News & Insights 31 May 2007

The International Date Line

Wednesay 31 May, 4.30am (Dubai Airport, United Arab Emirates):
We have stopped at off Dubai on the way to South Korea. What with the end of the American Tour being closely followed by the beginning of the Korean Tour, by the time we reach Seoul we will have covered a distance of over 9,000 miles in less than a week and a half. Admittedly, our contribution to this feat has been mainly stuffing our faces, watching sub-standard Will Ferrell movies and getting lashed on free vodka, but it is an achievement nonetheless.

It is currently after 4 in the morning, we are sitting in an airport food-court nibbling weakly on pizzas, and Tony is amusing himself by trying to convince George that, by travelling from London to Dubai and crossing the International Date Line, we have actually managed to travel backwards through time.

“Yeah, mate. We will arrive in Seoul several hours before we left London. We are making time.”

“Riiight….” murmurs George, looking down at the table. In the absence of a pen, he is attempting to write out our itinerary in tomato ketchup in the hope that it might help him get his head round it. I don’t know what he’s done with the comprehensive itinerary I lovingly printed out for him back in Clapham.

“But…. hang on…. What day is it now? I’m confused.”

Tony is loving it. “Today’s technically Wednesday, right, for us, but in a while we’re taking a plane to Korea and when we get there it’ll be Tuesday. Yesterday. Time travel.”

“Hmm.. International Date Line,” muses George, staring down at the congealing sea of ketchup on his plate, brow furrowed. “I see…”. 

This could be a long night.

Chris Lightyear

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