There’s one thing that I’ve never gotten used to in all the years I’ve worked as a stewardess ? Jetlag. Thousands of articles and books have been written on this subject and I’ve read quite a few of them. But all this paper wisdom only taught me one thing: how to live with it. It never solved the problem. As far as I know now, jetlag is unavoidable. You can’t walk away from it and no amount of experience will help you any further.

When I had my first severe jetlag, I remembered some simple advice I’d read about: catch the daylight and do some exercise. So I jogged to the fitness centre and worked out in a two-hour aerobics class. For as long as it lasted. Halfway through, the world suddenly turned black. When I woke up, I found myself stretched out on the floor with the worried face of the instructor right above me. Hadn’t I eaten breakfast? Was I pregnant? Did I have some sort of disease? When I told him I’d just returned from a long-distance flight and I’d skipped a night, he told me I’d misunderstood the advice. The advice was to take some light exercise, like a stroll in the park. And then he sent me home. I tried a few other tricks but in the end I learned that there is really only one way to deal with jetlag: just accept it!

For a start, that means having to accept my indecisiveness. When I arrive home after a flight, I sometimes can’t even make up my mind about the simplest matters. Like what to eat that night. One moment I feel like pumpkin soup, the next moment I’m dying for a pizza. So I buy both but might end up eating a left-over cheese sandwich or a packet of biscuits. That’s why I promised myself never ever to make any major decisions on the day I return. Neither would I ever plan any complicated activities.

Another symptom of my jetlag is the sudden loss of part of my vocabulary. Simple words temporarily escape me, so I have to resort to describing things like ‘glue’ or ‘contact lens’ in detail. As this is very tiring (for me and the listener) I usually become more and more silent during the day.

I’ve always wondered how they survive, those passengers who leave our plane and walk right into a meeting. Their body and mind must be crying out for some rest and peace, but duty calls. Will they end up regretting their decisions the next day?


What to eat?

Posted by: Caroline |
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