Late Night Ramblings of a Jet Lagged Mind:
Jet lag results from moving rapidly across time zones, disrupting our body’s circadian rhythms, The jet doors close in Los Angeles and open in Paris; they close in Paris and open in Dubai. And when I emerge, it’s midnight here even though it’s noon at home. But another powerful phenomenon occurs when traveling from a privileged first-world life to the strangeness and cultural disparity of a foreign country. Pilot Mark Vanhoenacker calls this feeling “place lag,” the “inability of our deep old sense of place to keep up with our airplanes.”
I don't think people have evolved enough physically or mentally to comfortably accommodate modern travel, surely not flying to the opposite side of the world in a mere 20 hours, yet it’s what travelers have become accustomed to. It will take time to adjust.
Not all that long ago, Dubai was a dusty Bedouin village strategically sited on the shores of The Creek, a saltwater inlet that was historically a small port for trading vessels coming from India and East Africa. Pearls found in The Creek and fishing were mainstays of the economy. But in a mere 50 years, it morphed into the fastest growing and most opulent city on earth, with a futuristic flair and superlatives we’re all familiar with (tallest building, biggest shopping mall, a man-made island shaped like a palm tree that can be seen from space, etc. etc.). And the world’s only 7-star hotel with rooms from $1,500 to $24,000 a night (not a typo).
Today’s Dubai, one of the seven United Arab Emirates, is everything the rest of the Arab world isn't: a glittering and tolerant capitalist oasis that’s one of the world's safest places, a stone's throw from its most dangerous.
Tomorrow I'll head out to explore!