Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Trini Tuesday-Queued Up

Last week the lovely and literate Logo made a post about how much she hated standing in lines. I left a comment that I am now going to milk for all it's worth post-wise, mainly because I just haven't had time to get together the post I wanted to do.

Lines or queues are a strange phenomena in Trinidad. At certain times and places they are rigidly enforced and adhered to, like at banks or the grocery store register. In most other situations they are more or less (ususally less) suggestions that are entirely ignored. I'll never forget the first time I flew BWIA, the national airline. At the gate we all sat placidly waiting for boarding. The announcer stepped up and began to say, 'We are now boarding rows......' BAM!!! Every Trini, regardless of seat assignment, was queued up, in a fashion, and jostling for position. I'm quite sure I saw a grandmother damn near run over a baby to get her spot. Meanwhile the Americans and Brits sat in stunned silence at the melee before our eyes. It's all about who can get there first and maintain their hold.

Once I waited for a maxi taxi in the pouring rain. There was a little old lady with a cane next to me and I was conspicuously pregnant. The rest of the folks waiting were all able-bodied men. The maxi pulled up and all the men crowded past us as quickly as they could. I seem to remember the old lady sticking her cane out in front of me as she grabbed the last seat the men who had pushed ahead of her had left.

Once I was at a meat counter in the grocery, waiting patiently because I was 8 months pregnant and did not wish to be elbowed. I'd been there long enough to know this was a real possibility. I thought there had to be someone who would recognize I was there before they were and graciously step aside to make way...or the butcher would say..'Yes, miss. I see you are next.' No such luck. Finally, I got wise and decided to use whatever means I could to get my order and get the heck out of there. In true Trini form, I stood there, rubbed my belly and proclaimed loudly and in my best accent, 'Well I tink I about tuh make dis baby while I standin up waitin on all yuh.' The crowd parted like the Red Sea before Moses.

Happy Trini Tuesday!

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds sooooooo much like Brazil. Here they have specific queues for pensioners, pregnant women and women with small children. It is not unknown for someone to borrow a child if they have to go to the bank.

I'm trying to keep the Sprog's size down so we can still use that queue.

Sheri said...

lol - that's using your noodle for sure!

Happy Trini Tuesday - I really love reading these!

Ameratis said...

That is awesome.."make dis baby" too funny! I love your Trini tuesdays.

DaMasta said...

Hahhaa..nice approach! I hate lines/waiting more than anything in the WORLD, so I would probably be one of those shoving ppl out of the way just to get to the front. But then, I'm neither old nor pregnant nor youthful. I'm strong and bitter and that's what gets you thru those lines ;)

Breazy said...

LOL! well I know that if I ever go to Trini I am taking a fake pregnant belly with me so that I may use those exact words while standing in line ! Wow , they just rushed past you to the maxi taxi . I would have pulled my sleeves up and spoke up , it probably wouldn't have helped but I would have done it anyway. thanks for sharing with us Lime !

barefoot_mistress said...

Oh man, say no more...waiting in lines in India is hilarious as well!
I was never more thrilled when airports in India started having those line maker guide things....but then they just have to teach their people how to use them...
I actually had 5 Europeans jump over the back of my seat in the waiting room of the airport in Delhi so they could get on the plane before everyone else. Hey, we all have seating assignments, dont we?

ttfootball said...

LOL LOL LOL!!! This is so hilarious Lime! but true! Don't you just love Trinidad!? ANd how Trini are you to use that line at the end? HAHAHAHAAA
I always considered maxi-rushing to be a skill that was to be refined every afternoon, of course I didnt have a belly to think about...

ttfootball said...

yuh should do a audio post so we could hear yuh "best accent" hehehe

cindra said...

That's excellent. And I agree...I'd love to hear the accent that parted the sea of Trinis!

Anonymous said...

I look like I am preggers, maybe I should try that scam at Starbucks.
Thanks for the tip, Trini Limey!!

Anonymous said...

Hee hee!! ;-)

Seamus said...

Hell hath now power like the threat of a birthing!!!! LOL!

Blither said...

You are brilliant.. Like no other. I aspire to shine like you! *Cackle*

Happy Tuesday, Bella!

Top cat said...

The last paragraph is hilarious, delivered in true lime fashion.
I love it.

Sorry it took me so long to get here, been one of those days and last night blogger wouldn't let me comment.
tc

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I would do well in that "system", I don't wait patiently as is and if I had to wait and jostle at the same time I might blow a fuse. Happy Trini-Tuesday

Anonymous said...

In situations like that I send my husband, he's good at getting to the front of the line. He's embarrassed me more than once! Trinidad is someplace we have yet to visit but sounds like his kind of place.

BTExpress said...

I flew ob BWIA once, but would never take it a second time. We were on our way to Antigua and getting close when the piolet said there was little mechanical trouble. Nothing serious, but we had to fly onto Barbados where they could fix the problem. When we got to Barbados, we dropped so very fast to get to the ground as quick as possible. When we were taxiing, we saw a lot of fire trucks and emergency vehicles following the plane. It turned out one of our two engines had caught fire. They fixed the problem and wanted us to take that same plane to Antigua. We decided to catch the next fight there instead. The taxi driver told us that their motto was, "We may not be the best, but we've never had a plane crash." I change airline for the flight home.

Anonymous said...

That was a great trick. I would use it myself, but i don't think anyone would believe me.

jillie said...

Lime...just wanted to stop by and say thank you for your kind words...it's amazing how much everyone pulls together when you need them the most...
;o)

Anonymous said...

Michelle Trini Limey,

You can be a real scamp at times..xox

snavy said...

should had the baby there in the meat dept

that'll learn em

KFarmer said...

A Limey who can think on swollen feet- I like dat! :)

Rob said...

This is TOO funny -- AND informative, Michelle! It seems like "queues" are a way of life in many parts of the world. Maybe I shouldn't get so impatient when I invariably choose the longest/slowest line at the bank, grocery store, or Secretary of State's office; it obviously could be a LOT worse!

I couldn't help but wonder if there are ever any Japanese tourists that travel to Trini and, if so, how they cope with such lines. They are SO polite, I can't imagine them ever elbowing their way to the front of the queue to get served or seated or otherwise accommodated! I'd hate to think they'd collapse from exhaustion just waiting their turn!

Since I can't pull off a convincing "expectant mother" character, I guess I better just avoid visiting Trinidad -- unless I can have a "local" accompany me to run interference!

GREAT post (as usual)!

Anonymous said...

Whatever I do, I end up being the last in a crowded situation. I think it helps to have lived through lean times. My 70-year-old father knows how to defend his position in a line.