This is Africa
I’ve been in Cape Town for a little over a week, but it’s felt like I’ve been here for months. The concept of time in Africa is completely different than anything I’ve experienced in America. In the States, I was used to constantly checking my phone for the time and scheduling out every minute of every day. In Africa, I barely know what day of the week it is. Everything moves at a slower pace, which the locals explain with the saying, “This is Africa.” If a friend asks you to meet them at a café at 10am, they mean any time between 10am and 11am.
Initially, this was very hard for me to grasp. I used to pride my self for being on time to every meeting and appointment, and I expected no less from those around me. Since I’ve been here, I have tried to get used to the idea that being timely is not a top priority here. I think this slow pace has benefited me so far by relaxing me and allowing me to enjoy the day and the beautiful setting of South Africa. I still, however, sometimes find myself scorning the phrase when arrive to a meeting at 11am but it doesn’t start until 11:30pm. I wonder, “what better things could I be doing with my time right now?” In the end, I accept that this is the locals’ way of life in order to appreciate and understand the South African culture. While it may have its flaws at times, this is Africa, and I should try to take things the way they are in order to submerge myself in this new and foreign country.