For the last topic in the week of culture shock through images, I thought I’d try to represent the different values placed on time.

Start Times


In Minnesota if something starts at 12:35, it will start at 12:35. In Djibouti if something starts at 12:35, it will start when people arrive and when someone decides now might be a good time to maybe start thinking about potentially getting things moving eventually. People will get there when they get there.

djibouti time


In Minnesota people are so busy that we schedule ‘meetings’ to hang out with friends, weeks in advance. It took me a while to get used to writing down my friends’ names on the calendar rather than simply dropping by their houses, though I see the many good reasons for it. Also, in Minnesota we feel like we are supposed to be busy all the time.


Busy is almost seen as a virtue and our minds and bodies struggle to keep up. When we go back home, we struggle to slow down.

slow down1


In Minnesota you can shop ’til you drop or eat out at any time or pump gas around the clock. Twenty-four hours a day.

24 hours

In Djibouti business shuts down in the middle of the day so people can go home and eat, rest, chew khat. In the summer, sometimes, you can only fill up the car with gas in the ‘cooler’ morning or evening hours when the pumps work.


That said, Minnesota does allow for some wonderfully quiet, peaceful hours fishing, walking, and enjoying people at parks and lakes and barbecues in the summertime.


And people work hard in Djibouti during the hours they do work and when they do have jobs (60% unemployment, I believe).


How do you experience culture shock in relation to time?

Culture Shock in Pictures: Grocery Shopping

 Culture Shock in Pictures: Clothing

Culture Shock in Pictures: Scenery

*image via Wikipedia

*image via Flickr

*image via Flickr