Time is money. And in no place is it more pronounced than in New York. We wake up before the alarm clock goes off with a feeling that we just gained more time. We hurriedly go through our morning routine, with breakfast, the most important meal of the day, being just an afterthought. We worship our coffee as it is a well-known fact that caffeine makes you more energetic, allowing you to do more things quicker, that is, to save time. It is all about those ticking moments, those moving arms of the great clock.
Upon arriving at a Caribbean island, a New Yorker may feel as if visiting aliens from another planet. We, of course, view the locals as being lazy and time wasters. They, the natives, have no clue why we should be in such a rush, and, of all times, during our vacation.
A chartered bus awaited me when I landed in Curacao. The driver was to collect other passengers arriving on my flight as well as on a following flight, before he was to take off to the resort. When the bus was more than half full, my fellow vacationers, a group of Americans I was not associated with, started to get impatient. After a loud one-sided exchange with the driver, they “persuaded” him it is time to go. The poor polite man didn’t know what hit him when the group’s leader informed him they would not tolerate waiting another minute. Americans, me being one, like to get what we want, and get it right now. If a nation does not obliged, too bad for them; we take it by force. What is a single Curacao native to do against such a superpower?…
Being that it is not my first time in the Caribbean, I know already that it takes me about 1 to 2 days to acclimate, to shift my mindset into a slower gear. It is all rush, rush, rush when I first get there, but then things start to calm down. Why rush to be the first in line for breakfast when it is served for several hours, and food is never in short supply? Why hurry to the gym (God forbid I will miss a day of exercise,) when I can take a leisurely stroll along the beach, enjoy the symphony of the ocean and contemplate the meaning of life? Why go anywhere when I can sit at my sunset-facing balcony, let the final rays of the day caress me, and think of my friends in New York shivering through yet another Polar wave?
Then, and only then, I realize that the locals are not crazy, nor are they the aliens; we are.
Learned from: Caribbean time