I wrote about the queue I stood in the day before Standinaqueue Day, and I somehow got sidetracked into talking about weirdos in trains. I have only just started on that, stay tuned for another train weirdo post to come one day.
But yesterday — the day after Standinaqueue Day — I did manage to find the time to stand in a queue. I feel a bit bad for not submitting a story to Standinaqueue, but what can you do if you haven’t stood in a queue on Standinaqueue Day? If only I could have moved that queue to a day before, but I think I already messed the queue around enough as it was.
It was in the little shop in Potterrow at the University. It was a long day, so I had to buy some sandwiches. I don’t often go to the shop there, but I think usually there are three tills but one queue. But today the queue was kind of loosely formed, although it extended fairly far back. It was difficult to tell whether somebody was in a queue, looking at something on the shelf or just standing around.
Tentatively, I joined what I thought might have been the back of the queue. Turns out I was standing next to somebody who was already in the queue. I was put off by the fact that he was chatting to two friends. But I then realised that I had pushed my way in front of his two friends! Oops. The guy graciously signalled to me to go ahead, but I felt bad so I just stood on the spot until he had been served.
Queues are not the only seemingly mundane things that can vex you though. As I said, I went into the shop to buy a sandwich. When I went up to the fridge with the sandwiches in it, I was faced with an awful dilemma.
There are clearly two tiers of sandwiches. On one low shelf we have “Simply Scottish” sandwiches. This is clearly the no-frills option. Basic fillings, cheap packaging. It looks like it probably has horrible white bread that tastes of polystyrene, and it wouldn’t surprise me if semen is used instead of mayonnaise.
On a higher shelf there are the more expensive Ginsters sandwiches from Cornwall. They are more expensive, but they look absolutely gorgeous and the packaging isn’t made of toilet paper. And how can you argue against fillings such as “roast chicken stuffing”?
Obviously, I chose the Ginsters sandwich. But as soon as I had paid for it, something struck me. Edinburgh University has a well-known divide between the (mostly) English (mostly) well-off “yahs” on the one hand, and the (mostly) Scottish (mostly) less well-off people on the other.
I personally think the divide is overhyped. I think in some ways it’s only really bad if you’re looking out for it. But I’m noticing it more and more as I near the end of the uni “experience”. Still, there is no denying that at least the perception is that there is some kind of class / nationality divide at Edinburgh University.
And I had just come out of my shop, having snobbishly turned my nose up at the basic Scottish sandwiches in preference for the more expensive English sandwiches with posh fillings. All of a sudden I became conscious of the fact that I was carrying Ginsters sandwiches. People were probably making judgements about me.
“Look at him; he’s a total yah for not eating the Simply Scottish sandwiches like normal students with massive debts,” people said to me in my head. Am I becoming one of those awful people who started university with a Scottish accent but have magically attained a posh accent somewhere in the intervening three years?
Ah, bollocks to it. Those sandwiches are so tasty. How could I resist the “meat feast” triple pack?! I may as well boycott Marks & Spencer now. I know where to go for my posh sandwiches from now on: the humble union!