In June of 2009, I went on a trip to Greece with my honors English teacher, and a group of other students. The idea of the trip was to see all of the places we had read about while studying ancient Greece. You can imagine the many humorous moments this trip provided, what with twenty or so teenagers in a foreign country, but there was one moment that has taught me and my fellow students a lesson for travel in another time zone.
About the third or fourth night of our trip, we were staying at the Ionis Hotel in Athens, when one of my friends and roommates on the trip accidentally changed the time on the only clock we had in our room: a yellow stopwatch that I kept on my bag. She accidentally set it three hours ahead, but because it was late, and we were all more than a little tired, we didn't change it back. We didn't think we needed to because we were to receive a wake-up call at six AM to wake us up.
And so, when our tour guide called our room, I checked the watch, which said nine o'clock. My friend confirmed that she accidentally pushed it three hours ahead, and so, we all rose from bed, took showers and got ready for the long day ahead of us. We were to meet the rest of our group in the restaurant to eat breakfast, but when we got there, it was closed. We thought perhaps we had missed breakfast, so we rushed down the winding stone staircase to the lobby, which was empty save a few Greek men who were lounging in chairs around a table.
While my friends went to ask one of them the time, I glanced up at the wall of windows at the front of the hotel and noticed that it was pitch black outside. I imediately froze, smacked myself in the head, as I heard the man say it was about one-fifteen, and made my way back up the stairs to our room while my friends asked the man at the front desk for confirmation on the time.
It was indeed one-fifteen in the morning, for my friend had set the watch three hours back, not forward, so when it said nine, it was PM, not AM. We went back into our room and laughed for half an hour before we were able to fall back asleep.
This mix-up taught me a very valuable lesson, that I hope to share with others who want to explore other countries/time-zones: always, always bring more than one clock or watch.
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