Suffering From a Touch of Apocalypse

I'm traveling this week and, oh god, the jet lag is brutal. Usually, I do fine with it. Certainly, Europe is easy and even Asia is doable (though so confusing as it's like a DIFFERENT DAY than back at home). Typically, the first day is fine, it takes another day to be sleeping decently (not great) and another for my appetite to adjust. The rest of my dietary system will never adjust, it seems. It just clicks along at it's own pace (which is not a bad thing really -- it's good to have something to rely on). The second day is when I'm the most tired and after that it's smooth sailing.

But every so often there's a trip where it just doesn't work that way. I'm doing all the right stuff (getting out in the light, eating protein and avoiding sugar, trying to force my body on the new schedule without jacking up on Redbull) but I still basically spent about four hours of the afternoon taking the kind of naps where you don't want to sleep but your body is just going to have its way with you. The opposite of on the plane really, where I wanted desperately to sleep and could not. Still, I got out and did some shopping, had some kind of oddly-timed meal, etc.

The weird thing about jet lag is that it goes beyond just being tired. It's almost a liminal state. And on the outbound leg, that's exacerbated by the general weirdness of being in a new place. Or it could just be the following confluence of experiences:
  • Watching The Big Short on the plane. I didn't think I'd find it interesting, as I'd read the book, and several more in the same ilk, a few years ago. It's old news basically. But damn it's a good movie. If you still aren't sure how the economy in '08 went boom -- or you read Chaos Protocols but are still skeptical -- this is the movie for you.
  • The TV in the hotel lobby with headlines about North Korean missile launches and the US overstepping its bounds with the UK.
  • A story online about suicide rates in the US. Spoiler: highest in 30 years across the board (except for black males interestingly, who are probably just happy that someone but them finally sees the depth of the shit). This one feels like a Mindwar post upcoming.
  • Coming out of an upscale mall onto the crowded pedestrian plaza and noticing a whole bunch of cops everywhere (polite German police, but still). And then walking back by a few minutes later to see the handwritten signs start to go up. My German reading skills are weaker than my speaking skills, but the gist was protesting the Islamification of Germany. It was at this point that I decided my shopping expedition was over.
Honestly, it was like those montages you have in disaster / war films, where disturbing background stuff keeps happening. If Brad Pitt showed up with zombies (or dire predictions about the economy) I would not have been entirely surprised.

Maybe it's not jet lag. Maybe it's end of the world malaise. 


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