The Concept of Time

The other day I called a doctor’s office to make an appointment for Emma.  The receptionist asked if I would like a morning appointment or an afternoon appointment.  I thought an afternoon appointment could be as late as 4:30 or 5 which would work well after their naps so I asked for an afternoon appointment.

The receptionist said, “Okay, how about eight o’clock.”  Eight o’clock?  Since when is that afternoon?  To me, that’s definitely evening, perhaps nighttime, and besides, its bedtime for the patient, Emma.  So I changed my mind and asked for a morning appointment instead.  After all, 10 or 11 a.m. would still give us plenty of time to get home and get ready for lunch.

“One o’clock,” the receptionist suggested.  One o’clock?  Since when is that morning?!  I agreed to this morning appointment of one o’clock in the afternoon and hung up the phone.  Remember the whole conversation was in Arabic, but she was definitely using the words for morning and afternoon.  I guess for a culture who likes to start the parties at nine p.m. when I am ready to go to sleep, one p.m. could qualify for the morning.

I also realized, after hanging up the phone, that the receptionist didn’t ask for my name or number or anything.  Did I just make an appointment or not?  I guess we’ll see when I show up at their office next week.

4 replies on “The Concept of Time”

Glad to hear it. It can be difficult in Egypt, though, as a lot of socializing goes on at night, when we like our wee ones in bed.

We just visited a friend who invited us over in
‘the afternoon’. My wife said, ‘Great, what time?’ and the answer was 7pm.


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