Ever stood in line at the bank, a concert or a government office? Then you know the folks in the line have at least something in common.
Are you one of those folks who buries their head in a newspaper, checks messages on your cell phone, or one who strikes up a conversation with those around you?
Cruisers have plenty of opportunity to meet and greet standing in line.
One of the first struggles cruisers have to get over is island time. If someone says they’ll be there at 11:00, be prepared to wait. It could be 11:30 or even noon. Despite the knowledge that life is a bit slower and “No Worries” is a state of being, cruisers can’t get over the need to come early. We still want to be the first in line. Don’t ask me why, I guess in our former lives it was drilled into us to always show up ahead of schedule.
The advantage of learning island time the hard way, is — you guessed it — we get to meet new friends.
Life on a boat is about finding the supplies we need, before we run out. Recently, the propane guy couldn’t get propane either. Due to the holidays, the supply ships weren’t running the normal schedules and supplies were at a premium. So here we are in the land of the cruisers and we all cook with propane gas, or at least most of us do.
Clarence usually shows up every Wednesday at 11. So if you know you’re running low, you just head back to George Town by Wednesday and stand in line. Okay, so the first week of January, Clarence announces, no propane, now all the cruisers with limited resources start conserving or bartering with other cruisers for precious gas.
So everyday, the powers that be call Clarence to see if this is the day. A week goes by and Wednesday rolls around again. Cruisers are now making morning coffee on their grills. We can be pretty inventive sometimes. Finally, Friday is D-Day.
The line get’s longer and longer, the talk get’s louder and louder. We all joke about need for propane and what we’re willing to do. We meet new people we’ve only heard on the radio, find out who’s moving in the same general direction we’re going and who’s staying put. It’s a social event. 11:00 comes and goes and finally around 11:30 Clarence’s boys show up. They’re efficient and the line is consumed within 45 minutes. Locals in need of propane get to cut in line, but we’re only talking four or five people.
Three hours of our day gone for a simple fill of a 20 pound tank, but we’ve met new friends and enjoyed a spontaneous party.
When faced with a line, what is your go to action? Are you a talker, or do you bury yourself in your own thoughts? Do you complain about the wait, or do you find a positive spin to the situation?