When taking the inaugural flight from
To queue or not to queue? That is the question you must ask yourself the next time you find yourself waiting for something with more than about two other people in the same place. Obviously there are times when a natural order will impose itself upon a situation, such as at the supermarket check-out, but that is about the only place you will find it happening. You see, queuing is about as anathema to the Italians as tea with UHT milk is to the average Brit. Getting one ahead is simply de rigueur and, quite frankly, it does become quite a satisfying art form once you have had time enough to practice a while. One of the best places to practice is at the Posta (Post Office), where only the foolhardy would consider giving precedence to someone who might have been in the room before them. Turn your back for a second to check the weather outside and you risk someone jumping into the spot you had earmarked for yourself amongst the fray. It is a bit like witnessing the confluence of waters at a narrow point in a river, where the tumult of waters presses together for a split second before being forcibly thrust out into the wider world beyond. God forbid that you try and buy a stamp on pensions day.
There are wider connotations to the queue of course, one of which is the exhibition of another very Italian trait, the lack of personal space. Most Brits find the idea of having to squeeze together in a small space with lots of other people decidedly unpleasant, hence why the orderly queue is such a staple of life; nobody wants to be too close to the person in front or behind them. Trying to get into a sport stadium in