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Tea Kettle Philosophy — The Long Flight

This tea kettle philosopher is going to share with you a little secret of how to survive that long-distance flight to spread some holiday cheer to those most dear to you. Being a diehard user of a tea kettle, I usually have about 20 minutes to ponder. Plenty of time to explore this important issue for all tea lovers!

Don’t be jetlagged and miss all the fun (and tea) when you travel long distances. (From Yahoo! Images)
Don’t be jetlagged and miss all the fun (and tea) when you travel long distances. (From Yahoo! Images)

One of the aspects of the holiday season can be a long plane flight to visit seldom-seen relatives. Making the experience even longer are factors such as the heavy traffic on the way to the airport, the long walk or shuttle bus ride from the parking lot that’s so far away from the terminal that you might as well have parked at home and saved the cost of airport parking, the security screening lines where you end up behind the guy who has to go through the metal detector several times due to some body part that has been replaced with metal (such as a hip joint or kneecap), the hour or two or three spent sitting on the tarmac while the flight crew are supposedly waiting for clearance to take off but may actually be taking a nap in the cockpit (not that I’ve ever peeked or anything), and so on. And then there’s the issue of jet lag (per Dictionary.com: “a temporary disruption of the body’s normal biological rhythms after high-speed air travel through several time zones”). I’ve learned a little trick to prevent this. Set the kettle on for that pot of tea while I tell you about it.

Once upon a time I flew to Greece for a little visit with a friend who had transferred there (a bit of a promotion for her with her company). I hadn’t flown too much, either for short distances or long. So, this was certainly an adventure ahead. The first step was a passport (which took forever to get processed and almost didn’t arrive in time), and then the airline tickets (back in the days before all this could be done on the Internet) obtained through a travel agent (remember them?). Packing was rather tricky here since it was still wintry at home but in Greece much warmer and more Spring like, or so I thought. So I packed clothing for both possibilities. The suitcase was rather … uh, well … plump. And heavy. But I managed to get it in the car, drive to the airport, get it out of the car, wheel it through the terminal to my gate, and get it checked in without it bursting at the seams. Next came the waiting and then the boarding and then the take-off. Time to put my plan in action!

I had requested and received a window seat. This was crucial, mainly so I could have the cover closed at the right time and then open at the right time. As soon as the plane lifted off, I shut the window cover, positioned that little airline pillow just right, spread out that airline blanket over my legs and lap, shut off that little overhead light, and proceeded to snooze. (Whether I snored or not is a total mystery — at least the person sitting next to me never complained.) The flight attendant woke me when the announcement came that we were approaching Athens airport, and it was time to put my seat “in the upright position” and stow the pillow and blanket in preparation for landing. I had avoided wearing a watch and just told myself that I had had a full eight hours of sleep (it helped that it was dark out when we took off and light out when we landed). Sort of self-hypnosis but with the help of whatever sleep I had gotten, the trick worked. I was perky and alert during the entire two-week visit. On the return flight I reversed the process and landed back in the U.S. once again feeling refreshed and alive.

Here’s hoping my story helps you during your holiday travels or any time you need to go a great distance, such as taking a tour of a tea garden in India, Sri Lanka, Japan, etc. As for me, I feel so perky right now that I may not need that tea… hahahahaha! Seriously, the kettle is whistling so I gotta get steeping. Enjoy!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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