This week has been a bit of a whirlwind: travelling from London to Tokyo (and a delightful Japanese princess) and on to Hong Kong (where it’s monstrously sticky), with compromised sleeping hours and lots of delicious food (more than one of the guys described the teppanyaki meal we were treated to after the concert in Tokyo on Thursday night as “life-changing”). We flew over to Hong Kong yesterday, and it was great to have the afternoon and evening free. I did drag some work around Hong Kong Island with me, but my main goal for the day was to move my body a bit (I felt like it had been quite stationary over the previous few days). My take-home? It was hot. We’re not exposed to this level of humidity in London, ever, and I think I did the right thing by hanging my clothes up to dry when I returned to my hotel room. Last night, I slept like a total baby, for nine hours.
It’s funny, there are certain things about touring so much that you never consciously try to improve – packing your suitcase, navigating airports, understanding menus in different languages, for instance – but you definitely do get better at them, the more you travel. Managing jet lag is one of those unexpected skills. I remember the first time I flew back from the US, when I was 22. It was an early evening flight home from Philadelphia, leaving at about 6pm and arriving into London seven hours later, at about 6am. I didn’t even know what let jag was, really – certainly not how it felt in my body. For the next three days, I was bed-ridden. I had no sense of what was happening, but waking up in the morning was impossible, and I don’t think my head or my limbs had ever felt so heavy.
Fast forward to now, when three days after landing, I’ve slept solidly through all three nights since we landed and, save a little wobble on our first full day in Tokyo, haven’t felt like I was going to fall into a sleep coma at any point. I feel hungry at normal times, I’m ready for exercise, and I’m really looking forward to tonight’s concert hall in Hong Kong City Hall.
We all concentrate on improving certain things that really matter to us in our lives. But, in virtue of doing those things on a daily basis, there are other, tangential skills that we develop. On busy trips to Asia, like this one, I’m tremendously grateful for a considerable number of them.
Talking of which, it’s time for me to prepare my first Cantonese announcement for tonight…
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