Post: the art of Queuing around the world

Queuing is one of the essentials in life

Yup, that democratic but infinitely boring (and stressful) concept that is one of the stalwarts of civilisation, and one that we do perhaps 5 times a day in an urban environment. We submit to the process of queuing almost subconsciously. It is engrained in our psyche. Personally, if I skip the line, I know I am doing something a bit wrong (the strength of the emotion depending on how much of an arsehole I feel at the time).

However, this is just in the UK, my country of origin. I know how it works here, when it is acceptable to cut the line, and when I cannot. When you travel to a new country for the first time, there are different rules, and you had better learn them, quickly.

Here is a list of various scenarios, and what to do in case you get it wrong

A bus in London: Not real form of queuing, as of yet. Get in when you can, but essential to let an “aged” customer through before you, and not to appear too keen. That just looks a bit sad

A coffee in a Portuguese Café: go to the end of the bar and shout. If people look at you with spite, ignore them; you are better than them

A train pulling up at a platform in Mumbai: Get your elbows out and your teeth sharpened. If you have assassin steel tips at your shoes, now would be a good time to grease them with cobra poison

An airport security line in Miami: do nothing! Stay in line, smile, be attentive and submit to any form of abuse the guards give you, no matter how low they stoop, physically or mentally. You might miss your plane, but it’s better than being classed as a terrorist and living your life in Reno (the prison, not the town… actually probably both).

A large ferry on a remote Indonesian Island: if you can, use the “I am a tourist” card to get to the front of the abnormally sympathetic queue. Make sure you have your ticket glued to your forehead though, as they ask to see it about 15 times before getting on!

Buying a ticket at a counter in Afghanistan: Pretend you are a general in the US Army, and pray there are no rebels in the same queue. You might have to wait a bit longer if there are

Queuing for a busy junction on the M25 (circular road around London): drive around the queue really fast and pull in at the LAST possible moment. Guaranteed to earn you some dirty looks, a few horns, perhaps a rude hand gesture or two, but remember, this is England. If you apologize, they will probably say sorry back!

Queuing for a taxi at Rome’s International airport: there are no rules. Talk loudly, make hand gestures, and just get into a taxi. Be ready to fight. A crash course in Mix Martial Arts fighting would not go amiss

Queuing for the escalators in the London Underground: ALWAYS stand on the right, and walk up on the left. Those who breach protocol will be thrown down the ramp to start again. If they are a large groups of continental tourists, just scowl at them, and warn them what will happen if they do it again

I really hope this has enlightened you! If anyone has any more to add, please write them down!

Looking forward to reading some more!

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One thought on “Post: the art of Queuing around the world

  1. From Olivia:
    How about the Japanese style? It is quite something to see them master the art of queuing !! They take the matter so seriously that each platforms of their underground have yellow lines, to show where to queue when the doors open! and needless to say that this is followed religiously, so dont even think about doing it ” london style” 😉 !!

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