Opinion

10 curiously watchable videos of Singaporeans queuing

Singaporeans queuingIn Singapore, people standing around waiting for something to happen is news.

Type the word ‘queuing’ into the Straits Times’ YouTube channel search box and there are literally hundreds of results.

Singaporeans are probably the world’s greatest queuers, and Singapore’s mainstream media are probably the world’s most prolific recorders of queuing behaviour.

Amazingly, videos of people standing or sitting in a line get lots of views. If you like people-watching, queue videos make curiously compulsive viewing, if only to marvel at people with the patience to wait hours in the blazing heat to get something slightly earlier than everyone else.

Here’s one uploaded by the Straits Times that was the inspiration for this piece. It shows lots of people waiting outside a bank in Tampines to pick up a commemorative SG50 bank note. 92 people had used up 55 seconds of their lives to watch this video at the time of publishing.

A long, snaking line of people waiting to buy tickets for the latest Star Wars film makes for slow viewing. Until the end, when a man with an American accent asks when he’ll know if the event has been sold out so he can stop queuing. But there the film ends.

A queue of 60 people formed for the launch of the iPhone 6 outside a Nubox store in Bishan in September 2014. Almost 6,000 people have watched this 34-second video of some people sitting on the floor.

This video, shot with a handphone, supposedly gives a more edgy, frontline feel to an overnight queue for a heavily discounted Motorola mobile phone at a store in Toa Payoh in January 2014. Almost 3,000 people have watched this video.

Long queues have formed outside McDonald’s again! This time for the latest set of Minions figurines. Does the girl in the yellow top push in? Outrageous. 13,000 views.

Hard to get too excited by this video of people queuing to take a free shuttle from Pungol MRT to Sengkang. At least the queue is moving. 637 views.

To make queuing seem a little more exciting, it helps if you speed up the video a touch. Here, the long lines that formed at Ben & Jerry’s for Free Cone Day outside 313@Somerset seem a bit like a silent comedy. Not that funny though. 486 views.

People queueing to pay their respects to the late Lee Kuan Yew actually was big news. The ST’s hyperlapse video the queues makes it even more dramatic. 51,000 views.

The sped-up trick has come into use for this queue at Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle stall.

The ST is really testing the patience of the viewer with this queue film of customers at Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, even though it’s just 14 seconds long.

Seen more exciting queue videos? Let us know and we’ll add them to this story. (Yes, it’s a slow news day.)

Robin Hicks

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