, listen to CBC Radio, and re-read old books with a clear conscience.
• All Americans on daytime television sound deranged. I assume this is not true of the population at large.
• I’ve been away long enough to be aware of a Nova Scotian accent. Usually, when you go back to your hometown, there’s that feeling that everyone is speaking normally. I don’t feel that anymore. I wonder what my unconsciously- homogenized gaijin accent sounds like to them.
• Canada with no snow in December is a pretty glum place.
• Don’t ask me why, but a cup of tea tastes best in Nova Scotia.