Time Zones

I am time zone challenged. The only way I can tell what time it is in the States while I’m in Nepal is to add 15 minutes to the time and then add an hour and then switch from day to night or night to day. So right now it is about a quarter to 11 pm in North Carolina. Subtract 15, subtract 1 hour, switch to daytime– it’s 9:30 tomorrow.

Really. It’s already tomorrow. What is especially weird is when I’m on the phone to somebody in, say, New Zealand in my fairly early morning and they are already ready for bed. Their today is GONE. And if I wait until after supper, the same day, THEY are starting tomorrow. How can anybody wrap their head around THAT?

I confess that just dealing with Mountain Time where my friend Kalman lives and Pacific where Sadna and Sridhar live — tends to throw me off. I know that I can’t have any real interactions with those people until really, pretty much afternoon, my time. It is just all so confusing.

I just figured out the flight times for my trip to Nepal. When I leave NYC on Thursday at 11:40am, it will already be roughly 10:30 Thursday night in Kathmandu. And when I arrive there 21 and a half hours later, it will be nearly 8pm on Friday in Kathmandu and only around 9 am Friday in the States.

My first task, as I see it, will be to totally switch my internal clock from day to night. I’ve done this. A BUNCH of times. But still. Whoa. I’ve already told my Stateside clients not to expect SQUAT out of me for a week.

One of the pieces of advice you always get about this kind of switch is: When you get on the plane, immediately set your watch to the new time zone. Okay. I get on the plane, set my clock ahead nearly 11 hours and then what? Stay up until 1am in my new time zone and see if I can catch some shuteye? That would make sense.

Well, it helps that I’m a raging insomniac anyway, many many nights of my life. I don’t stress over it, but I also just don’t sleep the way I used to. Stay tuned. We’ll just have to see how this plays out in real time. What, then, IS real time? I have to conclude that there isn’t any. Not when today and yesterday and tomorrow just slip and slide their way around the planet.

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