This title can be taken three ways. There is a literal time change when you fly to Belize from almost anyplace in the U.S.—which itself has six time zones, counting Alaska and Hawaii. Canada has five time zones. If you’re coming from anywhere else, you’ll have to figure out the time change for yourself. As a country, Belize represents a different time—a slower, more relaxed one—and your mind and body will have to get in sync with it. But those two words can also be taken to mean that the times themselves change, and that’s what I want to talk about today, now that Belize is 50 years behind me.
Here’s a story that didn’t make it into my book. It happened fairly early during my stay in Rio Blanco, and I didn’t include it because I had already documented my many cultural blunders and didn’t see the point of including another example. Besides—the incident wasn’t really that funny. Except to the Maya.
There’s something about Belize that inspires coincidences. Not only for me, either. So many people have noticed all the implausible events that cluster around this small, insignificant country they’ve even coined an expression to describe the phenomenon: Belize it or not.