Where have all the emails gone?

Once again I am standing in airport queue waiting for hours to be ‘processed’ and assessed for security risks. As I stand slightly shifting from leg to leg to avoid getting too stiff from inactivity, all kinds of thoughts begin to go through my mind. Is there an art of queueing? Are certain nations better at queueing than others? Is this a British thing?

I wonder if we can train ourselves to constructively use our ‘mental time’. Can we go into ‘a queue mental zone’ and use the opportunity to let our minds rest or wander loosely around the brain in thought. Perhaps you already do this.

Some thoughts that instantly pop into my head are about emails. I find myself reminded of emails, ones I have not responded to or forgotten, emails that I have not received a response from and emails I need to write. Instantly my head goes down to the examine the tiny screen of my mobile phone and I begin scrutinising each entry to see what news is contained in the plethora of emails squashed into my inbox. The new ones have been vibrating constantly since I began queueing, eagerly jostling for me to address them. As I do the luggage shuffle, I am such an expert I don’t even look up when I edge my cases forward with a deft shove of my foot! I exercise my thumbs by typing essay emails whilst struggling to check for spelling errors. I am one of those people who type the full email, almost without abbreviation, I wonder what that says about my personality.

Three hours of queueing has resulted in 25 emails, I think I will begin keeping a tally of how many emails I can type per hour.

I ritually look up briefly to check my place in the queue. I assure myself I am in the correct queue, feel in my pocket for my passports and tickets before turning back to the icon of communication staring back up at me, urging me to do just one more email or perhaps a text or even a tweet or maybe not.
I don’t find queueing very inspiring, for me it is rather a process of reflection. Mentally checking and double checking and for wondering what to cook when I get home. I have started cooking meals relevant to the place I am visiting. This weekend it will be goulash because I am on my way to a percussion festival in Gyor, Hungary. Ah I can make a note of some of the Facebook tips I have received about making this traditional dish, best cuts of beef, plump peppers, sweet onions only one problem it is making me feel hungry now and I have only moved a few feet in the queue! Bon apetite and have a lovely weekend.

Image: Josh Hallett (licence: CC BY 2.0)



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