>One of the great pleasures of being home is being in my own time zone. While in Hong Kong, I was 12 hours ahead of Michigan. That meant that when I got up in the morning, I had all the emails from North American that came during the night. Two hours later, after working through these emails, and skyping with friends and family, I would begin my Hong Kong day. And Hong Kong starts late and works late. As a result, my work day became extended. I became quite sympathetic to people who work with global teams.
There is no sabbath in the day or week.
Now I get up in the morning and there are no emails of any urgency. I can sit and enjoy my morning coffee before I begin my day rather than as I finish my North American day and begin my Asian day.
Added to all this, of course, is that it is summer which is the downtime in Michigan. In Hong Kong you can’t even go out very much in the summer because it is too hot and humid. Some academics escape to other parts of the work for a few weeks if they can. Chinese New Year is the biggest down time, and most recreation takes place in the winter. While Hong Kong was slowing down during their big holiday, I was teaching a class of North American students in Hong Kong. And in order to keep them fully in Hong Kong, we agreed to not have a class facebook page or blog–every minute spent communicating with North American was one minute not spent in Asia.
There is much to be said for living within one culture’s rhythm at a time.