Friday, 28 January 2011


George Orwell wrote about it. Robin Espejo (and many others sung about it). Latin American (and Iberian, I hasten to add) culture is infamous for its dependence on (and belief in) Mañana*. Literally, this word means tomorrow (and morning, but that's not really the point here) and wishfully, it is the day in which everything happens. When will I get my timetable for work? Mañana. When will we sort out the rent? Mañana. When we throw away that furry green mass at the back of the fridge that I think used to be cheese? Mañana. 

Anyone who has lived outside of Europe or the US will know that this isn't an unusual phenomenon in the 'developing' world. Whether it's a sign of underdevelopment or just symptomatic of a warmer climate and a more relaxed pace of life is really in the eye of the beholder (or in this case the person made to wait patiently, or impatiently). Experiencing it here, in a place where I have come as a professional (of sorts!) I find myself in an odd limbo between my upbringing which, for the most part, unfolded on the island of procrastination itself, and the now compulsive habit of working all the time that I picked up whilst living in the UK. For now it has been fairly amusing to be advised of my upcoming working day a number of hours before I'm supposed to start, but I'm not too sure I could manage this way for the entire 10 months. God give me patience! And quick-thinking!

Outside of the world of work I must say that I do prefer the no-stress attitude of the believers in the Mañana phenomenon (Mauritians, you fall under this category too!). As long as no one is gravely injured or emotionally scarred for life,  surely it's not that big a deal whether we arrive at 1300 or 1330, whether we spend 10 or 45 minutes chatting. What matters is that all parties involved agree to abide by the mañana phenomenon- in this case knowing that whatever we don't get done today, can always be done tomorrow.

*Pronounced Maniana

1 comment:

  1. I was going to read this, but I think I'll wait till Manana