Going to the Movies

I can’t believe I’ve not written an extended piece on the movie going experience here yet… I’ve written a piece on the state of the cinemas here but the whole process of going to the movies is something else altogether.

More than one of my friends have likened it to watching a football match.

Yes, instead of the conventional wisdom of keeping quiet in the cinemas, these people cheer, shout, whistle and yes! dance in the cinemas!

So depending on your preference this could be a hell of a good time or just plain hell.

I mean it is hard not to feel a heady rush when the whole cinema erupts into claps and cheers when John Rambo saves the girl who’s about to be brutalized by appearing behind the baddy with an “i’m ready to claw your neck out with my bare hands” look on his face. These people live for cinematic moments like this.

Actually, I take that back. These people live for ANY cinematic moments, including wild cheers and wolf whistles when the main stars’ names appear in the opening sequences. I am not kidding.

Another sequence these people love are the kissing scenes. It is a very big deal for these guys because it is still taboo to show onscreen kisses for the local flicks. How serious are they about the taboo? People can get sued for “immoral conduct” over it. I’m serious. There are self appointed “keepers of morality here”. Before I go on to rant about THAT, check out the too cool for words Headlines for the article in the link. Even for Hollywood flicks, some kisses are cut because they are deemed too “passionate” and “immoral”.

For those that aren’t cut, the fun starts in what I dubbed the “nose touching” moments. This is the lead up to the kiss where the actors/actresses are trying to build sexual tension. I don’t know how successful the actors/actresses are at achieving that.

I really don’t.

Because by this time, the cinema would have broken into rhythmic clapping and stomping of feet going “Kiss, Kiss, Kiss! Kiss, Kiss, Kiss!” before erupting into, yes, cheers and wolf whistles when the kiss finally happen. It doesn’t even matter who the actors or actresses are. It could even be a kiss between Napoleon Dynamite and Ugly Betty. (that’s a sight you’d probably want was outta your mind now)

Now, you’d think that would be the highlight of these kiss sequences. But No! (*wink* Girlfriend*)… it gets really really intense if the kiss scenes are CUT. You never thought you’d ever see people this upset in the cinema. They’ll scream, they’ll hiss at the screen and horrors, they’ll SPIT! It is EXTREMELY disturbing hearing spittle projectiles flying around you in a really dark cinema. It’s kinda like the attack on Normandy sequence in “Saving Private Ryan”… only worse

Even for all this, I think you’d miss the true local movie experience if you don’t watch a local flick at the cinema. The local cinema is famed for their song and dance routines and all the stars are so familiar to the locals that there is almost constant cheering throughout the 3 hour long epics. And this whole carnival atmosphere climaxes during the various song and dance sequences. The locals will dance on their seats and some will even bring their partners onto the small stage before the screen and start dancing along.

According to some locals I spoke to, some of these people have already seen the movie more than 10 times. (And I thought I was already quite extreme in my repeat movie viewings <last count, matrix: 8x. Infernal Affairs: 5x. BOO YEAH!> )

It is sort of like a clubbing session for them.



Beautiful Nightmare

It’s nothing too elaborate…

In it, I met a man who could fly, and being the nerd that I was, I asked him about his “secret origins”.

His reply was that it was nothing special. He was not from another planet, he was not born with any genetic anamoly, he was not bathed in strange toxic chemicals, etc, etc… He just managed to tapped into the ability that lies dormant in all of us.

“ALL of us??” I asked

Yup, all of us. We were born with the ability to fly, but we’ve just forgotten how to do it. We were born with so many other abilities, but as we grow, we learn fear, we learn deceit and because we know deceit, we learn not to trust things that we cannot see with our eyes.

In doing so, we forgot what we have in us.

Without this belief, instead of flying, we falter and we fall.

The way to remember how to fly again is easy. We just have to remember. And remembrance is different from belief. We have to remember, not through faith but by forgetting fear and forgetting deceit. Because at the end of the day, flying with blind faith will just give you a bag of broken bones.

Long story short, I managed to stop forgetting how to fly and did it.

And then I woke up and the possibility that my dream might be true depress me.

The one super power I’ve always wished I have is the ability of flight.

I know… it’s kinda lame and it’s totally irrational. Teleportation’s the way to go if you want to get from point A to point B. And there are many other ways to get airborne… which I shall not elaborate. I believed I’ve exposed my geekiness enough on this blog already. (Storm’s control of air currents and Starman’s cosmic rod comes to mind immediately…)

I’m sure there must be a “deeper meaning” to my dream.

