Sunday, September 13, 2009

Right on Time

Ken Ellingwood has an amusing rundown of Mexico's conventions on punctuality in the LA Times. This part is familiar for anyone who's spent a few weeks in Mexico City:
Take ahorita, a diminutive of the word for "now." Ahorita can mean "right now." But it's frequently used to mean five minutes from now, 15 minutes from now, half an hour from now -- anything but now now. Al ratito is another diminutive (see how it works?) that means "in a little while," but don't start checking your watch.
This is one way in which the North of Mexico is more like the United States than Latin America. People trickle in late for social commitments, but for professional appointments, time customs aren't quite so flexible. 

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