Daylight savings: whose decision is it anyway?

At the end of March, Chile was meant to end daylight savings time. That is, according to international notice we were all ‘supposed’ to be turning our clocks back an hour.  The lucky ones of us all have our clocks synced to the computer’s global time, which automatically updates with daylight savings. How tech-savy of us.

Relying far too much on Apple computers and phones in our household, when we woke up on March 31st, most of our clocks had automatically changed back an hour….except for our bedside table and our truck. We were confused the entire day about which clock was right, and no internet site seemed to say the same thing. Was it 6am or 7am?  Everything just felt wrong: Em was getting up too early, and wanting to go to bed too early, store opening hours were weird.  What gives?  We just couldn’t figure it out. And given we don’t watch local TV – my Spanish is certainly not good enough quite yet – we rely on the internet for our news. According to most websites, we had gone though the clock change.  And Apple’s clock couldn’t fail us could it?

Enter: the Chile government. This year they decided to defy the world; they pushed out daylight savings by a month. Apparently the rest of the world didn’t get the memo. For the day we were completely confused (as were many of us in Santiago), but sorted it out through a bit of social media discussion. According to the Chilean government, we will change our clocks officially on April 27th. Why not, right?

A full two weeks later, I write this post sitting on an airplane from Sydney to Santiago. According to their little in-seat tracking systems, the flight announcements, and even our flight itineraries, we are to be landing at 9:30am.   However, clever as I am (right?), I happen to be aware that we’re actually landing at 10:30am, and their systems are based on the ‘supposed-time-change-that-never-happened’. As a good global citizen, I’ve tried to explain this to two flight attendants who patiently told me their watches are synced to the global computer system, while shooting that ‘how many has she had’ look over my shoulder and offering me a biscuit.  I certainly hope I’m not proven wrong on arrival, it’s about my pride now.

Seated, enjoying my peace-offering-biscuit I can’t help but wonder: who decides what time it is anyway?