January 1st is on a Tuesday this year. For most with a western mindset, this means you work Monday and get Tuesday off. But ever on the look-out for a good three day weekend, the Chinese ask why not swap Monday for Saturday so that there will be three days off in a row — Sunday, Saturday (Monday), and Tuesday. Who says days can’t be swapped?!

Go this way ... or that

Go this way … or that

I, for one, used to be such a person. And in many ways, still am.

And as crazy and logic defying as the system is to me (you are still getting the same amount of days off and without having to work six in a row, but I digress), it works and reminds me that I can have a more casual arrangement with time and space than I think.

So, once again, dear China, you have helped me in ways I didn’t know I needed it, and I am grateful.

Q4U: How crazy does the idea of switching days sound to you?


Related Articles:

Saturday is Tuesday

Today is Wednesday (not as obvious as you might think)


Categories: China, Learning lessons



Leave A Comment

  1. CQ MB December 29, 2012 at 8:51 am - Reply

    our most recent unit for intercultural communications was monochronic and polychronic time and i used this (and a few other time mishaps i’ve had recently) as examples for students about cultural differences. we had a good laugh.

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      Amy December 29, 2012 at 9:55 am - Reply

      I love Chinese students’ take on time zone and how confusing many think they are!

  2. Steph December 29, 2012 at 10:17 am - Reply

    For the main Chinese people don’t grumble about the swapping of days but the first holiday of 2013 has many of my Chinese friends shaking their head along with various words of complaint pouring forth. Next Monday we work, Tuesday thru Thursday off and then eight days of work (Friday to Friday). Lucky Amy, you miss the days off but get to enjoy the “Eight days a week…” of work to follow :-) Happy Trails back to us in the Middle Kingdom.

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      Amy December 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Just when you think you’ve seen everything …

  3. LeAnne P December 29, 2012 at 10:45 am - Reply

    What’s funny to me is how much less crazy the idea now seems only one year later. What still drives me crazy is the lack of heads up they give. Our final exams were last week and this upcoming week – two holiday weeks. Yet they couldn’t tell us which days would be holidays, which would be made up and when until the last minute making it really difficult to reschedule finals (each class has different times free). So, teaching Wednesday’s classes on Sunday seems almost normal now, but I have not made peace yet with the lack of forewarning. Give me another year or two, I guess!!

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      Amy December 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      :) … and depends on the day. Sometimes it’s endearing, sometimes, less so :)

  4. Loren Pinilis December 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    I’m self-employed, so holidays are always really strange. I can switch days when I want to (which totally makes sense), but then again I often am totally oblivious to holidays. Especially ones like Columbus Day or Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday – I’ll just work through them and get my day all thrown out of whack when the post office isn’t open.

  5. Janis McArthur January 2, 2013 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    I do miss China and the crazy holiday schedule. Here in Laos, I haven’t started teaching yet as the National University of Laos decided to take two months off because of the ASEAN SEA University games in Vientiane which they hosted. And even when I start teaching next week, half my students will show up maybe. I may not have a full class until Jan. 15h. That’s life in Laos, slow and easy.

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