A night at the movies

watching a movie

I have joked that we are a long ways from cave-dwelling in La Yacata, but a recent trip to the movies makes me wonder about the truth in that statement. So here’s what happened….

I had two class cancellations on Thursday afternoon, so my son and I thought we’d be spontaneous. Let’s go to the movies! Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials was playing, and although we had already bought the pirated version, it was too dark to see what was going on in the movie. So we headed to Cinepolis in Uriangato, which is situated in a strip mall.

Upon arrival, we saw that we had several hours to wait for the next showing. That was ok, we’d wander about and get something to eat in the food court. While this is not our first trip to the mall, typically we have very focused hit and run shopping excursions. We loiter about the door at opening time (where we discovered that Coppel does some sort of magical all-employee chant and clapping session before rolling open the doors), get the item we need and leave the store. So, this extended period of window shopping was all new for us.

We opted for Chinese food. It’s not exactly authentic. The rice had chopped chilies in it. The food is served with jalapenos instead of soy sauce. The chicken, well there’s always some doubt as to what the chicken might actually be. We took our trays and plunked ourselves down in front of the food court TV. The music video channel was on. It’s usually that or the soccer game.

After our refreshment, we headed to Blockbuster. Even though Blockbuster has gone bust en el Norte, the DVD rental chain is alive and well here in Mexico. I came across the boxed set of Game of Thrones: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2 and then the boxed set Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season  with a little Tyrion doll included. Oh, how longing surged up in my heart. Imagine how many hours of viewing pleasure were contained in those boxes! I checked the price. There were so many numbers that I couldn’t make sense of it. Apparently, I have been conditioned that anything over three digits is incomprehensible. My son pried the boxes from my hands, and we headed to the door. I was distracted by a light saber.( Star Wars Light Up Weapons Light Saber Keychain - Obi Wan Kenobi EP4Of course, I had to pluck it from the display and turn it on. Only then I couldn’t figure out how to turn in off again.

I left it still on and rushed out of the store in shame. We headed to another store–Heaven and Earth, where I was very badly startled by towering mannequins with hair and nipples and confused by the manner in which the clothes were hung–sideways rather than upright on the hangers. I scurried out and into the bookstore.

There was a display for The Game of Thrones which caught our eyes. Among the books we already have, there were two which we didn’t. One was the.Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros The other was the prequel to the series.( A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (A Song of Ice and Fire) Longing welled up in my heart again. The books didn’t have any prices on them as far as I could see, and after the scare at Blockbuster, I wasn’t about to ask.

After this, we decided to go and purchase our tickets. Although there was no line, we wound our way through the ribboned off area to the ticket counter and waited to be acknowledged by the clerks. I asked for two tickets for The Maze Runner , and suddenly a seating chart appeared on a screen. The clerk instructed me to choose our seats, except for the green seats which were already taken. As there were only two seats that were green, I was puzzled. Ok, well I choose these seats then–and I touched the screen. Nothing happened. So I pressed harder. Still nothing. Maybe it wasn’t a touch-screen? So I told the clerk–I’d like E11 and E12. OK. He entered it, and the seats turned green. DUH! The tickets were $63 pesos apiece. HOLY CRAP! The minimum wage in Mexico is $70 per day! No wonder everyone buys piratas (pirated movies) (3 for $50 pesos) and hang the illegality of it.

Then we went for popcorn. There was a digital counter number sign like you’d find at DMV (or at the bank here in Mexico). It said we should go to counter 2. The girl at counter 4 said we could order there. I pointed to the sign that said counter 2. She hit some buttons, and it changed to counter 4. Okie Dokie. We ordered a popcorn and 2 sodas. They came on a large, awkward blue cup-holder tray. Refreshments cost $120 pesos.

We headed to the theater, leaving a trail of buttered popcorn behind us. After giving the young lady our tickets, we went to the designated theater, only to find that the theater was still closed. Apparently, the previous movie wasn’t over. We didn’t know what to do. We spent some moments lurking outside the door until the young lady came to our rescue. She explained that the movie theater wasn’t ready yet (which we had figured out on our own) and that we should wait in the lobby. I made sure that she would let us in again since we had already given her our tickets and she assured us that she would.

So we shuffled back to the lobby. There were no chairs there, so we headed to the mall area. I was pretty sure some sort of alarm would go off if we took the tray too far from the door, so we huddled on benches in front of the theater. There we sat people watching for a bit.

At 7:00 pm we tried to get into the theater again, only to be told by the same nice girl that the movie wasn’t over yet. We should try back at 7:20. So at 7:20 we went back and found that the ticket collector had changed. We had a few minutes of panic until the girl, who had been sweeping up our popcorn trail, came back and gave the nod to let us in.

Whew! We bolted to the theater and anxiously looked for our seats. I was afraid we’d find them occupied, but we were in luck, and they were vacant. However, each set of people that entered had me ready to defend my seat again. Good grief!

peter b

So after admonishing us not to buy pirated movies, support the special Olympics and save the Mexican eagle from extinction, the movie began. Continuing with the night’s Game of Thrones theme, Petyr Baelish (or rather the actor who plays Petyr Baelish) rescued the Maze Runner teens. My son and I both drew in breaths and whispered–NO! Don’t trust Petyr Baelish–having watched betrayal after betrayal in The Game of Thrones.


We quickly discovered that the movie had ZOMBIES! My son and I have a love/hate relationship with zombie movies. Zombies are such a primal fear for us, instinctive like snakes and giant spiders. Our fight or flight responses, already at high alert, went berserk watching the movie. We were literally paralyzed in our seats. Of course, there was the size factor. We’ve become accustomed to watching movies on a 5-inch screen. Zombies seem much less dangerous at that size. The movie screen was way bigger than 6 inches–the horror larger than life!

We made it through the movie somehow and stumbled out of the theater. Once in the light, we began to laugh hysterically at our evening adventures. Who would have thought we would have had such difficulty negotiating the modern world? We retreated to our cave in La Yacata, safe at last from the howling savagery beyond.




Filed under Cultural Challenges, Parenting Challenges and Cultural Norms

6 responses to “A night at the movies

  1. We feel the same way when we leave Mexico. The US is such a foreign experience. Always happy to be home in Bacalar. http://www.theadventuresofdostortas.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE the details you shared! Reminds me of my last attempt to go to the movies–why so such simple things have to be so complicated? 😉 Keeps life interesting!


  3. Pingback: Learning Gratitude | Surviving Mexico

  4. Pingback: Shopping El Buen Fin–Mexican Black Friday | Surviving Mexico

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