Sunday, July 11, 2004

Going to the Movies

Spiderman 2 hit Indonesia this week with the same media blitz as Canada’s new speed bumps. We heard by way of Matt’s students on Thursday (none of mine showed up, so I joined Matt’s class) that “Speeder-Man” was playing at the nice theater in town—Studio 21.

Friday we were given an unexpected day off (as is the custom) and so we decided to go into town to check it out. We first went to Mega Mall, so Matt could get a much-needed (in what I feared to be the opinion of our employers) haircut. I think I was more nervous about the endeavor than Matt. We ended up going to the training center instead of the actual salon, where they gave Matt the option of having a teacher or a student cut his hair. He chose a teacher. One of the many Indonesian guys in tight black clothes approached Matt. Using what Indonesian he knows and some photos, Matt tried to explain what he wanted. I think he succeeded. His hair is shorter and the more I look at it, the more normal it looks.

We still had some time before the movie started, so Matt went to try to see if some of the music stores could order a cd or two that he wanted. I decided to try a manicure at the real salon, not the training center. I sat and a guy in tight black clothes and three inch heals began my manicure. After he cut one nail very unevenly, he gave up and called someone else (a woman) to take over. She continued cutting my nails unevenly and then sawing back and forth on them with an un-sanitized file. I made it through that part by thinking of anything except my fingernails. When she put lotion that had bits of black hairs in it on my cuticles, I looked away. But when she began scraping flesh away, as politely as I could (on the verge of tears from the pain) I asked her to stop. She looked confused and put the flesh-scraping tool down. She looked at me again, at the next finger, at her tool, and at me again. She went to pick it up and franticly I said, “tidak, tidak!”

She seemed very confused by me wanting to keep all of my digits in working order, but went on to the next phase. I washed the lotion (and hair) off of my hands and she began filing the tops of the nails. She worked on the left thumb for about two minutes. I wasn’t sure if she was doing my nails or trying to start a fire. As I was pondering this, I happened to look down at my watch and see that the movie was to start in 15 minutes on the other side of town. As politely as I could, I made a lot of gestures—pointing at my watch and looked hurried. She seemed to understand and released me. Embarrassed, but more relieved than anything, I paid the three dollar fee and left.

I found Matt and we went to find a taxi. We ended up getting to the movie place at 7:35 for the 7:30 show. Matt went and bought the tickets while I went and bought the cold popcorn and canned drinks (at least they are cold as well). After Matt bought the tickets, he noticed that Spiderman was playing again at 8:00. I encouraged him to see if he could trade times. The ticket lady refunded his money and looked really confused, but was nice. We waited for the box office for the next show to open and bought the tickets at about 7:45. As we were standing in line to go in, I realized that no one else in the line had the same color ticket as us. We had yellow tickets and they all had the pink tickets…just like the ones that Matt had first bought.

The “7:30” showing ended up starting around 8:00. Some confused theater workers watched us sit around until 8:30, when the “8:00” show started. The lesson of the day: Even in theaters time is tentative.

As soon as the movie started and the screen was full of scenes of NY and Peter Parker, all was well.

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