Rolig, in school (I'm a clinical Hypnotherapist) we learned about modeling time with the "In Front/Behind" model (supposedly Arabic) as opposed to the "Left/Right-Line" model (supposedly of the west). While these have their variations, I'm excited to see another system of perception in play here. The way one percieves time (in terms of memory-recall, planning, objective-sense) plays a huge role on both personality and culture.
This understanding of time ("the future is behind us") you can see reflected in medieval and Renaissance European writing. When I was studying Shakespeare, ages ago, I came across this notion of the future creeping up on us from behind. It makes sense, actually: we can "see" (remember or have knowledge of) the past, which stretches out in front of us like a familiar landscape, but we don't know what the future holds, just as we don't know what is coming up on us from behind. Our present-day sense of the future being ahead us derives, I suspect, from thinking of life as a journey. Notice, however, that when we say something like "I was overtaken by events I could not have anticipated", we are thinking of the future as being behind us.