Tick-tock, forget the old adherence to the clock

Tick-tock, forget the old adherence to the clock

by Lindsey Masters

The reality of the phrase “hurry up and wait” has never rung truer since living in the Yucatan for over the last three months.

In fact, the “hurry up and wait” rule is a tough nut to crack for gringos like me, until you adapt to the Mexican way.

You have to bend the American punctuality tendencies by following a few new guidelines.

Firstly, NEVER show up early. Not only will you be the first on the scene, but plan to be really comfortable waiting-bring a book, your pillow, an imaginary friend…you just never know how long you might have to entertain yourself.

Watches and any concept of time are useless; you will just end up raising your heart rate and sweating mad bullets.

Which leads me to the next concept-NEVER be ready on time! Most generally, the only reason you’ve been given a time approximation is because you have badgered a native to tell you when to be “ready.”

If they could have it their way, they’d just say “hasta luego”(see you later) or “nos vemos”(we’ll see each other). Then they do not have to commit to any sort of time reference!

An example: A friend invites you to the beach. They will call you at noon (only because you made them pick a time!) to make plans.

You, being a typical American, think they’ll actually call at noon…you “hurry up” to receive the call, then wait-sometimes 20 minutes, maybe an hour or more.

It is better to bring the book, your imaginary friend, or the pillow again…or a towel to wipe the drool off the telephone when it finally rings.

So they dial your digits-they will come to your house at 2:30 in the afternoon. Once again, you hurry up, only to wait.

Expect to take at LEAST a 15-minute tardy approach. However, it is far safer to allow for a 30-minute time span.

They always find something to do before coming to get you…their friend got locked out of the house and needed help…they had to wash their car, change the oil, rotate the tires…you know, the typical hang-ups.

Which goes on to explain the third rule of the Mexican time concept-NEVER expect to go straight to your original destination.

Remember that you are not supposed to be in a hurry! Since the friend rescue and car maintenance soaked up some hours, everything else is delayed too.

You will probably need to stop for gas, clean out the cooler, and pick up two friends who live in opposite directions, AND buy some chow supplies at the Super.

Then and only then, will you be on your way!

So that’s how it works…never hurry to get anywhere early, or on time-no matter if it’s church, the beach, a club or a dinner date.

Throw out the watch, quit frantically searching for a clock, and let the punctuality preoccupation go!