Indian people don't queue?

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#1 Jun 20th, 2018, 06:01
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#1
People do queue up in India, but...

Indian people seem very courteous in general, but I have noticed a tendency for Indian folk to "cut in front" when there is a line or queue.

I was watching an Indian travel vlog video today, and the western person remarked that this was one of the things that really surprised and upset them.

I kind of understand that personal space is at a premium in a very populated country, but this blatant "disregard" for fair play seems hard to fathom?

Is it that at base that some sections of society are traditionally accorded preferential treatment?

I would like to hear about this from the Indian perspective, rather than from fellow tourists...

Ed.
#2 Jun 20th, 2018, 11:41
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#2
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Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post
Is it that at base that some sections of society are traditionally accorded preferential treatment?
Yes! And as everyone seems to regard themselves as belonging to this section so they expect preferential treatment. Minions running errands for thier bosses are the greatest culprits.
#3 Jun 20th, 2018, 11:45
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Originally Posted by Golghar View Post Yes! And as everyone seems to regard themselves as belonging to this section so they expect preferential treatment. Minions running errands for thier bosses are the greatest culprits.
Blaming the minions is cheap. It is the bosses and VIPs that are the worst culprits in my experience.
#4 Jun 20th, 2018, 11:48
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Its not the case all over. In Pune people lined up for the bus admirably. Have seen this elsewhere. Sometimes it gets enforced such as when my spouse recognizes Bengali and rips the hide off the miscreant in that language. In India so many people speak half a dozen languages..
#5 Jun 20th, 2018, 14:19
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#5

Indian people don't queue?

"This will only take one minute..."

That was when I was arranging my telephone connection 13 years ago. I told the guy, "This will only take one minute and my minute comes first."

Sometimes you just have to use elbows.

Queuing is more like trying to get served at a busy pub bar. You learn forward, you wave your tenner or glass. But a good barman at least tries to take people in turn. Here, the staff person at the queue end does not really care, and certainly doesn't think it is his job to teach manners. And if other people in the queue don't object (they sometimes do) either...

What is the why? Entitlement. Especially for males.
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#6 Jun 20th, 2018, 15:18
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#6
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post
Queuing is more like trying to get served at a busy pub bar. You learn forward, you wave your tenner or glass. But a good barman at least tries to take people in turn. Here, the staff person at the queue end does not really care, and certainly doesn't think it is his job to teach manners. And if other people in the queue don't object (they sometimes do) either...

What is the why? Entitlement. Especially for males.
Nick, you just pushed one of my buttons. I reached a certain age, ahem, and discovered that in certain pubs, certain bartenders attended to younger/prettier women ahead of me. One night out drinking with my daughter, after waiting politely while three young lovelies who came after me were served, I finally slammed my empty Heineken bottle on the bar in frustration. That caused the bartender to refuse to serve me at all! So I went and sat down and my younger/prettier friends/family fetched my drinks.
Later I saw an episode of an excellent TV show, Grace and Frankie, in which Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin kvetch about how they have become invisible due to their age. They go out for a pack of smokes and, grokking how invisible they are to the young cashier, they steal it.
So I don't think the failure-to-queue thing has that much to do with the mores of India, especially. You're on the money with the notion of male privilege, which is a worldwide phenomenon. I think, in general, as an older woman, I am treated with more respect in India than I was in the US.
(Except when I tell young people I attended Woodstock, met Timothy Leary, tried to levitate the Pentagon, etc. - sometimes that buys me a bit of respect.)
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#7 Jun 20th, 2018, 23:10
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I like how, when I tap some line-cutter on the shoulder and give him a stern look, he looks totally baffled as to why I would be confronting him about anything, but then usually he gets the idea and moves back. It always leaves me feeling slightly irritated, slightly excited, quite self-righteous, slightly guilty, and a bit afraid that somebody will react badly, and rather embarrassed for trying to enforce my weird foreign social rules on people in this country.

Anybody else have similar experiences?
#8 Jun 20th, 2018, 23:26
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Talking

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Originally Posted by kathill View Post (Except when I tell young people I attended Woodstock, met Timothy Leary, tried to levitate the Pentagon, etc. - sometimes that buys me a bit of respect.)
Cool! I OMed with Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg back in the day and the rest is history. We should meet up! And I LOVE Grace and Frankie!

As a Yogini of a Certain Age I must say that my sleeves, tattoo variety, get me attention while traveling in India that belie my age to people. Depending on the situation.

Once in line at the Chennai airport a guy cut in about three people ahead of me. People only gave him some stink eye. I was at the end of the line. I went up to him, tapped his shoulder repeatedly with my passport and yelled "GET IN THE BACK OF THE LINE!" He did and people actually clapped!
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#9 Jun 20th, 2018, 23:45
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Originally Posted by NonIndianResident View Post I like how, when I tap some line-cutter on the shoulder and give him a stern look, he looks totally baffled as to why I would be confronting him about anything, but then usually he gets the idea and moves back. It always leaves me feeling slightly irritated, slightly excited, quite self-righteous, slightly guilty, and a bit afraid that somebody will react badly, and rather embarrassed for trying to enforce my weird foreign social rules on people in this country.

Anybody else have similar experiences?
It is exactly that disconnect between why the line cutter is so baffled to be confronted, his lack of shame, and considerate behaviour that puzzles me...

