Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Going to the movies in Bangkok
Going to the movies is an EVENT.
I was in Bangkok a couple of days after Brad left straightening and extending my visa so that I could stay in Thailand. I decided why not go and entertain myself in the nicer part of Bangkok, known as Siam Square. This is the ritzy rich clean part of Bangkok where you can find shopping, nice hotels, and expensive restaurants. Obviously not some place I was hanging out...
So I headed over that way via subway and headed to the malls. In the city the malls also contain the movie theaters, usually on the top floor. First of all, Asians do malls WAY better than any malls I've seen in the states (maybe minus Mall of America in Minneapolis). On the 7th floor of this mall I found a full size theater showing all the latest movies- including THOR! So let me walk you through this...
First step; approach the counter and you are greeted with the 'Wai,' the traditional Thai or Southeast asian greeting where they form the prayer like symbol with their hands and slightly bow. You then look at the screen facing you and it shows a map of all the seats in the theatre. There are about 4 different price zones for the same theatre movie. The prices differ on how close to the front or middle you are, and also there are the VIP seats in the back of the theatre. So I didn't know what this theatre looked like, I thought maybe I would be transported like in Star Trek, it seemed so fancy. So I chose a seat and bought a popcorn (American day!) and headed toward the entrance.
Second step; You are greeted with another Wai by the lady checking your ticket for the entrance. After she verifies you are allowed to enter, you head up the escalator to what is now the 8th floor. The 8th floor includes another concession stand and two main halls for the theatres.
Third step; You figure out which hall you are in and proceed. It was tough to proceed while I was passing the concession stand because here they have Diet Coke and three different flavors of popcorn!! First, salt and butter. Second; Plain. Third: Caramel Kettle. DANGER! Once you reach your hall and try and push the caramel popcorn out of your mind so that you don't contract diabetes in the next 2 hours, you reach another greeter. This greeter gives you the Wai sign (again!), and finally rips the stub off your ticket! (I think.... I'm Home freeeeeeeeee!!!!)
Fourth step; I find my theatre entrance, walk in the door, and then walk through the red velvet drape and finally, finally reach the theatre for Thor. I'm all kinds of excited now, ready to sit back and enjoy this movie. I start looking down the aisles at the lit up signs....A....B....C....D........... I'm in J 4.......and I look up from the aisle and what do I see.... Reclining extra wide cushioned cream leathered seats. .... I think I've reached heaven.
And here are the VIP seats...
Fifth step: As I'm stumbling, mouth agape at the amazing seats in front of me, I reach J 4 and practically fall into my seat (of course I didn't spill the popcorn or Diet coke, that'd be sinful!) But I sit my butt on nice cream leather and laugh at the experience this has already become. I sat my coke in the cup holder and started munching on the popcorn.
Sixth step; The movie starts and the previews get through, and the 'Turn off your cell phone' message shows, and then an all-to-familiar song comes on. Is it what I think it is?.... Oh YES it is! The Thai national anthem starts playing and a slideshow of the current King of Thailand starts playing. Oh wait...everybody is standing up, I better too! I stand up and watch as pictures and videos of the King's entire lifespan play on the movie theatre screen. They play the entire national anthem and finish with a message something along the lines of, The King is the greatest, Done so much etc... etc... WOW people, I only know Democracy, and we sure as hell don't show Obama's pictures before each movie. How different is this?? hahahah I'm just busting up, this is the most different movie I've ever been to.
Seventh step; I watch the entire movie of Thor and enjoyed the heck out of it, and my popcorn, and Diet coke. And like any good backpacker does in a foreign country, I movie hopped and then watched Fast & the Furious 5.
BEST MOVIE EXPERIENCE EVER.