Brownian thought space

Cognitive science, mostly, but more a sometimes structured random walk about things.

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Location: Rochester, United States

Chronically curious モ..

Friday, December 14, 2007

JFK to Bombay. Note 1.

India trip 2007-2008 After all this time abroad, I see how weird every culture is. At least I'm better suited to comment on India, so here are Notes from India. JFK to Bombay. Note 1: Get started at JFK for the Air India trip. See this foreign guy sniggering and surreptitiously taking pictures with a fancypants digital SLR. Turn and see the longest line in any of the JFK Terminals. Indians have this thing of queueing up, and the almost 100% Indian passengers have already spontaneously formed a line. It's a critical mass effect. Put a sufficient number of Indians near a means of transportation and a line spontaneously forms. The airline official is trying to explain the boarding process- how rows 34 to 51 (do they choose these numbers at random? Or is there a theory?) will board first while the others can please avail of the splendid seating arrayed around the boarding desk. The Indians stubbornly keep the queue intact. Some foreigners worriedly join the queue- it looks so orderly! It must be the right thing to do. Mustn't it? Finally everyone's through the gate. But then, they're queued up somewhere between the gate and the plane while (Indian) officials are shouting stuff back and forth. There's some luggage that's not going through. Or maybe not. No one really knows. We stand there queued up for a couple of days. Then we board.

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