Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Queuing is a nice idea that is widely practised in many western countries but it is little understood in Vietnam and certainly rare. In Hanoi where I am living now, I don't think I've seen a queue. I seem to get mad easier than 7 years ago when I first arrived. After years and many thousand times that people have pushed in front of me, I've started shouting and telling people to follow the rule.

Shopping in the supermarket is a huge drama especially during weekends, not only because many people shop at this time, but also because there is no queuing system. One popular trick is when ladies come to the cashier and ask to pay first, "I only have one item, would you mind?". It doesn't work that way lady!!! Some of the cashiers allow this practise which really make me wild and angry.

Another queuing nightmare is the Noi Bai Airport. I remember one situation two years ago when I flew to Ho Chi Minh City for Tet. I went to the airport two and a half hours in advance because I knew there would be thousands of people there at the same time. A problem came up when the Vietnam airlines staff gave our seats to their relatives or people they know and they told us that we came late and the plane had no seats left. More than 50 passengers including me shouted at the Vietnam airlines staff. We know this is a bad airline but we had no choice. Two hours later, they announced that our new flight was delayed without any excuse. We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City at 1 am, 5 hours later than our plan.

I'm growing very tired of these situations!!!!