Tuesday, May 22, 2012


As we careen full tilt into summer (the high is already consistently over 100F) we need to adjust our weekend activities. This weekend, we decided to see a movie. Have I told you about the movie experience in Abu Dhabi? Come along for the ride ...

We arrived at the ticket counter where you have to select your seat. Today unfortunately, the only seats available were in the second row from the front - not our preference, but hey, that's what happens when you arrive just in time for an 8:30 show on a Friday evening here.

The theaters are smaller than back home with maybe 20 rows total for each movie. The whole cinema might be showing 10 different films, but each theater is a bit smaller than we're used to. Which means you're almost always sitting right next to someone. You'll understand why that's unfortunate in a moment.

According to the ticket counter computer, the theater was completely full except for an odd single seat here and there, so we were surprised to enter the theater and see lots of empty seats in the middle. But the previews had started so we took our seats in row 2.

During the next 10 minutes, the seats filled up. And right in front of us came a family of 5 small children and their 2 nannies. But let me be more descriptive. This family erupted into the theater - kids running to their seats, then running back and forth down the row to share their popcorn, candy and sodas. Yelling non stop - yes, yelling. The sound in these theaters is soooo loud, and I could STILL HEAR the ankle biters arguing over who had the last sip of Pepsi.

Brian and I looked at each other and just sighed. We were seeing the Avengers, a comic book action movie so figured all the fighting and action would drown out the little rugrats before too long. And you know what? It did. We enjoyed most of the movie and were able to ignore the chaos in the front row for the most part.

Meanwhile, the two guys next to me are talking on their cell phones, not just during the trailers, but during the whole movie. I could hear this constant mumbling next to me for the first half of the movie. Only the first half because about 1/2 way through they decided to get up and leave. This happens a lot and is so curious to me. It's not like movie tickets are cheap - we pay about $12 a ticket and it wasn't like it was a bad movie. Maybe comic book heroes just weren't their thing?

So the mumblers left, which was good and the loud action was keeping me distracted from the circus in front of us ... until we got to that part in the movie where the action slows down for a few minutes and the characters have some heartfelt moment. Honestly, it was like these kids were in their living room at home - jumping around, changing seats, and talking through the whole movie.

The coup de grace was when we got up to leave and saw the absolute mess this family had left behind. Popcorn, drink containers and candy wrappers all over the front row and not a one of them made any move to take any of it out to the trash.

(sigh) It's gonna be a long summer.

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