January 24th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1
Antigua

Breakfast was at 8 – a special treat, since it was Sunday, of being an hour later.  Still could have been in the middle of the night so far as we were concerned, since first our room has no window, so is pitch black, + second we were both shattered.  Not a very exciting breakfast tho’ – it seems we must get used to beans, tortillas + coffee.  Afterwards, a short rest, + then we went out for a stroll, before our lunch engagement.  However, our stroll didn’t last long.  While walking past the cinema, we discovered that they were showing a double-bill for just a few centavos, so we decided to give it a whirl.  We’d missed most of the first film, but settled down to watch “Spiderman”.  At least, we did once we’d found a seat.  It was a huge cinema, but was absolutely packed, almost exclusively with kids, so that, in the pitch dark, we had the greatest of difficulty finding 2 seats.  The film was in English, with Spanish sub-titles, but obviously the vast majority of the audience was only there for the action, so especially when the action slowed, they were very noisy.  The film was really pretty rubbishy, but I enjoyed it nonetheless – took me back to Saturday morning pictures!

Just in time, when the film finished, to shoot round to Ignacio’s – a modern bungalow in a private courtyard.  He + his wife were very friendly, + made us welcome, with drinks, + then a terrific meal – meat + rice, followed by bread + butter pudding.  Joanne came from Bromley, + had worked in the British diplomatic service for some time before marrying Ignacio + producing a baby.  We left at a little after 3, feeling very full, + then took our stroll around town.  Antigua is by no means spectacular – except for the mountains all around – but it has much charm, + seems, at least to us, very friendly.  We visited the market, which wasn’t very lively for a Sunday in other places, plus a museum, plus a few shops, before returning home for our evening meal, after which we amused ourselves variously.  I’d found a 10-centavo lending library, so polished off Richard Bach’s “Illusions”, played cards, read a little of the paper, followed by an early night – school tomorrow.

Strange that I should be so critical of the breakfast offering, since our joint memory is that we enjoyed this very much indeed.  And fun to be able to go to the cinema, all the more so since it was so affordable.  This was a very early Spiderman, pre-CGI, or anything very much in the way of special effects.

Pleased to enjoy some English hospitality; we did wonder whether this was something Ignacio did with every English visitor, just to give his wife a taste of England.

  1. Pamela Blair

    I remember how attractive movies were when I had the luck to find one. In Homs, Libya, a young Lebanese man I met there (he had a glass store and was saving money to go to the US) “saved” me from being harrassed by some Libyan men and later took me to a spaghetti western with Clint Eastwood–in English with Italian and Arabic subtitles. Besides one very old woman, I was the only woman there. Then, in Beirut, I saw a Woody Allen film, plus some others. In Baghdad, I went to a film, I have no idea where it was made, about a blond US president, after the Civil War, who goes to Dallas, Texas, and is assassinated in his open-top horse-drawn buggy. All the people (mostly young boys) in the theater whispered to each other: “Kennedy?” They had no idea what modern-day Texas was like. I think I was so starved for US/European culture by then that I couldn’t resist seeing even a bad film. I can understand why you’d go to a film. You probably hadn’t seen one since–?

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