When we first arrived we heard the phrase, “I don’t have American time.” It was confusing. Aren’t Americans always rushing someplace? Isn’t our life in Taiwan just a little bit slower?
But our Chinese teacher finally clued us in. American time is leisure time. American time is time to read and follow Facebook and hang out.
American time is time to not work.
The Taiwanese work. They work hard. They work long hours. The students go to school, and then cram school, and then do their homework before getting not nearly enough sleep. The small business owners are always in their shops or stalls.
We have American time.