St. John Virgin Islands Life: Doing Time for Island Time

Judge in St. Thomas sends prosecutor to jail – for being late.
Anyone who has spent anytime in the Caribbean knows the meaning of  “island time.” We could extend the concept, if not the phrase, to the countries of Central and South America.

For those who don’t know what I mean, island time is time treated relatively rather than absolutely.

“I’ll be there at 3:00 PM,” for example, might mean that I’ll be there at 3:00, but more likely it will mean that I’ll be there some time later than  3:00.

In some cultures, in Switzerland for example, time is treated seriously and respectfully. In Switzerland, everything and everyone is on time. Everyone knows exactly what time it is. In Switzerland, every last pocket watch, wristwatch and cuckoo clock reads the same as all the others. In Switzerland, everything runs on time. Buses, trains and trolleys arrive on time and leave on time. Count on it.

For example, the conductor on any given Swiss train hangs his head out the door of the railroad car, and with his eyes glued to one of the big clocks that are just about everywhere in railway stations, he waits, transfixed before this monument to orderliness and just as the second hand hits the “12,” he signals the engineer, and the train lurches forward, on time – to the second.

Now contrast this to the Virgin Islands where I’ll venture to guess that no two watches or clocks in the territory are exactly synchronized one with the other, and no one, citizens, government officials, TV and radio stations, internet sites, even atomic clocks exposed to the tropical trade winds, no one, nobody, has the exact right time. In the Virgin Islands time is treated leisurely, approximately. This applies to dates and meetings both business and personal. It’s approximate. It’s more or less, but with later being way more common than earlier.

So it was, that upon reading an article in the Caribbean Net News, I was shocked to learn that a Superior Court Judge in St. Thomas, threw a prosecutor in jail … for being late!!!

The prosecutor was scheduled to be in Court at 4 pm on Monday for a murder case. He showed up late and the judge had him jailed. For further information read the article in Caribbean Net News

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One thought on “St. John Virgin Islands Life: Doing Time for Island Time”

  1. And in Switzerland if the train makes good time and is going to be at the next station early, they SLOW DOWN so that they pull into the station right on time. Great for travelers, but sheesh! Island time is easier on the psyche!

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