Where have all the clocks gone?
Today I have had to face the bureaucratic system of the University of Seville. It has been relatively painless, because the mistakes in the computer system were minor, I only had to pay 5 euros more than the instructions said I had to, the photocopier worked on the second try, the line was very long but I was not in much of a hurry, and later, when I had to go to a second office and the desk person had decided to leave ten minutes before the hour she is supposed to, a kind person who passed by sorted out my problem. Ah, the joys of bureaucracy.
I expected the system to be inefficient, but there was something I was used to in the States that I miss here: clocks. I don't remember ever being in an office that didn't have a very visible, big clock. It is not so here.
In the States, the invasion of clocks is so great that I have a very distinct memory of the few times that I was unaware of what time it was exactly. Here in Spain, classrooms don't have clocks (I can hear American readers gasp), and I know lots of Spaniards who dropped watches the minute they started to use mobile phones. Why have the hour twice?
Are we more laidback because we are not surrounded by clocks, or do we shun clocks because we want to stay laidback?