Thursday, December 8, 2011

What time will you be there?

One thing I have learned here, or … that is not quite right actually. Let’s start over. One thing I am trying to learn, almost every day, is that people arrive late. 

I'll explain saying I am learning with an example. One of the first weeks here in Barcelona, I had an appointment to meet someone a Sunday afternoon. We would meet at 2pm, and I arrived a little before. (Even more here, because with the metro you never know the exact time you will arrive, so of course I calculated some extra time to be sure to arrive on time…) 

So I arrived about 10 minutes early and waited. And waited, and at 15 minutes past, I though the other person had forgotten, or something had come up and I left. (I had forgotten my phone at home even, so I couldn’t call.) When I came home a little later that day I had missed calls and text messages… My friend had arrived at 2:25 and was wondering where I was, had I forgotten about our appointment or had something come up?

In Norway, most people and myself included arrive on time. I guess it’s a cultural thing. If you have an appointment to meet someone at 2pm, you arrive at 2pm, or even at 1:50 or 1:55. You make sure you are there rather before than later than 2pm. 

This has been my way of being my whole life. I have always taken it seriously, maybe now is the time to ponder why I take it so seriously, but I think I just somehow have the opinion that it’s a little disrespectful to arrive late. Like, taking someone’s time, or not considering someone’s time to be important enough to care to arrive on time. 

Of course everyone can arrive late every now and then due to reasons that are out of your control, but I have always tried my best to arrive on time. 

This was actually one of the things we discussed at the Spanish course, “Is it ok to be 20 minutes late?” and it was funny to see how different reactions there were around the table depending on where people came from. I was like No, it’s NOT ok. Haha. Now I am learning that I need to change, cause in Spain it really IS normal and OK to be 20 minutes late. 

It really is a learning process for me, cause it’s hard to suddenly have to accept as completely normal, and OK, something that I find quite bothersome. I will keep arriving on time, and have to wait … and wait for someone to arrive. 

I am just thinking, if you know you will arrive at 2:25pm, why don’t we just say we’ll meet at 2:25pm, instead of 2:00pm?

Source

7 comments:

  1. I am pretty much ALWAYS early. I hate people who are late. I have an ex that is STILL always late and when we dated it seriously drove me INSANE. He and I are still friends and, of course, he's still late. Gah.

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  2. I'm the same, I'm always early, I take into account the possibility of having a flat, traffic, not being able to find the place...I can't stand people who make me wait. I wouldn't do that to them. Fiji is the worst place for this, people wait up to an hour for each other and it's normal. It's called "Fiji Time" Drives. Me. Insane. !.

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  3. Herlig skrevet...det er noe jeg også har vanskelig for å forstå og helt akseptere...og med mange venner fra forskjellige kulturer har det stormet i blant.
    Jeg er stort sett alltid 10 min for tidlig og de 30 min for sent...for meg er det ofte stort irritasjonsmoment...for jeg kunne jo ha gjort noe annet hvis jeg visste at de kom en halvtime senere...
    Da jeg flyttet til Asia hadde jeg også i førsten problemer med hvor lang tid køer tok, om det var bilkø eller om du stod i taxikø...etter hvert lærte jeg å aldri gå ut uten bok i vesken og noe å skrive på og med...og da føltes det som mindre bortkastet tid...men ...å venne seg til at mennesker kommer en halvtime forsent...er visst umulig...i så fall må jeg selv sku avtalen frem og ikke komme før det er mest sannsynlig for at noen dukker opp :-)
    Nattaklem.

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  4. Oh dear, I am one of those people who are always late!!! I think it's an Australian thing. Like yesterday; my friend turned up an hour and half late to dinner, it we weren't surprised or upset. But I can see how rude it is, especially when you arrived early. So on behalf of late people everywhere, I would like to apologise. :)

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  5. Morsomt!

    Det er jo megairriterende at folk er seine hele tiden! Hadde blitt gal! Kan ikke skjønne noe annet enn at én av personene må vente lenge på den andre, da. Disse spanjolene, assa.

    Du får fylle musikkspilleren din med spansk gitar og ha en god bok i veska.

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  6. I used to always arrive early too, and here people don't understand it when I tell them. Why would I want to arrive EARLY? Hm.

    Vanisha, haha just like me. But how come you escaped the "Fijitime?"

    Many colours, your friend arrived 1,5 hours late for dinner? Haha, that made me just laugh. How can one arrive 1,5 hours late for a meal??

    Har begynt å aldri forlate hjemmet uten en bok i veska, og gjerne også en liten ipod. Musikk og lektyre gjør enhver ventetid mer overkommelig!

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  7. Haha, det er akkurat det samme her ! Det er et utrykk som heter "le quart d'heure angevin" som egentlig går ut på at de fra Anjou (området rundt her) alltid er minst et kvarter for sene. Det stemmer godt !

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