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As I sit in my class waiting for an instructor, I’m reminded once again of all the cultural differences I’ll face when I move to Turkey. After almost 4 months where my normal instructor was on time about twice, it’s no surprise that the new guy is almost 30 minutes late with no message or update.
As a military person, I’m almost a slave to being on time, or early. We actually have a saying “Early is on time; on time is late.” The more senior the person that you’re meeting, the earlier you will arrive. This behavior is ingrained in most of us. At some point that I haven’t yet reached, it’s acceptable to be late – I gather it’s when you’re the most senior person and everyone is figuratively waiting on you anyway.
I once worked for a guy who would call a meeting at 0900, and then show up around 0920. Then, while all of his senior management was gathered there before him, he would take another 10 minutes to toast a pop-tart and make a chocolate milk. We have another saying: rank has its privileges (RHIP).
So, I’m still sitting here and waiting. I did take a quick picture of my classroom, since everyone is constantly asking about what it’s like to be in a one-on-one class for four hours a day. Well, here’s the environment. It’s pretty comfortable, and luckily I nabbed the seat facing the window, so I can watch the flights landing and taking off from Reagan National Airport all day. Of course, since I am in a one-on-one class, there’s not a lot of free time for daydreaming.
Every minute that I wait I get more and more patient – I guess this is good training for Turkey, where I’ve come to understand that everything is worth waiting for. Luckily I’m armed with my New Yorker!

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