Whose Line Is It Anyway?
So I stood in line for 5 hours today to receive a piece of paper. Of course that piece of paper says that my passport is being processed and sent in a month, but I still feel a little ripped off. Both Erika and I left feeling like we had forgotten something after bringing in our paperwork, photos, id, etc. and coming away with almost nothing.
Standing in a line for multiple hours is a weird experience. I don't think it's something that comes naturally to us at all. You are forced to stand still (interrupted by glorious seconds of movement) and do...nothing. Staring at your surroundings is great fun, but can only keep you enraptured for so long. So what do you do? Well, if you were smart you brought a book, or music, or UltraMegaSupraDeathalonic Sudoku. If you weren't you count the number of bricks in the wall and attempt to figure out how to make them fall on everyone in front of you.
You also form somewhat of a bond with you linemates. You share the common bonds of annoyance and frustration. Frustration at the fact that you got up early to get here and still have 5 hours of waiting. Annoyance at the baby that is inevitably right behind you and sounds like a sheep when it cries. But you help each other out - patiently holding their place in line if they have to duck out, making snide comments about others in line (and sheep baby of course), kicking them lovingly in the face when they've fallen asleep and the line is starting to move.
Then there's the tension just before you get to the front. Did I fill in everything correctly? Do I look like a terrorist in my photo? And then...MORE WAITING!!! Yay! Now we get to sit for 1.5 hours listening to people complain about the slow process, trying to figure out just whose fault it is and why they don't get preferential treatment like everyone else (note the inherent irony...sweet, sweet irony).
And now back to the real world.