The weird twilight zone of long distance travel


It takes 24 hours to go from Sydney to London, via Hong Kong. A whole day, most of it in the dark. It is like you enter this weird twilight zone of cramped seats and perpetual night, a state of limbo where the normal rules of what you would usually tolerate are entirely suspended.

I am travelling on Virgin Atlantic, in what must be their oldest plane. We have arrived in Hong Kong, fighting through jolting clouds and flashes of lightening. Upon our arrival, we are all bundled out, unceremoniously slapped with a transfer sticker (on my arm, like a piece of luggage!) and made to re-enter security with the on board luggage we just took off the plane. The same plane we are getting back on in five minutes. Goodbye water bottle. Shortly, despite the fact that it is midnight, we will be served a meal of some description, probably breakfast. I will eat whatever it is, because I am starving.

Remember that scene in The Fifth Element, where people are just put to sleep for the journey to outer space. I think there might be something in that idea. Imagine the money airlines would save not having to feed and water everyone?

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