‘What time is it?’
‘Seven? Oh that’s fine then, I’ve to get up soon.. I’ve my alarm set for a quarter past’.
So, I got up a few mins later when my alarm went off and my phone read 7.15, jumped into the shower, got ready and left. Walked to the bus and realised I was a little bit early, but only by a few minutes. There was a small number of people waiting for the same bus, or so I thought. I got a little worried as the bus was late – it didn’t arrive as normal around 8.20 for the 8.30 service and these buses are never late or at least the once or twice they have been it was due to horrific weather conditions. I looked at my phone and the time said 8.36. then it crept up to 8.43 and still no sign of the bus. A bus arrived and a number of people got on, but it wasn’t my bus, it was going somewhere else. This was getting stranger and stranger. I asked the bus driver if there was a problem with the 8.30 bus and he thought there was, but wasn’t sure what.
I rang the bus office, it’s a private coach service and you can actually get through to a helpful person, unlike trying to get info from your normal public transport system. Anyway, I asked the girl if there was a problem, she said that a large maybe 6 car pile up on the motorway had caused a section of it to be closed the night before and it was only cleared this morning, so there was a slight delay with some of the very early buses. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind checking where the bus was. She rang me back and told me that the 8.30 bus had left on time! Huh? Yeah, left on time! But I’d been standing there and definitely, definitely the bus hadn’t arrived at 8.20 and waited for any passengers until 8.30 and then left on time like she was insisting. All the buses have GPRS, so she apologised that I was obviously standing at the wrong stop or something but that the bus left on time with passengers and it’d been at the right bus stop for 10 minutes. I really couldn’t get my head around this.
The next bus after the 8.30 was the 9.30, it was just my luck that buses go every half hour before that. Sure, it was now just after 9am, so waiting another while for the next one wasn’t going to kill me and I didn’t have much of a choice anyway…
But a bus came along just 2 or 3 minutes later! Hurrah! The driver ran into the shop to pick up a newspaper and cigarettes and I stopped him as he was getting onto the bus again.
‘Excuse me, but by any chance are you late arriving this morning? Someone said earlier that there was a crash that closed part of the motorway until recently’
‘Well, yeah, the motorway is still a bit slow and I’m here a bit later than normal but I’m leaving now… ‘.
Grand so and I got on the bus. I rang work to say that the 8.30 bus was late but seeing as it was just gone 9, I wouldn’t be too late after all, that I’d be in the office before 9.45. And that was that, no problem.
I arrived into work, turned on my PC, started to watch as emails came in. The postman came in the door and left stuff on my desk. The phone rang for me, chat chat. I replied to an email. All perfectly normal. Then I got a text message on my phone, read it and threw my phone back into my bag. Turned back to my screen and something caught my eye.
‘What time is it?, ‘ I asked, ‘is it half ten? Already? ‘
‘No, really, is it half ten?!’
‘Yeah, GK, it is, what’s wrong?’
‘It can’t be half ten, it’s not even ten past ten on my phone but it does.. actually.. say half ten on your machine as well. That’s weird. No, seriously weird.’
I spent the next couple of hours really freaked out. I had lost approx 26 minutes of time. Really! I had spent Sunday on time. I had gone to the pub to watch the footie, left to watch it by my reckoning on time and when I arrived, sure enough, the game was just starting. I had been on my phone a couple of times and come off to watch a particular programme on telly, my phone reading the same time as the time the programme was due to start and lo and behold, I didn’t miss any of it. I was seriously wondering WTF had gone on! It was just bizarre! I’d somehow lost nearly half an hour in time! The clock on my phone read the right time all throughout Sunday. The battery wasn’t low and I haven’t had any problem with the phone recently. I got up on Monday and somehow I was 26 minutes behind the rest of the world.. well, this time zone anyway.
I had in fact got the 9.30 bus to work, that left on time, the 8.30 bus hadn’t been late. I had been on bed over 20 minutes longer than I would’ve normally and my whole morning went askew, but I didn’t realise it until I was in work and the clock on the wall and the clocks on colleagues monitors all read the same time, 26 minutes ahead of what it was saying on my phone. Where did those 26 minutes go?