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old time & new time

10 March, 2014

Whenever Daylight Savings Time begins or ends, I have to fight the urge to refer to things as happening in either “new time” or “old time.”  While living in Morocco, we experienced a more gradual switch from DST to Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC.  People in the US talk about the time change for a day or two, but people in the Errachidia area continued differentiating between “new time” and “old time” for several weeks, and in certain areas, people disregarded DST altogether.  For a good thirty years or so, Morocco did not participate in the time change, and when we were there in 2010-2011, it had only been put back into practice for about two years.  Choosing to opt out of the time change, or not knowing about it at all, understandably creates some complications for travel and arrangements to meet up, but as with so many other things, it always seemed to work itself out.

We changed the clocks here yesterday, and rather than complain about the hour of sleep that was lost, I relished in the fact that I’d actually be gaining an hour of sleep on the weekdays.  I teach online at a language school in Madiun, Indonesia during Chicago’s early morning hours.  Indonesia, which does not observe DST, is now 12 hours ahead of local time, instead of the 13 hours difference during the rest of the year.  It’s only one hour, but it can make a big difference.

While outside enjoying the first warm, sunny day of the year, The Child and I were stuck behind a group of young women complaining about the time change and how it has caused problems for them.  Although some of the points they were making were valid, I couldn’t help but smile because it reminded me of the confusion of my first Moroccan time change.  The extra hour of sleep and balmy weather kept the smile on my face for the rest of our walk.

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