July 11, 2007

Honduran time, real time plus x hours

Honduran warped time

Whenever we are invited somewhere, I always ask, "Is that real time or Honduran time?"

There is a big difference, you know.

We've been invited to parties that included dinner for, say, 7 p.m. A neighbor in particular has invited us several times. Since we were walking, the first time we waited until about 7:15 or so, and walked over. Not only were we the first, but we were the only ones until 8 p.m. or so. Many people arrived at 9 or 10 p.m. Another invitation for Thanksgiving dinner was for 5 p.m. Dinner wasn't served until almost 7 p.m. and STILL people arrived after dinner was already being served. How inconsiderate!

I think that El Jefe gives his family a stern warning about "American time" because they are always here exactly on time. So, see, it can be done. And let's not even talk about people not being able to afford a watch! All cell phones have clocks, right?

Our veterinarian was giving me a lecture last year because I was about a month late bringing one of my dogs in for her shots (which I already felt terrible about!). He jokingly accused me of becoming a Hondureña. He said gringos are always so dependable and compared me (unfavorably) to another gringa who has never brought her dog in late in 10 years. He said, "Do you know that doctors in the U.S. give people appointments for a year away, AND THE PEOPLE SHOW UP?!!!" Yes, I know that!

Then he told me this funny, true story: A Canadian couple was having a dinner party for some colleagues. They knew about Honduran time, so they invited the North Americans to come at 7 p.m. and the Hondurans to come at 6 p.m. knowing that no one would show up before 7 p.m. Fresh out of the shower and dripping wet, one of the Canadians heard the doorbell precisely at 7 p.m. Apologizing to the guest, he said, "I didn't think anyone would come before 7." The guest said, "Oh, sorry, you must have me confused with the Hondurans. I'm Cuban."

The vet was laughing so hard he could hardly finish the story.
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