So, the other Sunday afternoon I go to see King Kong with my flatmates at the little Hoyts four-plex in Manners Mall. My flatmates have got their tickets, and I head up to the counter to pay for mine.
Behind me is what I take to be a family group: a guy in his 40s plus three kids, sub- to mid-teens. During the 20-30 seconds or so it takes me to order my ticket and pay for it on eftpos, they lose patience with waiting in line.
First, one of the girls leans herself up against the coke machine just to my left. Then the adult sticks his elbow on the counter about half a metre away from where I'm entering my pin number. Then another girl moves in just behind my right shoulder. I tell you, if any of them had been wearing sunglasses and a dark suit I would have been fingering my rosary beads and praying they made it quick.
I finish paying, turn around, and just stand there, because I'm completely hemmed in. The girl on my shoulder does this startled jump back, with a look of surprise on her face, as if to say what, you mean you can't just teleport yourself out of there? (ok, so maybe I already had a pissed off look on my face).
Unbelievable. So, this cinema doesn't have the velvet rails which show you how to line up. But have we lost the lowest common denominator courtesy of allowing someone their personal space while they carry out a transaction?
I've always thought that one of the main compensatory advantages our tight-assed Anglo-Saxon society has over the friendlier Latin cultures I've experienced is that politeness extends beyond speech to action; people know how to wait in line and take their turn. But this was the kind of behaviour that would be thought obnoxious even in Peru.
We'll deal with the movie itself later.