Sunday, 15 May 2011

Noc Muzeów - Museum Night - at Filtry

After our failure to get into the Filtry (waterworks) at last year's Noc Muzeów, Eddie and I were determined to get in this time. We joined the queue to get in at half past six - 30 minutes before the guided tours began. The queue was unbelievably long; the tower in the distance is roughly where the queue ended. I counted some 800 people in front of us. After queuing for around two hours, I reckoned that we were one-two thirds of the way from the back of the queue to the front.

Queuing was made bearable by the open-house at the Polish Japanese Institute of IT across the road (clean toilets, cheap buffet, sushi, Japanese pop music), and a general good spirit among those queuing.

Around midnight (!) it was touch-and-go whether we'd get in; rumours were flying around the queue - they'd let in people until one am (the published time) - another 120 people, then 200; tempers were starting to get frayed, with people having waited over six hours (and forfeited the chance of visiting any other attractions that night). The clocked ticked towards one am; the queue moved forward at the rate of a metre every ten minutes... would we make it?

I learned a lot about the mass psychology of queuing; if you don't flake out in the first half hour, you're likely to stay through to the end. The guy in the photo (foreground, right) was getting more and more pessimistic, about humanity, Poland, the waterworks authorities; after more than six hours he bugged out, convinced we'd not be let in; 20 minutes later, he would have been proved wrong. The rest of the people queuing around us were fine. As we entered the critical last half hour, a sense of solidarity emerged - there would be no pushing in!

This time last year:
Warsaw's Museum Night 2010

This time two years ago:
On transcendence

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