How to queue

September 22nd, 201011:00 am @

A cut-out-and-keep guide to surviving in India.

Despite appearances to the contrary, queuing in India is an art form. What may appear to the untrained eye as a mess of humanity is actually a highly organised effort as disciplined and technical as a rugby scrum, which in many ways, it is.

The rules are simple: almost any space between you and the person behind the desk/counter is fair game (a variation comes in wine shops the evening before a “dry” day when any space, no matter how small or oddly located, is in play).¬†Abandon any notions of standing behind the person in front of you –¬†people will merely assume you’re just hanging around passing time and aren’t really serious.

Once near the object of your attention, don’t wait till he or she has finished serving; just start ordering what you want immediately, sticking your money in their face if need be.

All bets are off, however, if an elderly woman turns up. In that case, she goes straight to the head of the line, without passing Go.

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