Time Zones are a bitch.
South Africa is GMT + 2, with no daylight saving time. So during this part of the year there is actually one hour less difference between us and the US and UK. And it still feels incredibly hard to navigate the time gap, and worse yet, incredibly isolating and lonely-making.
When I wake up on a weekday, I usually have to wait two or three hours for the first of my US friends’ “Ugh I need coffee” tweets, and by time they are at work and on GChat, it’s 3:00PM here. On the bright side, this does motivate me to get my work and errands done before 3:00, but I still find myself staring at the clock thinking, “Is it 3:00 yet?” too many days.
Sometimes when I wake up on Saturday mornings, my friends are still tweeting about what they are out doing on Friday night. By time they wake up for Saturday to goss with me and fill in the blanks between those tweets, I’m already getting ready to go out.
Even worse is trying to coordinate times to chat with my newly-parental sister. She’s on the West Coast, 9 hours behind me. First thing in the day for her is first thing after work for Collin, which seems to be our best bet, but brings its own disconnecting challenges of seeing morning sunlight on her side of the camera when it’s night-time on ours.
This post is too whiny. Obviously I’m tremendously grateful to be doing this (living on the other side of the planet) in an era when I can tweet and gchat and video chat and VoIP with my friends easily. I can’t imagine how isolated, lonely, and miserable I’d be if I were relying on snail mail and super-expensive international phone calls. But it’s still hard waiting for my friends to wake up. And trying to keep my eyes open at my 3:00AM so I can keep gossing with my friend in Vegas who is still at work. And always needing to do math before I make a phone call home.
I guess all this is better than living in the dark, though.