Once Upon a Time
by Emory King
In Hollywood the movie people say, "The latest you can be for a meeting is ten minutes early".
Obviously they have not adopted the culture of Belize.
In Belize, I have often said, we have three Time Zones.
First is the Belize City Time Zone. That means if you are within one hour of your appointment you are on time.
Second is the Belmopan Time Zone. That means if you are within two hours of your appointment you are on time.
Third is the Belize country Time Zone. That means if you get there the same day you are on time.
Perhaps I have overstated the case, but I often think of the story of Mr. Grant and Mr. Hunter in Placencia back in 1930s.
Mr. Grant was a Belize Town businessman who owned a big store on Albert Street. He also owned a large piece of land near Placencia. When he visited his beautiful coconut grove he had to travel by the Heron H, a coastal steamer owned by Buster Hunter.
It seemed to Mr. Grant that every time he wanted to return to Belize Town the boat was late getting to the dock in Placencia. Mr. Grant was annoyed by this. But one day as he stood on the dock at Placencia the Heron H drew up right on time.
When Buster Hunter came off the boat Mr. Grant offered him a dollar bill. Mr. Grant told him, "I have often said that if this wretched boat was ever on time I would give the Captain a dollar."
"Keep your money, Mr. Grant," Buster said. "This is last week's boat."
If the story is true it happened 70 years ago. I went to a ten o'clock meeting two weeks ago that started at 10:45 and even I wasn't annoyed. It is all part of our Belize Culture.
Let's not worry about it or try to change it.