Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Moscow Diary: Daylight Saving Time

For some reason best known to themselves, in 2011 the Russians abolished Daylight Saving Time, so we didn't change the clocks. As a result, it currently gets light at about 9:30.

There is currently a debate in the UK about whether to pilot moving to 'double summertime' or Central European Time - so we would still change the clocks, but we would be on GMT+1 in winter, and GMT+2 in summer. There are a number of arguments in favour - some claim it will save electricity, while others suggest that it could lead to a reduction in the number of children killed crossing the roads. The counter-arguments are basically that it's really depressing getting up in the winter in the dark, and that midday should be in the middle of the day. No-one really knows, hence the idea of a pilot.

While I have to admit the stop-kids-dying argument is fairly compelling, I've always come down fairly firmly on the 'keep GMT' side of the argument, but I love a good experiment, so I was quite excited to see what it would be like here. I was concerned, though, that my prior biases would lead to my being grumpy about it to prove myself right, so I decided not to leave off commenting as long as possible in a vague hope that more time would help me make an informed opinion.

Anyway, it's now almost the shortest day, and all I can say is: for the love of all that is sacred, DON'T DO IT! The working day here is 10-6, but even so I'm late to work most days. I set my alarm dutifully for 8 every day, but when I wake up it's just pitch black - like the middle of the night pitch black. Getting up to move is harder than I can do justice to. We're just not made for it! What's more, my colleagues, who don't have my prior prejudices, feel the same.

In the UK, we'd be dealing with the same kinds of hours, and most of us don't get to wander into work at 10:30. And it's SO, SO much worse than normal winter.

Seriously, don't do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment