Tis the time of the year to queue

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I assume most of you have been in some sort of queue in the past week. Maybe you’re even passing your time right this very minute in one, inching your way forward to the till. Alternatively you might be purposely trying to avoid them, keeping away from the stores and centres that are being descended on by thousands of jolly shoppers.
When I think of queues, I think of my dad. He hates queues, with a passion. He doesn’t reserve the usual amount of animosity towards them, but starts scowling and pacing, stomps his feet, starts checking from one aisle to the next, knowing full well that whatever queue he’s picked, it will be the slowest. You should see him in a traffic jam, rather than sit beside him, in the car when the M62 backs up.
So last Friday I decided to do a little shopping of my own. Not at 6pm, I’m not that naive, and anyway, the Russians don’t celebrate Christmas on the 25th to the same extent as we do. New Year is the big day for them and they have their own Christmas on the 7th January. Still, with people finishing their working week and all, I decided to descend on Ashan (think a Makro or a Walmart) at 9pm. So did the other inhabitants of Moscow, all 11 million of them.
Honestly I’ve never seen so many people in a single shop. There were queues for queues, and just when and where they ended, nobody could tell. It was like the old snake game on Nokia, when you had thousands of points and found the whole screen one messy squiggle. The two pictures show just the main section of the queues. They went down food aisles. People were eating their dinner standing there, and I wasn’t surprised, 45 minutes I queued for.
So next weekend when you’ve 10 people in front of you in M&S, just count yourself lucky will you, and don’t, don’t forget any items you went in for.


3 thoughts on “Tis the time of the year to queue

  1. Hi Leon, great insight as always into Moscow life. Notice that the photos have not come out for some reason so you will need to edit the post and re put them in.

  2. I was in a line yesterday and quite annoyed. Normally I’ll just toss the item back and flee if there’s a huge line but there was only one place to get what I needed, so in line I was. Having not eaten all day, I grabbed a bag of popcorn chips from the vast gourmet section and stood in line munching, which calmed me down. When I got to the checkout, I said to the girl–“about this”–and she looked at me with deep suspicion, no doubt wondering was I perpetrating some sort of scam. “Are they good,” she asked, letting me know that she knew the reason they were mostly gone was me and not to try any funny stuff. I said yes, fantastic and what I wanted to say was please try not to turn them upside down since they’re open and I’m eating them. Her mood didn’t change, and in her eyes I was still some sort of criminal, but she scowled and said “I’ll try.” That’s all you can ask for in California.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. When my kids were younger if we were out food shopping I’d often get something from the shop for them to munch as we went round then hand the empty packet of whatever it was to the person on the till. They always seemed very confused by this for reasons I never quite understood.

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