Sunday, December 27, 2015

Odyssey in Oz: Day 2: Slou Arrives!

On Day two of this grand adventure, Slou arrived! It was raining (still!), so we mostly stayed inside and colored (okay, Slou colored while I scrolled the internet). 

We had dinner that evening with a friend I had previously met in Dallas. He walked us to a pub down the street and we ate on the roof top--while it rained. I ordered chicken snitzel and made it a "parmi," which basically just means it was chicken parmasean served over fries. 

We decided that since it was still raining and we needed to keep Slou up for a few more hours, that the two of us would go see Star Wars after dinner. The lady at reception told us to take the train and the theatre would be easy to find. "All right," we agreed. "If I can figure out the subway system in French and Italian, how hard could be in an English speaking country?


First, we had to FIND the train station. Once we did, we had to figure out how to buy tickets. There were a lot of options, so we just picked "City" since it was in the largest font. Getting through the gates was tricky enough, but then we had to figure out which playform to get on! 

We kept checking maps, but they were all in pink and for the bus system. We couldn't locate a detailed orange train map, and walked around in circles, as only confused tourists can do. After pointing and saying "Oh! A map!" the fifth time, we gave up on maps entirely and submitted ourselves to the staff only window off in the far corner. A nice older gentleman was just coming out of the office wearing his bright orange (for trains!) vest, and was able to point us to platform 2. 

We breathed a sigh of relief and boarded the train. Not that that was hard enough, we then had to find our way out of the train terminal. The station we departed from had nice big signs saying "Way out," but of course we couldn't find any such sign at this, the movie theatre platform. We again wandered in circles with increased panic-induced adrenaline until another orange-vested lad pointed us toward a very hidden exit. 

We made our way to the theatre and explored the lobby/arcade/mezanine/whatever until we found the line for purchasing movie tickets. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT PURCHASING MOVIE TICKETS. Apparently the seats are assigned, so Slou had to swap her ticket once I got to the ticket counter so we could sit together. 

Now, you'd think this would have been ENOUGH to struggle through, but no. The ticket line then fed directly into the snacks room, where picking out popcorn was a nightmare. Let's just say that a slap-happy Slou, a ditzy candy-striped girl behind the pop corn machine, and a lot of unhelpful signage led us to hop around in a panic for a full five minutes. 

FINALLY, we make it into the theatre, but if you thought we could go right in and sit down, ha! The cleaning crew is still at work and won't let us in despite the minute hand ticking closer and closer to 8:00. We meet a eccentric fellow waiting along with us. This was his second viewing and he was quite interested in helping us properly pronounce "g'day!" He claims he was a rock star who performed all over the world. This is now my second near-celebrity sighting of the trip. No Hemsworths or Fat Amy yet. 

We finally got to sit down and enjoy the movie. Well, I did. Slou fell asleep so who knows how much she actually saw. 

Thank the Lord we made it our back to the hostel at the end of the night. It was quite an exciting day two, and we are now fully aware of how much we need to avoid the trains. And movie theatres. So much for assuming travel in an English-speaking country would be easy!

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