Running on Island Time


Grand Central Station on a weekday afternoon.

Though I’ve lived on Guam for a long time, I still haven’t been able to run on island time.  Island time, depending on who you ask, could mean 15 minutes late or 1 hour late.  It just depends.   For example, nine in the morning could easily means nine fifteen or nine thirty.  Whatever time applies, you didn’t need to get there right away and its okay if you arrive a little later than usual.   Basically, its just an unrushed way of going about your day.

I, however, was not raised on island time.  I have and still am an uber-punctual person,  often being earlier than most.  A teacher once described me as the girl who walked really fast and had her own agenda.  I’m still that way, but I’ve recently learned to appreciate island time.  I just had to be thousands of miles away to learn.

While in NYC, I was thrown straight into the rush of the crowd.  At times, I would walk my usual pace and keep up with the flow.  Other times, I was the slow one. What remained the same was that no one really looked at each other or fully absorbed the world around them.  I guess that’s what made me slower sometimes.  I wanted to see as much as I could; I was visiting after all.  There were pictures I wanted to take, smells to remember (well, not all smells), and faces I wanted to look at.

Here, though there aren’t any skyscrapers or monoliths, I try to take a deep breath and enjoy whatever was around me.  Sure, the faces aren’t as anonymous as those in NYC, but that doesn’t mean they’re still not worth remembering or getting to know.

Running on island time isn’t all that bad.  No matter how slow things moved along, things still got done.  On island time, people are still in their own world, but they still had time to say hello and smile at you, stranger or not.

So, if there’s a chance that we meet, I may seem rushed, but know that though I’m in my own world, I’m going to try to say hello to you and smile.


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