The efficiency of London lasted until I got to the office. My taxi deposited me outside my hotel at 7 in the morning, and after I’d dropped off my luggage it was a five minute saunter to where I’d be working. But at 7:05 a.m. there was no receptionist capable of issuing me a pass, so I had to sit in the lobby and wait for an hour, while people walked past me on their way to be industrious. This was hardly the energetic, pulse-pounding, adrenalin-filled beginning to the day that I had hoped for.
The best way to recover from jet lag is to get a lot of daylight and stick to a normal routine as much as possible. Fortunately for me, I was sat in a meeting room all day with the heating just a little bit too high, making everyone slightly drowsier than they should have been.
For lunch, we had a mound of scones, filled with clotted cream and jam. On the one hand, this was a fantastic treat. On the other, it was a bit too soon after all the scones I’d stuffed into my mouth at Raffles last week. And on the third hand, it probably wasn’t the best dietary choice, when I should have been subsisting on lettuce leaves and melatonin pills.
Still, I made it through the day without throwing up or punching anyone. Or punching anyone after throwing up on them. By the middle of the afternoon my eyes were starting to look in independent directions, and by 7 my brain was dead to the world. Lucky, then, that we were going out to dinner to celebrate a hard day in the meeting mines, looking at things.
Dinner was in an upstairs room at a pub just north of the Angel; I had two pints of very strong beer and then waited for my dinner. And waited. And waited. I’m glad I didn’t have any more beer, otherwise I would not have been able to see out of either of my eyes, and that would have meant I wouldn’t have been able to type this, and that would mean that in a decade when I try to figure out what I was doing at the end of April, I’d have no record of it.
That’s right. Everything I write here is a helpful record, designed to aid a pedantic yet forgetful future me. If anyone else reading this finds it interesting or useful, that’s a bonus, but really I’m doing this all for Future Me. Hello there Future Me, hope you’re enjoying this.
I failed to take off my compression socks this morning when I got changed, and only removed them now, which means I wore them for something stupid like 30 hours straight. That’s more than can be said for my legs, which are hardly straight any more, just sausage shaped. So much for the glamour and excitement of travel.
The other thing that travel helps to do is make you gloomy when you realise that life carries on without you. I’ve already suffered from this whenever I go back to Hong Kong, but returning to London every year and a bit is hard too: again and again I find that people I used to work with have stopped working, making me think that I should have followed some adventurous route of my own, before I remember that I have had an adventure, one that’s sent me all the way to the other side of the world. Still, I keep worrying that I should have packed it all in to live in a shed and teach goats to Greek. Sorry, teach Greek to goats. Not that I’d be that good at either…