This morning we had a re-enactment of that opening scene in Home Alone when the parents jump out of bed and stare at each other for a beat before all hell breaks lose. Okay, maybe not that awesome but it felt that way. We thought we were late for church and so we rushed through our Sunday morning routine like Energizer bunnies.
I am sure there are many stories told by immigrants to the West of how they were fooled by the sudden time change and how the showed up too early for appointments, only to be looked at like they had a loose nut.
We were at church in good time alright. Only we were there too early. See, the clock in the living room was still on Daylight Saving Time. I have been educated that now, we are on something called standard time and the clocks have been set back an hour.
As I type thins, it is 7 a.m. in Uganda. As people go to work catching up on the latest from the different radio stations, in taxis and on boda boda rides, it is 10 p.m. here and I am just getting ready to sleep.
Small matter but that got me thinking perhaps this is the real reason the West has always been ahead of Africa in development. Your circadian clock does not get yanked back and forth like this without you getting creative about it.
Others have argued for the influence of geography on development but I can see it now upfront. When you have 12 constant hours of daylight all through the year and 12 for the night, it is easy to take things for granted.
The different daylight hours in parts of the world where daylight hours change force people to think fast, I believe.
When you have a business, you know you have only a few hours before your clients turn in for the night. It starts getting dark at 5 p.m. around this time of the year here. Probably this explains the difference between African Standard Time (read late all the time) and Mzungu Standard Time (no patience for late idiots).