01 November 2011


I think the wet season is coming in a little early. It has rained every day for a week. I like the rain here – it rolls in all at once and just pours. And then it disappears as quickly as it came. There are not a lot of sprinkle showers; most of the time the weather brings a downpour or nothing. There are not a lot of thunderstorms. If thunder is heard, there is not always lightening and not many storms are loud enough or violent enough to freak me out. Rain is peaceful.

But, no matter how peaceful the rain may be, it has a tendency to ruin pre-scheduled plans or runs outside.

The rain brings a nice cooling but, when it stops, the humidity hits like a brick wall. Instead of dripping from rain drops, my entire body drips of sweat within minutes.

Saturday I decided to hide from the humidity and the rain by heading to the coldest place on the island – the cinema. A movie experience is a lot like one in the U.S. but there are quite a few differences.

For one, people can visit a cinema’s website to see how many seats are available in each theater. I am the type of person who likes quiet so the fewer people in the theater the better. If I see that a theater for a scarier movie is quite full, I will find another time to see the movie.

Most people buy tickets online, not just for convenience, but because theater seats are assigned. Whether you order online or at the counter, you must choose your seat before you enter.

Some theaters have separate ticket lines; other theaters allow you to purchase your tickets and your snacks at the same counter. A person cannot simply order popcorn. The person at the counter will ask, “Sweet or salty?” I was so confused the first time someone asked, I had the girl repeat herself so I could piece it together in my mind. For those who prefer kettle corn, “sweet” popcorn is your choice. Salty popcorn is more like traditional movie theater popcorn but without all the butter. There are no options for additional toppings like butter, cheese powder, caramel, nuts or anything else one might see at a popcorn buffet. Just sweet and salty.

Very few previews are shown and, of course, all of them are pre-screened and approved by the government. Once the movie is ready to begin the curtains from the sides of the screen tighten, which I do not understand. Twice during the movie, the attendants will enter the theater and walk around to make sure that the number of people matches the number of tickets sold. That is one distraction I wish they would stop.

In order to prepare for the freezing temperatures of the theater, one must be very familiar with layers. The temperature outside is likely above 80 and the temperature in the theater can be in the 60s. For this trip, I decided to wear leggings with a t-shirt and flip flops. I brought along my largest purse and stuffed it with some sweat socks, a hoodie and a couple candy bars to complement my salty popcorn.

Before you ask, yes, I did consider bringing a blanket. Even though I did not, I noticed another couple did so I would not have been alone.

I loved every minute in my hoodie, leggings and fuzzy socks. I was curled up in a row by myself. It was almost like watching a movie at home.

Once the movie was over I continued to walk around the mall in my hoodie. I thought I would get some strange looks, and I probably did, but I did not care. I was happy pretending it was cold. And then I walked outside.

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