In summary, we missed the 6am flight and had to take the next at 9:10pm. Sat in a cafe all day with our bags. Long, uneventful flight to Dubai. Arrived at 5:20am. Caught connecting flight to London at 8:30am. Landed at Gatwick at 12:20pm. Took forever to get through customs on a non-EUR passport. Taxi to Brighton. Walked along the foreshore in the late afternoon heat. People lying on the pebbled beach and swimming in the ocean. Managed to stay up until early evening and then collapsed – sleeping until the middle of the night. Sleepy again early in the morning. Up at 9am. Left an hour or so later to walk from Hove into Brighton. Saturday today. Bank Holiday weekend. Very busy with fireworks tonight. A cool breeze blowing in the window now in the late afternoon. Feeling tired again. Seagulls crying in the near distance.
The strangeness of jet lag – of falling out of phase with the sun. Only since the middle of the last century has this experience even been possible – this sense of queasy disorientation. I find it harder and harder to manage. I can’t help imagining either resolutely remaining in one place or travelling much more slowly, allowing spatial movement to maintain a sense of solar alignment. This would maintain the fiction that the world obeys a universal cycle – that everywhere is consistently morning, afternoon or night. Traversing space would in this way retain a cosmic continuity. Air travel disrupts this imaginative possibility entirely – as well as also disrupting the texture of ordinary experiential reality. It renders the world in true and yet disintegrative terms. It demonstrates that the Earth is a sphere, but in a way that alienates us from lived space and time. Or better, that manifests these in alien terms – within the claustrophobia, immobility and tedium of flight.
(Also met Candy, but that’s another post).