I’ve been traveling around Europe and Northern Africa for the past two months, going from culture to culture (6 countries this trip). I have been doing my best to stand back and not stick out as a huge American.
Today in Lisbon, Portugal I was waiting to order an espresso and did my usual anxious “stand in the back of the room and study how everyone else is doing it” way of ordering. I walked up to the counter and stumbled through my terrible Portuguese ordering a double Americano (seemingly everyone speaks English here, but it is a simple thing I try to do). An older woman came up around me and started ordering. Her daughter said, “Wait, he was here first” and she responded, “But I wanted it more.”
She got her coffee before me. I had a good laugh on the cultural differences of how we form lines in different cultures.
It got me thinking about life, though – how many people are waiting nicely in line, getting passed by people who want it more?