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Sunday, March 6

I've always maintained that staying awake is the best way to get into a new time zone. If you're gaining a few hours, you stay awake a few hours, go to bed at a normal time, wake up at a normal time and, hey presto, you're in the right time zone. Alternatively, if you're losing a few hours, you stay awake for a hell of a long time, go to bed at a reasonable (perhaps slightly early) hour for the time zone you're now in and wake up at a reasonable hour and so on. I've used this system for years and it's never truly worked out for me.

The plan for the Sunday, with my hosts at Lamaze breathing exercise classes, was to wake up and head out to the mall. I did wake up. I'll admit that. I also headed out to the mall. The slightly awkward bit is that I'd taken something like 12 hours' sleep before getting there. This is because, in simple terms, I was absolutely exhausted. The exertions of the previous week had caught up with me and my already confused body clock went onto permanent snooze. No worries. I woke with a spring in my step and pondered whether I was going to the mall or not. Do I want to risk the roads, the getting lost, the threat of accidentally knocking the car I'd been loaned? Hell yes! It's an adventure and I'm on my expedition to find a mall. Not the most exciting of targets, I'll grant you, but I was getting hungry and thought that the idea of raiding a mall's foodcourt seemed infinitely more adventurous than raiding the fridge.

So, off I set. This story is crap. I got there with no fuss whatsoever. Good directions from my friend saw to that. It was not stressful, but it makes a rubbish tale. Sorry about that. At the mall, I cruised round buying the obligatory Starbucks coffee, checking out clothes, CDs and other stuff. At the end of my trip, I had one DVD and I'd had some lunch.

The trip to the mall was cut short when my hosts' Lamaze class finished earlier than expected. They called to see how I was doing and felt, probably quite rightly, that I was best guided from the mall and back to their house, by careful use of someone coming to get me. This was preferable in my mind to the alternative - reversing the instructions - something which I later had to act as though I was incapable of doing, in order to explain why someone had come to get me. Had nobody come to get me, I would have made it. However, I like an easy ride, so I was happy to play the part of the idiotic Englishman who didn't understand the roads (I probably didn't).

Anyway, after being rescued from the mall we went to the parents-in-law's place for some food and company. Brother-in-law was in attendance, his pseudo-girlfriend now upgraded to the status of girlfriend I think. All very pleasant. We had pasta. Following the pasta was Port and dessert. Each of these was worthy of note. The Port was an excellent taste sensation, and the dessert contained so much sugar that the slightest crumb on the tongue gave one a buzzing head, followed immediately by a sense of fatigue and depression. Wow! Sugar-tastic.

The evening ended splendidly and we went back home for a little DVD viewing and then bed.

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