Jet Lag

Cookie, Mommy and I are seasoned travelers, very used to dealing with jet lag.  The easiest way is to book the flight to land in the evening, local time, stay up the entire trip, and sleep the night through once you get there.  You end up with a tiring 36-hour travel day, a full night’s sleep, and the ability to enjoy the rest of your vacation. Usually, the problem with this plan is that I’m not fully functional towards the end of those 36 hours*, so if I’m going somewhere interesting (i.e. somewhere people need to shout at me in an unknown language to take the ferry transfer on the second dock for the resort island, not the ferry on the first to the island of the head-shrinking cannibals where idiot tourists often go “inexplicably” missing), I tend to sleep on the plane to make sure I get to the right place alive.  Going to Seoul, however, was safe (I presume that mistakenly taking the wrong exit to North Korea would be difficult, even for the sleep deprived), especially with Halmoni waiting for us at the airport, so Mommy and I stayed awake.  You did too.

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International airlines provide so much better service than American ones.  Korean Air, famous for that executive who had a meltdown because her nuts were served in a bag, not a bowl, was exceptional –four course meals, free wine, beer, and juice, and, most importantly, a fully unlocked entertainment console.  We expected you to sleep, but after getting your hands on the console and its little remote (bonus features included access to the plane’s nose, belly, and tail cameras), you stayed up the entire fourteen hour flight.  So engrossed with you in your programs that you missed Mommy and I prematurely high-fiving each other on your adoption of our jet lag schedule.

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After a quick return to the airport to pick up your forgotten car seat*** (the Korean version of the TSA is much more understanding and courteous.****), an hour drive into Seoul, an quick dinner, we were finally ready to sleep… until we learned that circadian dysrhythmia is not so easily cured in toddlers.  You woke up every two hours and refused to go back to sleep.  This was the pain of new-born breastfeeding all over again, only with a talking toddler who, unfortunately, made sense.

Me begging:  Cookie, go back to sleep.  It’s the middle of the night and dark outside.

Cookie: No, the sun is wrong.  It should be light out.

Me:  But we’re on the other side of the world, and it’s dark here.

Cookie:  Then the sun should adjust to us.

You slept through much of our first few days in Seoul and stayed up nights.  Guess who was the poor, sleep deprived guy that had to push and carry you and your stroller through the decidedly un-stroller friendly streets?

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*  In fairness to me, it’s more like 84 hours, since the previous couple days are a madhouse of trying to finish work, trying to prepare our aquariums for vacation, and trying to pack (Mommy never packs).

**  14 hour flights are way too long.  After 5 movies, dinner, and second dinner, we’re still not there.  Flying over the pole also leaves no scenery to watch, as ice is just ice.  No aurora borealis either.

***  Hazards of the jet lag plan.

****  Apparently any excuse that beings with “Eggi…” in Korea is an acceptable one.

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