And I’m talking about Belgians here, not the unschooled masses in immigrant hell**, where you could safely make the assumption that most of the people around you didn’t even know what deodorant was, let alone how to form a civilized line. I mean, have you ever seen the Grand Bizarre or those street markets in Aladdin? That’s not a lie, that’s how the market places work where many of the immigrants here come from. I never could figure out why people who dealt with so many immigrants ever made the assumption that forming a line was somehow a skill that people were born with rather than a culturally taught behavior.
Especially because Belgians can’t figure out how lines work themselves.
Mostly in grocery stores, it seems, since I’ve never seen this phenomenon anywhere else.
It drives me up a wall because it’s so presumptuous and self entitled and just makes me want to punch the perpetrator in the neck: people who get in line to check out at the grocery store, realize they’ve forgotten something, leave their basket on the floor in line and then expect to get their place back when they return.
Bull. Shit. I say to that crap right there.
If you don’t have the presence of mind to make a shopping list or you’ve realized you’ve forgotten something, you know what? Too damn bad! Take your basket with you (or really, if it’s that heavy that you have to leave it, leave it off to the side so people can file through and buy their food or better yet, if your basked is that heavy, use a cart next time, schmuck).
And if you do leave it in line? Don’t expect me to just stand there like a fool waiting for you to come back to your “saved space.” This isn’t grade school. You can’t be all “ooh, save my space” and then expect a whole line of people to just hang out because oops, you forgot your cantaloupe.
Okay, well apparently you can expect it, but you shouldn’t. You forgot something, sucks to be you, go get it and get in the back of the line. Do not even try to push your way in front of me or demand that I let you go first cause your basket was sitting there unattended. Your basket is not a magical bookmark that saves your place for you.
See this frozen stuff I’m holding? It’s defrosting.
Do you have frozen stuff in your basket? Why no, you don’t. I’m in more of a hurry than you are and look! I brought a list with me so I wouldn’t forget anything.
And if I did?
I’d get it and go to the back of the line.
It could be that I’m the only one who finds these people to be selfish, rude, and self-entitled.
Or maybe it’s just me as a westernized immigrant.
I have no clue.
But this one?
This one falls soundly on the con side of living in Belgium.
**Unfamiliar with Immigrant Hell? It’s a term I coined for the Gent Town Hall’s immigration waiting area. In the first two years of my residency here I had to visit relatively often and in my old blog I had several tales of wrestling to get a number, waking up at 5 am to get in line for when the office opened at 7:30, running circles for paperwork and documents when laws and rules would change with no one knowing or informing me, etc., etc.