I thought I'd take it easy today. I had a flight to Delhi late afternoon, and as I packed a lot in yesterday in Hong Kong, I thought I'd veg out in my hotel room: treat myself to a manicure, read the end of my novel and run the battery down on my new Nintendo DS. This would then allow me to board my flight, watch an in-flight movie and arrive in Delhi in time for bed.
I arrived at the airport more or less exactly at the required two hours prior to departure... to find out that my 5.30 p.m. flight had been rescheduled - to midnight. So I will be spending a total of eight and a half hours at Hong Kong airport, in the world's crappiest business lounge, with no novel to read and a Nintendo DS with flat batteries. This means I will arrive in Delhi at 3 a.m. local time, nearer 6 a.m. on the time I'm on at the moment... So far, I am not a fan of Air India. Let's just hope the plane has two wings.
I have been aware that my posts over the last week or so have been rather lacking in joy. I'm not entirely sure why this is. I do love travel, and of course it's an exciting opportunity to get to do this with work. But I think that's what the problem is. The work I'm doing out here is physically demanding, and mentally draining - particularly when trying to deliver training to people when there is a language or cultural barrier. So in the evenings, or at weekends, I'm in an exciting place, and the part of me that loves travel is pressuring me to make the most of it... and the other part of me knows that on a day I've run a training course in London, it's usually pretty unlikely I'd make evening plans, because I know how tiring it is.
As a result, I either drag myself round the sights and sounds of the city, and feel even more tired and umpty as a result, or I give in to the tiredness, stay in the hotel room, and feel like I'm missing a fantastic opportunity. It really is a lose-lose situation. It's a bit like one of those computer games where the scenery changes every level, but the content, the basic gameplay, is identical.
Level 1: Singapore. Backdrop: futuristic skyscrapers. Goal: deliver training.
Level 2: Hong Kong. Backdrop: stunning mountains and smog. Goal: deliver training. Avoid falling prostitutes.
Level 3: Delhi. Backdrop: Delhi airport. Goal: deliver training. Avoid food poisoning by eating nothing other than the pizza-flavoured crisps purchased in Hong Kong for this very purpose. Try not to faint.
The business lounge has just started playing The First Noel. I fear there may be bloodshed.