The First Sleepless Night

It’s 3:49 AM in Moscow, which makes it, if my internal body clock is correct, daylight in Sydney. It’s 7 hours ahead of us in time. It’s strange to think of any place as being somehow chronologically ahead of the rest of us, but right now, that’s how my brain is seeing Australia, as this lovely, warm place that’s magically time-travelled into the near future. And in that near future, there’s good coffee, beer that tastes like it wasn’t fermented in a vat of stale, ionised H2O, and weather that’s agreeable.

It’s alright to feel homesick the first night after a long flight that leaves one’s soul feeling like a withered husk, more an outline of a person than a person in full. Sydney, Beijing, Moscow. Three Triple AAA cities in so many hours, comma’d only by wholly unsatisfying sandiwches and coffee in-between. It’s become my mission now to hunt down coffee that won’t taste like flavoured dirt tomorrow morning.

Being. Memories of it still flit around my head. The Godzilla-like orange pylons straddling sheer walls of glass like an unfriendly leech coming in for the final assault, vast ceilings, doing their very best impression of making one feel as though they’re in big sky country, where the sky is in fact nothing more than girders and rebar cross-stitched to provide some sort of weird Escher-like sensation if stared at.

Sometime past 8 AM, gave in to Sydney-bred coffee urges, after attempting Costa’s Coffee, and attempted to make taste-bud love to a Starbucks cappuccino. A fatal mistake. They do not reside in flavour country. A fellow from Victoria, sitting alone at a bar-stool, upon being asked about it said: It tastes like it does anywhere else, if that helps.

It didn’t.

It’s Moscow’s turn now.

3:59 AM Moscow time, and the sky is still awash in a night-time glow of hazy pollution and illuminated diodes emanating from the uncountable number of apartment buildings that dominate the horizon like a set of detonated Legos, but with all trace or hint of colour washed away.

Now it’s down to hoping the sleeping pills kick in soon, to lure the suprachiasmatic nucleus system into a synched circadian state, to align with Moscow. And if I’m spared the usual march of perversely bizarre dreams, all the better.

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Filed under My relentlessly fascinating life, Telling stories

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