• Ben Etchells-Rimmer


There were queues later, I can assure you.

Queuing is wonderfully annoying. However, being the patient, British guy that I am, I accept my role in life as a competent queuer (not too sure on whether that’s a word).

HOWEVER. Certain places just don’t seem to grasp the concept of the simple art of queuing.

I was visiting Manrique’s House in Lanzarote and fair play to the guy, he built himself a pretty decent house out of the lava and, being a forward thinking guy, seemed to build a gift shop. I’m not sure this would have done much trade when he lived there.

Anyway. This bustling gift shop had an eclectic array of junk that was entirely unnecessary. Books on Menorcan cooking, postcards of Tenerife and some of the most random ornaments you’ve ever seen filled shelf after shelf. Still, despite walking around thinking ‘this is tat’, I wanted to buy a bracelet. So, like all good shoppers, I queued.

As I approached the counter, it was clear that there were two elderly Spanish women who were there for the long haul. They were mulling over which hideous ring to buy, neither of which should ever really be on public display.

After about a month and a half of staring at these two awful rings, they walked off. One more woman in front of me in the queue then it’s my turn. Racked with excitement at challenging the language barrier, I looked around at the ever growing queue and the two Spanish elderly ladies rejoining the queue.

Suddenly, it’s my turn. I hope you’re sharing in my excitement here. I took a deep breath in, look at the lady behind the counter and said…


Before I even managed to complete my first word, two elderly Spanish ladies pushed to the front of the queue and started talking rings again.

‘That is not how it works!’ I thought. International relationships are being broken down here based on these two innocent looking Spanish completely flaunting the rules of queuing.

‘OH’. I proclaimed loudly, ‘I DON’T MIND WAITING’. Because proclaiming things loudly in a language that nobody next to me really understands helps matters greatly.

They looked at me and, wait for it, smiled. SMILED. The cheek!

About an hour and a half later after we’d looked at every possible ring and tried them all on every finger about a thousand times, we had to send a press release out about which one had finally been picked as the chosen ring, showing everyone stood within a 7 mile radius the ring that was chosen. She looked at me, and showed me the ring. At this point, if I tried really, REALLY hard, I don’t think I could have cared less. I gave her my best unimpressed smile as she FINALLY handed over the money, all €7, for this hideous fake gold ring with a stone stuck in it.

Finally, it’s my turn. I point quickly at the bracelet I wanted in the cabinet behind me and rustled in my pocket to find €2. As I turn back to the till, still in a huff over the blatant disregard for the rules of queuing, I am greeted by the other old Spanish woman, loudly wailing in Spanish and pointing at her friend.

The cashier looks at me, places my bracelet on the counter, and begins to serve the old lady.

Some people just don’t know the rules.

#travel #queuing

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