August 17, 2013 – Day 017
Bangkok – for those of you who wish to win a bar bet – is seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. As of this writing, this means that I am eleven hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone and fourteen ahead of the Pacific Time Zone. When that abomination known as Daylight Savings Time ends in the United States, the difference will be twelve and fifteen, respectively. So, at the moment, when it is 10:00am on a Tuesday here in Thailand’s capital, it is still 11:00pm on Monday in Washington, D.C., and 8:00pm (also Monday) in Los Angeles.
This difference in the clocks has already led to the time-worn joke of me living in the future. Since I am a day ahead, my family back in the States has asked me about the winning lottery numbers and I josh with them about how I already know how the stock market did.
Well, it’s one thing to be half a day ahead, but it’s quite another to be over five hundred years ahead.
As I was looking at our refrigerator today, I noticed a sticker on its side. On that sticker was a registration date stating when our appliance was registered. Here, look for yourself…
It was not the format of the registration date that threw me because I have become quite familiar and comfortable with the DDMMYY format of date courtesy of our stay in Peru. No, what caused me to do a mental spit-take was the year. According to the sticker, our appliance was registered in 2556.
This is because, in Thailand, it is 2556.
The Land of Smiles – along with a few other countries – uses the Buddhist Calendar which marks Year Zero as the time when the Buddha gained enlightenment. Since that moment occurred (depending on who you ask) in 543 BC (by the Gregorian way of counting), our year of 2013 translates to 2556.
So, from the year 2556, I bid you greetings and my apologies that I cannot give you the winning lottery numbers or the names of the Super Bowl Champions XLVIII through DXCI. That would be spoiling the fun now, wouldn’t it?
However, I can let slip that in 2078 you should “give back the raisins”. Trust me, it will make sense one day.