Monday, August 18, 2008

Mexican Time

I'm not the most, um, punctual person.

Those who know me best know that I'm usually about 30 minutes late to most social functions. In Chicago, my tardiness was usually met with a rolling of the eyes or a chuckle. In Japan, where "on time" actually means "10 minutes early", my relaxed sense of time didn't always go over so well. But here in Mexico, I usually fit right in. After all, they don't call it "Mexican Time" for nothing.

But, three weeks in to my new life here in Sinaloa, I'm noticing that "Mexican Time" takes many different forms. For example, upon signing my lease with my landlords about two weeks ago, I was told that I'd be able to settle into my apartment "in a couple of days." They wanted to paint the walls for me, they said. They wanted to replace a few broken panes in the windows, they said. Don't worry, mi vida, it will be ready, they said.

One week later, I went to check on the apartment and was welcomed with piles of rubble on the floor. Literally. Chunks of concrete. The little touch-ups that were supposed to take just a couple of days had turned into a full-on construction project. They were replacing ceilings. They were refinishing walls. They were basically destroying the place, and then building it back up again from scratch.

I finally moved in yesterday, about two weeks late.

Gotta love Mexican Time: A Friday deadline for the electric company to turn on the lights really means Wednesday of the following week. A promise to open a bank account on a Tuesday actually means Friday, two weeks later. Stopping by at 8 p.m. really means waking me up at 11 o'clock at night. I've learned to just laugh and roll with it. I think of it as payback for all of the times I've kept somebody else waiting. If that's the case, I've got a lot more "Mexican Time" coming my way.

But a curious thing happened today: Reverse Mexican Time. I'd ordered internet service for my apartment, and the company said they'd send the technician out to install it at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Now, never did I expect anyone to actually show up at that time -- I'd penciled in 8 p.m. into my schedule for Thursday, thinking that I was finally catching onto the way business is done around here.

So imagine my surprise when the technician knocked on my door at 2:30 this afternoon. It's Monday, y'all. He was four days early!

Of course, I was on my way out the door to head to work (I was at home for lunch, my blissful two-hour siesta time). I had to wait for him to complete the installation. It made me late for class. But I guess that's just Mexican Time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your blog is awesome! I'm such a late person too! I never show up on time..except today at my first day of work. I had to be there on time..or else State Farm wouldn't let me I got there with 2 min. to spare! Yay! Just wanted to say the diet coke stories!

-Sara Paxton