You know you’re in trouble when you get over jetlag before you get to your destination. It’s a bad sign but a convenient side-effect. I was traveling for four days when I realized what had happened.
When you travel a lot, you start dreading traveling east, because jetlag is always hardest to handle in that direction. I noticed that in the last few years, when I was making more money and getting better tickets, I could afford to fly directly from LAX into Paris and it would take me two weeks to get over my jet lag, a real nightmare.
Traveling west is a breeze, comparatively, because you don’t feel the time change. You basically just get up early for a couple of weeks, get a lot more out of your days, and eventually, when you’re low on sleep, you crash for a good twelve hours and you’re back to your regular schedule. Not so in the other direction where your circadian rythms are basically inverted and it can take weeks before you recover.
Broke as I am now, I got the cheapest tickets I could get which left me with this itinerary, from Monday afternoon to Thursday evening: 9- hour flight from LAX to London, and 6-hour layover in London, 2- hour flight to Paris, 2-hour transfer time between getting luggage and arriving at the hotel. Dinner and 6 hours of sleep, 4-hour flight to Morocco, 12-hour layover in Casablanca, 6-hour flight to Douala, 1-hour connection time, 2-hour flight to Brazzaville, and what should have been a 2-hour layover turned into AN EIGHT HOUR WAIT (more about that later), then, lastly, a 1-hour flight home to Pointe Noire.
By the time I got home on Thursday at nearly 8 PM after four full days of traveling, I was totally on Congo time.