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!