Line Up, Queue, Cola…

I have a very sharp tongue, I’m very impatient, and it’s a lifelong struggle. ~ Karen Armstrong

Line up, queue, cola, whatever you call it, it still equates to time wasted.

Life is funny.  It seems like I’m constantly challenged to work on one of my worst qualities, impatience. It rears its ugly head at certain things like waiting for summer to arrive, being super excited to go somewhere (I’m not the road trip kind of gal), or waiting for Juan to find his keys and put on his shoes when we have someplace to be and I’ve been ready for 10 minutes.  So isn’t it a bit ironic that I move to a place where I think they invented line ups?

Line up for the bank.  A great way to start the day.

Line up for the bank. A great way to start the day.

I understand that I’m living in South America and they have different ways of doing things; and I get that Caracas is a very large, somewhat disorganized city, but people here dislike line ups just as much as I do.  Some days are filled with dread because you have more than one thing to do. You constantly have to consider how much time will be spent waiting.

Rush hour.  Can you see the organization with traffic going in three directions at the same time?

No, this isn’t a parking lot.  This is rush hour. Can you see the organized flow of traffic going in three directions at the same time?

It goes something like this: I have to go to the doctor’s office.  Um it’ll take me 45 minutes to an hour to drive there, try to find parking (always a challenge) wait a minimum of 3 hours for a 10 minute appointment, go to the bank, but  try to find parking again, which can be around 20 minutes depending on where the bank is located, wait up to an hour in the bank.  There is no swiping of the debit card here.  Everything is still pretty much paper driven; you know, how it was 20 years ago when you had to fill out the withdrawal or deposit slip, plus your photo is taken and you have to ink your thumb print if you’re cashing cheques.  People are very weary of bank machines and won’t really use them if they’re situated outside of the bank. No matter, there are line ups for those too. Next, get some gas and pick up groceries on the way home.  Four seemingly small errands can take up to 6 hours, not very efficient and incredibly frustrating.  Of course the time will vary slightly depending on the order and the time of day you do your errands.

People waiting to insure their cars.  This line up is two people deep.

People waiting to insure their cars. This line up is two people deep.

Can see my problem? There are even line ups for line ups!  You think I’m joking, but it’s very common for government offices to employ this.  You stand in line for 45 minutes to an hour (seems like the magical number) to get the information of where you’re supposed to go, only to find the right place and wait another hour  for less than five minutes with the person you need to speak with.  Ah, bureaucracy, you got to love it.  Not!

I'm waiting for Juan waiting at the Notary Office.

I’m waiting for Juan waiting at the Notary Office.

Of course all of my Latino students laugh at me. They employ the “Silly Kim, you should know better” conversation.  I’m glad to know that my frustrations are their amusements.  They give me tips like bring a book or magazine; pack some water and something to snack on. These are good, but wouldn’t it be easier if things were just a tiny bit more efficient?

This is not traffic.  This is a line up to get to the gas pump.  It does affect traffic, though.

This is not traffic. This is a line up to get to the gas pump. It does affect traffic, though.

I know complaining doesn’t solve anything, but some days it sure helps to vent a little.  I’m learning to deal with it, but trust me when I say it’s challenging.

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About kimsimard

I'm a Canadian wandering around the world, discovering new food, cultures and friends. I'm currently in the homeland of the love of my life, Venezuela.

6 responses to “Line Up, Queue, Cola…”

  1. cécile says :

    OMG I know you always mentioned waiting, and lines up, but I guess I didn’t picture it right! this is… well there’s no word… I don’t understand though. why does everything take so long? for instance at the gas station. don’t they have enough gas pumps or employee? this would drive me completely insane. you have to have a day off to go to the bank, you cannot go during lunch break for instance. what a waste of time!

    • kimsimard says :

      Ha ha ha I’m glad I could put this into focus for you. Now you can understand my hell. There are lots of gas pumps and employees, but you’d think there would be more considering. Some people “employ” other people to do things on their behalf. For example, Juan’s sister has given him written authorization to process some things for her because she’s too busy to do it her self and like you said, it takes all day.

      There is no streamlining. And for someone like me (someone who craves order), I just want to scream.

  2. Shelli@How'sitgoingeh? says :

    Oh.My.God. I’m totally feeling for you! That “traffic” looks totally insane!!! I would get major road rage! And those lines????!!!! How frustrating!!!!!

    • kimsimard says :

      It makes L.A traffic look easy breezy. I’m always saying, watch out! be careful! he’s coming in! It drives my bf crazy….. just as much as the traffic. LOL The lines are stuuuuuupid. Not efficient at all.

  3. Skippy says :

    Forget a visit from US! Can you imagine ME there?! Sam can and that’s why we’ll never go there! We will have to meet you guys in some other country, like Canada. Maybe in the Vancouver area. How does that sound?

    • kimsimard says :

      Ah how about we meet in Curacao? My friend has an 80′ yacht we could charter. Might be a bit pricey, but hey, what the hell. You should be proud of me Skippy. I’m surviving all of this. How Juan is so calm all the time is beyond me.

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