Anyway, one thing to note is HOW I woke up. Apparently, today is the harvest festival of the locals and it is celebrated by the playing of firecrackers at the crack of dawn. Now you’d probably be thinking that the sound for the firecrackers so early in the morning woke me up. Well… if you know me enough, you’d know that it takes MUCH more than that to rouse me from my sleep at that time of the day. No, apparently the late wakers here decided that instead of the crack of dawn, they’re just gonna set off their firecrackers WHENEVER they wake up, godamnit…

So, at 9 in the morning, I was woken up by the crack crack crack of the fire crackers played by my lovely neighbors. Being neighborly and all, I walked outside to “join in the festivities”. It was nice seeing these people enjoying their festivities, but I drew the line and gave up on them when they took out the fireworks… I did mention it was 9 in the morning, right?


Today, I learnt that out of a 400% score, my brain is…

160% interpersonal, 40% visual, 120% verbal, and 80% mathematical!

Dug up my OkCupid account after a long long time and managed to compare the score done on the same test almost a year ago…

Your brain: 180% interpersonal, 80% visual, 120% verbal, and 20% mathematical!
Congratulations on being 400% smart! Actually, on my test, everyone is. The above score breaks down what kind of thinking you most enjoy doing. A score above 100% means you use that kind of thinking more than average, and a score below 100% means you use it less. It says nothing about how good you are at any one, just how interested you are in each, relatively. A substantial difference in scores between two people means, conclusively, that they are different kinds of thinkers.Matching Summary: Each of us has different tastes. Still, I offer the following advice, which I think is obvious:

  1. Don’t date someone if your interpersonal percentages differ by more than 80%.
  2. Don’t be friends with someone if your verbal percentages differ by more than 100%.
  3. Don’t have sex with someone if their math percentage is over 200%.

This test tracked 4 variables. How the score compared to the other people’s:

Higher than 96% on interpersonal
Higher than 22% on visual
Higher than 68% on verbal
Higher than 2% on mathematical

Which means that I am more interested in mathematics and less interested in interacting with people and in visual stuff than I was a year ago…

What kinda monster am i becoming?

A cut above the rest

Today, I got my last haircut before going home.

For this final haircut, I decided to pamper myself and go to the town saloon for the full works of haircut, some dubious shaving and head massage for a whopping $0.20 more than what my regular guy charges…

One consistent thing throughout my stay here is that I learn something new every time I go for a haircut.

Today, I learnt that saying “Sideburns, yes” when the barber ask “Sideburns?” gives him the permission to do a Professor Xavier on half your head; while saying “Pain, NO!!!” during the head massage gives him free license to LITERALLY take a hammer to your head. It’s strange how a head looks more vulnerable when it is clean shaven, isn’t it?

I also learn an important life lesson during the hair cut today.

For the previous few haircuts, the barbers or one of their clients would enquire about my nationality since I look kinda different from the rest of them. And for the whole time, I’ve been able to dodge it with flippant answers such as “Kazakhstan”, “Nigeria” or “Tortillacheese” (it can be insanely satisfying to come up with fake nationalities. Give it a try!) or by playing the ever reliable “I’m a foreigner, I do not understand you” card.

It’s not that I am ashamed of my nationality but I would just like to think that it shouldn’t make a difference for people interacting for the very first time.

Anyway, before I go off on that tangent…

Today’s barber was the only one who was able to coax the information out of me.

How does he do it?

Well, that is the life lesson for the day.

“It’s hard to be flippant with a razor around your throat”

Rama lama lama ke ding a de dinga a dong

How’s that for your pop culture reference of the day?

For the uninitiated, these lines come from the lyrics of “We go together” from the OST of Grease…


We go together like
rama lama lama
ke ding a de dinga a dong
remembered for ever like
shoo bop shoo wadda wadda yipitty boom de boom

A lifetime ago, it was just rubbishy lyrics that are fun to memorise PURELY for the diabolical masterplan of making a general ass of yourself by annoying people with nonstop (and offkey) renditions of said song.

But as you grow older, these lyrics actually start to make sense. Yes, I do realize I sound like I am going crazy cause the best part of the song includes stuff like

We’re one of a kind
Like dip di-dip di-dip
Doo-bop a doo-bee doo
Our names are signed
Boog-e-dy boog-e-dy boog-e-dy
Shoo-by doo-wop she-bop
Chang chang chang-it-ty chang

That just cannot be thought of by ANY sane person that is not on some form of mind destroying and possibly illegal substance.

But as you grow older,you might, like me begin to realize how wonderfully rubbishy and crazily nonsensical love can be when 2 people can sit half the world away, JUST laughing at nothing in particular for minutes on end…

And that can be the most mind destroying substance of them all.

Googling Google


Another of those “I don’t know why I did that” moments

For the most part, it is not as exciting as you’d imagine it to be…

The most interesting find being this…

Google, Sleep, Pod

A Google Sleep Pod that blocks out lights and sound, allowing employees to take naps on the job!!

Now, this is a company I could work for…