Stupendous Madrid – And people in queues

Puerta de Alcalá

Puerta de Alcalá

Madrid. Madrid. Gorgeous Madrid. The good thing about Madrid is the sunshine. Oh and the food. The hotel was nice too, as was the broad bright bus station at Plaza de Castilla and I loved the architecture downtown and the people are so friendly and have you visited the fantastic Museo Reina Sofía?!

Wait. It’s pointless to list the good things about Madrid, there are too many of them. Let’s approach this in a more rational manner. List the bad things. Everything in Madrid is good except…………I can’t think of anything and anyway, this blog has not developed a reputation for informing the reader of the great and the gorgeous. No the mission of TB is to revile the ghastliness of the human condition.

The queues at EasyJet coming home were appalling! That’s more like it. Being someone who is out of kilter with 21st Century Britain I detest queues. During my, seemingly endless queue at Madrid airport I decided that it was not so much the queues that wound me up as the people in them. I determined that there were various types of moronic queue-ers and I lay them out here for your consideration.

First there are the early birds. The people are desperate to be the first on the plane so that they can have the pick of one of the  hundred odd almost identical seats. Bizarrely these people would rather spend 45 minutes standing in a queue to get their choice of seat than relax and take their pick at the last moment. Then there are the dawdlers. The people that, when the people in front of them move forward, they stay still. OK, we don’t want to be leaning into each other but come on, we’re queuing here. I don’t mean to be pedantic but we need to maintain a distinction between a queue and a bunch of people standing around in isolated clumps. I suspect that these people are the same as the morons who do the same in a queue of traffic. Appearing so relaxed and laid back, yet nip in in front of them and they soon get shirty.

Cibeles Palace (City Hall),

Then there are the sliders. These are the people that come and stand next to the queue, usually gazing at something trying to look like they are wondering if this is the queue for them. Yet gradually, as the queue moves they move along too, usually sliding past everyone else to get to the front. Then there are the back pushers. These are the people so eager to move forward that they keep pushing into the back of you. There are the misplaced toffs. I recall seeing a toff, identified by shirt by Pink, Gucci shoes etc who’d obviously had to slum it in cattle class. He just walked straight to the front hoping he could bluff it out. I was pleased to see him sent away with a flea in his ear. No doubt he cursed his PA the next day. There are the disappointed Fast Trackers. They paid their extra fiver and think they should be able to board before everyone else but, for some reason or another, there is no fast track today and they are forced to wait in line with the rest of us while they mutter about writing letters and demanding refunds. Then, there are the disorganised groups. The ones who, you think have finished at checkin but no, auntie fucking Jean still has to check her bags or one of the twins forgot to hand over his passport.

Yesterday must have been a good day for these people as I witnessed one of the most obnoxious types. The shover. I’d sat at the back of the plane bombarded for two and a half hours by the loud shouting of a party of Spanish school kids and was accelerating along the Gatwick Airport corridors in order to leave this group far behind. I rounded a corner and my way was clear down the final slope to border control. Just then a wide portly woman emerged just in front of me and sidled slowly down the ramp. I readjusted my expectations (ooh Mrs!) and resigned myself to a slow decline. Suddenly a bloke in a suit weaved passed me and shoved her out of the way so that he could pass. She muttered something and he turned and gave her a look of pure hatred and asked her “What?” then rushed off.

As Sartre rightly pointed out: Hell is other people.



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