We are leaving Xi’an, heading for Pingyao. It’s Friday, or at least I think it is. I am finding with this long term travel, the days start to lose meaning. Maybe the weekend is busier at the tourist attractions, or fewer places are open on a Sunday, but I have very quickly lost track of which day it is.
Back at home (wherever that may be) we all have a routine, usually dictated by the day of the week. Monday morning closes out the weekend as we head off to work, Wednesday… hump day… the joy of Friday afternoon, leading into the weekend once again. Other things cause us to almost instinctively know which day it is… your email inbox tells you, which night your team’s weekly football match is played on, when your favourite TV show comes on, laundry day, all these things constantly remind us on a daily basis.
But we don’t have any of this. I glance at my email every couple of days, in case something urgent has come in, we don’t get much access to English TV, and laundry day is usually every evening in the hotel sink.
While we were in Tibet, we were amused by this one hotel having a carpet in the lift that said ‘Monday’ on it, then the next morning the same lift had a different carpet, this time saying ‘Tuesday’. We had a laugh about this, comparing it to day-of-the-week underpants. Some days later I wanted to know what day it was and I found myself having to work out how many days it had been since the lift carpet told my it was ‘Tuesday’…
Is this a problem?
You might think with our planned schedule of train tickets, tours and hotel rooms (all laid out in a big spreadsheet), that this would cause issues. However, rather than days of the week, we find ourselves counting the days by how many full days we have in each location. For example I am currently on a train to Pingyao, I know that today is train travel, then I have two full days to explore, then the day after that we are back on a train to our next destination.
I am finding this quite liberating. Despite there being a schedule, it does not feel like the usual daily grind of five days at work, then the weekend. We move from one place to the next, choosing what sights to see, lazy days of rest are taken when needed, we don’t need to make sure we are in front of the TV for specific shows or be regimented by what day of the week it is. It’s a very relaxing experience not being tied to days of the week.
But I digress, i’m sitting on a train, I guess it’s Friday…. but I’ve absolutely no idea what the date is!