One day, I met a retired miner sitting, sunning, in the warm splotches of a small plaza.
Where from, he asked. I told him and he wanted to know what time it was there. I told him there was no time difference and he was shocked that it was the same hour, though it's impossibly far away.
In France, he said, the time is different. Is France farther than your home?
Time, I ventured, is set by longitudes, and France is across an entire ocean.
And what time is it in Japan? he wanted to know.
I didn't know, but he kept pressing. And Germany? he asked.
I told him it took me 7 hours to get to Bolivia by plane and he looked astonished. And your family? he asked.
They are there.
He patted me on the shoulder with a knurled hand. Poor girl, you must be so alone.