Saturday 19 November, 2005

To make a short story long….

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 1:01 am

Last Sunday afternoon Jim and I decided to check out Courtrai, a small town in Belgium, just 20min from Lille. Yes we are that close to Belgium, all this time we’ve been saying we are near the border and guess what, we really are! It was a great little town, you can check out the photos, down there to your left of screen, at our flickr site. When ever I visit towns I have one eye on the tourist factor and the other on the livability factor. Doesn’t mean I’m on the lookout to move, I’m just curious, the same goes for real estate agents, I can rarely walk past one without looking in the window. As we pulled off the auto route and were heading into town I saw a big Kineopolis cinema centre, they have them in Lille also but as they only show the big blockbusters dubbed in French we never go there. So as we were passing it I kept starring at it and while I’m starring at it Im wondering why is it holding my attention? And then it dawned on me…we are in Belgium and they don’t dub, bless their hand woven little socks! I felt like screaming at Jim to stop the car and running in and just watching the first big trashy blockbuster Hollywood movie that was playing. But then I remembered that I claim to prefer small art house cinemas, which they have two of in Lille, and suposedly I haven’t missed viewing the mainstream releases. So I kept my mouth shut, until we got home and then I jumped on the Internet and yes, there they all were in version originale.

So excitedly we made plans, our options discussed, I mean we had 8 movies to choose from!!! I don’t know if you’ll approve of our choice….40 year old virgin, I know I wondered too. In my defence, I say mine as Jim is offering no excuses he just thought the trailer looked hilarious, I thought with Paul Rudd and Catherine Keener it had to have something to offer. It was only Monday when all this excitement began and we weren’t going until Friday, but you have to understand even the website was in English, we were out of control with excitement! As we were sooooo looking forward to going we of course assumed everyone else was and thought it was best to book online just to be safe. The fun part of booking online is you can print them off at home/work if you want, snazzy we thought. We’ll that was just the beginning things only got snazzier, as you enter the cinema they scan your printed ticket and a machine spits out small ticket stub with the cinema number on it. We were pretty impressed with the efficiency and simplicity of it all, and lucky we did book online as when we got there there was only 401 seats left!!

We were early thinking we might be able to grab something to eat there but as it turned out the only real option was McDonald’s, the odd meal of Maccas is fine with me but Jim hates McDonald’s. Your body is a temple blah blah blah, my body is happy to get trashed once in awhile. So we head in and I did a double take, Michael Buble is playing, the decor is all cream and chocolate with communal wood tables with faux leather armchairs and there isn’t a kid in sight???? I still get disorientated thinking about it, the menu was the same, but the rest I cant explain. So bewildered and relaxed from a meal at McDonalds(gotta be a first) we head on in to the movie. Jim and I took bets on how many languages the subtitles were going to be in, I won, they were in Dutch and French. The movie turns out to be a ripper, a lot of laughs and some great characters, when near the end it suddenly stops and the lights go on. It crosses my mind that it must be an emergency as it appeared to stop so intentionally, but as no one moves and there is no announcement we just sit and wait. The guy in front is telling us the projectionist is taking a toilet break and joking thats how it works in Belgium when a staff member comes in with a mega phone and sure enough ladies and gentlemen we have a fire. Out we all head, and remember this 1 cinema alone within the complex holds more than 400, to a blaze of smoke and sirens. People are gathering but they’re telling us to get out of there, so we did, we got right out of there, in fact we left the country.

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