Sunday, July 20, 2008

Brazil 4 - Brazillian Time

One of the big differences between Brazil and the UK is in the conception of time. I'd been warned about it, but I didn't quite expect this...

In England, there normally seems to be a margin of error of 5 minutes or so for business events and 15 minutes for social activities. In Brazil, 1 hour is closer to the mark. And even then, sometimes it's days.

In my time here, I've been told to meet someone at 8:30. They arrived at 9:15, which was "slightly late". It seems to be taught as well (of course) - in conversation with someone I've seen them look at the clock and say "Ah, it's 10 o'clock". The clock read 10:10. I don't think I've seen that in England.

This also seems to run to matters of organisation - I found out yesterday afternoon that I'm probably going to be away from the internet for a few days, starting today. So apologies for any lack of posts - it isn't for lack of things to say.

On the other hand, Brazillians can be very punctual when they really need to be. There was a long queue for the film last night, which started pretty much on time. It's more just a normally relaxed attitude to time-keeping, which just means that people whose natural inclination is to be more punctual (like me) need to learn to take a book along, or to spend the extra time praying, or something.

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