Thursday, January 22, 2009

India Trip II - waiting your turn edition

I got a taste of line jumping very early in my trip. The day after we landed, we were to take a flight from Mumbai to Delhi. I went over to the Cafe Coffee Day counter at Mumbai domestic terminal to grab something to eat. There was one guy who was at the counter, paying for stuff he'd bought, so I stood a few steps behind him, waiting for him to finish his transaction. Suddenly, a very good looking young woman rushed in front of me(she was well put together and spoke English with an 'accent'), and elbowed the guy out and started placing her order. I was appalled. Last I remembered, people were a little more sensible than that at places like airports. I politely let her know that I was waiting there before her, and she was shocked that someone would say that to her. Needless to say she did not budge, making me more mad. I had many such like jumping encounters but most were at temples where there are all sorts of people, and most do not have enough exposure to understand waiting in a line, but this CCD incident stood out to me because the woman in question seemed like she would know she had to wait her turn.
My next encounter with line jumping that appalled me was at a MORE store in Hyderabad. I picked up a shampoo and stood in line at the check out counter and there was this woman(she was as old as my mom) who this time, elbowed me and dropped her stuff on the scanner. The cashier did not seem even a little bit bothered, and went about his business, scanning her merchandise. This was the limit of my tolerance and I shouted at them both in words that would have shaken any normal human being to shame. Not this woman. She was cool and calm and she quietly collected her bags and left, leaving me standing there, looking like a fool. That made me think. Is it wrong for me to assume people should wait their turn, and not jump lines? Am I a fool to wait in a line? Let me know dear bloggers, especially those of you who live in India. Do you wait in lines or do you scramble to get the cashiers' attention, like we used to do in the old neighborhood general stores? I am at a loss.


  1. Unfortunately, these things happen here in our country. I experience what you have mentioned above many many times. My 6 year old watches me handle these situations and am extra careful.

    Most of them have this 'I can get away with it' attitude. They know the rules but then rules are meant to be broken, according to them.

    I faced a similar situation with a elderly woman (late 50's) who was there with her grandson (maybe 7-8 year old). After she was through with her billing, I walked up to her as she was leaving and asked her politely, "Are you happy with what you just did? Are we setting a good example to our children and grandchildren by jumping lines?"

    She gives me a very sad remorse look and says, "I have to rush, there's been a death in the family."

  2. Sailaja - Oh! That must have been an awkward moment. But. not everyone who jump lines have had deaths in their families. Like you said, they can get away with it, and they will.

  3. BTW, Sailaja, I love your food blog.


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