QUEUE ETIQUETTE RULES IN BALI – WAIT, THERE AREN’T ANY …

QUEUE ETIQUETTE RULES IN BALI – WAIT, THERE AREN’T ANY …

There I am, finally head of the queue at an Alfamart after patiently waiting my turn. I open my mouth to ask for whatever, and some random local guy, who has just come in, sidles in from the side, weasels his shoulder in front of mine, and starts asking the cashier for something. Her eyes swivel away from me to him.

kawan mini market bali

I continue asking for what I need in a firm voice and her eyes swivel back to me. There is a hint of panic there, because this has the makings of a ‘confrontation’, a situation which locals appear to want to avoid at all costs.

The queue-jumper makes an impatient sound and tries to keep talking. I hold the cashiers gaze and repeat my requirements. She caves in and serves me. The guy clucks and growls and mutters.

As I turn to leave, he accosts me. “You must show respect!” he says in English. “I did”, I say in Indonesian. “I show respect to these people”, waving at the queue behind me. “I wait. But you – you push. Is that respect?”

He stares at me venomously, but the people in the line are smiling. The cashier is giggling nervously. But I leave quickly because I really don’t want an infuriated local chasing me on a bike and possibly doing something silly just to save face.

Funny how what I, and many others, would regard as rudeness is simply accepted here, even though it is obviously anti-social, disrespectful and annoying. As Hector so accurately notes in his diary, there is a mystifying absence of “the phrase ‘membentuk antrian tertib’ (form an orderly queue) from both everyday Bahasa Indonesia and local consciousness.”

http://8degreesoflatitude.com/…/hectpors-diary-bali-advert…/

And that absence spoils things for a lot of people who have grown up.

 

* by Vyt  Karazija

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*