Flying west we're flying in the direction that the earth turns. Go across 15 time zones and that's time you lose. It also means flights take longer because your destination is going away from you. Hitched a ride with Durk leaving Bellingham at 7:00pm Wednesday night. Left Seattle at 2:00am Thursday. Arrived in Shanghai around 12:00 noon Friday. I'll have a car waiting for me at the airport to drive me to Hangzhou with an expected 5:00pm arrival. Start to finish? 46 hours travel time. That's not entirely correct. Crossing 15 time zones accounts for about one third of that, but the actual 31 hours travel time is a kick in the shorts.
My flight from Seattle to Taipei (Taiwan) was on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. My first experience there. I have to say it was comfortable. Not a lot of leg room, but there are a lot of other features built into these planes that help with jet lag.
The cabin pressurized differently than other flights. I've had lots of ear problems in the past. Not so much today on this plane.
The lighting was consistently subtle. It took quite a long time for the cabin to go dark or light up during a transition.
The seat felt like it reclines more than normal. It made sleep more realistic.
The windows were larger than normal and have some form of darkening system in them, not a slide open or close blind. It was a button under the window that tinted it. But I never saw sunlight during this leg of the trip. Pitch black for the entire flight.
I'll be interested in seeing whether or not I can tell the difference in a few days. Flying west last year didn't have that big of an impact on me, but I did have to quarantine for nine days. Perhaps that made it easier. Flying east last month had a much more dramatic impact on me. I felt tired in the afternoon for more than a week. According to the InterGoogle flying east is tougher. We'll see.
I got to experience something else new on an airplane. I had a young boy directly behind me kicking my seat. I felt for him. Sitting in one place that long had to be difficult for him. When I asked him to stop he didn't understand at first. It's the sort of situation where I think I might have gone ballistic on the kid, in the past, but I'm happy to report I was able to smile and ask him to stop politely. I think I startled his father quite a bit when the giant white ape turned around and stood over
the top of the seat looking the wrong way towards the back of the plane.
Another oddity. Being on a single flight that long means they feed you two meals. Not great food, but just about what you can expect. However, one of the options was fish that was staring back at you. No thanks. I've had that experience a few times.
Got through customs and grabbed my bags much quicker than I thought it would take. Having a work visa in place in my passport this year meant I didn't get the third degree this time around. Was great to see Aiyun waiting for me. That was a needed hug. Found my driver and got out of the airport in a few minutes. We got back to Hangzhou around 4:00pm. Feeling exhausted I crashed and slept for five hours straight. Aiyun and I have the weekend to spend together and relax. Not sure how much we will do outside. It's over 90 degrees all day with high humidity. Ugh. Didn't miss that. I'm much more suited to the awesome 75 degrees with low humidity in the Pacific Northwest. That lasts for a little over three months most years.
The bad part is over. Two days to recoup and chill out. Looking forward to the new school year. Looking forward to exploring more of China in year two. If you're still with me reading all this I'll try to entertain and inform. Thanks for the support as I've hit the half way point in this two year journey.