Day 4 - Does Everybody Know What Time it is?
Today was our fourth day in Tianjin and if finally cooled off! Something I am noticing that really upset and annoys me is the lack of Clocks there are in this country. China is more polychromic when it comes to time which means they aren’t as time oriented as Americans are, but I can’t find a clock anywhere. There isn’t one is any of the restaurants we have been in, there isn’t one in our class conference room, and weirdest of all there haven’t been clocks in either of our hotel rooms. I used to get teased because I always wore a watch and become upset when people were two minutes late. Since then I have stopped wearing a watch and I have gotten a little better, but being in China is a whole new test for me. People who know me from home know I need to know what time it is and since I don’t have a watch in China and I don’t have my cell phone you can understand how frustrating this experience is for me. There aren’t even clocks in the hotel lobby, I keep looking around for them but rarely find one. Chinese people value time differently than do Americans. We Americans like to stick to lists, order, and specific date and times. In America if we say we will be there at 5:30, we will be there at 5:30. In China if you say 5:30 that could mean anywhere between 5:25-5:45. Typically in China they run on the later side of the time spectrum. Our group has been running late to a few different activities throughout the trip but we have been told to not worry and that the Chinese people will not be upset if we are a little late. In fact they may not be there waiting for us anyways.