Antipodean Adventures: Jet Lag

Let’s be clear here. I was under no illusions that the process of travelling around the world would be anything less than exhausting. But I didn’t really anticipate the mind-blowing melty brain that apparently accompanies jet lag.

Having finally touched down in Brizzy, I made my way off the plane and out to the carousel where the luggage came through. Swaying on my feet, I stood hypnotised by the whirring belt that brought the baggage through the weird plastic straps that cover the hole in the wall. It was only when the whirring belt stopped that I realised my suitcase hadn’t come through.

Now at this point, I should say, a great way to deal with anxiety is sleep deprivation. I was so tired that, instead of my usual “Oh Shit!!!!” reaction, I simply wandered over to the baggage handling counter and handed my luggage receipt to the lady.

“How can I help?”

“I got on the plane in Sydney. Apparently my bag didn’t.”

The lady scanned my barcode and tapped at the keyboard. “I’m sorry, you’re right,” she said.

“Can you send it onto me?” I said, but immediately, she held up a hand.

“My apologies! It’s here. Hold on,” she disappeared through the back door, returning two minutes later with my case.

“Huh,” I mumbled. “Taxi stand?”

She pointed me in the direction and I wandered out to the sign. A driver leapt from his car and started loading my bags, and before I knew what was happening, I was whizzing down the M1 towards my beloved friend’s house.

Arriving in the middle of Monday morning presented a small problem, because the friends and family I was travelling to see were all at work or kindergarten. In advance of my arrival, I had made arrangements with my friend for her to leave a key, in a super-secret secure place (under the doormat). I staggered up the garden, dragging my suitcases and collapsed onto the front porch.

The key was where we had agreed, and after trying all three keys in all four locks (what?!), I finally broke into the house. I mean, I accessed the house. Finding myself in the cool, tidy interior of the house, tiredness rushed up over me like a wave.

There was only one thing for it.

A nana nap. A blissful, lengthy, putting-on-your-PJs-and-actually-getting-into-the-bed, Nanna Nap.

I knew it would mess me up. I knew taking the nap would be worse for my overall exhaustion than staying awake and going to bed earlier. I knew it would leave me groggy, disorientated and shaky.

But could I resist? Could I heck. I ate a sandwich and drank a cup of tea, took a shower, and then slid between the comfortable, cool sheets of the bed. I set an alarm for an hour’s time, and within two seconds, was dead to the world.

And yes, later on, I woke up, drooling heavily, limbs severely uncoordinated, brain replaced with candy floss, and spent the evening trying to talk about Chinese elephants (“You know. The ones. With the gold. And the decorations.” “Indian elephants?” “Yes. Chinese elephants.” “Lucy, go back to bed.”) but you know what?

The Nanna nap was worth it.

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