Friday, May 07, 2010


(A glimpse at the lines for Spain)
Waiting in lines in China is all about strategy. People in general, get a little aggressive here. The concept of a single person line seems lost on the masses. Furthermore, even if some people are lined up, other people are not above climbing under poles, pushing ahead of gawkers, and helping their family of 5 cut in front of 50 other people. In this somewhat stressful environment, my team-mate and I figured that if the rules you are used to playing by no longer apply, then you have to apply the rules of the new culture in order to function successfully in this new environment. So, we did just that. We got real good at aggressively waiting in the lines. It wasn’t easy; it took concentration and perseverance but the end result was worth it. We didn’t lose our cool and had fun making what might be a real stressful event into training for a new type of sporting event that hasn’t even been invented yet.

(Jenn and I waiting to see Israel, the first country we visited at the World Expo. We were so naive; we stepped it up after this crazy line.)

Here’s a sample of our dialogue as we waited in the 40 minute line to see America’s exhibit (America lost big points for its messy line):
Me: “Lady on my left is trying to cut us off at this inside corner.”
Jenn: “Hug the corner; I’ve got this corner covered, but we need to move quick.”
Me: “I’ve got my elbow touching this fence, we’re good.”
Jenn: “Great. She’s really aggressive.”
Me: “Yes, and she’s using her big bag to try and cut me off.”
Jenn: “Is she wearing the house shoes from the hotel?”

Sample from waiting in line for the Australia exhibit:
Jenn: “We’ve got kids running wildly through the line.”
Me: (to the kids in Chinese) “You guys need to wait in line,” as they rush past me.
Jenn: “This lady’s umbrella keeps getting stuck in my hair.”
Me: “Let’s get in front of the two people with umbrellas. It’s ridiculous they don’t realize what a hazard it is to hold their umbrellas at other people’s eye level.”
Jenn: “I’m all in favor of getting past them.”
Me: “They’re moving slow; I think we can cut them off at the next corner.”
Jenn: “Let’s move. Soon we’ll be under the canopy and the misters that Australia has so nicely installed over their waiting line.”
Me: “America should study how to organize their lines from Australia’s example.”

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