First Person

Queues around the World

Forget all that business about flags and anthems and agonising about national characteristics—perhaps the way people queue is a much better indicator of national identity. So for what it’s worth, here’s a quick trip around the world, according to queue protocol. In Britain, people queue politely, obediently. You always know where a queue is—it stretches, often seemingly ad infinitum, neatly packed. People might enter the queue with a general smile, a polite nod to the situation, but otherwise give the general impression of being there in body, but not in spirit. In a country where close proximity is seen as…

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