A pet peeve of mine that applies to other cultures besides Georgia is the inability to form a straight line. In grocery stores, little shops and at the bazaar it is a free for all to get the attention of the cashier. I can be standing directly across from the sales person and somehow a person will squeeze next to me or shout from behind me, effectively cutting me off. There is no concept of this being anything but normal and acceptable behavior. So I have had to get used to it. Since I am not confident or necessarily capable of using Georgian to gain the cashiers attention, I use elbows and bags to keep the space around me free of line offenders. My favorite way of dealing with it, is to wait until the shop is emptier.

The crowding and mob formation is obnoxious in a sales setting, but it is atrocious in banks and at ATMs. I avoid entering a bank as much as possible. It is literally people elbowing people to get to the counter where you are given a receipt to take out money. The one time I needed to enter a bank, I skipped going to the counter surrounded by people and went to the cash counter, showed my American passport and bank card and got immediate attention. It did involve the woman behind the glass leaving her booth and going to the a woman at the other counter- effectively skipping everyone else in the mass of customers. Ooops.

At ATMs there is no expectation to give the person space at the machine for privacy. They will stand right, breathing down your neck, behind you or even next to you, placing their bags on the ledge next to the number pad that you are putting your personal information into. My first experience at an ATM was to stand as any American would, a few steps away from the machine. People did not realize I was in line and would pop up to the machine and use it. I was not going to change their ways, so I needed to change. When in Rome.  Now while waiting, I stand very close to the person at the machine and when at the machine I place my own bag on the ledge or stand so close to the ATM that there is no space for anyone to get anywhere near it. It also blocks the screen from view.

I am hoping that I will not adapt so thoroughly that upon my return, I enter people’s personal bubble or cut them off in line. I doubt that won’t be a problem, because I like queuing.

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