August 30, 2017

No body, never mind: 40 hours without sleep

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 1:28 am

We long-distance airplane travelers exist in a whole different world all of our own. Airplanes and airports become our new reality — a new city, a new state, a new nation that is only rooted within the parameters and perspectives of airplanes and airports.

There are completely different rules within this alternate-universe kingdom of air travel than there are for us in real life.

– Eat what is placed in front of you.

– Your flight attendant is boss.

– Make it from one terminal to the next as best you can.

– The passenger in the seat next to you becomes your sudden new family, your instant BFF.

And, most important of all, your body suddenly has more priority than your mind.

My mind races. I’ve gone 40 hours without sleep. I’m starting to feel like a victim of Hurricane Harvey. It all gets down to the basics. Ignore all that blather that your mind is telling you. Keep the body functioning at all costs.

Your family back home has betrayed you? Your country is ruled by greedy war-mongering egotists, bullies, bastards and fools? You hate your neighbor across the street because she hated you first? There is painful injustice in the world that you can’t seem to do anything about?

All that mental agitation pales when you travel by air — and the really important things stand out instead. Can you find room in the overhead bin for your rather large carry-on bag? Will you get enough legroom? Can you score an aisle seat?

After living in my alternative air-travel world for the past two days and after going for 40 hours without sleep (after all, who can sleep on an airplane?), I’ve started to move my priorities around like Legos — and preserving my body just became a whole lot more important to me than listening to whatever random thoughts that my brain can dig up.

PS: I finally arrived in Amman, Jordan, a city that appears to be very much like Los Angeles — sprawling, populous, with lots of freeways, one that really requires a car.

I’m going to sleep like a brick tonight and then tomorrow I’m going to go explore Annan’s wide wide world of public transportation (fingers crossed that it actually exists!)

Next stop after Amman? Hopefully Bethlehem — if the Israeli Defense Force doesn’t screw it all up.


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