I woke up the next morning in Harmony Hostel and went upstairs to get breakfast — a traditional plate including one hard-boiled egg, slices of tomato and cucumber, black olives and big, fluffy pieces of white bread with jam.
During breakfast, I began to talk with two Kiwi girls about our plans for the day.
We had grand desires … to go to the Spice Market, the Grand Bazaar, and more. Instead, we all came to the conclusion what we really needed to do our first full day in Istanbul was go and see “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”
Yes. I am serious. And yes, we did go.
The entire way into Taksim, we giggled with each other, making fun of the fact that we were going to see the film when an entire city was at our feet. But, the truth was, we all had plans to be in Istanbul for enough time to see everything we wanted to see. And, “Eclipse” was now on that list.
“You won’t wait to see it with me?” My mom had asked before I left for my travels. I had made her watch the first two “Twilight” films and now, even though we both agreed they were largely crap, she wanted to see the next one with me.
“Sorry Mom, I love you, but no way am I waiting until I get home,” I had said. ‘”Plus, I am sure wherever I see it, it will be a memorable experience.”
And was it ever.
We purchased our tickets for the 12:05 showing (tickets were 13 yTL — a far cry from the overpriced American theaters) and walked around Taksim for a few minutes, then went back to the movie theater, got our popcorn and sodas (7 YTL), and went into the theater.
It seemed normal enough. Rows of velvety red seats on a slant. Not stadium, but not flat. We sat down, food and drink in tow. And waited. And waited. And waited.
It wasn’t until after 12 that people began to shuffle in.
One of the girls looked at her ticket: “I think we have assigned seats.”
“All of the other people are holding their tickets and looking at seat numbers,” she continued.
So, the three of us pulled out our tickets.
Yup. Row H. Seats 7, 8 and 9.
We grumbled and got up.
After a few more minutes, and having our tickets inspected by an usher, two men armed with trays overflowing with popcorn, candy and sodas, lined up against the wall, waiting for people to buy snacks.
When the lights finally dimmed, we were treated to 20 minutes of Turkish commercials.
And then, the movie.
I got sucked into the Edward/Bella/Jacob love-fest and didn’t even notice the Turkish subtitles scrawling below their faces.
This was great. I was seeing an American movie in Turkey. It made me feel like I was home. It made me smile.
And then, half-way through the film, it stopped.
We looked around. The lights came up. People got out of their seats.
“What is going on?” I asked. I knew the movie wasn’t done.
And then, onto the screen popped film previews. For 20 more minutes, we watched previews before the film came back on.
We left the theatre with big ol’ smiles on our faces. The film may have been meh, but that experience was one I will not soon forget.