We don’t do daylight savings in Hawaii, and given that I haven’t lived in the mainland United States since I was nine, it was a new — and disorienting! — experience to undergo the “conversion” last weekend while visiting in the great state of Washington.
The concept is easy for those of us sitting out here in the middle of the Pacific. After the winter change, the west coast is only two hours away, and the east coast only five. (It’s a three and six hour difference in the summer.)
But when one actually undergoes the change…what time is it, anyway? All clocks immediately become suspect. Did someone reset that digital display? Did someone adjust the analog dial on the wall? And who resets all the clocks in hotel rooms? I expected the staff would do it, but that didn’t happen at our airport hotel. Who resets the clocks in all the rental cars? That’s probably a crowd-sourced effort, but after the switch I just ignored the clock in our car. I was a bit unsettled when, on our flight back to Maui, the pilot kept saying we would arrive at 1:40pm when in fact we were due to arrive at 2:40pm, and did arrive at 2:40pm. Seriously, who resets the pilots? Isn’t time kind of important to navigation? (I’m sure they navigate with GMT, or GPS, but still…)
Both my Netbook and a wristwatch that I carry in my purse are set to Hawaii time, so I could always calculate the proper time, but those are crutches. There is one, true reference that I trust to provide me with correct local time, and that is Verizon Wireless, of course! Thank goodness for my cell phone, which is clever enough to reset the time when driving from one timezone to another and has no problem at all with daylight savings.
The winter conversion did illuminate a minor mystery to me. During the first part of our trip I was marveling at how long daylight lingered, given that it was so late in the year. Then on Sunday night, darkness suddenly fell an hour earlier, and all seemed normal again.
Personally though, I’m glad to live in a state where clocks can keep the same time all year round.
Linda Nagata is the Locus and Nebula award winning author of The Bohr Maker, Vast, and Memory, all available at Book View Cafe. Her latest book The Dread Hammer, is a fast-paced mythic fantasy of love, war, murder, marriage, and fate.