Time is Relative, unless it’s not

The craziest thing just happened. I went to Morocco and the weekend I traveled, the Moroccan government decided to cancel daylight savings. It was apparently at short notice. Consequently, my phone was outa whack with the local time and I had to switch off the auto timezone and fix it manually…y’know, like in the old days.

Then my watch, where I can set the cities and it auto updates, was also outa whack and I had to do the same. I didn’t bother changing the time on my laptop because I don’t rely on that clock too much – it takes more than the absolute minimum amount of effort to update, and when I am traversing many timezones in a short time its just a hassle.

Then a week goes by and I travel to Athens. My watch makes no sense, cause I turned the auto daylight savings off whenI  was in Morocco and I can’t work out out why it is showing (what I thought) is the wrong time in Athens. I’m only here for a day and a half, I don’t care. So my laptop and my watch times can’t be trusted, no worries….I’ll go by my phone. I had turned it to auto but it seemed wrong…sometimes when you land the phone networks take a while to update, so I just turned it back to manual and updated it to what I thought the time was. But I was, for some crazy reason, an hour out. I don’t know how it happened… maybe it was cause I landed at 1am (or was it midnight?) or something. I don’t know…but I thought it was right.

So… no problems … I have a few meetings online from the hotel…no worries, when you travel a lot it doesn’t actually matter what timezone your calendar is set to – you just check the red line for the time now, and see when in the near future the meeting will be. No problems..I can work fine that way. Time being a relative thing and all when on the move, it’s not so much what time is it now but how much time there is to X (boarding…the hotel…sleep…a meeting) that is important.

Until… I sorta make a big deal, jokingly, about meeting later that day with the Coko Athens team… like, I’ve traveled 17000 km and can make it to a cafe on time, but Yannis says he will be 20 minutes late going across town…or something like that…so I kinda give him a bit of a ribbing and make a big deal out of it…

I turn up to the cafe and everyone is there…I thought I was 10 mins late so I apologize… we have our meeting and all is good. The next day I have another meeting with them and they are all there on time (or so I thought) and we go through some more stuff, have some coffee…etc…

Then its time to go to the airport. I order a taxi and in the taxi see a clock on the dash… wait a minute…. it’s an hour later than what my phone says…I ping Yannis and ask him if I was 10 mins late for that first meeting…or if I was an hour late (horror!) … an hour late he says…both days….

Oh my… can’t believe it. I hate being late and I turned up late twice. BY an hour! Worse still, the very kind Greek team didn’t even mention it though I had hassled them about getting there on time… I still can’t quite believe this happened….amazing…

A Day in the Atlas Mountains

Jenny, Karien and I took a day to go explore a valley in the Atlas Mountains just outside Marrakesh. It was an awesome day. Started on the rooftop of the apartment I rented..

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Then Jenny, Karien and I met in the Medina square (Jemaa el-Fnaa) for breakfast and hit the road… Jenny had organised a local guide for the trip.

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First stop was to look at the mountains and we stopped at a Berber co-op to look at locally made crafts. I bought a tagine and hooded cloak (Djellaba). Will take pics and post later.

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Next to the craft shop was a small building where they put metal bands around the outside of tagines. They let me snoop around as they wielded the bands to the tagine.

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Then we drove for a bit and stopped at the base of the Atlas Mountains. There were a lot of cafes along the roiver bank and we stopped here for some food and just to hang out. Jenny went for a walk while Karien and I hung out.

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We then drove back down the valley, taking a few photos of other cafes, as well as some villages, as we went.

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Then the guide took us to a Berber family home for tea… they were lovely people and gave us permission to take some photos of their house. Inside they had a cow, a heap of tagines and the coal cooking pots for tagine, a millstone for making flour, a bread oven … it was super fascinating. Our hosts were wonderful and the team and assorted nuts and biscuits were delicious.

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We returned to the square at night and had dinner together before going our separate ways… each off for our own Moroccan adventures over the next days…. it was a perfect day.

Hanging in Moz

I was on my way to South Africa and it seems they changed the visa requirements for NZers. I have been to South Africa plenty of times before and always got a visa at the airport. For some reason, this time, I check ‘just in case’ – and find I have to apply at an Embassy for a personal interview and the visa processing would take a minimun of  7 working days and the outcome is not guaranteed.

So, I miss out on the Decolonising the Internet conference my buddy Anasuya is putting, on also the Shuttleworth panel we were going to be on at Wikimania. Sucks. But, its one of the few times I have had visa hassles as NZers are seen as ‘mostly harmless’ – so I can’t really complain. Except I really wanted to be there… ah well…so, last moment reschedule lands me in Mozambique for a 2 week holiday. Now I certainly can’t complain about that and I’m not even going to try…

Rented a small apartment on the beach and a surfboard… if you want to find me I might not be so easy to find for the next wee while…

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