Here’s the thing – no matter how much I am Pais, I cannot deny there is a lot of characteristics in-world that can really effect one’s life and experience in a way similar to how weather can flavor and influence our experience in the real world. One thing that is huge in Pais’ life is time zones.
Pais loves Flo. Flo loves Pais. Pais and Flo are seven time zones apart in RL. OK, for a few days, six time zones. Flo asked me if I changed my clocks this weekend and I was perplexed… turns out that we change times differently. For those curious, I found at http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/b.html that time changes back one our on 28 October for Europe and on 4 November for USA. So for a week, the time zone thing is even stranger.
One of the coolest parts of SL is that I meet people – really cool, interesting, intelligent, witty people.. and they could be anywhere on the planet. Thankfully, there are many people that speak english, since I can barely ask for a pizza and glass of wine in other countries, let along manage text chat. I really have misgivings about the education system that taught me when I meet people like Flo that can handle five languages. English is his third language and yesterday he had to advise me not to use a word in my own language because it made me sound ridiculous. Cripes, it can make one feel so ignorant, yet then again, there is so much to learn. It is interesting the little nuances of language that slip through in the chat stream, either word choice, sentence structure, or even cultural references.
I marvel at the people I am getting to know. I am finding more in common with my far flung friends in my SL social networks than most of the people with whom I interact in RL. Maybe this is more an illusion made possible by SL, that with so much personal information missing (our real appearance, location, occupation, education, and so forth) we allow our imaginations to fill in most. And I guess if one is an optimist, then one is filling in the blanks of what he doesn’t know about someone with positive guesses.
The thing is, you may be very far apart in the real world. I have learned that if I don’t get home from work in a decent time that Flo will already be in bed. Then, if I stay up a bit past my own bed time I can catch him when he wakes up in his morning. I go to bed and when I am waking up he may be checking in on SL during his lunch, and so forth our schedules find places to connect. Strange overlaps of my tomorrow being his today. It is not the easiest way to carry on a relationship, but when we are really in the zone there is no time at all. Just being connected in our virtual world.