Queueing: Not As Bad As You Think

Wherever mobile food vendors are, there will always be a crowd of hungry people wanting to get their hands, and mouths, on whatever delicious foods the carts, vans, trucks, bikes and tents serve.

Inevitably, the best way to get to the goods is to join the queue. Long lines are often seen as a problem: a dense network of people blocking your path to your meal. Lines mean you must wait - and in the street food world, this can skew the very nature of a 'quick' bite.

There is much that can be said for the etiquette of queueing: maintaining the original order, keeping a healthy distance, keeping complaints to a mimimum. Yet, all of these social rules we attribute to lines rely on the perception that lining up is a bad thing; that we must do everything in our power to make an unenjoyable experience less painful.

There is a social nature to lines

But are missing the point of that line? There is a social nature to lines, and the act of lining up puts us in direct contact with other, like-minded individuals and groups. While we wait, why do we not take the opportunity to spark conversation, to meet someone new or to share ourselves with others? There is a reason that all of those people are standing in line for the fare offered by that vendor – and what a perfect place to start the dialogue.

Take a number, join the queue, make a friend, engage with your fellow street food fans. In all likelihood, you may end up with a new smiling face at your table.