Elijah Tango 4m 1,002 #movietheatre
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
I don’t have what you would call a typical life. I currently run a small bar movie theatre in a South East Asian city. I suppose isn’t typical for most people, but it’s the life I chose. The day to day aspects of running a business in an Asian city can be crazy enough, whether its trying to communicate with your Cambodian plumber that the drains are backed up (again), or trying to get a stumbling inebriate into a Tuk Tuk and safely home, the day to day routine is anything but.
As a movie theater owner I get invited to a lot of parties and events. The business owners try to keep each other in the loop when it comes to new talent or a new restaurant launch. I go from wine tasting to wine tasting, art exhibition, and far too many weddings in a given week. I’m a single man, and of course I run into my fair share of romantic interests for a weekend fling before they are off again back home with a brand new story for their friends. The movie theatre itself may have been witness to one or two of those interludes. What’s the point of having it if you aren’t going to use it?
It’s no secret that a lot of people that up and move overseas are running away from something. A lot of my customers are high functioning alcoholics or just plain crazy. Most of my regulars turn into friends pretty quickly, that’s the job of a barman at times. I don’t drink very often, but I understand the enjoyment.
The movie theatre is a separate entity. I make a weekly schedule and try to appeal to my clientele. This is harder than it sounds. Imagine trying to screen movies that will appease rich NGO workers as well as international patrons. It isn’t often that my French customers enjoy the same thing as the young Australian backpackers that run through the business. Keeping up with new releases in America in the Far East isn’t a picnic either. I try not to torrent too often, I actually request the rights from the distributors, but here and there I have to do my best pirate hat and hit the torrent seas.
Every day is different; this is the nature of my business. Sure, the routine is there. Open, close, clean, screen. Serve delicious wines and pump out some hotdogs. But that is where it ends. I want to share one of the more bizarre examples of what it’s like to be a young entrepreneur in a foreign country.
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As a theatre operator, I get invited to an annual Oscar party held at a swanky restaurant. It’s a great time. Free flow beverages and a smorgasbord of delectable snacks are on offer as everyone watches as the winners are revealed. Did I mention it starts at 7 am over here? Yeah. Everyone dressed to the nines and drunk by 11 a.m. It’s fantastic.
The trivia and party were great. Everyone was having a good time. Our table happened to be the drunkest, but so it goes. A few of the Cambodian actors and actresses were in attendance. They have no real idea what the Oscars are, but they do enjoy a good dress up party and to rub shoulders with others. One particular brother and sister joined our group towards the end of the festivities. They were an attractive pair that had a high level of English at their disposal. Everyone got along quite well with the duo, and once learning that we were taking the party back to my movie theatre afterwards, they asked if they could join us. I thought nothing of it, there was no reason on Earth I wouldn’t want them to come.
We spent the afternoon pouring long island iced teas and generally enjoying the varied conversations to be had. Most of my original group were far too drunk to continue in any sane way, so by the evening I was left alone with the Cambodian brother and sister.
They asked if we could all go watch a movie. Now, the theater is a small one. Cozy, if you will. The first two rows are actually large floor cushions with pillows that allow for a comfy lie down during a film. I put on a movie, I will never remember which, and grabbed some popcorn for all of us to enjoy. The movie started up and we all scrunched together on the floor cushion to get comfortable.
This is where things take a seriously weird turn. I was just laying back and minding my own business when out of the blue the beautiful actress places her hand on my crotch. I was frozen. I couldn’t even think of a response to the situation. She started massaging my groin and her brother just smiled at me.
This isn’t normal behavior. I finally got my senses and asked what she thought she was doing. She said that she always wanted to have sex in a movie theatre and that she hoped I didn’t mind if her brother watched. He apparently enjoyed watching his sister have sex. Yes, you heard that right. This wasn’t a one off thing; this was a well-honed system they had.
It may have been the fact that she was stunning, or it may have been the excessive amount of alcohol in my system, but my logic centers reported back that the only rational thing to do was to have lustful sex with this woman in front of her brother.
So I did. After I got over the fact her brother just kept smiling at me while I was doing his sister, it turned out to be fantastic time. Sometimes crazy things happen and you just have to go with the flow. That’s how I got here and how my life has been in Cambodia.