Falling in line for over an hour before the ticket is given, and queuing again for forty-five minutes before the movie begins, are the most challenging parts of watching the 2011 Eiga Sai (Japanese Film Festival). There are the usual scenes of people who will try to get ahead of you in the queue, and people who will let someone they know squeeze into the already jam-packed line…
Whenever something like this happens, my best friend always takes charge, since it has never been my thing to get into an argument with someone I don’t even know. In fact he has already gotten himself into trouble many times because he is not the type who would just let something pass him if it is wrong. I am a taller than him but I would just simply watch him do the talking, hesitantly backing him up sometimes whenever needed.
And yet today was different.
Since we did not arrive early, there were about twenty people ahead of us on the queue. It seemed fine at first because we would still be getting good seats in the cinema. However, we noticed that the people in front of us were actually a group when they started fooling around, taking pictures here and there, which also caused the line to break.
What’s even worse was when more of their friends started coming. As usual it started with simple greetings or hand shake, until the group expanded to about thirty people. I knew that my best friend was already mad about it but I kept reminding him to be cool. I even approached one cinema guard for him to bring order to the already messed up line but he simply said, “Huwag kayong mag-alala, sir, ‘di naman kayo mauubusan ng ticket.” (“Don’t worry, sir, you won’t run out of tickets.”) This really got to my nerves but I just simply returned to my spot and just ignored the group in front of me.
It was twelve noon when the tickets were given. And just as expected, not everyone from the group headed to the waiting area outside the cinema. We were already lined up properly when almost half of their number started to arrive, taking their place without considering the people at the back. I really tried to control my temper, so I just tried to advise them to fall in line properly “since hindi pa naman mahaba ang pila sa likod namin.” One of the guys agreed and showed his friend to the end of the line. But apparently, what I’ve said hurt the feeling of one who squeezed in front of me. She was a not-so-pretty girl in her early twenties. Based on my first impression, she was the type I should have never messed up with to begin with because she looked like a bitch, in every sense of the word.
She started talking about how rude I was with her friends just so she could gain empathy from them. I didn’t want her to ruin my character in front of the crowd so I just simply didn’t say any word. I rather had my earphones and played loud music to mask her endless fuss about me. I also turned my voice recorder on to document everything for this post:
“Class A kaya kami. So naka-serve sa amin ang mga upuan. Naka-reserve pala. Ano ba ‘yan, pati grammar ko naaapektuhan.”
“Malalaglag ang matres ko sa kanya.”
“Pagbibigyan ko siya!”
” O, sige. Paunahin na siya sa pila. Pero siya lang ah. Hahaha.”
“Oy, burahin niyo ang picture na ‘yan. Nakasimangot ako eh. Ka-stress! Grabe!”
She even made a reference to a recently reported Lady Mayor who was caught red-handed beating a Sheriff several times. It was loud enough for me to hear in spite of the loud music I was listening to. That meant that she would be bold enough to hit me in front of the crowd–an outright indication of the kind of person she was. I also heard her tell one of her friends how memorable this day was for her. The feeling was mutual because I have never encountered someone like her before, considering that most of the people we’ve met during the previous movie festivals were all cultured and urban.