Scientifically speaking, time is flowing in all points of the planet in the same way. Like everything in the world, it depends on our perceptions. That is, the objective gives way to the subjective, and in many countries what the clock shows is irrelevant to the individual, who conforms to his own principles and perceptions. However, there are some common trends and similarities in the perception of time in different countries. Whether it has to do with climate, location, proximity to nature, industrialization or traditions, you will decide.




The land of unlimited possibilities. But also a country where time is first and foremost money. As Lisa Minnelli sings in the famous American musical "Cabaret" - "Money makes the world go round - Money turns the world." And that goes for every American. This phrase is deeply rooted in their understanding of life and continues to be the "number one engine" in their development. You're in America, "Mr. Nobody," until you get rich. In fact, if they didn't value time so highly, they wouldn't be able to make so much money from the film industry alone, for example. Americans strictly adhere to schedules and deadlines and do not compromise with the latecomers. For them, hard work, that is, more hours spent at work, means success and money. It is no coincidence that hourly pay is so common among them, unlike us, for example. If in Bulgaria a general worker earns an hour, he will never do the job, but will postpone it in order to earn more money with a minimum of work. A matter of perceptions.


All this naturally also affects the speed of life, which never ceases to pass, and any work done means that it is time to tackle the next one. From there comes too much tension, nerves and stress - one of the main causes of a bunch of illnesses today. But the Americans are working for money, they will solve their health problems if they have time and medicine is going well.


Germany, Austria, England


Something similar happens in Germany, except that they never hurry. The German had made an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute schedule, determined what he would wear, whom he would meet, which transport he would take to his workplace, how much ham he needed for breakfast. He buys all week and never buys more than he needs. He never drops the subway because he goes out at the right minute and goes at the same pace every day. It may sound exaggerated, but this line creates great convenience and eliminates unforeseen surprises, which minimizes stress and saves time and money. Everyone knows that you can't see German just like that. You need to have a reservation and it will come in time. Moreover, much will be affected if you have to wait. Austria, in which these rules are fully applicable, is their role model. The difference is that they are slightly more open to contacting other people than the Germans.


In Switzerland, the situation is the same. It is no coincidence that the phrase "just like a Swiss watch" exists. England, and the Anglo-Saxons in general, keep it accurate, and for them 6 hours means 6 hours, not 6: 30. For them, time is wasted if they do nothing, plan, or make important decisions. Things we can hardly imagine real.

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Italy, Spain, the Arab world


This is where time finally slows down. Italians, Spaniards and Arabs look much more abstract in time. If they are comfortable talking, having lunch, or just contemplating nature - the time is simply irrelevant. These peoples can long "idle", dream, drink, dine - work can wait. For them, money is not as important as laughing with friends, for example. They are much more emotional and sociable, and if someone goes to a meeting with a half hour delay, everything is fine. The meeting itself is important, not who has come.


For the Italians, for example, lunch is a holiday. They don't eat as fast as an American, nor do they bother with burgers and potatoes. They start with paste and white wine to finish with a delicious dessert, all of which are a must in company, with a pleasant conversation and a great mood. Do they feel happy? Definitely.


The Spaniards and the Portuguese are a very passionate people, they love to have fun, to enjoy, to love. For them, time stops when they look at a beautiful woman, the sea or listen to slow music. Maybe that's why they have such good poets.


I learned something very important from my stay in Tunisia - you can never be late there, no matter how hard you try. There is literally no time in the Arab world. I'm not even sure these people use watches. They define their meetings this way: I'll see you at noon at the medina (their markets), and lunch is a pretty stretchable concept. It could be 12, it could be 14. I was standing on the pier in Monastir, a beautiful Mediterranean town from whose coast you could almost see Italy, watching the locals. They walk slowly, dressed in their long slaves, talk for a long time, drink tea even longer, and never think about it afterwards. I watched them and gradually my pulse slowed down, the tension disappeared and around me the time really stopped. It just didn't exist. The sun, the clear water, the tales of an unfamiliar language to me and the swaying of yachts, many of them Italian, were real. Real peace has been breathing in this city and in my memories of that time.


Morocco carries a similar charm. There you can bargain for a scarf or a joke for a long time, because the price is determined by the customer and the mood of the seller. And if you ask if the store will be open tomorrow, you will hear the answer: "Allah knows." In general, you cannot rely on the accuracy of Moroccans, and you will buy one spice at the same price tomorrow. But the people are very nice, friendly, interesting to talk to foreigners and show them their crafts. I was, for example, in a personal demonstration of carpet weaving, accompanied by songs and the accompaniment of their local tuple. One of my favorite countries to visit.


China, Japan


Asians look more globally at life - with all the interconnections between man and the sun, water, earth, animals and all natural elements. Their centuries-old traditions have taught them to look impartially at the cyclicality of the seasons and the transience of life. They are aware that they are only a part of something much larger and more significant than themselves, that the sun is rising and will always be rising from the same direction, as happened millions of years ago, that the seas and oceans will continue to swing at high tides, the seasons will continue to change, people will be born and die, etc. For them, the time is indefinitely long. For example, they would say: When God created time, He created many of it.


This explains the fact that they are never in a hurry to make decisions. If it is important for an American to make a deal on the same day, Asians prefer to wait, think about the issue from all sides, and only when they are sure of their decision, sign it. For the American, time is spent if any decision is made. For Asians - no. He goes around the problem many times, analyzing the risks to prevent them and saving himself thoughts of the type: if I knew this yesterday, I would not go so stupid.


However, Buddhists value time, especially foreign ones, and never afford to waste it. For a Chinese, it is an obligation and a moral duty to thank his interlocutor after the meeting that he has devoted his time to it. It is also normal for the Chinese to come to the 15 meeting, even 30 minutes earlier and, if possible, to get the job done earlier than agreed. In addition, if the caller is in a hurry, he or she must warn that after 15 minutes he has to leave and never leave before the call ends.


The Japanese, for example, hold a lot of distance and never lend a hand - they bow. It is also part of their tradition and mentality, which speaks, in addition to respecting personal space, and protecting oneself from receiving negative energy from the other. Accuracy is of great importance to them, and they are always called to remind the meeting or to send an extra invitation to make sure the expected guest will come safely.


As it became clear, time can be a very stretchy concept and one must know others' morals if they are to meet them. And which nation is the most happy and successful, judge for yourself!

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