Do not read this yet if you haven’t seen PART 1.



Now then…


SATURDAY – MARCH 7TH


5:45am – The bus pulls into the Iquique terminal. I’m still on Bolivia time. So it’s a quarter to five on my clock. The bus is nice enough to just dock there with the lights out and let us sleep until sunrise.

Merciful GOD… George decides he’s had enough and gets up and LEAVES. I can now, at last, stretch my legs. I return to Within Temptation and proceed to nap for a bit.

7:45am – The sun is out. (Jesus!) So, I step off the bus and out to the terminal parking lot area. It’s magnificently shitty. Especially when compared with the Eurotrash bus terminal in La Paz. As you can plainly see…




Also… it reeks vaguely of urine. Is that the ocean breeze, blowing in from the lovely coasts of Iquique?

Nah…

I’m banking on plain old ordinary piss, thank you very much. What a lovely way to start the day.

8:30am – After freshening up (No shower in the terminal bathroom but I managed) and changing to my necessary Watchmen attire, I walk out and eventually find a bus that will take me to the mall.

On the way there, I get a chance to do some “sightseeing” through my bus window. And I can safely say, without risk of exaggeration, that Iquique is a perfectly hideous fucking place. It reminds me of Jersey… No. Worse… Hicksville – Long Island, let’s say. Just one horrendous street after another on a bus that is playing 2Pac (featuring Dr. Dre) performing their 90s standard California Love at 8:30 in the fucking morning.





I’d take pictures but there’s no point, really. Just picture New Jersey after a hurricane… Picture Long Island after a devastating flood… Picture Albany after an earthquake. That’s Iquique. But it has palm trees, which I guess is nice.

Oh what the hell… Maybe just a little taste.




Decadence… Thy name is Iquique.




But, you know? In a weird way, this is very appropriate. I’m going to a MALL to watch a movie. The times I’ve done that in the U.S., I’ve either been in Jersey or Long Island. So — this feels like home.




Home sweet home…

8:45am – And then I see that most international of symbols that signifies a man’s arrival into civilization… THE GOLDEN ARCHES!

Across from the mall is a sight for sore eyes. As I realize that I will be having breakfast at Mickey D’s!

I have not set foot in a McDonald’s establishment in over 3 years (not available in Bolivia). Some would say this is, in fact, a blessing. And it is. But now, I MUST have an Egg McMuffin and jet black watered-down coffee. Because I’m in Lawn Guyland about to see Watchmen in a fucking mall! Besides, all I had to eat yesterday was a tube of Pringles. So you might say I’m moving up in the world.




9:05am – For some reason, this Egg McMuffin is the best fucking thing I’ve ever eaten in my life!

9:30 to 11:00am – I wander the vicinity of the mall (there’s a KFC too, by the way) and marvel at the fact that most businesses don’t open until after 10. The mall, in fact, won’t be open until 11. I know it’s Saturday, but still… This is all making the wait more tedious than it needs to be. I walk into a supermarket and buy some citrus-flavored Vitamin Water and walk around some more before heading back to the theater.

11:15am – I purchase my ticket for Watchmen at the booth.




A man is there with his son who can’t be more than 7 years old. The kid points excitedly at that big cardboard Watchmen display and says: “Ooohhh… Dad! THAT’S the one I wanna see!” It seems that The Comedian and his flame thrower are a great selling point for the kids. Personally, I can’t wait to get a look at that particular Happy Meal playset.

But anyway… I hear this and immediately turn my head towards Dad and say: “No way, man… This movie is not for kids. Very strong… SEX. VIOLENCE. The works… Don’t even think about bringing your kid in to see this.” Daddy nods in agreement, showing himself to be a reasonable and decent man, while the kid makes some comment about putting lifts in his shoes.

Now… I really don’t give a flying fuck about how this Chilean gentleman chooses to raise his children. But, having come all this way, I DO NOT want some fucking kid in the theater ruining my experience.

The matinée ticket costs 2400 pesos – about $4.50. Keep this in mind.

11:25am – I go in the theater lobby and purchase a medium popcorn and soda. The attendant at the concession stand sees my smiley t-shirt and is intuitive enough to ask, rhetorically, if I am a fan. I smile at her and nod. I choose not to go into the details of the exact circumstances of my being here this morning. She already knows I’m clearly a rabid fan… I’d rather she not also think I’m a stupid asshole.

Though, make no mistake, I have no shame in what I’m doing.

Anyway… My purchase here comes to 3200 pesos – some 6 dollars. I realize that the snacks cost more than the movie ticket. I really am home.




Interesting popcorn, by the way. I wasn’t given a choice but it’s like Cracker Jacks Lite… No peanuts. I just find it interesting that I’ll be eating sweetened kiddie popcorn while watching WATCHMEN.

…And you can read all about that in PART 3.