Thursday, July 15, 2004

Practice Proved Different

In theory it was a good idea. It came highly recommended from experienced travellers.

The idea was this: shift our schedules 30 minutes earlier every day for a week. At the end of that time, we'd only be out of sync by three hours with our destination time zone.

It sounded like good advice. It came highly recommended. From experienced travellers, even. So we did it. Night after night for a week, we went to bed earlier and earlier, until just before we left we had risen at 3:00am.

The problem with it was this: we didn't sleep a wink on the plane. It wasn't supposed to work that way. We were supposed to sleep like babies and arrived refreshed at the other end ready for the dawning of a new day.

Instead we found ourselves dropped into the new day having been sleepless much too long. And it showed.

We walked slowly. We didn't read the signs. We ended up in the wrong line at French passport control, surrounded by people speaking eastern European languages. Ben fell asleep every time he sat down.

In theory it was a good idea. Practice proved different.

Trip to France - Day 2
Paris Charles de Gaul Airport

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Waiting for Gates

Here we are at Gatwick. Sitting amid the shining lights and duty free shops selling cigars and clothes and liquor and perfume. Sitting amid travellers rushing in every direction -- we to Paris, everyone else to everyplace else.

Here we are, under four big monitors hanging from the ceiling showing arrivals and departures in full living color.

These monitors are something to be seen. Imagine one of them sitting on your desk. Oh, the pixel count! Oh, the icons you could scatter!

But oh, the shame. The computers keep crashing.

First a blue screen. Then "No Signal". Then a black screen with the operating system trying count the bytes on the disk. Then the Windows 95 startup screen. And eventually, the Pivot Software start up screen, followed by lists of flights and times and gates.

Gates! Our eyes snap to attention. We are waiting for our gates! But before long it's the blue screen again and again and again.

I'm so glad I stuck to Unix.

Trip to France - Day 2
London Gatwick Airport

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