The clocks in Tanzania run differently than usual. At first I was not a little surprised to be alone at the meeting point when making appointments. I quickly tried to go through my clichés and stereotypes that as a punctual European I probably just had to wait a little longer. I was no less surprised, however, when six hours later I was allowed to take a call asking where I was. Of course I assumed I was in the right place by saa tisa na nusu (09:30 AM) in the morning. I wasn't very enthusiastic that at saa tisa na nusu (3:30 pm PM) I was allowed to make my way to the meeting point again, spontaneously and in a hurry. I later learned that the reason had little to do with preferences or stereotypes . Rather, I was able to learn that a different calendar is lived in Tanzania.
While our calendar starts at midnight, the new day in Tanzania starts at 6 a.m. Therefore, for our perception, there is a time lag of six hours in communication. Although saa tisa na nusu literally means "o'clock, nine and a half" and thus 9:30 a.m., it describes the time six hours later (3:30 a.m.). In the AM/PM time system, the suffixes asubuhi (morning), mchana (noon), jioni (evening) or usiku (night) are often added as a remedy.
Having learned a lot for the future , I try to help myself and make an appointment on saa tatu asubuhi (literally: o'clock, three, tomorrow) and then set off in such a way that I am at the appointed place by 9:00 am .