Select Page

What time is it in Chile?

As you may be aware, all you people in the United States and Canada sped up your worlds an hour a couple of weeks ago. Daylight savings and all that. This is where I had a terrible snafu that led to me missing a hike and pissing off someone I used to be friendly with. Gah. Is there no dislike button here?

So what happened was the following. At some point in the past, unbeknownst to me, the Chilean government made up its mind about which day they would change the clocks back (yes, back, you spring forwarders are in the northern hemisphere, and we southern hemisphere people were set to fall back) The reason the government has to agree to this is beause it’s totally random and has no relationship to anything that happens in actual fact, no jag in the planetary alignment, no sunshine disconnect, just government policies about what time it should be on a random day of the year. I accept this, but as you can see, it brings me some displeasure. Though usually for only one day a year.

I imagine the government made their decision, notified all the authorities, the cellphone and computer networks and apparently even the website called “Hora oficial.” And then they changed their minds, and kind of forgot about the second memo. Because when I woke up on that day, it was an hour later than what my cellphone, computer, and even hora ofical said it was. Problem? A bunch of people waiting for me in a parking lot in Las Condes, and me making a cup of decaf downtown in my apartment. Let us just say never the twain did meet, and instead I went on a long bikeride during which time I discovered that all the plastic domes within a 10-block-radius of my house where I’m supposed to be able to recycle plastic bottles are full. My plastic bottles and I had a very nice ride.

So there was a two-hour time difference between the east coast of the US and Chile. And then they sprang, and we did not fall, and there was a one-hour difference and I missed my hike. But have no fear! on the second of April we were to change the time. I wrote it down on my calendar and even planned to use a travel alarm clock so as not to get confused as to what time it was, even if the government and the cellphone companies were to get their wires crossed.

And now? Postergado! (postponed). Now the time change is happening in May, which just corroborates my suspicion that the Chilean summer never ends. At this point we’ll be having 8 months of summer, and only 4 of winter. Much as I don’t love winter here in Santiago, I’m beginning to feel like they’re stringing me along. Here’s something funny I wrote that touches on why winter in Santiago isn’t more fun than missing a hike on a Sunday morning or riding around town with an eco grocery bag full of empty plastic bottles hanging from your bike handlebars.

Want more info? Go to the SHOA website, where Shoa is the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Services of Chile, and not the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, though in fact they are spelled the same in English, and I am not offended, but do feel the name is somewhat unfortunate.

PS, change your feeds, blogrolls and whatnot, ok? Thanks!