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Time for a Watch? Dec 26

Those of you who know me will know that I hardly ever ever ever wear a watch.  Its odd because I own a number of watches, (well 2 sport and 2 dress, and a third really dressy, just cannot remember where that one is suspect New Zealand).  Why I don’t wear them is sometimes a mystery, and when I do wear one, it comes off the wrist very quickly, like right now its sitting on the desk.

I suspect a couple of reasons are that the get in the way when working on computers, (feeble excuse), but I do seem to be very hard on watches when I do wear them.  I can scratch one in hours, hence why I never invested in Tag Haur, it would just make you cry to wear a $2000 watch and scratch it the first day.  Scratch resistant you say,  would you lend me yours to prove it?  My latest Kahuna literally went to pieces in Santorini and is now back together thanks to super glue.  I rather like it as its very light.  That could be the second reason is that the weight of a watch is annoying and with the arthritic problems I had in the last few years this has not helped either (hence the non heavy watch).

But I strong suspect its because after years of being in the UK I found I just didn’t need one.  My mobile phone provided a fine fill in for the odd occasion that time keeping was required.  Why check you watch to see if the bus is running on time, because you know it never will be.  The watch is only going to tell you that you have been waiting for 40minutes in the freezing rain.  Without a watch this 40minutes becomes a indeterminate amount of time somewhere in the region of late to mildly annoying, whereas if I had been checking every five minutes I would be accurately aware of just how late I was and how high my blood pressure was getting.

Same thing with the tubes/underground.  When you arrive at the station you are politely advised by the overhead signs that the next train will be in 3 minutes, following by another 5 minutes after that.  No amount of watch wearing is going to make it arrive any faster.  Boring meetings, do you really want to know just how bored you are?  Airport Queues, chill out and just move along with the crowd, remember once they have your luggauge they really do prefer to get you on the plane.

As you may see, not having a personal time keeping device constantly telling you just how late/boring/behind/inefficient etc etc things are you can actually cruise through London with a smile on your face that is guaranteed to annoy any die hard dour Londoner, (how dare someone be happy in the middle of a grey winter day).  I am not saying that its a cure, but its a very good survival trick.  How to avoid missing planes/inter city trains.  Well I have missed a flight to Ireland, but thats because the tube was delayed for an hour,  (no watch, so who cared, even when watching you plane take off from the outside).  The trick is to work out roughly how long it will take you to get from A to B, and in the normal screw up factor, work backwards from departure time and your on the ball.  Trust me it does work.

Adapting to Tokyo this little survival tactic is not proving as quite as effective, not that it failing, just that its not really necessary.  For example I have discovered that if I catch the 8:18am train from Shirokanedai (my station) it will take me all the way to work without having to change trains.  If the catch the next one at 8:22 I have to get off at Shirokane-Takanawa, then wait 2 minutes for the next train to take me to work.  Ironically this would have been the 8:24 at my home station, so I could have just waited on the platform.  The fact that these trains leave at exactly the time specified, and I mean right on the dot, no mucking around leave on time I am slowly finding that I really do need to be a bit more accurate with my time keeping. While I am very good at guessing within 10-15 minute periods I get a little hazy at the 2min mark.  As everything is so incredibily efficient, on time and reliable in this city you really do need to be on the ball.

Odd that country which revolutionised the digital watch is actually tempting me back to wearing one.  Who knows what next, I’ll be carrying my mobile phone around with me all the time.  oh, maybet I could use that as a watch?

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