Time is a funny thing. You think you understand it, and then you move to Egypt to discover you’re a monochron living in a polychronic culture. No idea what I’m talking about? Let me explain.
If you originate from some European countries, or you are American or Canadian, then you are likely to adhere to a monochronic culture. If you are Egyptian, then you are more familiar with a polychronic culture. It comes down to how we perceive and manage time. I suspect you may be getting an inkling of where I’m going with this. A monochronic culture sees time as linear and divided into fixed elements; lateness and interruptions are frowned upon. In polychronic cultures, time is seen as flexible and nobody worries too much about lateness and interruptions. Now you definitely know where I’m going with this.
Some…show more content… The talk was fascinating, and I thought, here is my opportunity to get to the bottom of this mysterious time issue, because it has been getting clearer to me that it’s more than punctuality, lateness or interrupting people. She answered that polychronic cultures care more about relationships than they do about time. Admittedly, I am paraphrasing, but I must confess the answer took me somewhat aback. In fact, a friend who accompanied me commented that she had bristled at that point. I have two issues with this. Firstly, the implication here is that monochronic cultures care more about time than relationships, which for me at least, is absolutely not true. Secondly, I would hope that my husband’s relationship with me is pretty high up on his list of important relationships – second only to his children. So how come I’m the one who loses out most when the day gets extended and extended and extended by more tea, cigarettes and