Completely unbeknownst to me, Germany switched to winter time on Sunday. It makes me feel strangely out of control that since all of my devices switched automatically, I didn’t even realize that it had happened. If my friends hadn’t told me about their clubbing adventure the night before (due to which they were awake for the fall back, an experience I’ve never had), I probably would have continued to live my life in total ignorance.

That would have been a problem, though.

Let’s back up for a second. In 2011, Russia decided to stop observing daylight savings. Or rather, they decided to keep summer time eternally–as if that was going to fool anyone. The official reason behind the change was that falling back is too stressful both for livestock and for people. The evidence? The fact that suicide rates in Russia peak during the winter months–which is definitely the result of a slight jog in the continuity of time, and not the result of 6 months of trying to survive without vitamins, sunshine, or physical activity. Right.


Kid 1: “How was the weather this summer?” Kid 2: “I don’t know, I was in school that day.” 

Understandably, then-President Medvedev was ridiculed for this decision both at home and abroad. But three years later (presumably after no change was observed in the rate of humans attempting suicide and cows with seasonal affectedness disorder), it was decided that Russia would instead switch eternally to winter time. So on my birthday in 2014, Russia fell back one last time.

You may recall that Nathan and I were in Russia for 2012-2013. This means not only that the time difference between us and home changed twice while we were in Cher, but also that when I returned to Kazan two years later, that difference was, well, different. Even though Kazan and Cher are in the same time zone, and New York time, thankfully, hasn’t budged.

So that’s a bit of a headache. But that’s not all. While Germany, along with the rest of Europe (except Iceland, a country less prone to self-deception than Russia), does observe daylight savings time, the schedule is offset slightly from the US. So for 49 weeks of the year, I am 6 hours ahead of you. For one week of every year, it’s 5 hours, and for two weeks it’s 7.

I have students in both New York and Kazan that I meet with regularly online, which means that I have to keep all of these changes in mind lest I schedule students on top of each other without realizing or show up for my lesson at the wrong time or charge a student for an illegitimate no-show.

But that’s not even why I’m mad.


I’m mad because at 5:15 PM today, I took this picture out of my window. That black thing that you can hardly see behind the other black things? Yeah, that’s the sky.

It brings this song to mind: