Life in a second class time zone

Have you ever wondered how your life would be different if you lived in another time zone? I guess the thought never really made it to my conscious deliberation stage until I had to spend a week in the zone to my east. (I’m Central and the new zone was Eastern.)

It was always a matter of “just below conscious” to realize a show coming on at 9 Eastern meant 8 Central and I was up for that.

What struck me as hard to relate to was that 10 Central was news time for local channels but that was a whole hour later (in the scheme of things) for Eastern people. So, for them, life lasted a whole hour later than mine did. Of course they didn’t have to get up and off to work for another full hour from my time, which, I guess, made the difference.

But if you consider the time-zone-less nature of a movie or TV show set in some unspecified time zone, and if you try to get into the heads of the characters and what their days and nights must be like, as in what kind of schedules they’re on, I suspect the lateness and earliness of their lifestyles would come into play.

Say, for instance, that some guys are talking about getting together after work for some poker or bowling or cow tipping. If they are Central folks they’d probably shoot for 6 or 7 (8 at the latest) to get in a good evening’s enjoyment. The Eastern guys would most likely not even consider starting before 7.

It’s that sort of thing I worried about that week I was in that strange time zone.

Then I had the realization that I was more “in tune” with the folks in my time zone (north-south direction) than I was with the people in my own latitiude (east-west direction).

Then I flipped on the TV and wondered why stuff was on so late here.

Any of this sort of thinking ever happen to you?

Well, I grew up in Central Time and now I live in Eastern Time. I think it sucks. The news is on too late and Monday Night Football starting at 9:00 is just a goddamn shame if you ask me.

What An Arky said. Until last year, I’d spent my entire life in Central Time. Since I moved to the Eastern Time Zone:

  1. I’ve not seen Leno, Letterman, et al.
  2. I’ve not seen a single SNL.
  3. I’ve stopped watching any local news.
  4. I’ve not seen the ending of any Monday Night Football game.

Why? They now just come on too damn late for me! News at Ten? Watch SNL From 11:30 to 1 am? I just can’t do it.

I’m also not crazy about having to wait until 1 pm for football to start on Sundays, or waiting until 8 pm for Survivor. On the other hand, I did enjoy New Year’s Eve more this past Dec 31, because when the ball dropped–it actually counted for me!

Is it fair to ask how long you’ve been trying to adapt to the new zone?

In my case, moving north 300 miles from where I spent childhood and high school, and adapting to a 4-seasons way of life with real snow in winter, took me at least three or four years to adjust.

I suspect I’d be about that long adjusting to the hour-later way of thinking/feeling.

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

Think about getting up when the sun hasn’t yet risen on a Monday morning to go down to your favorite bar to order a beer and nachos in order to watch the Super Bowl live on a big screen TV in English. That’s a time zone for you. Not a freakin’ hour difference.

Must be a stretch for you, I guess.

How much “live” stuff do you have to contend with? Or are things “time delayed” so you can see them at a “decent hour”?

I also have trouble adapting my thinking to the “West Coast Syndrome.” Just Monday this week there was a “live” golf telecast from San Diego (near there anyway) that started at 7 Central. Plenty of daylight when it started (I figure 5 PM local time) but by the time they got to the 16th hole they needed some bodacious lighting to play by. Of course, it had been full dark here for a couple of hours by then.

Then there was the “live” coverage the previous week of the British Open, which if you really did want to see it “live” you had to be up early – say breakfast time – and watch afternoon there in the early morning at home. Of course, the network reshowed it at regular afternoon hours here by having it on tape. As long as you didn’t check the web for the results, you could pretend it was happening in real time.

Ha, try being in a time zone that is 13 and 14 hours different from where you grew up! Try having cable and not having any idea if the channels have been adjusted to your time zone or not! So if a commercial says a certain show will be on at 10pm, does that mean 10pm or 11am?!

And how about being in a time zone that doesn’t do daylight savings time. So part of the year you are 13 hours ahead of where you grew up, and the other part of the year you are 14 hours ahead!

Some of my channels, like Nickelodeon and the Discovery Channel for instance, are specially designed for Asian time zones. So if they say such and such is on at 10pm, I know it really will be. Only, they don’t say Japan. They say “10pm New Zealand, 9pm Malaysia” or something like that. Which confuses me all over again, because I don’t know where I am in relation to those countries, time zone wise.

And you can imagine what happens when I try to call friends/relatives in the US. “Forget what time, what DAY is it by you?”

Also I must add something on the matter of “live” tv. Over here (and I’m sure this is true for the person in China, as well) I don’t usually see much live tv. If any at all. This is not just because things would be on at ridiculous times, it’s because my cable system is run by the military, who first has to delay and screen everything, to make sure it doesn’t insult the US in any way. Urrggh! : (

There are a few odd things, like the Academy Awards or last year’s 9/11 memorial ceremony, that are on twice: once live and once at a proper time.

Tokyo’s night life seems to run later than NY’s, and NY’s runs pretty late. So things here are just as late as I am used to. I have no idea how the central time people feel, complaining about staying up till 10 to watch the news because that is what I gre up with in NY.

One thing I must say about time things though, is that in the summer in Japan, the sun rises at 4:30 am or earlier. THIS is the one thing that I can’t adjust to. It wakes me up each time even with thick curtains.

Zeldar asked:

I’ve been here 14 years. I long ago “adapted” to it, if you will. Like Pantellerite, I just don’t watch the 11 o’clock news, late night comedy shows, or get to see the end of MNF.

But I have this uncanny ability to wake up right at the end of MNF, as if they send out some kind of dog-whistle signal for sleeping football fans.

