samedi 12 avril 2008

The Queue

Paris in the Springtime Photo

French people do not know how to line up!! When I first arrived in France I was waiting in what I thought was a line to purchase something. However, I realized I was in the same spot 15 min. later, but was continually surrounded by new people coming in to the line. It doesn't matter if you have a designated spot in what you think is a line, it is not!! I guess I obviously looked like the naive American and didn't want to appear the rude American as we are so often perceived so I politely stood there and waited and waited and waited.......

Two weeks later, I was explaining this to a French person and they said to me, Oh no, there is no need for a line. When entering a shop where you must wait for service, you simply "observe" who has most recently arrived and you take your "place" behind them. Go figure, who ever thought it was so simple!!

By the way, one should not ask where is "la queue" in french, especially to a man or they may obligingly drop their pants for you!!