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Harry Up and Wait

By alison - November 28, 2005 (Updated: November 30, 2014)

I could fake the British accent… couldn’t I?

Could somebody please teach the Belgians how to stand in line and wait their turn?

I forget, that as a Canadian, it is deeply ingrained from birth that you must politely wait in lines… for everything. Pushing and shoving is not the Canadian way.

Saturday night I had the brilliant idea to go see my true love… Harry Potter. My friends, family and faithful readers know that I am just a little obsessed. I won’t even comment on my slightly Mrs. Robinson-ish crush on some of the actors… (I try not to think about how old they actually are.)

We hadn’t yet been to the movie theatre in Belgium, and what better inaugural movie than the latest Harry.

We purchased our ticket with no big fuss and then mulled about the giant Kinopolis complex for a while. Our ticket was for 7:30. At about 6:45 we figured we would head to the theatre, grab some snacks and find a good seat. No dice…

Nobody was even allowed into the theatre area until after 7:00. Instead of standing in an orderly line, we were in a mad crush of people trying all trying desperately to get through the gate first. If there’s one thing that a good Canuck hates, it’s a line jumper.

I should also mention at this point I am not wearing sensible shoes. Thinking… hey, at a movie theatre you sit down the whole time, I was wearing cute but impractical high healed boots. My feet were killing me.

Finally we push and shove our way through the gate, thinking that we can now go and find the perfect seat from which to admire Harry… er, watch the film.

But no… A second mad crush has gathered around the still closed theatre doors. We must push and shove and step on people (cute boots come in handy at this point), to get to our seat.

By this point, I am suitably cranky. My Canadian sensibilities can not handle such disorganization. Andrew points out that these are Belgians we are talking about and how they act in line is exactly how they act on the road.

I will not be placated. What civilized society can’t wait in a proper line up…. Shouldn’t the theatre do something…? Where are the line up ropes? … The security guards? … The cattle prods? …

The movie starts. Suddenly all thoughts of torturing Belgians slip my mind. For the next two hours it’s just me and Harry, and Ron, and Cedric… Oh, … and stupid Hermione too.

I love Belgium…

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Alison

Alison

Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu. She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She is currently slow travelling through Europe in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison
Today I'm sharing one of my favourite new discoveries in New Brunswick / Nouveau-Brunswick, the Jardin Botanique... https://t.co/fCt4TxYUa9 - 4 days ago

13 comments

  1. Comment by Andrew

    Andrew November 28, 2005 at 17:12

    Goblet of Fire was the best of the movies so far… I thought the differences between the two visiting groups of students was really well done. And I really liked the fact that they kept the whimpering-teenage-growing-pains to a minimum… focusing more on moving the plot forward for the next movie… now, when are we going to go see it again? 🙂

  2. Comment by Andrew

    Andrew November 28, 2005 at 17:13

    Oh and the photoshop of you in the GoF poster is priceless 🙂 You better work on your accent though!

  3. Comment by Di

    Di November 28, 2005 at 16:29

    I loved this blog entry, from high-minded musical outings, to admissions of your Mrs Robinson tendencies …’
    I still slip down the passenger seat when drivers coming from the right assert their right of way … I can only imagine how that translates to queuing in movie theatres … much as I do love my Belgian, and enjoy those I’ve met thus far.

  4. Comment by m.e

    m.e November 28, 2005 at 18:06

    ha ha ha – very very funny – memories of Kinepolis with a mini 1 person pizza from the pizza hut down the setps towards Mini-Europe (is that still theer?) there was a merry-go-round there as well – and a Quick restairant – funny what details we remember – considering it was around 8-9 years ago i was there last!!
    Love the HP poster!
    Did you get one of the IMAX screens for HP? I watched it last week – but not on a IMAX screen – just a regular one – but watching it in Kinepolis must have been AMAZING!!
    LOL with the queue situation – you should know by now that the Belgians dont wait for ANYBODY or ANYTHING!!! In Cars, in queues, doing the shopping, – well everything really!!
    Glad you had a good time
    thanks for the post!

  5. Comment by Renee

    Renee November 28, 2005 at 18:50

    We are going to see HP on Wednesday, I can’t wait!
    However, I feel for you and the whole line thing. Germans are the same way and even though I do my own fair bit of pushing and shoving now, I am still offended that they can’t seem to understand the concept of the line!
    Cheers!

  6. Comment by Shannon

    Shannon November 28, 2005 at 21:26

    It’s funny, Gabriel and I were just talking about the driving situation over there… and I agreed with your decision not to drive. No matter how long I spend in Brussels, I will never get used to the right of way being on the right!? It makes no sense, I’m totally shocked that there aren’t more accidents. AND we were ALSO talking about your boyfriend Harry, and I decided that I should watch the movies, maybe I’ll rent them and we can watch them together in the comforts of our homes, where we only have to fight our men and your cats for couch space.

  7. Comment by Shannon

    Shannon November 28, 2005 at 21:27

    It’s funny, Gabriel and I were just talking about the driving situation over there… and I agreed with your decision not to drive. No matter how long I spend in Brussels, I will never get used to the right of way being on the right!? It makes no sense, I’m totally shocked that there aren’t more accidents. AND we were ALSO talking about your boyfriend Harry, and I decided that I should watch the movies, maybe I’ll rent them and we can watch them together in the comforts of our homes, where we only have to fight our men and your cats for couch space.

  8. Comment by Shannon

    Shannon November 28, 2005 at 21:29

    How do you like that? I gave you double comments : )

  9. Comment by Alison

    Alison November 29, 2005 at 06:20

    Oh honey… do you really think I have to *rent* the movies…? I own them all on DVD 🙂

  10. Comment by shannon

    shannon December 2, 2005 at 01:53

    Gawd! I’m sorry! I should have known.. in fact, I DID know, I just forgot.

  11. Comment by Alison

    Alison December 4, 2005 at 16:21

    Definitely read the books first. The movies are fantastic but the books have so much more depth. I mocked the Harry fans at first… and now look at me. Books four and five are the best but they are all fab. God, only one more… then what will I do?

  12. Comment by 23

    23 December 4, 2005 at 12:15

    Glad to know that you actually got in to see the film. I have been annoyed by the belgians at the “queue” myself for some time, but always just thought that it was my own fault for somehow always getting in the slowest line (an innate charm that I have, similar to my mom’s ability to always pick the really bad sci-fi films at the video rental store).
    I’m only now coming around to the HP craze. I watched the first film with my step-dad way back in 2004, but never thought to read the books. While on my latest cross-atlantic trek, I bought the 2nd book. Read it in 4 hours and am now thinking that I need to read the next, what, five? Ha! I’m hooked…I think I’ll wait to watch the movies until I’m done with the books, though. Purist at heart…

  13. Comment by Fleur

    Fleur December 14, 2005 at 11:12

    Aaaarrgghh, I have yet to go and drool over Harry myself! (I’m going when my exams are finished, after tomorrow. YAY.)
    I live in Brussels too and, having a Belgian mother, know all too well how brutal Belgians can be. However, Alison, I pray that you’ll bear in mind that the reason for all the un-Canadian pushing and shoving you described was probably the fact that these ruthless, barbaric Belgians wanted to admire Harry *hem* watch the movie as much as you did…
    BTW Did you watch GoF at the normal Kinepolis theatre or the IMAX theatre? I’d really like to go see it in IMAX but I haven’t found any times on internet. (That’s how I came across your blog entry!)
    Oh, and people, let’s try not to generalise too much about Belgians 🙂

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