Editor’s Note: Lobos Abroad is a regular column written by Daily Lobo staff members studying in a different country this semester.
Some people have nightmares of being trapped at the MVD in a never-ending line.
Personally, I pay the extra money and do all my drivers license business at the MVD Express, so I don’t have to know about the horrors of the regular MVD. That all changed when I came to Sweden.
When American college students think of Sweden, Absolut Vodka might come to mind, possibly Basshunter, or for the musically deranged, Abba. While the Swedish are ardent fans of order, structure and rules, this is trumped only by their love of lines.
Commonly referred to as queues, these long-winding monsters are found at nightclubs, the international office at the university and when getting tickets for parties.
Now, lines might seem like something vapid to complain about, but you have to realize that these are not your typical breed of lines.
Sometimes there is a reward involved for the queue, like a party, but repeatedly standing in line overnight without sleeping just for a ticket gets old quickly.
During my first queue experience, I discussed the situation with an evidently queuing-desensitized Swede, who did not understand my appalled state.
“How do you get anything done without lines?” she asked. “I don’t enjoy standing in line, but I know that there is a purpose, so I don’t mind.”
Another Swede I spoke to shared this patient, accepting opinion.
“It makes (the process) difficult, so you know the right people get in,” she said.
There is a process that differentiates these lines from any other that I have encountered before. Step one: Go to the front of the line, pull a ticket out of a dispenser. Step two: Go to the back of the line. Step three: Wait and watch the screen for your number to be called.
All right, when put that way, it all sounds normal and dandy, but there are some distinct differences I have to insert here as well.
One notable difference is that when you are queuing overnight, you are not allowed to fall asleep or you lose your spot!
Yep, you sign in and stand in line, and they call the names out every hour or so, and if you are in the restroom, asleep or otherwise unable to answer, then you are promptly crossed off the list.
Seeing as I hail from instant land, the whole queuing business is something that I have come to resent.
I have heard through the grapevine that patience is a virtue, but it’s not one that I’ve acquired thus far.
So I figure, if nothing else, I will come out of this experience with a greater appreciation for drive-thrus and a bit more tolerance for waiting.