In Peru lateness is the norm according to European standards. President Garcia is beginning a campaign to synchronize clocks around the country in hopes that people will be more time-conscious. Concepts of time are cultural however and not deviations based on a clock, no matter how precise.

In the US, being on time is generally the rule. George W Bush is a stickler for time-keeping, and the whole administration is reported to run punctually.

Germans have long fretted about timekeeping and their punctuality is no stereotype.

“I think the common denominator is Protestantism [says Stefan Klein], which imposes very strict ethics on time. It makes people believe that it’s almost a sin to waste time.”

In fact, even physics can’t really agree on time – Albert Einstein taught us that time is relative to space. If atoms can agree on it, will we ever be able to? I think not. For more on the concepts of time around the world and Peruvian clocks click here.

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