Saturday, July 8, 2017

July 6 – The International Date Line



Yes, I know the phrase “International Date Line” sounds like some sort of social media hook-up site, but it is actually a totally artificial, ziggy-zag line cutting north to south through the Pacific Ocean that messes up your time when you cross it. Now trying to wrap your brain around how it works is a little painful (for me anyway), but let me try to explain. Bangkok, Thailand is 12 hours ahead of us in Ontario. So when it is 12 am in Ontario it is 12 pm in Bangkok. If you were to travel east then every time you cross a time zone you add an hour to your watch, thereby losing time. By the time you hit Bangkok you will have passed through 12 of these and are now on Bangkok time.


Now, let’s say you head west instead. Flying to Vancouver will take you through three time zones, and as you pass each of these you remove an hour from you watch, thereby gaining time – the opposite of what happens when you travel east. So if you keep right on going, all the way to Bangkok, you will have removed a whole bunch of hours from your watch. But that doesn’t make any sense, because when you travel east you add hours to your watch, but when you travel west you subtract hours from your watch, and because the world is round, you are  able to reach Bangkok regardless of which direction you take. So this is why we need the international date line. When you are traveling west to Bangkok as you pass through the Pacific, right around the point where Russia almost meets up with Alaska, you actually remove an entire day from your watch (i.e. 24 hours).  This then resets you so as you pass the international date line and keep traveling west, you continue removing those hours from you watch and as you reach Bangkok, your watch will read the same as it would have if you travelled east.


So this was a rather long winded say of saying I don’t have much to say about July 6th because it mostly disappeared on us! We left from Vancouver and flew for about 12 hours, all the way through to Manila, Philippines. This was the longest leg of the trip but it seemed to pass quite quickly, partially because of the excellent little seatback tv’s with movies, tv and music, but also because the flight attendants seemed to be constantly bringing food around, and good food is a great way to fight boredom. I wasn’t actually bored at all - it’s not often that you have 12 hours to do absolutely nothing, so much of the time I just listened to music, thought about things, and dozed off from time to time.

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