Monday, 9 May 2011

Greetings from Miami

So it is 7.30 in the morning and I am standing in line waiting for the Apple Store Miami to open, hoping to get one of their - very few - new iPads (my only excuse being jet-lag, meaning I have been up since 5.00 am anyway, so I might as well be here). And of course, there are two Russians behind me and we get to talk about national queuing characteristics.

 This is a conversation I had recently with an Italian colleague in Moscow; he summed up Italian queuing as basically an intensive funneling effect. The British and the Americans queue - I think - in a similar way; relatively orderly lines but a lot of tutting and discussions based on what the queue is doing/who is pushing in/ why are we queuing anyway, Apple do this on purpose just to command product loyalty, etc.

Russian queues, from my experience, are more complicated, a kind of amalgam of both the above methods. People bunch up rather than form a line; yet there is a clear idea of order. People often ask who is the last in line, so they know who to follow. Which makes it particularly incomprehensible if you don't speak the language. 


  1. My mum dealt admirably with Russian queues while she was here, after suffering an extensive tutorial from me.

    Most of my public tantrums since moving to Moscow have been queue-related. At least two or three of them in Zara. Don't get me started on Topshop.

  2. So how did she do it? Did she shout? Did she push? I need to know!