whom and what am I stealing time from, deciding that I can spend seven days for a trip that within another moral dimension would have taken me three?
traveling for work and leisure is a privilege that comes with duty to make it count. to carry and not just be carried.
never sure if it was Wilde of Fry that quipped that there comes a time when it becomes more than a moral duty, it becomes a pleasure.
it is a pleasure to carry and to be carried.
I get an image of a 1940's Finnish comedy film featuring the idle yet ebullient railway wanderer Lapatossu, attempting to lift themself up from their own hair.
I carried myself to Glasgow and I was carried there by our hosts
How can I contribute? I can contribute numbers and insight into land-travel experience. A manual in how to steal time.
two nights and just over two days to get to Glasgow.
about 3 hours of travel time on the first day. I don't count the time spent in a cabin on the ferry or on the train as travel time (this is actually crucial in comparison to air-travel).
twelve. a full day, that is actually half a day.
my days are of the half-full kind.
just over 12 hours on the second day from Stockholm to Hamburg, and a long single stretch of just under 18 hours from Hamburg to Glasgow on the third day. Long non-stop stretches of over 12 hours are a preference for me sometimes, if they don't occur too often, but they could of course be divided into shorter stretches.
and back again.
Three nights and just over two days to get back to Helsinki. The overnight train to London, a 10-hour stretch to Hamburg, a night at a cheap cabin-hotel in Hamburg, and another 12-hour stretch with a 6am start to catch the evening ferry from Stockholm to Finland.
I'm stealing time from my metabolism, or how it has come used to a particular biological clock.
time-zones are the shelves from which you are shoplifting time
Early starts are good for land-travel, since they help to accommodate possible delays on the way.
When moving from Finnish time back towards the west, early starts go with the grain and you hardly even notice that your alarm looks like its an hour or so earlier than when you would normally wake up.
Working forwards from GMT, consecutive early starts can start accumulating as jet-lag. This for me is a sign that this particular trip has been an especially fast one. My body does feel more dislocated from its usual rhythm on this trip than previous land-travel ventures. With even one extra day both ways removes this issue completely, as 30 hours of travel would then be stretched across 3-4 and not 2-3 days, making the case for early starts redundant.
when stealing time to have breakfast, make it an adventure and seek out the best breakfast to be had west of Greenwich.
The travel days feel very different based on how they end. If by the end of the day you know you will have a place to stay somewhere, perhaps even somewhere that you can access 24/7 in case of being delayed, such as a cabin hotel or a friends place you have a key to, the day feels settled, and you can afford to slow down and break the fast.
allow yourself to value the precarity of your time on a given day, your friends will understand.
Days, by the end of which you need to catch an overnight connection at a certain time, have a different feel to them. I'm working here. I'm on duty. I need to carry this thing somewhere. Sorry, no time to talk, I have to get to Stockholm tonight.
Usually these latter days also have less flexibility about how to get there. Sometimes there is only one chain of connections, such as almost always is between Hamburg and Stockholm. There are no long connections that operate every few hours or so.
If like today, leaving Hamburg, I want to get to Stockholm in time for the 8pm ferry to Turku (the Helsinki ferry long gone by then, since it leaves already after 4pm), I have one chance to get it.
sometimes the first connection is also the last one.
This will change in 2029, when they finish the Fehrman tunnel connection, halving travel time between Copenhagen and Hamburg. Then I can afford to steal time to explore the best breakfasts to be had east of Greenwich.
stealing time for friends becomes more than a moral duty it becomes a pleasure
and hasn't the person you're meeting to break the fast really been fasting with you the whole way?
the carried carrier
this took longer than 25 minutes