The longest flight in the world

All right, so that is a bit of an exaggeration — Hong Kong direct to New York is not the longest flight in the world, literally, but it sure felt like it. (Actually, the longest flight in the world is from Singapore to Newark.) But anything more than 12 hours on a plane starts to feel like the longest flight ever…..

I awoke the other day to hear the very shocking news that my uncle had suddenly passed away. Although my family hemmed and hawwed and said that I shouldn’t worry to make such a long journey — especially since I have to do it all over again in December — I immediately got myself on a plane to head all the way to Trinidad.

Hong Kong to Trinidad is more than a 24 hour journey, which my mother said ‘would be enough to kill someone’. All I have to say is thank goodness for Cathay Pacific, where even the ‘cattle’  (that’s airline slang for economy passengers) get good treatment, good food, unlimited drinks, and comfortable chairs.

So what do you do for a journey of over 24 hours?

On the way there, I took two sleeping pills, drank four glasses of red wine, and went into a 5-hour coma. That was helpful. But that still left another 10 hours on the plane. Those hours were killed by watching movies and documentaries (again, thank goodness for Cathay Pacific!), and reading.

Once I arrived in JFK, I only had a few hours to kill before the connecting flight on Caribbean Airlines. It was strange to suddenly be in New York and be surrounded by West Indians. There are a lot of Trinis and Jamaicans and Bajans working in JFK. On the plane, the woman next to me had a rear end which, when sat on, spread out like a pancake in a pan, such that her ass was actually lifting the arm rest by a few inches. Caribbean Airlines, sadly, is not nearly as cushy as Cathay, but at least it’s just a little over 4 hours.

What has really gotten to me from this trip (now that I’m back in HKG) is the jet lag. I’ve never had it so bad in my life. It’s 3 am and I’m up like a light, and extremely hungry for some reason. When I was in Trinidad it was the same, irregular sleeping pattern, irregular hunger, wanting to sleep at the wrong times, waking up at strange hours of the morning. I must be getting older; I don’t bounce back like I used to!

I guess it takes a while to get back into the swing of things. Tomorrow is back to work and I’m sure after an 8-hour day at Big Blue I’ll be all tuckered out and ready to sleep.

Now I just need to figure out what to do for four hours before work starts!

4 thoughts on “The longest flight in the world

  1. Oh God the jet-lag..
    I’ve been here for 10 days and trying to maintain my Japanese biological clock, which seems to be: fall asleep at 2pm, wake up at midnight, fall asleep at 2am, wake up at 4am. (At least I get to see the sun rise every day).
    But now I seem to be switching to local time so I’m worried about what’s going to happen when I return to Asia after 2 more weeks..

  2. Oh yeah, you will suffer when you fly back! I felt like absolute garbage for about 5 days when I returned to Hong Kong even though I slept quite a lot on the plane. Couldn’t sleep, kept waking up at 3 am, feeling exhausted by 3 pm. I solved that problem one night by taking two melatonin pills, and drinking two very big glasses of wine. Knocked me out like Mike Tyson. Slept for a full seven hours. Back to normal now.

    What’s your route, by the way?

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