It happens when you must buy or receive some goods you need, or you have to get some services, or you just want to visit a popular place, and there are many people with the same purpose like yours, in the same particular time.
From my experience I know very well, what it is like. It was a normal occurrence in the times of the Soviet Union to stand in lines for many different objectives: food, clothes, footwear, any domestic goods, furniture, cars or even apartments (but it was like virtual lines). It’s amazing! People (mostly women) spent almost 1/3 of their day to go shopping in spite of work, studying and family.
The longest lines, I remember, were those for bananas or oranges from Africa, Indian Black Tea from India, footwear from Italy or Germany, parkas from Sweden, and so on…It was rarely less than an hour. Usually it took a couple, three, or even more hours. One day I spent 8 hours standing in line to buy an imported fur coat for my daughter. But don’t think I had been spending all that time in the queue. Not at all! The main thing here is to remember very accurately a few people standing around you in the line, because almost everybody left the line and then returned to their spots. You would just tell them that you will be back and ask them insistently to remember your face, your clothing, or something else notable. Often when a line was large, folks wrote a number on their palms for accuracy. You may go home, or return to work, or take a seat at nearest park with a newspaper, or a book to read. It was a good idea to queue in few more lines at the same time, so you could get many deficits at once.
Some extraverted people love to make acquaintances in lines or somebody may meet her or his future spouse there. People were trying to relax in queues, otherwise it would be a very boring and an annoying pastime. You would probably become very tied, particularly your legs, back, or even neck, especially if you are on high hills. Try not to stand in line on high hills! It’s terrible and dreadful!
But let’s leave the Soviets lines alone. We can observe some others. For example, you go traveling. The first queues, you will see, are those in an Airport for registration or security purposes. When you arrive to your destination, you probably will need to stand in a Passport Control line. On the next day, when you go to see the great attractions of a city you visit, be prepared for lining up to reach your destination. For The Louvre it may take a couple hours, an hour, for The British Museum, and three more, for Lenin’s Mausoleum. It’s ok if you have a lot of time, and you are probably looking forward to see an attraction with anticipation.
And the last, but not least, some examples I would like to share are: the gas lines, when the gas suddenly rose in price here in Georgia few years ago, and the car lines to KSU parking lots, especially on Mondays.
It can’t be the modern life without queues. It’s impossible!