A most sensible way to stand in line (or on line, if you are from New York City)

Waiting in line, or queuing as our British friends would say, is not something that has ever come naturally to Indonesians. I speak from a lifetime of living here. Airline counters, bus stations, ferry terminals, market stalls selling hot cakes…the process that comes to mind is not queuing, but more akin to mobbing. Shove your way to the front and shove your money at whoever has the goods. A good-natured mob, hardly ever any snarling or dirty looks, but most certainly not organized. Kind of like the local traffic, come to think of it.

I remember some 20 years ago when I entered my bank (now defunct, thanks to corruption) and lo and behold, all the customers were seated! Waiting their turn! Some new electronic ticket gizmo system! And it was working! The security guard showed me to to get my ticket from the dispenser, and since I was number 28 and I no longer could shove my way to the front of the line, I left and returned in the afternoon, when there were only a few customers.

Apparently this photo was taken in Hawaii. It works just as well as a fancy electronic ticket system, I reckon.

wait in line

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