Watching the British is a popular pastime amongst ex-pats living here – in fact “people watching” is also popular with us Brits so apparently we’re good viewing!  Admittedly we do have some foibles, we can’t help it – but that’s what makes Britain GREAT!  This is the first in a series of blogs about the quirky things you’ll come across if you dare to visit the UK.  Here we talk about queuing:

  1. We Queue for everything!

In the UK we queue and wait our turn for practically everything: to be served in shops, banks and post offices; for taxis, buses, trains and toilets; to get into museums, theatres and concerts; even to buy a take-away sandwich for lunch!  If there is any confusion about whether there is one queue or more, for several different cashiers, you should still wait your turn and stay behind everyone who arrived before you.  British people do not try to get to the front first (but we do get frustrated when the other queue moves quicker than the one we’re in!); if in doubt about whether or not someone is in the queue, ask!

The main exception to queuing is at a bar, where there is no obvious queue; but even here, it is considered good manners to indicate to the server that the person next to you was there before you, if they were.

Since there are many more weird and wonderful things which set us apart from the rest of the world, there will be plenty more articles where this came from.  Keep an eye on the blog page for more!