Mini-meltdowns and zen gardens

Have you ever just sat down in the middle of Saigon airport and just cried? Well, I hadn’t either until yesterday.

I’m not sleeping too well, and yesterday, we had to get up at 4am to fly out of Saigon into Da Lat. Cruel and unusual punishment when you are averaging about 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night. I am a creature of routine, and clearly, my routine is no longer routine. But I digress. I was just so tired yesterday. We had gone out for dinner the night before, and had a fantastic night. I got in, had had a few drinks, but didn’t get to sleep until about 12, and thereafter it was only dozing, mixed with crazy dreams. Just knowing I was going to get a wake-up call at 4 put any chances of a good night’s sleep to bed. No pun intended.

I sort of have a system for my luggage: clothes and toiletries in one case, shoes, powerboards, sunscreen, insect repellant etc. in another. I locked both cases in preparation for the light. When we got to the airport, it was a bit nuts. For some reason I was last to check in, and was feeling a bit hung out to dry. Christy, the tour guide, told me not to bother checking in the smaller case; just take it on board. I was under the limit, and had intended checking both in, but not thinking, thought, fair enough. I’d walked about 20 metres and I realised that this was the case with bigger bottled of liquids etc. and I told another passenger about it and just started crying.

Christy asked me what the matter was and I told her, and she was more or less like, oh well, if they confiscate it, you can just buy new stuff. At that point, I sat down and started howling. Complete over-reaction right? But being tired, and thinking that the tour guide would be acting in my best interests (I have consequently decided to ignore any advice she gives me because she has led me down the wrong path a couple of times), I was feeling completely alone, out of control and exhausted. In the end, we got the stuff through by putting it in another tour’s luggage, but it was just (for me anyway) an awful experience.

I spent most of the rest of the day just wanting to check into the hotel, crawl into my bed and die from exhaustion. That was not to be. We stopped for Vietnamese coffee (the iced stuff is the best!), visited a monastery (I prayed to Buddha for the torture of tiredness to end), took a cable car ride, stopped at the Da Lat market, visited the palace of the king and then stopped for lunch. Most of the morning I spent feeling really teary (and sometimes even crying) and just wanting to go to bed. Difficult to enjoy Da Lat in these conditions.

And it should be enjoyed, because the city is just beautiful. It was occupied by French, so many houses and buildings have a French influence.

I didn’t go out last night. I ordered a fruit platter, had a bath, drank a couple of glasses of really bad Da Lat wine, watched a movie then slept 9 hours. It was bliss.

Today, we are heading back to the coast. Na Trang, from memory. Have slept well, I feel like a new person. Now, I just have to face my fellow passengers, who I’m sure think I’m a bit of a nut case!

2 Comments

  • Why I’m a Travelling Homebody | The Travelling Homebody August 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    […] I learned very early on that when I travel, I really, really, really like a routine. It’s not-negotiable for a number of reasons. A routine helps me sleep better*, which means I’m a happier traveller, and enjoy wherever I am much more. There is nothing so awful as wandering around historic and cultural sites like a zombie, close to tears from utter exhaustion. […]

    Reply
  • How to avoid jet lag | The Travelling Homebody September 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    […] sleep aids if you feel you have to. Better to wake up groggy (which you can easily shake off) than exhausted because you have had a broken, unproductive sleep. And this could go on for […]

    Reply

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