There Does Not Exist the Jet Lag

Monday, January 15, 2007

Waiting in Calgary
Well, I’m off. This particular sentence is being written in the Calgary airport, awaiting my connection to Los Angeles. It didn’t really hit me that I was leaving everyone until I was upstairs at the Saskatoon airport, looking through the glass and waving down like an idiot, unable to say anything to the family before I set off. Still, I had a good omen right off the start. See, I dropped my passport on the ground without realizing it right at the Saskatoon security desk. Last time, I left it in the little tray and didn’t realize right away. Needless to say I enjoyed the last trip and am still here to tell about it. That’s a good thing. I’ll continue this post from Los Angeles in a few hours.

OK, here I am in LA. The flight here was uneventful, but en route I did find the time to watch the most recent episode of The Office I’d downloaded. I sat beside a girl, Erin, that is from St. Albert and also backpacking in New Zealand, though she didn’t attach the ‘working holiday’ part to the trip. It was her first time traveling alone so she and another girl, Carolina (en route to Guatemala) followed me to get their baggage and find their respective terminals. I’m happy to say that they probably would’ve done better without me, but I think both are safely en route. Erin’s flying via Kuala Lumpur, but arrives at the same time that I’ll be waiting at the airport for my group so I may run into her again. Now I’m sitting here, bracing for the longest flight I’ve ever taken, on the floor to charge my depleted laptop enough so I can watch the second episode of The Apprentice to kill some time. I’m only at 22%, so I’m not sure I’ll make it. My plane leaves in under an hour, so I’ll see you in Auckland or else Nadi.

Fijians that could be better used in other duties
Whew. That was a long flight. And, as the topper, I wound up with the middle seat. So, needless to say, I didn’t get so much as a minute’s sleep, though not for trying. Certainly I closed my eyes, however. Luckily, I had insomniac company by the way of a girl named Mercedes from Sydney and a very talkative and friendly Florida woman, though she nodded off quickly. Not a bad thing. Mercedes was entertaining to say the least and was returning home from Central America, which I grilled her on quite thoroughly. Plus there was a pretty good movie selection: The Illusionist, The Scoop, Open Season, and others. Though I tried to sleep, and kind of drifted off for a while. We got off the 747 in Fiji, observing a beautiful neon-fire red sunrise between cloud layers, and arrived in the unorganized chaos that is Nadi arrivals. Given I had a very short time before boarding my next flight, I went to the desk and got sorted out without waiting in the spiraling bedlam that they insisted was a ‘line’. Lucky, too, because I didn’t have my proof that I was leaving New Zealand on me and they had to look me up which took some time. Then I was assured that even though my bag was marked for Nadi, they would find it and forward it to the Air New Zealand flight. Sound like a recipe for trouble?

My Air NZ Flight
I wasn’t sure whether my situation improved or became more alarming when I was paged to the gate so that I might describe my bag. Which, really, is an average everyday backpack with a bit of yellow, black, and grey, and – I hoped – an Air Canada tag with my name. They assured me they’d find it and get it on my plane, and so I got myself on the plane and took off for Fiji. This time I sat by a young guy that had been in the US trucking with his dad – a very nice kid and he seemed fascinated by the fact that anyone would think it worthwhile to travel to New Zealand at all. The movie was, yup, The Illusionist (luckily I only caught a middle segment on the 747, though I did actually fall asleep for 15 mins during the climactic ending). And now, I’m here in New Zealand. My laptop seems to zap me a bit if I rest my arms on the bezel corners but I’m here in a different shirt and socks, with my baggage, and all that’s left is to find a USB cable for my camera (I forgot mine at home), grab a bite for lunch, and get on the road. I’m surprisingly not tired at this point. Just excited to finally be here. When next we meet, I will be knee deep in some sort of Pacific Challenge.

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