Troll time?

Boston’s Symphony hall, the site of the half-concert I caught Monday night


After a couple of days in New England* and what feels like quite a long time on various planes, I’ve made it to our little flat in Valencia, and am getting myself settled.

El Guapo planned to meet me at the metro and walk me home, but I didn’t see him when I came up to ground level. It was not until I showed up at our front door that I remembered the plan had been for me to text him from the airport to confirm the time of my arrival. What with sleep deprivation, a focus on making sure I hadn’t left anything tucked in airplane seat pockets, and the need to navigate passport checks, etc., I had forgotten that part.


The Maritim Serreria Metro station on a day much sunnier than yesterday


I don’t have a European sim card, so couldn’t contact him once I was out of airport wifi range. But it’s only about 800 meters from the metro to our front door, and the rain had mostly stopped. When I arrived, El Guapo had a nice chicen curry simmering, and I was glad to be done with traveling.

The flat is how I remembered it, by and large, though things are arranged a little differently. Last year we had constructed a place for Loquita to store her belongings by stacking a small bookcase and some crates in the second shower; this year El Guapo has stored a bunch of different things there, including the storage bench from the hall that made it difficult to roll the bikes from the terrace to the front door. As you can see, elegance is not our top concern in our current housing arrangement.



The tall dresser that featured in an earlier post (Rope tricks and DIY piso projects) is falling apart, but in new ways. I think the drawer we did the rope trick on is fine, but entropy has caught up with some of the others.

No matter; given that I packed so few things, I’m sure I won’t have trouble getting completely unpacked. Then it’s just a matter or remembering where I put what I brought.

One task that awaited me is getting the computer settled in to my new surroundings. It’s disorienting to consult my calendar and find appointments scheduled for the middle of the night, because they’ve stayed pegged to an absolute hour, and not to a time of day.

I figured the settings cog of my Google account would be the place to start. Once there, I was presented with a long list of cities, each with its corresponding time zone in terms of GMT (Greenwich Mean time) designation.† Scrolling through the cities, I was reminded that just making sure I choose one with the same longitude isn’t enough—we’re almost exactly south of London here, but we’re not in the same time zone, due to fascist machinations of a bygone era.

Accordingly, I thought I’d better find a Spanish city. On my way there, right between South African and Ariabian Standard Time I came across a listing for Troll Time:



I know from this list that Troll time is Greenwich Mean Time plus two hours, but so far that’s all I know. What is going on? A bit of quick research reveals that there was a German geographer named Carl Troll born in 1899, but it’s unlikely that he has his own time zone, right? Is there a convention that stipulates that internet trolls all need to have their watches syncronized?

I’ve probably come to the end of the time I can spend single-mindedly pondering this mystery—there are other things that need my attention. The last stab I’ll take is the possibility that the Troll being referred to is the Troll oil and gas field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. If you happen to figure this one out definitively, let me know. It’s the sort of loose end that we’d rather not leave lying around.


This is the troll I know from a story told to me as a child.


*My hosts were to hear their son play in the Boston University Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall Monday night, so I was able to attend the first half of the concert before heading to the airport. The post-intermission program was The Planets, by Gustav Holst, and I was sad to miss it. I would gladly have swapped Hindemith’s Symphony in B flat from the first half of the program for some of the Holst, but I didn’t see a practical way of arranging that.

Here’s a place to learn more about Greenwich Mean Time.

[Images:, Wikipedia, Yours Truly x 2,]


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