The Right Way to Queue in Cuba

The Cubans are far from being organized people; we are relax and we work. This is something you might experience as soon as you set foot in the Country. The way we queue, for example. could be very disconcerting for foreigners. We don’t typically form a single line, waiting until our turn comes. Cubans will often find a place to sit close to the waiting line (sometimes as much as 10 or 20 meters, or or even more), or we just leave and come back 30 minutes later, still expecting to have the same place. To accomplish this, we always ask when we need to queue for “El último” (last person waiting). As long as we keep an eye in this person, we know our position in the queue. In case this “último” (last person) abandons his or her position. It might also be wise to ask him/her who is he/she following, so that you can follow two people and never lose your position. If you need to leave the queue, it is also customary to tell the person following you. If you intend to come back later and want to keep your position, then you should tell this person, “I need to do something. I will be back in 10 minutes.” (It’s never really 10 minutes, but that’s what we say).

So, when you go to the bank to change money at the ETECSA building or need to get an INTERNET card, you know what to do in the waiting line. Ask who is “EL último” and who is before “El último” then sit and relax some while you wait.

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