One of the aspects of the train trip that participants weren’t expecting was that we would lose an hour every day as we changed time zones. The time that doesn’t exist on the train is 8:30 – 9:30pm, right after we are done eating dinner. This was quite troubling for me, because I quite like 8:30 – 9:30pm, it is a time to be social, relax, and start having fun. But going straight to 9:30 after lunch makes us robbed of one of the most important parts of the day. For instance, there would have been a possibility for me to get into a deep conversation with another one of the participants at 8:47pm, which might not be possible at 9:47pm. Moreover, when we are all having a good time, it gets later much quicker.
However, there is a solution to this problem. We just need to be innovative and creative with the time. Nothing about this trip has conformed to societal norms (seriously, what group of students rent a train from Helsinki to Shanghai) so we decided that we will make up our own Aalto on Tracks time zone, and 8:30 – 9:30pm will play a central role in the Aalto on Track time zone. In fact, at our sitsit party tonight, we will be commemorating 8:30 – 9:30pm with a song or two. We may even decide that is should be 8:30 – 9:30pm for the rest of the night. If we can develop ideas about how society should work better, why not develop ideas that make time better too?
- Colum Grove-White