Lines postWhen I was in Jordan a few years ago, I toured ancient sites, ate in great restaurants, stayed in the biggest hotel bed I’d ever seen, met wonderful people, and then, in order to leave the country, my group and I needed to pay a fee and have a little voucher stamped before we could go. It took a little while and we were tired, but we were told to stay in line and we did without fuss.

And that’s when I overheard one of the border patrol people say, “I love the Americans. They always line up and stay in line, and they’re so polite.”

In the traveling world, that was a first. Love of Americans? Polite Americans?

But yes, when asked to line up, we do. When asked to stay orderly–in order to get where we want to go–we don’t think twice, we do it. And apparently, at least for this one border guard, it’s appreciated.

I’m remembering this today as I run across town to stand in line at one place, then back across town again to line up somewhere else, all for the sake of paperwork. I stayed in my driving lane, then stood in line quietly, then approached the window when called, and all the while I kept thinking, “Color in the lines, color in the lines, do what you’re told, wait your turn, stay in line, line it all up, don’t be out of line…”

I watched as the notary needed to type my form by hand because the computer version insisted upon it. I watched her quickly line up the typewriter to the boxes on the form with dexterity and efficiency and thought about the lines of code I struggled with this morning and how I could have used her sharp eye.

The hurry up and wait game is so frustrating when you just want to soar with the eagles, or in this case, when you want to pen the lines you’re really after. Yet, all got done. All is well. And somewhere in Jordan, at the end of the line, there’s a border guard who would have witnessed my day with appreciation and a smile.

lines post~
Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at