People say that traveling to certain cities is like taking a step back in time.
You can explore the ancient ruins of civilizations or wander through time-worn alleyways and get a feel for what life was like during different times in our history, all while having never left the current year. But what if you really could go somewhere where they are not ringing in 2018?
That's exactly what I thought while reading this article from Bright Side. It's titled "10 Countries Where Next Year is Not 2018." I happened upon it just after having been woken up at around 6 in the morning, with my brain struggling to get up and running after having been studying for finals for the past week. It was just something I felt like clicking on.
Ordinarily, I wouldn't have endeavored to read something that early in the morning, but something was compelling me to investigate the meaning of that headline.
As it turns out, different countries around the world sometimes keep track of their years according to calendars that are different from ours. For example, in Japan, the traditional calendar numbers its years according to how long the emperor has reigned. Next year will be year 30, the current emperor's 30th year in power. Naturally, in my still sleep-fogged state, I start to have some pretty existential thoughts. What else are early mornings for?
As I laid there surrounded by pillows trying to force myself to brave the cold air outside of my cocoon, I had an idea.
If, say, you went to one of these countries where the year is said to be some number other than 2018, that, in effect, is time travel. You're going somewhere where, if you are told to write the date on a form, they would expect you to write the year that their calendar tells them is correct.
In China, that's 4716. In India, that's 1939. In Iran, that's 1396. Each of these places has a system of time completely different from ours and when we set foot on their soil, we enter a different year.
I know it's not scientifically accurate and all, and that a number on a piece of paper doesn't change how many times the Earth has gone around the Sun, but it's these kind of simple yet optimistic ideas that come when you least expect them that make life interesting.