World’s Most Aggressive “Queue Jumpers”

One of the things that annoy me to no end when traveling are people who cut in front of you when waiting in line or as the British say “Queue Jumpers“.

Part of the problem is that I never know whether I should just relax, ignore it and let everyone get ahead of me (I am on vacation, after all… no rush to get any place) OR whether I should “do as the Romans do”, assimilate and become a champion queue jumper myself. I have a feeling I would be pretty good at it, too. What I do know is that most countries in the world could use an elementary school subject called “The Art of Forming a Line”. It would make the world seem a lot more civilized.

Every time I travel from the US back home to Prague I notice how much more aggressive people are in Europe about their spot in line (The UK is an obvious exception here). Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin airports…I swear sometimes you feel like if you don’t squeeze into the front, they would not let you board. The further east you go, the worst it gets.

I just read a piece in the December 23 “The Economist” about the airports in Russia which really made me laugh. The author is describing the various species of the Moscow airport queue jumper: “the brazen hoodlum, the incremental babushka and the queue-surfing clans who relocate in groups when one of their number reaches the front.” It reminded me of my trip to China where elbow-wrestling with 70-year old women in lines was a norm. The Darwinism of the 21st century is quite sad, really.