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Perception of time

Time just as any other important area of our life is a perception that not all of us share or have the same idea of !

I remember when I left France after my BA to do a Masters in Spain, i found that my world was crumbling down because my perception of time was not shared by my class mates ! Indeed I remember going with my class mates which were all from Latin America (i.e. I was the only European and poor them, half-French, half-German) on holiday to Mallorca !

There were 12 of us and we rented 4 cars so that we could go around the island and visit. As I loved and still do sometimes to plan in advance and know what we will be doing the next day, i chatted with my friends and made a sort of Agenda for the trip. The agenda was really not used, I remember asking when we should meet for breakfast and hearing everyone agreeing on 10:00am. The only one at 10:00 am at the breakfast table was me, myself and I. The rest arrived at noon ! I was still young then, and it really bothered me because for me I was losing half the day ! My friends continued doing this for 2 days until I had enough and confronted them about it and asking them to be a little more flexible with me as well as I was also different and also had my rythm. We could maybe meet halfway and find a compromise !

The response was: “Nadège, por favor tranquilisa te ! Estamos de vacaciones y tenemos todo el tiempo del mundo asi que tomate todo con calma y disfrute !” which literally means, relax and enjoy your time and holiday !

I have to say it was very difficult and I felt that my efforts to comply to their view on time was not compensated by a small gesture on their part, but when i look back today, I am truly happy that this happened ! It made me much more flexible and also made me understand that yes, time can be endless and that in certain situations you don´t need to perceive it as scarce, hence schedule everything (Here I am talking about vacation ;-)) .

This experience has taught me so much, and I am glad I went through it because one has to set priorities in one´s life ! For business, time is important (for myself), it might be different for someone else, and I respect that.

We should all respect and accept the fact that we see and perceive the world differently, which makes us in a way very unique. And our uniqueness is what defines us !

Categories: Culture Shock | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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