Posts Tagged jetlag
After 3 years of living and working in Japan, flying home was pretty sad. Having said that, I would much rather be sad than airsick for 10 hours like the poor woman who sat next to me on my flight to Vancouver. It’s not really fair to say that she sat next to me: she spent most of the flight running to the bathroom. I felt bad for her, and thankful that I have never had serious problems on a flight.
A few hours away from Vancouver we flew into a huge storm that kept the plane bouncing. We were delayed on our landing as the storm was so bad that only one of the runways was open. I’m happy that we weren’t redirected to a different airport.
Unlike the flight to Vancouver, my flight to Winnipeg was quick and uneventful. Thanks to the wonders of international time zones, I arrived in Winnipeg about 15 minute before I left Japan. My parents and sister were waiting for me in the arrival area carrying a huge Canadian flag. It was good to be home!
My mom and sister had found an apartment for me before I came home, but since there was almost no furniture in it yet, I went back to my parents house for the evening. My parents live in the “city” of Portage la Prairie, about 70km west of Winnipeg. On the drive I got my first taste of reverse culture shock, fascinated by people driving on the right and the huge open spaces between cities. It’s going to take me a while to adjust!
In Winnipeg, our 3 year old son TD (Tiny Dog) usually wakes up around 7:30 am and goes to sleep around 9:00pm. After an early morning followed by flights and train rides in a time zone 14 hours in the future, we didn’t really know what to expect for the morning.
He woke up at 4;45am dammit.
The Penpal and I have been back and forth between Japan and Canada several times, so we know what jetlag feels like and how to deal with it. This is not something that you can just explain to a kid. The Penpal stayed up for an hour with TD, and then tagged me in for the next hour so she could sleep longer.
Thankfully he was happy to watch marble run videos on YouTube while we sat around like overtired zombies.
After all the crazy travel and events of the last few days, I am happy to spend a lazy jetlag day at home.
Today my sister finally got released from the hospital! They had to remove some staples from her surgery first (yuck). My parents and I took her home, and got her set up in her apartment. We gave it a quick cleaning, picked up some groceries, and took care of the stupid cat that hid under the bed the whole time.
Jetlag is really messing with my sleep. My schedule is all over the place! Flying back from Japan seems to be harder on my system than going to Japan.
Today was my first day back at work after my vacation to Canada. I expected to be really tired due to jetlag. Somehow, I managed go get through the day without any serious problems. The only major issue I had was that I kept writing December 2004 on all of my student files.
After a 12+ hour flight from Tokyo, my plane landed in Minneapolis / St. Paul International airport. I got off the plane and then went through another round immigration and security checks, and moving my suitcase from one conveyor belt to another. I still don’t understand the purpose of moving my suitcase from one side of a room to the other.
After escaping the security zone, Rob (the Winnipegger who sat next to me on the flight), and I decided to grab some lunch at Pizza Hut. In all of my travel plans I hadn’t considered the need for US currency. At the cash register I asked the Pizza Hut cashier if I could pay with Canadian dollars or Japanese Yen. She thought I was just being a jerk and was not amused. Thankfully my Canadian credit card worked, and I was able to “enjoy” a lunch of extremely greasy pizza. Seriously, after eating Japanese food for over a year I couldn’t believe how greasy the pizza was.
Rob and I explored the huge airport together. Just as we were getting ready to go to our gate, I noticed that I no longer had my sister’s extremely heavy ancient laptop. We returned to Pizza Hut and couldn’t find it. Fortunately someone had turned it into security. Unattended bags in an airport are no joke, and I am happy that I wasn’t detained and that the laptop wasn’t exploded or anything.
Our departure ended up being delayed by freezing rain, so we got to Winnipeg an hour late. We left Japan at 5:00pm on December 20, and landed in Winnipeg at 4:00pm on December 20, an hour before we left. Yes friends, time travel is possible. After landing in the past, we got sniffed by a police dog, and again went through immigration and customs. Thanks to a 2 litre bottle of shochu, I was over my limit for alcohol. The customs officer had the Christmas spirit, and let me bring my Christmas spirits through without having to pay extra.
It was great to see my family again! It had been six months since they left Japan, and I really missed them. On the way out of Winnipeg we stopped at Olive Garden for dinner. I did my best to avoid falling asleep at the table as I stuffed myself with breadsticks, salad and pasta. Since I was no longer used to heavy North American food, the oversauced pasta sat like a brick in my stomach.
The ride to Portage la Prairie was a typical, terrible winter drive. The road is flat with no wind breaks, so any amount of wind and snow provides for dangerous conditions with low visibility. I was happy that my dad was driving, and I slept in the back seat.
Despite the cold weather, it really is great to be home!