Thursday, August 11, 2011

Little Difference #8

One of the things Jay and I have always loved to do is go to movies. It was a cool, air-conditioned activity in hot, humid Corpus. It was a warm, cozy place to be during our Wyoming winters. Here in Enschede, it's an easy way to get our American culture fix.

We've been to several movies since I've been here {How's this for American culture fix? We've seen Bad Teacher, Bridesmaids, and Horrible Bosses this summer...yes, a little crude and crass, but we laughed anyway}. Anyway, the first movie we saw, Bad Teacher, was in a relatively empty theater. We enjoyed an entire row to ourselves with two or three other small groups of movie-goers spread throughout the theater.

The second movie, Bridesmaids, was a whole different story. We noticed when we sat down that some people came in and sat RIGHT next to, there were all empty seats on our row and they chose the two right next to us. Weird. Then another couple came in right before the movie started and sat on the other side of us. We were trapped in between two groups of people we didn't know...and there were still plenty of empty seats throughout the theater! Awkward. Thank goodness I had already seen the movie, because I was quite distracted with people I didn't know sitting thisclose to me. I need my space, especially if I don't know someone. I'm the person who will get up and move at an airport waiting area if you come and sit too close to me. When we left the movie we were wondering if the Dutch just had different standards of personal space.

So, imagine our surprise (and my horror) this past Sunday afternoon when we went to see Horrible Bosses and this happened. We went in and sat down. We intentionally chose an aisle seat, thinking people would much rather sit in the middle of the row for optimal viewing. Jay and I even strategically put my purse and his jacket {*yes, I said jacket those of you melting in Texas and Oklahoma*} in the seat next to us to deter space-invaders. Of course, without fail, the first group that came in after us was a family and they were heading up toward our row. I was commenting to Jay that I wasn't sure it was an appropriate movie for kids to see when they walked into our row, passed us, and started looking at the numbers on the seats. Numbers on the seats? Hmmm, hadn't noticed those before. Then, they started speaking to each other and pointing to the number on the seat next to us and then at us. 

Apparently, there are assigned seats at this movie theater! We had no idea. We got out our tickets...sure enough E6 and E7. So, we got up and retreated to our assigned seats. We laughed at ourselves, thinking we had caused our own stress at the previous movie by not sitting where we were supposed to. We also laughed because everyone that came into the theater was looking on their tickets and then searching for their assigned seats. How had we not noticed this before?! Ok, I was feeling better in E7 with Jay, someone I know, sitting next to me. the time for the movie to begin got closer and closer, the seats around us started filling in. RIGHT in front of us. RIGHT behind us. RIGHT on BOTH sides of us. All I was thinking was my friend Michelle would have been hyperventilating at this point and probably have left! 

I think the assigned seats are ridiculous. Ridiculous. But on top of that, for a computer to assign seats in a really big theater right next to someone who bought tickets ten minutes before??? Insane. Most of the little differences I've documented have been neither positive nor negative, just different. This? This is a BIG negative in my book! 

I have no idea if this is a regular practice in the Netherlands, but they do it at our theater. It makes no sense to me and Jay got a big laugh over how worked up I was about it. I concluded that their computers could run faster and save memory by not having to assign seats to each ticket purchased. I also asked him how much ink (i.e.,  money) they could save each year if they weren't printing seat numbers on each ticket. I think those are valid I just need to find someone at the theater to listen to me. Perhaps next time I can start by sharing it with the stranger sharing an armrest with me.

Tot ziens!

1 comment:

  1. Baahahahahahaha :-D Just got THE biggest kick out of that story!!!!
    I think you should wait 'til everyone is seated and the movie starts, then get up and move to empty places away from everyone. :)
    I'm w/ you....dumb idea for assigned seats.