Guyana time

We as a people can never have a set time. We don’t observe Daylight Saving Time nor do we separate the country into different time zones – so then why is it we have a mixed interpretation of time?

Being late is something I can never click to, I would prefer not to go anywhere if it means I would arrive late so even on my busiest day I manage to always give myself a 15-minutes-anything-can-happen time frame, but what is with the Guyanese clock?

Any true Guyanese knows what I speak of. You know that our clocks are always set back by at least thirty minutes. If the wedding invitation says to come for 5 o’clock, we don’t walk in till minutes to six; if a show starts at 8, the producers are now entering the building at 8:30. It is not uncommon for something to start an hour later!

Doctor appointments, TV shows, presidential addresses, interviews: everything is always fifteen to thirty minutes later than the original starting time. What really is affecting our time lapse? Doesn’t this shock anyone else?

A very good example is what the average Guyanese would say about the government: How can they wait till the wooden bridge rotten before they concrete it, why only know when rain falling they digging drains when they had the whole dry season, why the kokers always fixing too late, etc. etc. etc.

Organisation is a major factor and to be honest we are a very disorganised people. What about unforeseen and unexpected situations? Leaving your home in sun and rain catches you half way with no umbrella, locking the keys inside the car, muddying your shoes, or a growing problem – traffic! The solution? A 15-minutes-anything-can-happen time frame!

But let’s move on to the bigger stuff, London is well known for its sudden downpours that can turn the sunniest day into a grey gloom – it was a factor accounted for in all the London Olympic Sports, even before the Opening Ceremony started the rain was drizzling and people were wearing coats (They weren’t allowed to carry umbrellas into the stadium because it would affect the display lights on their seats) nevertheless the ceremony started on time and all the events went as planned, which brings us back to Guyana and the sweet, sweet Guyana standard time. Our Carifesta 2008 opening ceremony was delayed because of rain, sure rain was unexpected in the dry month of August but come on! We’re in the tropics! Are you telling me the organisers didn’t account for the unexpected?

I think we as a nation need to come together and implement a new timing system; we all agree to wind the minute hand back by 30 minutes. Of course it wouldn’t help as much but at least we can account for those who are continually half an hour late. Or, everyone can adopt the 15-minutes-anything-can-happen time frame. (Jairo Rodrigues)


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