Spanish and English do not seem to see eye to eye on the concept of “time.” Newcomers to Mexico often complain that they cannot understand the Mexican notion of tiempo.
What is the concept of punctuality in Mexico? Does an 8 o’clock dinner arrangement mean arriving at 8:30 or even later? More importantly, are there any rules to follow? Exactly how long is a rato or its diminutive ratito? What is a buen rato but a mal momento? What does ahora (now) really mean? Right now? In a few minutes? Or maybe, in a few hours? Are these differences solely cultural or can language offer some insights to help clear up the confusion?
Time is king
Part of the answer may lie in the totally different concepts of “time” between Anglos and Mexicans.