Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stages of Time Zone Differences

There's a change that happens when you're living a couple of time zones away from home. For the first two weeks or so, you calculate almost constantly what time it is for your family and friends. You know that it's mid afternoon for them when you're having your European timed dinner and that some of them are going to bed when you're getting up in the morning.

After that, you can very easily calculate the time change and you do it at least once a day just because. You'll sit down to lunch and think, "I bet so and so is getting up right about now". It has no impact on your activities but you calculate it anyhow. This stage lasts another several weeks slowly fading into the next.
Next comes calculating the time change only when it impacts what you're doing. You send a text and think "Oh crap. She's still asleep." Or you try to find a time to Skype with him and need to find sometime he'll be awake and not at work that's not ridiculously late for you. This is the longest stage so far.

Then one morning, you wake up and realize you're not sure if the time change is five or six hours. You've lost track. And it's strange.

This morning I entered that last stage. It's a stage I never encountered in London. In London, my heart was firmly planted in Western NY so losing track of the time change would have been devastating. And London also didn't last this long. Every day that I'm here is one day longer on my "longest time from home" chart. (No, I don't really have such a chart.)


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