I’ve been able to add quite a few cities to the list of places I’ve played in front of audiences this year. I regret that Huzhou, China is not one of them, even though I just came back from there.
Huzhou – which is about three hours’ drive away from Shanghai – is twelve time zones away from my home. For all practical purposes, it is on the other side of the world from Boston. This leads to some really weird travel when flying there and coming back. First, you fly neither east nor west, really. Instead the flight path is mostly longitudinal as that’s the most direct route (the world being round and all that).*
The other true time travel piece of the puzzle is how one either races away from the night – and loses – or races toward the night and gains another sunrise. Flying to China you cross not only 12 zones but also the date line, and pretty much lose two days. Right now, however – coming home – I clearly remember waking up to what passes for a sunny day in Huzhou. That was a long time ago. The sun set. And now out my window it is rising again. And it is still the same date. For me, October 31, 2019 will have been 36 hours long.
There is of course a lesson or metaphor here about second chances and the beauty of a sunrise. But it’s been a long day, and I think I’ll let you ponder this all for yourselves.
*Neat trick: get a globe and run a piece of string between Boston and Shanghai and you’ll see what I mean. Also pretty cool to try it for other city pairs.