Spring Forward, Fall Back!?

Place: Hamden, Connecticut
Day: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Time: 8:54 a.m.

Me: “A sunny good morning, mom. Have slept a few minutes longer today. That’s why I’m checking in that late 😉.”

Mom: “No problem. There’s a time for everything. We are out and about with our bikes. We’ll be back no later than three.”

Me (in my thoughts): Wait a moment. Shouldn’t it be… time in Hamden + 6 hours time difference = time in Germany, right? So, 9 + 6 = 15 (= 3 p.m.) – what’s she talking about…

Me: “Isn’t it three now?”

The moment I had touched on send, a realization had hit home.

Me: “Oh. Summertime?”

Me (in my thoughts): All right, I remember that the U.S. and Europe don’t change clocks at the same time; there’s a gap of a few weeks. I’ve heard nothing about the beginning of summertime here, so it must be them…

Me: “Don’t have that yet… it’s only a five hours difference then, which makes it 2 p.m.… sorry… 😉”

Me: “Have fun then 😉”

Mom: “Thanks, it’s two now.”

Summertime (or day light saving time, as it is known on this side of the pond) has always been a strange concept. When do we have to adjust the clocks? When does it go forward and when backwards? Questions that come up twice a year – like clockwork.

Since newspapers and newscasts in Germany cover this over and over again every time, it’s never been a big deal. Without TV and Internet, things were different this time around.

Me: “Morning. When would it be best to call?”

A friend: “I expect a visitor around three. So now would be good… 😀”

Me: “Okay, give me a few minutes to finish breakfast.”

A friend: “Okay.”

Me: “Didn’t even know that summertime had started in Europe today… 😉”

A friend: “Well, a bit exaggerated, but yesterday…”

Me (a little confused…): “Doesn’t it begin Sundays?”

A friend: “Nope. Summertime begins on the 30th. How did you get the idea summertime would have begun over here?”

Me (even more confused…): “Now you’ve baffled me completely… Right now, it’s just a five-hour gap between Europe and the U.S. East Coast…”

A friend: “why that? We’ve got 2:22”

Me: “And I’ve got 9:22”

A glance to the kitchen reveals three big green digits greeting me from the oven – 8:22. Wait, does that mean…?

A friend: “Then, something must be different on your end. Nothing has changed over here.”

My wristwatch! That thing isn’t connected to the Internet in any way. Grabbing the small black device from the nightstand, confirms the error has been on my side…

Me: “Oh yes. I’ve been robbed of an hour… That’s why I didn’t get up before 8:20 a.m. … mhm … In that case, I just don’t understand why my mom accepted that summertime had begun in Europe without even complaining … Confusing stuff…”

A friend: “Because we’ve got summery temperatures since yesterday, that’s why I fell for it for a brief moment.”

Me: “Luckily, my wristwatch doesn’t adjust automatically… Even my laptop has changed to summertime, although it is not connected to the Internet. I completely missed the whole thing…”

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