Saturday, December 25, 2010

status queue

in the 80s, romanians have queued professionally. and with lots of interest. yes, they were forced to and lines were long, they started early in the morning, but with time they also developed a kind of social dimension. 

when i was around 3, the lady who was taking care of me (aka mamaie lili) used to make me cut the line and go in front to get the goods faster, with my kiddish good looks and my stray cat charm, and it worked, it worked so well, we made such a good team, until my mother found out and exposed us for the low class smugglers that we were. she saw us from afar one day, one particular ordinary day, coming home from work early, well, she actually saw this dirty kid cutting the line and thought oh, poor kid, what parents must he have, keeping him (i might have looked a bit boyish, but i was 3) dirty and teaching him to be sneaky, but as she got closer she not only recognized the kid, but also the parents. she made it without a heart attack (which probably helped prevent the one she could've had when we got an astronomical phone bill upon my discovery of the internet, so it does all even out).

after my mom's emotionally affected story, my grampa, the colonel, retired so he could look after me with one eye and watch over me, with the other. my hiding under the bed from him started about the same time i realised there would be no cutting queues with him. nor corners. it might have been a coincidence. 

so, bottom line, except for me, we've been trained to queue. but it was something that obviously washed away like cheap mascara during a difficult break-up, because romanians do not know how to queue

(this is not a romanian queue)

example 1: munich airport. flight to bucharest. status: boarding. our little romanian queue was blocking the entire hallway, it was spread out and penetrated all nooks and crannies, we were like a giant, humanoid, thick spit. a middle aged woman, standing in line behind me for about 5 minutes, decides to fight her tea-drinking-socially-wired-lack-of-interaction-with-strangers and ask me "what are we waiting for here?". well, we were obviously boarding the flight to bucharest, why would she be asking the obvious, i wondered, but politely answered anyway and then she snapped and cheerfully walked away saying "oh, i'm not even on this flight!". of course, it took her another 5 minutes to escape the human sucking romanian queue because if there's two things to fear they are the flexible eyebrows and pointy elbows of a romanian. 

example 2: bucharest airport. lost luggage office. 3 computers and 3 computer operators inside a small, unaired room. around 60-70 drained and angry people, mostly romanians, waiting outside. the same, spit like, diform queue was transforming my joy of being home into surreal pictures of growing huge jaws and snapping heads off. it felt like i'd never get in. it felt like this monstrous queue was keeping me stuck in a point while it was letting everyone else advance on my right and left flank. 

two hours later and a lot of eyebrow and elbow shaking later, i got in. but a miracle had happened. i was cured. my nerves had been stretched to the maximum and, so in tune with the universe, started contracting into little nerves, that aren't even able to make me snap at a horde of three old, sneaky ladies cutting in front of me in a line, let's say. (which i will qed in the next case).

example 3: bucharest train station. me, first in line at the information desk. 0.5m between myself and the dirty window. three sneaky, old ladies coming from my right side, advance beyond limits of common sense and, with eye contact, position themselves right in front of me. no please, no questions asked. just cut.  before, this would have made me boil potatoes inside, but now, it made me smirk and say, good one, karma. 

but merry christmas. 
and ask santa for common sense, you can't ever have too much. 


Anna said...

my friend letzu is a poet. you should come and meet her.

prestidigitator said...

but i'm an astrophysicist. we wouldn't get along.