It’s time to talk about time

There are parts of the world, especially in the south, where you can’t ask when a bus will arrive. Every culture perceives time in different ways. That’s why people in Ireland are walking faster than in Greece where life is much quicker than in Cuba.

  Time is money”, “money doesn’t bring happiness, but it’s better to be sad in a Ferrari than on bike” – that’s what people in Western Europe, Northern America and Japan are thinking. We receive money for HOURS of working, so every minute is important for us like praising Guinness for Irishman’s. When we’re waiting for someone who is late, we’re wasting time. When he will finally come, we’ll show him some Mike Tyson punches. In culture of Western civilisation economy has to always grow and Apple is promoting new “you-must-have-it” phone every time when Samsung is not doing it.

The French revolution has its “liberty, equality, fraternity” triad. These values were popular for some time in Europe, but then we had an industrial revolution. Every invention is killing your time. Before in seventeenth century houses in Netherlands there was a maximum of one window. People hadn’t the opportunity to look and see if their neighbours had bought a new LCD TV (not only because TVs were invented three hundred years later). Then windows became a lot cheaper and people had more of them. They then realized how much dust they sits on them started losing time cleaning them daily. It’s the same thing with different inventions. Before electricity, housekeepers had less duties than now as they didn’t need a job. That’s why people in unindustrialized countries have more free time.

Where people walk faster, they have less opportunities to rest and more to compete with job partners for the employee of the month or a romantic kiss with their manager and are less likely to die from a heart disease or cancer. It’s interesting how people are living in Cuba. Revolution didn’t give people their social heaven or even tighter roofs, but they averagely live to 85 years old. In a European Union this is “just 81” (if you look at books from 19th century, the females who are 30 years old or older, are perceived as old grandmas). This difference in projected years of living is much more surprising if you remind yourself about the differences in levels of living or public health services. It’s not only the effect of a much hotter climate, but the type of weather you are living in is important for perceiving the time. When you are living somewhere close to the deserts and places of nuclear bombs tests, you are using a lot more energy for simpler things like walking or spitting on the logo of a hated team. This requires you to rest more and your boss can also benefit from rest(he can even spit on the logo of the same team you hate).

Robert Levine, a professor from California State University was examining how much time people needed to walk 100 metres. At least of all people in Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Japan and Hong Kong were the fastest. In the middle were countries like France, Poland, Netherlands and the USA. While the slowest nations to walk 100 metres were Brazilians, Mexicans and Indonesians.

Knowing the tempo of life in country you want to visit is something very important. Especially if you want to make native friend. For people from the South (stereotypically) it should be worth remembering that Europeans are always doing something (often destroying their family ties) and you can’t stop them for drinking coffee unless they’re baristas. But if you’re an American who is visiting Rio de Janeiro and you don’t know when bus will arrive, remember one simple rule, you don’t have to use any timetables and watches, the bus will simply arrive when you will see its driver behind the wheel.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *