Queues make me very anxious.
Of course I'm English so I spend a lot of my time worrying about them; it's important that we get the protocol right.
We found it very difficult and occasionally, hugely amusing, in France (while I wasn't skiing) that the French have... uhm, such relaxed attitudes to queuing. Relaxed might be the wrong word; they have positively feisty attitudes. There might be quite normal looking groups of people in queue-like formulations until, say, the chair lifts opened and then they would lose all good manners and surge forward, digging sharp, French elbows into anyone who dared to get in their way. I was bruised, emotionally and physically.
In Thailand I get equally nervous. When I came here I read that in Thai toilets people don't queue in one line for the loos - plural. They queue in front of the individual stall they wish to use. Jeez, as though squatting isn't stressful enough! On top of the squatting issues, then, faced with multiple queues... you know what happens, don’t you? I always choose the wrong line… the one that moves most slowly.
To make life more complicated, I've discovered that the more Western a loo, as well as having a higher chance of having non-squats (hurrah), there are also good odds that the Thais will form one queue and not multiple queues at all. So the rules get broken. How am I to know what method of queuing to adopt?
This ‘queuing anxiety’ came about because I had to go and collect Daughter from school tonight. There was a huge long line for the taxis, and a couple of itty bitty Thai girls trying to jump the queue. The woman in front of me managed to get the taxi… but as my turn came, these flighty little girls start waving for the cab to stop in front of them instead of me. So I’m all of a flutter, wondering if I’m a cab driver, would I stop the Thai girls or the hefty farang that probably can’t tell him where to go? The driver, bless him, passed them and stopped next to me. He was rewarded with my very fluent Thai directions… They, the diminutive girls, looked very surprised, until in the international sign language of pointing, I indicated the queue to them.