There’s nothing quite like hitting
a several walls throughout the day to make you feel useless.
After a 30+ hour journey, I was all-too-pleased to devour a delicious take-away meal from Kailash Parbat, what is apparently a Mumbai legend – and akb and my new favorite Indian restaurant (so good we returned for breakfast.) As auspicious as this midnight snack seemed, however, the next couple of days dealt with the delirious reality of jet lag.
It’s amazing how easily I fall into patterns of self-criticism, especially around the need to feel productive. While traveling, this manifests itself in needing to explore as much as possible; to check items off the travel book list; to spend each precious second seeing, tasting, experiencing new things.
Nobody needs to tell me that this is a fallacy. My other strong, and contradictory, personality trait is that of the flâneur — after all, i am happiest when wandering around without a rigid agenda. Still, the self-critic manifests itself whenever he senses weakness, and jet lag is a time when judgment falters and senses play tricks.
I know this to be true. And, i pledge to ease up, give myself (and my partner) a break. I don’t need to maximize my time on the mountain all the time, much less when i’m not on the mountain. Acclimation, rest, taking it easy. Om shanti, yadda yadda, om.
Lastly, allow me to acknowledge that jet lag is also a malady of privilege. I have so little to complain about in my life (though i do), and nowhere is this more evident than here in India. I have steeled myself in preparation for what I would see here. Namely, the terrible contrasts and discrepancies in the realities of life here. To see it all so easily, as a white, wealthy, healthy Westerner. To visit the Taj Hotel of $500/night rooms and manicured lawns and swimming pool, then to see the conditions that so many live in right past the city center… It’s a trite observation that hardly needs my voice, and i’ve just blogged it. This is privilege.
Let me not forget it.