Thriller Night

Greece may not celebrate Halloween, but that doesn’t mean things don’t get a little spooky around here every once in a while.  Not scary spooky, Athens truly is one of the safest cities in Europe.  More like eerie spooky, along the lines of the twilight zone if you will. 

 Even getting dressed everyday, I find myself configuring a new costume in my mind.  Who do I want to be today?  Funky?  Eclectic? Trendy?  Minimalist? Fashionista?  Edgy? Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Jackie-O? Jet setter?  The list goes on and on.  While we are all in a sort of costume, a disguise, every time we get dressed, Athens is a playground for style.  The many drastically different neighborhoods of Athens allow for varying costumes.  In Kolonaki, the dress-code is expensive chic (I don’t exactly fit in there).  But right next door in Exarchia, dressing up means dressing down, preferably in black, the more worn your clothes look the better.  Of course you should stay true to yourself, but sometimes that means stepping out of your box into a fabulous pair of heels.

 Most Athenians really pay attention to their costumes at night.  They are vibrant and alive from the darkest hours of the evening until daybreak.  Kind of like a vampire-only they don’t bite, most of the time that is.  The most social beings, Athenians walk all over at night from bar to bar, trick-or-treating their way around the city.  And in a city of nearly 5 million people, it’s always a treat to see a friendly face walking your way.

 While Athens has never really given me the creeps, I experienced some eerie behavior this past Wednesday at the theater.  My roomies, Melissa and Emma accompanied me to the movies.  Emma really wanted to see the film, “Paranormal Activity.”  Melissa was in the mood for a flick, and I, well I just wanted an excuse to eat gummies.  Apparently “Paranormal Activity” is a scary movie.  In fact it is the highest grossing R-rated film of the decade.  And I can tell you I was scared, yelping and grabbing Melissa’s arm.  Although I wouldn’t recommend it to my mom, sister, or most people in general-I was very entertained.  Entertained by the movie, but also entertained by the Greeks surrounding me. 

 My friends and family know how much I love the movies.  I realize that in general, everyone likes the movies.  But I feel a little bit more singular than everyone-I love love love going to the movie theater.  It’s like a mini-vacation.  For ten dollars (or 8 euro) you can go to another place, another era, another life.  Needless to say I am familiar with the movie theater experience.  Or at least I thought so upon entering the movies here in Greece.

 My ticket included a seat number-which is abided by very seriously I learned.  In a country that invented the art of relaxing, I never expected such strict rules in a movie theater.  We walked into the theater and were escorted to our assigned seats.  As we waited for the film to start the seats started to fill up.  Everyone around us was talking and laughing loudly.  I felt like I was at a bar.  And when the movie did start the talking continued.  Well, this is weird.  The whole point of going to the movies is to shut up and loose yourself to what’s happening on the screen in front of you.  I no longer felt familiar with the movie theater. 

 I was slightly annoyed that so many people were talking and commenting throughout the movie.  But then what did I expect?  Athenians are the most social butterflies.  Fact.  They flutter around the coffee shops by day and the bars by night.  Of course they were going to be just as social in a movie theater.  And the assigned seating thing I realized is not about regiment-it’s about socializing.  Everyone is seated next to each other in one big group; and you never know who you might sit next to.

 Well my notion of the “movie experience” was completely altered to say the least.  From my viewpoint, the real paranormal activity was not occurring on the screen but rather in the theater itself.  But how could I come to Greece and expect to experience something so familiar to me in the same way?  At home I go to the movies for a getaway via the special affects.  However, here in Athens I don’t want a getaway- I want a layaway.  As in me, storing myself away here forever.  Clearly, Athens has it’s own special affect on me.  Things can get a little bit paranormal and weird at times for sure.  Sometimes Athens is sour and sometimes it’s sweet-but either way you’re in for one big treat.

 Love,

 TZEINA

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