11 November 2009

Juan, the Movie Guy

Quick report. I arrived at Nelson Gas at 2:00 p.m. today. No, the tanks with the proper fittings had not arrived at 10:00 a.m. this morning as expected yesterday. They are now expected a las cinco, mas o menos. At 5:00 p.m. today, more or less. I shall return there in the morning.

The obvious question is, why do I not call ahead? The reason is this. First, one gets to the point of conversing with a Spanish speaker with some success, mas o menos. Then one acquires the ability to read a text of more than a few words in Spanish. I can report to you now, Bloggerboy, that I am reading a book in Spanish written for adolescents about the history of the Middle Ages.

Lastly, and I do mean lastly, one acquires an ability to communicate over the telephone with a Spanish speaker. There are all kinds of alien conventions associated with that. More importantly, I am still at the stage where I need every visual cue available from the Spanish speaker in order to successfully converse. The two times that I have attempted to understand and communicate with a Spanish speaker over the telephone were disasters.

The bright spot is that my person-to-person relationship with Señora Propano continues to bloom.

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The time has come to introduce you to Juan, the Movie Guy. Juan runs a café where he serves great food and coffee and does a booming business in pirated movies.

It works this way. One goes there for coffee or tea or a meal and takes one of Juan's loose leaf binders to the table to leaf through. These loose leaf binders hold pages about particular movies that Juan has printed off from Internet Movie Data Base or Amazon. You chose the one you want and purchase it for around 45 pesos (€2.28). If you purchase three movies, as I did yesterday, Juan gives you a little discount for a total price of 120 pesos (€6.08). The overwhelming odds are that Juan already has the movie or movies in stock. If not, he gets it.

One of Juan's sitting rooms for reading.

Juan's little theater where one can watch a movie while one eats.

Juan doing business.

Some of Juan's binders.

As for the legality of this, I give it nary a thought. Any thought given to the legality of this would be wasted thought in this place. I do, however, occasionally ponder the morality of it. I am confident that I ponder the morality of it more than any of the other Americans who swarm over the place. I usually contemplate the morality of pirating movies while watching one of the slow spots in a movie that I have purchased from Juan. The reason for this is that commonly a message will pop up in the middle of the screen two or three times during the movie warning against reproducing it.

Juan is perfectly bilingual, and he possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of movies. The first movie that I purchased from him was Babette's Feast, a wonderful Danish film that I had seen before. Much to my amazement, Juan and I fell into a discussion of it.

Juan loves Barak Obama.

Yesterday, I purchased three movies by Werner Herzog. I intended to purchase only one, Fitzcarraldo, again a movie I had seen previously. However, Juan recommended two other Werner Herzog movies, Grizzly Man and Rescue Dawn, both of which are documentaries, I believe.

I got the three-movie discount. I will resolve the morality issue in my own mind soon.

You will recall that not too long ago, I informed you to a certainty that I had forever sworn off all movies with the one exception of Casablanca. I am not going to bother to give you the link to that entry. I have simply changed my mind.


Ruth said...

Babette's Feast, one of my all time favorites, too.

Bloggerboy FFM said...

Hey, sounds like progress on multiple fronts. Newspapers, Movies, and TV are a good way to boost your foreign language skills. Doesn't matter if you don't understand everything. Pretty early on you start to catch the sense of what's going on. I look forward to a few posts on your reaction to different films. I don't think I've seen either of those Herzog films and I really llike Herzog. Try Stroszek if you haven't seen it before.