Friday, February 29, 2008

A timely decision

Veronica needs to pick up a box tomorrow so she asked if she could come temprano tempranito—as early as you can get.

The 5:30am shriek of my alarm and the thought of greeting Veronica at the door with eyes half open and hair unbrushed begin to torment me.

Then she turns to me: “Ok so like... 11am?”

Thank you, gods of Venezuelan time.

I am currently making plans to meet up with a friend in ten minutes, but I know I’m going to take at least an hour. I’m in Venezuela, though, so technically speaking he can't get mad about that.

I think it's fitting that, aside from a handful of global cities (like Tehran), Venezuela’s clocks are always 30 minutes ahead of the rest of you guys. This shift sounds silly. But the point is to make it lighter when a lot of people go to work in the early morning. Precious daylight is a good way to combat crime. So maybe Chávez is on to something…

But why is it just half an hour—why not an hour?

For now he can control how we speak too: No mas English! We are no longer permitted to speak English in the office. This announcement incited a mass of what I adore about our office here—giggles. Venezuelans are lovely like that. Us norteamericanos would never giggle if the government tried to restrict our business languages because we would be too busy calling our lawyers on our blackberrys.
But here, everyone laughs—albeit in a slightly anxious, when is the next flight to Miami? kind of way.

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