3 Countries that have their own time, instead of on-time.
Tick tock tick tock. In Prague, Czech Republic, there’s a medieval clock in the Old Town Square named Prague Orloj (or Astronomical Clock), it’s a major tourist attraction, and one reason it’s so popular is to hear the clock strike on the hour and to watch the animated figurines move about. But there is one figure that stands out from the rest, it’s the skeleton that rings its bell on the hour — reminding everyone about their inevitable demise.
But it’s apropos that Death should be intertwined with time. We all base life on this measurement, all the way up to its end. It is how we determine our daily activities: wake up, breakfast, work, lunch, appointments, dinner, sleep…Time and life are tied in a convenient knot, they are subtly connected that impact mind, body and soul. It can stress us out when we’re running late, or it can drive us mad if it is going too slow. But there are cultures out there that time is superfluous. They use time only as a rough estimate. They don’t get to places on time, only on their time!
image by Milenuts™
If you ever been to Costa Rica, I’m sure you’ve noticed a laid back attitude when it comes to time. Their philosophy is simple: PURA VIDA (pure life). These two words embody their tranquil outlook: no need to rush, no need to fuss about things that are uncontrollable, just relax and enjoy the experience bad or good.
Case in point: last visit to Costa Rica, my fiancée and I were coming back from Corcovado Park on the only road from the national park to Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula. That morning as we hiked from our campsite to the “Collectivo”, the local bus, it rained, no, it poured a LOT. So as we trucked our way on the bouncy road the sky seemed to clear as we reached the Agua Buena river — which a few days ago was more like a stream — now it was a full-on raging river. The storm raised the water so much that we couldn’t even attempt to forge the river. So we waited. And waited. Played coins, smoked cigarettes, talked, joked for about four hours until the river lowered a foot. The Ticos didn’t mind. It was just how they lived. What can be done about the river? We can stress out, we can panic about arriving to our ferry late, but that’s all that the worrying will do: worry. Better to be positive than negative.
Here is a video of the car that was following us trying to cross the river. Pura Vida!
image by wili_hybrid
If you’ve ever been to Italy you might have noticed that Italians may look like they are running late to an appointment — well, they most probably are — you see them scurrying through Roman streets and sidewalks on their Vespas, or quickly walking through the narrow alleys of Venice, and you think you are in NYC or in Tokyo with the hordes of determined commuters to get to their destination on time. But you’re in Italy and it’s expected to arrive late, fashionably late. Though the transportation system is not contiguous to the Italians; surprisingly they are punctual, scary punctual. All the trains, subways, and buses that I took from Venice to Maratea were very on time -almost Germanesque!
Enjoy a video below of Italians asking for the time.
Miami – Cubans – Cuban Time
image by caribb
This one might not be a country then again Miami is not really part of the U. S. of A., and should be considered as its own country. If you ever visited Miami, or even better, have any Cuban friends from Miami, then one striking characteristic you will notice is that they have their own concept of punctuality, and it’s called Cuban Time.
What is Cuban Time? Below is a defintion of it by Urban Dictionary.
The length of time, usually between 15 minutes and 1 hour 42 minutes, it takes for a native of Miami, Florida to show up to any specific scheduled event, such as work.