For a few days each week, my life resembles Bill Murray’s character in Lost in Translation (except for the ‘connection’ with Scarlet Johansson part – that never happens) – sleepless in a strange hotel in a foreign country. I’ve spent the last 2 nights walking around the Landmark Hotel in Hong Kong like a zombie, attracting sympathetic smiles from the staff, who are no-doubt familiar with the sight of jet-lag zombies like myself.

I was waiting by the door of the gym each morning for the 6am opening (out of boredom rather than discipline) along with an obviously American chap who would spend an hour on the treadmill. Seemed like banker/consultant type- its not hard to tell. I wonder if these people that I fit into stereotypes do the same to me – hopefully I come off as something more interesting than a banker type ? The gym attendant suggested that the crowd that used the gym was mostly ‘white people’ – she was not sure if they were more fitness conscious than the Asian guests or if they showed up because they were also jet lagged as a result of traveling from longer distances.

Jet lag does funny things to your brain. Time seems more or less suspended and the last 4 hours of the night takes forever to get through. Most of the 50 channels on TV are in the local language and the few English ones always have rubbish playing (it is, after all, an ungodly hour). And while I am awake, I’m seldom alert enough to do anything productive. Unfortunately, when the next day comes, I’m still sleep deprived and getting through the afternoon is only possible with a constant drip-feed of caffeine. Failing to stay awake in the day and failing to sleep at night – the story of my life.

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