Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's with all the line cutting?

What's with all the line cutting? 

Okay, this is one of my issues with Dutch life and I suppose European life in general. Line cutting, pushiness, and standing so close to each other. I don't get it. It was the same in Vienna and perhaps even worse. I don't understand all the pushing, shoving, and line cutting that happens pretty much everywhere. I know. I should not make general statements like this. So my thoughts on this subject are just my personal experiences. :)

My trip to Albert Heijn today ended with an elderly man (who had to be at least 75) cutting me off at the checkout. It was clear that I was approaching the conveyor belt before him, but he felt the need to make a mad dash to the cashier and beat me to it. The question is...why? I don't get it. It wasn't even busy! I could see this happening at the station where people are running places to catch a train. Or even at the airport if you're in a rush, but why all the time? It happens every where.

I called my friend Shannon in New York afterwards. Mostly because I miss him and I'm experiencing a bout of homesickness right now. He shed some comical light on the situation. "He's in rush because he's old and dying. He has less time than you do and he needs to get things done." Good point Shannon! Haha.
Here we are at our favorite NYC restaurant, Angelica's Kitchen. :)
A few weeks ago when I was at the post office a woman clearly tried to cut in front of me because I moved six inches to the left to put my purse on a shelf while I stamped my envelopes. It was ridiculous. She tried to make a swift move by moving around me on my right side, but I held my own. I felt like a six year old child trying to not left this woman cut me in line. When Trees and I took the bus to Aachen, I couldn't believe the disorder that took place getting on the bus. It was just a mob. No line, no organization. Every man for themselves! All I could do was laugh. I've literally scene fights break out on NYC buses because people cut each other in line. No joke.

The thing that bothers me the most is that I find myself becoming more pushy. I've learned to be seriously aggressive at the open market on Fridays. It's just survival. And if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em. Okay, enough Dutch bashing for now. I love the Dutch and I love the Netherlands. I love how they are so organized. But that makes me wonder why lines and personal spaces are not the same. Hmmm.... Moments like this make me miss NYC. Yes. It's crowded, busy and people are always in a rush. I'm still amazed by how many millions of people live in just those five boroughs. But there's still a level of respect and organization when hundreds of people are cramming there way into a subway car. :)


  1. So familiar - it takes some getting used to but you'll end up an expert line pusher - just keep practicing :-)

  2. I can hear Shannon's voice saying those words to you so clearly in my head! I miss you guys terribly.

  3. @Amanda- You're right. I'm already pushier than usual, but you gotta do it to survive a crowded Albert Heijn. P.S. I LOVE your blog!!

    @Sarah- Miss you!!!