A few weeks after we arrived in Bangalore almost a year ago, a friend asked me ‘what I did all day’. My answer was that I spent my time waiting… waiting for the gas delivery man, waiting for the telephone company, waiting for the cable company, waiting for the plumber...
I’m staying with my friend Raji and her husband in Chennai for the next two weeks. They had some work done recently in their apartment and were expecting the carpenter to come and finish a job. The day before yesterday he was due at 3pm. By 5pm he still hadn’t arrived so they phoned him on his mobile (who doesn’t have a mobile these days?). He promised to ‘definitely’ come the next morning. I laughed because I remembered all the times I got ‘definitely’ as a promise, only to be kept waiting all day.
By noon the next day there was still no sign of the carpenter. Raji phoned him again and he said he was ‘on the way’ and would be there ‘in a few minutes’. He arrived two hours later.
This is what they call ‘Indian Standard Time’: 3pm could mean 6pm or tomorrow morning or the next day – you just never know!