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6/2/09 Zayd Tas3at

We're back on the whirlwind that is Daylight Savings Time. Still usually referred to as "New Time" vs "Old Time", and sometimes called zayd tas3at. Add an hour. Because you take the time it really is, according to the sun and habit and the call to prayer and everything, then add an hour.

* * *

I looked at my bus ticket. 17h had been scrawled in the box labeled Heure. A giant 4 was scratched over the whole ticket. "Dghi, dghi," people kept insisting. Now. But my cell phone showed 3:45pm. The man who had guided me from the bus station door to buy my ticket and then escorted me onto the bus - a routine service provided by the bus lines - pointed to the scrawled 4, and assured me that the bus was about to leave.

It pulled out at 4:01, according to my phone. So the big 4 was right, and the 17h was wrong...? I sat there, marveling at the miracle of the first EARLY departure in a year.

And then I remembered zayd tas3at. Lhumdullah, a friend had mentioned it on her Facebook status update, which I saw this morning. Peace Corps had warned us a while back, but I'd long since forgotten. Lhumdullah, in Berberville, nothing much is actually scheduled. Prayer calls are based on the sun, not the digits/hands of a clock, and everything else happens...when it happens. School is done for the year, and nothing else follows a timetable that strictly. The post office. The health clinic. They'll probably close an hour early than people expect. Other than that... Life is life.

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