A Conversation for Queuing

A cultural footnote...

Post 1

Nandi

It is a known fact that in London, a queue will form behind any person who randomly stops by a curb. There is a polite resignation, on the part of Londoners, that the stationary person was there first. Note that the object of the queue is the queue itself, and that the individuals in the group are aware of a shared philosophical approach to life (ie, that another person is always there first), which they discreetly express via the sigh.

In the Midwestern US, it is important to note that one stands "in line." This is a shared group activity, and one exercises free-will and chooses to join it, rather like a club or a sporting team. The presence of a shared objective is critical, and is a source of giddy anticipation on the part of the group. A line is clearly a signifier of a special occasion, and strangers will wryly discuss the shared objective amongst themselves.

However, in New York City, one stands "on line," which assumes that the line itself has a physicality hat does not require the presence of one or more humans to form it. In New York, there is always a line to stand on - and despite the presence of many, many others also standing on line - it is not a shared group activity. Rather, it is lonely and isolated experience, and it is always better to bring a friend, knowing that your intimate discussion will be completely private in the crowd.


A cultural footnote...

Post 2

Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary]

And here in the mediterranean it isn't really a queue or a line, but more of a huddle. Everybody tries to shove their way in, no matter who was there first.
One of my favourite methods, since I don't really like pushing, is to push in front and then let a couple of people get in first. They are usually so puzzled by this act of queue-generosity that they don't realize they were there before you anyway.


A cultural footnote...

Post 3

lhj385

I think the art of queuing is also dependent on the weather conditions. Yesterday I spent an hour queuing in the freezing cold, thus by the time I was at the fron of the queue I had started to wonder if it was really worth me freezing my ears off just to see Bill Clinton speak. However if it had been a warm, sunny day I would have been much more amenable to hanging around waiting for an ex-president of the USA to show up.


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A cultural footnote...

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