dingyichen (dingyichen) wrote,

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African time VS American time

If you see "American time" in Chinese literature or TV program (especially those from Taiwan, Mainland China does not seem use that as often), it does not mean "clock-bound pace of daily life in Western countries", quite contrary, it means relax, even time wasting on unimportant thing.

For example, 「我才沒有這個美國時間去做那事。」
Direct translation: I don't have "American time" to do that.
Meaning: I don't want to waste my time on that.

I am no etymologist, but I guess it's probably the TV or movie to blame. Why? Because in screen, American were either:

  1. Playing tennis or golf
  2. Playing with pet
  3. Surfing
  4. Lying on the beach
  5. Doing nothing but relax on luxury yacht

Hard-working American? Well, we just didn't associate American with the concept Hard-working,
only the Japanese, ourselves, and perhaps Germans deserved that title.

So for me, it is very amusing to see African time, it fits, almost perfectly, our impression of western life style. :-)

The moral of the story: everybody else are lazy, sloth and have more than sufficient time.
Tags: african time, american time
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Huh, I (an American) always called it "those fucking 9-5ers" ;-)
"When you watch television, you never see people watching television. We love television because it brings us a world in which television does not exist."

— Barbara Ehrenreich