Sorry about the contradiction, folks. I DO get to see the end of MNF frequently, it’s just the 2nd, 3rd and most of the 4th quarters that I miss…:smack:

Papa Tiger lived in Guam for years, and still remembers the Monday morning Superbowl parties. And Tuesday Noon football.

Acrossthesea, do you have access to Japanese channels, too? When we lived in Sasebo, we were living on the economy and ot Japanese cable, and there were a couple channels that broadcast in English on SAP, and we could even watch ALL the sumo (and I mean ALL the sumo, and Papa Tiger DID watch ALL the sumo) with English announcing. I kinda miss it, to be honest…

Here I thought you were going to be talking about Mountain time, which is the real red-headed stepchild of American time zones.

I think it’s even worse these days, to tell you the truth. When I was a kid, Mountain time was lumped with Central on TV (“Starts at 8:00, 7 Central and Mountain”). We knew that all our TV was time-delayed for us in Salt Lake City or something like that. Oh, well. Well, today, Mountain time is never even mentioned…“Starts at 8 Eastern and Pacific, 7 Central”. When is Mountain time? Who knows? Not enough people there to care, apparently. Of course, I don’t live there either, anymore, so why should I care, right?

Not a whole lot of adjustment when I moved, really…other than losing an entire hour of my life somewhere in North Dakota. After all, the TV stuff was all on at the time on the clock I was used to. However, there was no longer those guys in Salt Lake to time delay things for us…it was a bit jarring to see Dick Clark drop the ball at 11:00 on New Years’ Eve.

I think it would suck, time zone wise, to live in Indiana. I drove through there one summer, and I never knew what time it was supposed to be!

An Arky, I’m not picking on you, honest. It’s just that your responses seem to tally with what I was driving at more than the ones from vast time differences.

If I hear what you’re saying, it’s that your concept of “late” was formed at an age where the clock told you that. In later life, even if what you’re adapting to calls “late” an hour later, you’re still bound by that earlier conditioning. Is that a fair paraphrase of your position?

If people in Eastern are comfortable staying up until 1 AM for late shows to run their course, are they getting up at 6 to start their days? Or is it more like an hour later? Do most workplaces open at 8 or 9 in the Eastern zone? These days, Central places are as likely to wait until 10 AM if it’s not a “critical” business. Most “regular businesses” that actually open and close do so either from 8-5 or from 9-6.

Most supermarkets are now 24/7 but show a marked tendency to be busiest from about 8 AM to say 6 PM.

Has TV made us less time-zone conscious?

We have a few Japanese channels and those I know are live, but I have rarely come across any shows in English. I have seen Little House on The Prairie with Japanese subtitles. Honestly I do not get to see much on tv here, since the Cartoon Network seems to be playing all day long!

What is SAP?

In my part of NY most non-retail businesses operated from 9-5. Retail stores were generally 9-8, 9-9, or 10-10. Supermarkets were not 24 hours, but usually only from 8-7, which like you pointed out are around the busy times. Regular restaurants were usually open until about 10pm, while fast food was till 10pm, 11, 12, or never.
The bookstore I worked at had to be the odd child and stay open till 1am Friday and Saturday nights, midnight Sun.- Thurs. If a Harry Potter book was coming out they’d stay open till 2am. (They opened at 9 each day.) Work sometimes started for me at 7am. Sometimes I worked the later shift and stayed at work till 1 or 2 am.
I’m not sure if these hours are due to tv or NY just having a round the clock mentality.

Zeldar said:

No picking perceived, fire away!

I have to admit I’m an early to bed, early to rise type, so that’s part of my basis for disliking EST. I honestly don’t know how people her do it. They stay up late for stuff, then go to work fairly early, or at least normal time. I think they just don’t sleep as much, which possibly accounts for Easterners looking unhealthier than Westerners.

I drive through Indiana several times a month on my way to/from home/Chicago. Part of the state is in one time zone, part’s in another; but when daylight savings time rolls around, the time is same everywhere in the state. Fortunately, I don’t really have to deal with it, since I’m just passing through. Confusing, nonetheless.

Tennessee is another two-zone state. I’ve never lived or spent much time in those places right near the demarcation line, but since I’ve always been nearer the edges than the center of the zone, it’s even more drastic (I guess) for people who do relocate from nearer the middle of one zone to the middle of another.

I suppose the same sort of split mentality applies to people who live right near the border of their state/province/country/whatever.

I know of a store on the KY/TN border that straddles the line so that if you’re on one side of the store you can buy cheap beer and on the other side cheap cigarettes. Fun place to shop.

Now what would be even weirder would be a similar place on the time zone boundary to boot. Anybody at or near such a strange place?

Hey, I’ve lived in the Eastern time zone essentially all my life. And I haven’t watched SNL more than sporadically since just a few years out of college, and have almost never watched Leno or Letterman. And if it doesn’t involve the Redskins, I go to bed at halftime when watching MNF.

When the alarm goes off at 6am, and work starts at 8, I don’t even think about TV after 11pm. Of course, these days I rarely watch TV at all.

Well, I grew up in Eastern (close to the Western edge - I could drive 15 miles from home and be in Central time - then I went to college on the far Eastern edge (Maine)), then when I was 23ish I moved to Central. I lived in various cities in the Central time zone for about 3 years, then moved back to Eastern. It’s not a huge difference, true, but I didn’t like living on Central time. There was always having to think and remember the hour of adjustment for television shows and such.
I’ll be moving again in a year. I’m hoping not to end up in Central, but I could and if I do, I’ll deal with it. I just always wondered how tough it was for the people in my high school who lived far enough to be Central but when to school in Eastern…there weren’t many, but there were a few.