At two am on Sunday November 1st, time changed in America and everyone shifted their clocks an hour backwards, to deal with the late daylight that has 7ams looking like 6ams. Since about a week and half, I’d been noticing the fact that the day still looked very dark by 7am, and it always stayed dark until about half an hour later, so it was much of a relief to finally adjust with everybody else, and be able to get one more hour of sleep. For a change, I was also able to use the daylight saving switch button on my Nokia phone. Up until now, the function never meant anything to me other than “another American thing”. In Nigeria, we never had to change our clocks during particular seasons even though this same changes occur twice a year when the day gets shorter and the night gets longer. We didn’t change our clocks. We just adjusted ourselves to it. The changing the time part of the ritual here – I guess – is to make it “official” and generally uniform. It would be weird to get out at seven o’clock in the morning and never be able to find one’s way around because it’s still dark. But I can’t stop wondering: does Daylight Savings apply to the people of Alaska, the land of the midnight sun as well?
By the way, my body is not the only one with problems adjusting to the new time. The last time I checked, the clock on this blog has also refused to comply. It seemed to have a mind of its own, and when it’s 4.03am here (after the DST adjustment) as it is while I type this post, the blog time says it’s 3.03am. I wonder now what the blog time is saving its own one hour for.
It is a season of new things in America today. As soon as the Halloween celebrations ended, the Christmas seasons started. Yes, I was surprised to learn it too, but in America today, the Christmas season doesn’t wait until December. For a long time, it usually started after Thanksgiving in November, but in recent years, people don’t wait that long anymore. There are already some Christmas-themed commercials on television right now, and a few houses are already beginning to light up in the seasonal lights. Yesterday, I saw a news story on television of about sixty Santa Clauses “launched” at a mall in Illinois, showing that it’s never too early for the great seasonal gift bearer to descend from the north pole. If there’s any consolation in this early showing, for me it is in the chance to take some more nice pictures. The more the merrier.
And here are some new things to look forward to before the end of the year: Thanksgiving, with its attendant turkey dinner; Kwanzaa, an African-American family spiritual festival/holiday that takes place for seven days at the end of the year; and of course Christmas, and the countdown to the year’s end. I can’t believe that 2009 is already less than sixty days away.