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Time Zone Zombie – Asleep at 30,000 Feet July 8, 2008

Posted by alwaysjan in Travel.
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According to my calculations, and I can figure out elapsed time since that’s a third grade standard, my friends are airborne as I write this. Ah yes, 12 hours strapped into an upholstered womb with a snack tray. Being exceptionally open minded, my English friends are flying Air France, so that snack table is actually a table de plateau. The English hate the French just out of habit, but when a French friend can you get you an upgrade on an airline, vive la difference!

It was just last December that my husband, Richard, and I did the 10-hour flight to Heathrow. I watched Love Actually five times so I’d know what to expect. To be honest, I was rather disappointed when Hugh Grant didn’t sprint through the airport to meet me. But I got over it. The last time I’d been to Europe the dollar was worth something, so that will give you an idea of how long it’d been. We flew Air New Zealand, and no, we weren’t served lamb.

Thank god, I don’t remember all the gory details or I’d never travel again. My dear friend Martha bought me a leopard print neck pillow and eye shade so I could travel in style. Or maybe it was tiger. Something jungle themed.

I sat between Richard and a young man from Arcadia, who was the new manager of Abercrombie & Fitch’s first store in London on Savoy Row. We had a lovely conversation and then I dozed off.  When I woke up,  I needed to use the bathroom, but Mr. A&F was sleeping soundly. Rather than wake him, I slid over him with my knees on the armrests, providing him with a virtual lap dance, while praying he wouldn’t open his eyes and scare the bejesus out of me or vice versa. I made it across and back. Whew!

When Richard had to use the restroom, he refused to take the lap dance route, and  nudged Mr. A&F awake. No problem.  Mr A&F stood up then promptly fell backwards in the aisle.  He laid there like a bug on its back. He finally got back up on his feet. “A friend gave me some Xanax,” he said. “Wow, that sh$t really works!”  The second he sat back down, he was out for the count.

Somewhere in the mid-Atlantic and middle of the night, I looked up to see a group of passengers and flight attendants assembled outside the restroom doing what looked like a routine from River Dance. Had I missed the aerobics sign-up sheet? I realized they were indulging in this bizarre ritual so as to prevent blood clots. I half expected one of them to do hand springs down the aisle. I pulled my leopard, or maybe it was tiger, eyeshade back down and tried to forget what I’d seen. Just as a precaution, I propped my legs up and assumed a pose only seen before in my OB/GYN’s office.

When we arrived at Heathrow, Lesley and Ian were there to meet us, jumping up and down like we were celebrities walking down the red carpet. It was December, so Lesley got us outside and walking about in the brisk air to keep us awake so we could acclimate to the local time zone. We were out cold by 9 p.m.

But on our trip back to Los Angeles, time stood still. This time our seat mate was a young girl from Liverpool who was making the trip to LA and then flying on to New Zealand. Ah, youth!  I watched two movies and the entire first season of Flight of the Concords, which I’d already seen. It’s so hilarious that I laughed myself silly yet again. I finished reading Madam Bovary for my book club and vowed never to kill myself by ingesting arsenic as it takes way too much time and there’s a lot of retching involved.

Finally, I was so bored that I took to trimming my cuticles by sawing them with the plastic butter knife left over from my two-star meal. Blood loss was minimal and at least it kept me from slitting my own throat. I kept all my fingers bandaged the first week I was back, least someone start rumors that I was a cutter.

But now it’s their turn. I’ve already put chairs out back so my guests can bask in the sun to reset their circadian rhythms. And I’ve hidden all the butter knives – just in case.


1. Elisse Stuart - July 9, 2008

Very Cute Jan-
Hope they have fun. Remember I am always available for guided tours of the Mouse House…LOL


2. Leaving on a Jet Plane « planetjan - May 16, 2009

[…] away from it all!  If you’re feeling a tad envious that I’m jetting off, just reread Time Zone Zombie – Asleep at 30,000 Feet.  Feel better […]


3. janelleholden - May 18, 2009

Oh I love this post! Sounds like my own hairy experience on the plane. Too funny – I laughed out loud.


4. Last Zombie Standing « planetjan - November 14, 2009

[…] I first wrote my post Time Zone Zombie – Asleep at 30,000 Feet about the world’s longest trip over the Atlantic Ocean, I was looking for a picture of a […]


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