I guess at base, it may be that India is a tough place, if you don't try for every advantage, you may not thrive?

I don't think it is about "privilege" as such, because this happens in the markets and street food stands too, not places you expect to see the well off.

Good to know we have a few old hippy freaks on the I.M. board.

Ed.
#10 Jun 21st, 2018, 00:17
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Originally Posted by NonIndianResident View Post Anybody else have similar experiences?
Yes, probably everyone! But I think the bafflement is a defensive move: "What queue? Is there a queue? I'm baffled by your claim that there is a queue." In other words, "I didn't do it intentionally".

Which is totally fake, of course, but leaves his honor intact and so is better than an aggressive reaction.
#11 Jun 21st, 2018, 00:57
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#11
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Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post I would like to hear about this from the Indian perspective, rather than from fellow tourists...

Ed.
We don't queue unless we have to, but we do have to-- a lot of the time. (The Demonetisation Drama from a year and half ago being a memorable case in point).

We don't jump queue unless we're in a hurry, and we're always in a hurry even when we're not really in a hurry. (Or else the other guy would cut ahead and who wants that?)

Queueing outside shops? Pretty uncommon. We prefer to form a scrum and shout and shove. But on the other hand I've noticed that most shopkeepers are reasonably good at identifying customers in the order that they appeared before them. So you've to be sure you're visible.

(But again it depends- if you're standing outside a ration shop there will be a long line. If you're wealthy, you won't need to stand outside a ration shop in the first place.)

Outside temples and other places of worship? Oh, we stand in the line religiously, and sometimes for hours on end. Even for a whole day at times. (Unless of course we can afford the VIP ticket and leapfrog ahead or suspend the line altogether.)

Outside a liquor shop? It's often a sweaty beastly line, which if you're female you should avoid. If there is a scrum? Still avoid it.

Outside restaurants? We will queue for food, but nowadays we prefer to give our phone number and the guy at the door will ring us when our turn comes. (At least in the big cities). If not, wait, always wait for food. In Andhra Bhavan and other canteens always wait to be seated. Your turn will come.

So that's what I can think of at the top of my head.

When I first went to the UK about 15 years ago I was struck by how obsessed the British are with queueing up everywhere. (Even when drunk and at 3 am outside the kebab shop!) It was almost as though they secretly enjoyed it.
#12 Jun 21st, 2018, 02:26
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#12
The most orderly queue i have ever seen in India was at a shop near my parents house in Kerala.

The first time I saw it , I was baffled as i had never seen such a long and orderly queue anywhere else.

Found out later that it was for the local liquor outlet ( I think only one in each town )

The other thing which most westerners might get caught out is the personal space difference in india

The personal space between same sexes ( men -men ) is less than half of what is in the west .

In the case of opposite sexes ( male - female ) it is double what that is in the west .

Of course this does not matter in case of close friends etc. but the distances are definitely different.

When i first came to the UK , i used to be inadvertently boxed into a corner by female collegues who used to come closer and closer . My reaction was to move backwards while they used to move closer again.

I also suspect that a few of my male colleagues might have questioned my orientation..

In india it is extremely common for straight men to walk close.to each other.
#13 Jun 21st, 2018, 03:31
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#13
A couple of years ago I was trying to get a train ticket at the booth for foreigners in Nampally station Hyderabad.Unfourtanetly this was also the only booth that accepted credit/debit cards.
Everyone in the scrum,meleee was trying to buy a huge number of tickets,I assume for mates,family their entire street.
After about ten minutes of one guy trying to push past me I turned round and said something to the effect of "Dear fellow I have but one reservation form and you have many,please desist your actions because you are unlikely to succeed."
He immediately stopped,shouted something in Telugu.Everyone in front turned to look at me,bugger this didn't look good.
Much to my amazement I was escorted to the front,purchased my ticket and looked behind to thank everyone.The usual chaos had returned but with the the original bloke at the front.
Beaming from ear to ear.
Just a daft anecdote on Indian queuing and manners,and one of many reasons I love the place.
#14 Jun 21st, 2018, 04:08
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#14
I am reminded of coming down in a hotel lift to the ground floor, This is the final stop, it must be obvious that I wish to leave the lift, but everyone waiting tries to rush in before I can get out. Not sure what that says about personal space!

Trying to alight at Mumbai CST train station, we were warned not to stand near the open doors, as folk wishing to board and secure a seat hurled themselves aboard before the train had stopped. Super dense crush load leaves no personal space for sure!


Ed.
#15 Jun 21st, 2018, 05:41
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#15
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Nick, you just pushed one of my buttons. I reached a certain age, ahem, and discovered that in certain pubs, certain bartenders attended to younger/prettier women ahead of me.
I vaguely remember when I was young and I know my attitude then was, of course! Sorry, if your alternative was cold calling female names out of a student directory this only makes sense. You don't know me but would you like to get some coffee together? I'm married! Not a problem mam, experience counts. This works to your advantage if you are an older lady. A cop once told me it was true that they pulled over red sports cars more often because they were frequently driven by young women and well, its their social life. So if you are toddling along in your old car at 85 in the city they are less likely to pull you over. It didn't work for me. But, hey someone has to pay off the 660 billion debt of the PRC, the people's republic of california..
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