Sparkling Allison

American expat in Denmark, mom, lover of sparkles and staplers, avid book club member.

[This is Denmark] Following the rules

This is DenmarkSparkling Allison1 Comment

Two people walk into a bakery, person A is very clearly in front of person B. Person A walks straight to the counter, person B takes a number from the automated machine. The person behind the counter calls the next number. Person B gets served first because person A did not have a number hands, and nobody balks at this. Person B knew and followed the rules of this particular bakery. Person A turns around to get an automated number for himself, but at this point there's another person who arrived as this was happening and took a number. Person A gets served dead last.

I was already being served when this happened. I'd walked in before all of them and even though nobody was there at the time, I took a number and waited to be called on... you know, because the rules.

Danes are all at once very independent, critically thinking people but also orderly, traditional, law abiding folk. Their rule following is ubiquitous, and I've often noticed it in subtle situations like this one. If I were person B in this situation, I would have demurred and insisted that person A go before me. If I were person B, I would have expected that... but that behaviour would be awkward and confusing here.