Monday, 1 June 2015


My word for the week, hands-down, is polychronic.

It's just revolutionised my life.

Living in Africa, I work to 'African time'. It's the concept that any time you call a meeting, people will be late. Sometimes only a little bit late, twenty or thirty minutes, sometimes much longer - several hours, or even tomorrow.

Only, 'African time' is a misnomer. I once worked in Armenia and time was just as malleable there: "Meeting starts at 9AM" translated into "breakfast at 9AM, meeting starting at 10:30."

To discover there is actually a word for this concept of time is phenomenal. He starts to explain at point 3:06 in the video - the difference between monochronic (typically Western culture) and polychronic (most of the rest of the world). Really helpful for me to explain to colleagues why punctuality is so important in the (geographically misplaced) West, and to help me understand why it isn't in many other places. 

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