8/25/10 - Journey to Japan

Direct flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Tokyo.  About 13 hours.  During the flight, I reflected on the confusing nature of time in relation to global travel.  In effect, the airplane flew backwards in time – shades of Einstein’s theory of relativity!  We were flying toward the past, in other words against the earth’s rotation.  We left at noon and arrived a little after 3 pm – so only three hours had “passed” even though we experienced a 13-hour trip.  Then, to make it even weirder, we crossed the international date line, so we lost a day.

Although I realize this is not what Einstein had in mind, the experience helped me better understand the relative nature of time.

The air travel itself was excruciatingly uncomfortable due to the airline industry’s practice of allotting about 4 square inches to each passenger and designing seats without any sense of ergonomics.  After a while I had a lot of lower back pain, which would have been even worse without the lumbar cushion I travel with.  Oh, to travel in business class!