It’s nearly 3pm now and I’ve lost all hope that work will start today on the addition to the house. When the builder told me « Monday » , he must have meant »Monday-ish » - a day similar to a Monday, but having a different name, such as Tuesday, Wednesday or even Friday. He might have even meant a Saturday in late 2011.
I really don’t know….
To distract myself from my disappointment, I’ll tell you all about our outing to see « Avatar » yesterday.
I bought our tickets online on Friday night and it was none too soon. The late afternoon show was already sold out again, and it was just sheer luck that there were still tickets for 1pm.
We left about an hour and a half before the show, as the cinema was in a shopping mall on the far side of Geneva. It’s actually not all that far from us, but I knew I’d have to allow time to buy a « vignette » at the French/Swiss border. That’s the little sticker that allows you to use Swiss highways all year long and I hadn’t yet gotten mine for 2010. And it was no use thinking we’d slide by vignette-less and undetected . The Swiss police LIVE to make foreigners cough up 30 euros for a vignette (and they all secretly hope you are just passing through and will use it just once). I actually don’t mind paying it, as we do use it throughout the year, but I do feel sorry for the tourists just trying to get back home to Austria (for example) without making a honking huge detour through northern Italy…
When we got to the border, my suspicions were confirmed. Even though it was lunch time on a nice Sunday, there were Swiss police out in force at the customs checkpoints, all diligently inspecting every vehicle. I was very glad I’d allowed myself the extra time to go wait in line and pay up.
Our final destination was the Balexert shopping mall. I vaguely remember when it was first built back in the early 90’s and was very cutting-edge- for Switzerland, anyway. Now the whole thing looks a bit tired and dated , but it was still good enough to thrill the twins.
« Wow! » said Mallory « This is like Paris, or maybe America! » (Those two places are her standards for greatness) « It even SMELLS like America! » she exclaimed.
When she says that, it generally means that the place smells: a.) clean, and b.) like popcorn.
It did smell USA-ish, I guess, but it was sure small and decrepit. If you set it down in the middle of Lincoln, Nebraska, people would just peek in and say « Well that’s just SAD. » and go right on their way. But I digress…
I was happy to have the printout in hand and just walk right by the hoards of people in line to buy tickets to the shows on the other 12 screens. We even had time to wait in the snack line. As is true everywhere, the snacks were so expensive that you’d think they’d been produced on Mars and shipped back to Earth. But the kids had to have a popcorn box to share, FTW. The twins were sweet and said they’d share a drink, so that helped. (I didn’t get anything, which was kind of a mistake, as I’d forgotten to eat that day . By the end of the three hour long film, it was 4pm and I was ready to eat a roasted Na’vi )
As we filed into the theater, we were each given a pair of funky red sunglasses. When we sat down (Yes, we found four seats together! Win!) Mallory found that hers were bent and the foam around earpieces was completely shredded. As I’d seen the writing on our tickets that said any missing or damaged glasses would cost us 100 Swiss Francs, this was a concern.
« Good grief », I told her, « Hand that over. It looks like a rabid badger’s been chewing on it .»
I left Mal and Al inventing wild stories about crazed badgers going to see « Avatar » and went to deny any responsibility for wanton eyewear destruction, plus ask for a new pair.
Then, the film started.
I have a lot to say about it- far too much to tack on to the end of this already long post. So, I’ll go into the particulars of the film next time…