If you are a native of Nigeria, then you must have heard it times without number.
This simply means to not adhere to the time an event is meant to start as guests might not show up on time.
However, in Venezuela, it is officially not acceptable to arrive at a place at the appointed time. If you arrive early, you will be considered rude and greedy. It is recommended to show up 10-15 minutes late. Funny right?
Venezuelans are generally relaxed in regard to timekeeping. Their events start late and run overtime.
International Time Bureau announced that Venezuelan clocks have officially been 0.9 seconds ahead of the rest of the world for years.
Venezuela’s official clock was set back to coincide with global timepieces.
Venezuela is not the only country that treats time offhandedly. Disdain for the clock seems the rule in most Latin nations and many other countries.
Foreigners accustomed to living in nations ruled by the sweep of the second hand find it difficult to shake off habits learned in their nations.
It took one British reporter months of arriving on time at events — and thus being the first one there — before he began showing up late. “Yet, I still don’t feel comfortable planning to show up one hour late,” he says.
Some residents intent on planning their days down to the minute never adjust and instead try singlehandedly to change the way time is measured.
One US business executive got so tired of his employees’ tardiness that he began locking the door the minute after a meeting was scheduled to begin.
His Venezuelan employees caught on after a few lockouts. The executive eventually gave up and left. “The problem with time is one of the reasons I left Venezuela,” says the businessman, who now works in the US.
Longtime residents urge newcomers to take advantage of the system. For example, they note, you can show up three hours late for a party and feel guilt-free.
The inexactness of time measurement does not seem to bother Venezuelans.
One US businessman attributes this to Venezuelans having a sixth sense for the moment an event will begin. “We foreigners arrive either too early or too late, while Venezuelans seem to breeze in just as the event is getting underway,” he laments.
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