Time and Language.

Time and Language

Photo: aboutpixel
Author: Garry Green
Keywords: time

Oh boy, was she pretty. Mid length hair, neither short nor long. Colour somewhere between blond and brown and super shiny. Just like her personality. And one of those smiles that melt the ice cream on the cone in your hand… and then you.

I don't remember where I met her but I do remember she lived in a village called Mettmann. Mettmann is off to the east of Dusseldorf beyond the hill and past the woods of Grafenberg, not far, in fact, from Neanderthal. Did you know Neanderthal was not named after the man but goes way, way back in time? But that’s another story.

She had looked at me with those wonderful curious eyes and there came an instant connection, a feeling of belonging. She was younger than I. Too much younger, a cutie. We both wanted to meet.

We didn't exchange phone numbers but arranged for me to collect her at the bus stop in the village at four thirty. I spoke little German, she only a few words of English, far too shy for the rest. Meeting again was not meant to be.

Why? When someone in this area of Germany says "halb vier", they refer to three thirty, or "half before four". A Brit, however, understands in the words "half four" a different time, namely four thirty or "half past four".

In cross-cultural meetings, time can be more than the position of the hands of a clock. A crucial hour separates destinies. Simple really. Check your times and enjoy.

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