Jet Stream, Jet Lag

Jetlag.  Where does the term come from?

I know the term lag.  I played a lot of online games when I was in high school.  Lag was my mortal enemy, birthed from the bowels of ISPs that had market shares very close to what you might find in a monopoly.  During my childhood, we only had dialup.  When my family got DSL from said ISP, it was supposed to be super fast.  My friend, in contrast, had cable, and I quickly learned that DSL probably stands for “Dis Shit Lame.”  I still played online games  none the less; and lag was learned to be something just a part of life.  There’s just a delay between what should be happening and what actually is.

When I first traveled abroad, I discovered jetlag.  The lag that you get from being disconnected from the time zone you think should be in.  I’m pretty sure there’s a legitimate U curve that could show you how difficult the transition to a different time zone might be.  The bigger the time difference, the curve would go up until you reached the very top of the graph; 12 hours of time difference or the opposite side of the world.  Then you could keep going and move back closer to your normal time zone.  Of course, travelling like that would be silly because you could have just gone the opposite direction from the start.

I remember going to France this time.  It’s 9 hours of difference between where I live here in California and there.  By plane, it takes about 12-16 hours of travel to get there depending on layovers. I’m bad at math, so I won’t begin to explain how many hours get mixed up in the process, but I can tell you what I experienced.  I took off around 10 am California from San Francisco.  Arrived and then flew out of Dallas at 5 o’clock, but as you can imagine there wasn’t actually seven hours in there.

On the long haul flight to Paris, I closed the window on the sunset, and opened it some hours later to complete blackness outside.  However, as we were descending into Europe, it was light outside.  You see, the night was going one way, and we were going the other.  At some point, we intersected, but not for eight hours like it would be on an unmoving object.  It didn’t matter, I didn’t sleep anyways.  I got into Paris at around 9 am, or midnight California time.

On the monitors mounted to the back of the seats, they show the flight path and the day/night cycle on the globe which actually explains it much better… I think.


I’m not really sure what the point of this post was.  All I know is that I’m still jetlagged. The first day I got back, I woke up at 6am.  The next day was 11:30 in the morning.  Today I woke up at 8am.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

One thought on “Jet Stream, Jet Lag

  1. hehe. Jet lag is like the plane took your body somewhere thousands of miles away but your spirit is still where it was…there is a lag before the spirit catches up!


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