Monday, November 05, 2007


Heading to Vietnam we crossed twelve time zones. I changed my watch twice: once for San Francisco (so I'd worry about how damn tight our layover had become), and once for Hong Kong, twelve hours ahead of my North Carolina home and one hour ahead of my new one in Vietnam. Why? Because we had to cross one last eastern longitude flying west out of Hong Kong. HK is eleven hours west of NC (twelve hours ahead, then), and Saigon is twelve hours east (eleven ahead). What? We went around the world clockwise, against its celestial rotation, so we were crossing time zones in reverse. We headed so far west, in other words, that we ended up in the East, heading west. What's confusing: it was getting ever earlier beneath the plane, only to eventually become one day later at the dateline. It was dark in our cabin for the seemingly ironic reason that it was high noon the duration of our flight: everyone kept their windows shut for something like an eternity, imposing a timeless phantasm of zombie cave light. When we finally deplaned at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat airport, we stepped into the steamy evening of Thursday, October eighteenth, almost twenty-six hours after we'd finally left Dulles, but right at thirty-eight hours around the clock. During Daylight Saving Time, Vietnam is eleven hours ahead of US EST, but twelve hours east. Now that EST is "falling back"--right... about... now--we've effortlessly moved another hour farther away. This because at relatively consistent twelve-hour days, the tropical world only observes DST, if they do, to enjoy year-long relativity with Europe and the US. Vietnam doesn't bother, so half the year I am exactly half the world ahead, and for the other half, I'm earlier. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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