A funny thing happened on the way to the boarding gate

by Suw on July 20, 2005

Strange things happen in airports. I'm sitting at Gate 100 at San Francisco International Airport (aka SFOhdear), watching the fog roll in. I haven't properly blogged about the fog yet. Fog here is not like fog elsewhere. It has character. Purpose. Speed. Above all, the fog here is fast. But that's not what this post is about.
No, this post is about the way that your brain starts to think in two time zones at once. The closer you get to the gate, the more confused time becomes. It's 6.15pm here, and we are due to start boarding. We are clear of the fog, so it's sunny and bright. In London it's 2.15am. If I had been out on the piss, I'd feel pretty much the same way I feel right now, after two large little bottles of sake (as opposed to the little little bottles of sake) and a lot of hanging around. Finally, I have bought myself a buckwheat pillow, which I am hoping will allow me to sleep without suffering subluxion of a cervical vertebra (i.e. putting my neck out). I've stopped thinking of early evening and started thinking of late nights, up at midnight eating Japanese, hanging out with friends, talking until the small hours until finally tiredness will overtake me and I'll sleep and dream disconnectedly of thick, brooding fog.
It's 24C here. It's 24C in London. The only difference is that it's dark now. And there are fewer drosophila.
If you've been reading a while, you'll know that I've travelled a lot lately. Washington in December. Boston in January. San Francisco/Vancouver in February. And then San Francisco for five of the last seven weeks, interrupted only by a short bounce back to London to do a seminar and a clutch of meetings. When I get back I spend time in London and Arundel, and I'm still planning on getting my ass over to Paris in August. I'm wondering if it's at all possible for me to get a flat there, or anywhere, because the pull back to San Francisco is getting increasingly strong.
One of the side effects of that is that I'm a lot less stressed in airports now. Or maybe right now I'm just too spaced to feel stressed. I'm learning the routines. Take off your shoes. Take your laptop out of the bag. Hope the security guy doesn't take offence at your 'coding is not a crime' sticker. Wait to be called. Then put back on your shoes. Put your laptop back in the bag. Gather your things and find the shops.
There's a delay. It's not all that bothersome. Maybe I'm becoming what they call a 'seasoned' traveller. Salted and peppered.
I'm hoping to sleep in tomorrow. We don't land til 1.25pm, and I see no reason to wake up any earlier than that. The food on U-shite-ed is really not worth waking up for, so I am not going to bother. The jetlag won't bother me this week – I have nowhere to be until Friday, so I can sleep whenever I want.
I've put my jacket on. It's not cold, but it will be on the plane.

Anonymous July 20, 2005 at 10:40 pm

Suw, let's speak plainly. Are you willing to live in Sanfrancisco and visit England occasionally? Will you be willing soon?

Anonymous July 21, 2005 at 3:08 pm

Welcome to the world of the shift worker.
That huge curtain of 'vagueness' you were feeling? That is my life.
(Perhaps explaining why so very little bothers me)

Anonymous July 21, 2005 at 11:14 pm

Hallo anonymous. So, with whom am I speaking plainly, pray tell?
'Willing' is entirely the wrong way to frame this question. 'Willing' implies that I must acquiesce to someone else, do what they wish me to do. I've never been much of the acquiescing sort, to be honest.
More important here are the questions 'Do I want to move to San Francisco?', 'Is it possible for me to move to San Francisco?', and 'Can I afford to move to San Franciscos?'. I could claim that these are currently all imponderables, but I have pondered them a lot lately. I just haven't got any answers.
The bottom line is that San Francisco has its attractions: a cool geek community, for example. But it also has its drawbacks: being in America, for one, where getting a visa is tricky and finding a source of really good butter is impossible.
Paris has its attractions too: a cool geek community and cheaper airfares, for example. But it too has drawbacks: having to speak French and snotty Parisian waiters.
London also has its attractions: a cool geek community and familiarity. It's drawbacks are more about cost of living and the lack of adventure I'd face there.
So I have to weigh up my alternatives. Trouble is, there's is stuff going on which may or may not necessitate me being in London, or maybe Paris. Until I know what's going on with that, making a solid decision is difficult. Certainly it's not going to happen overnight, or even 'soon'.
I do, still, err towards Paris, though. I mean… Paris! Cool!!

Anonymous July 21, 2005 at 11:15 pm

I thought that was the beer?

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