The Avengers Experience

So I went to see The Avengers this weekend (I’m a big fan of superheroes) at the Cinecitta, where they play movies in the original version! It was a late showing on a Saturday night, and the one thing I really love about seeing English movies in a foreign, is how many other people show up who are Americans and who also love superheroes. This is a specific experience that brings out a very specific audience. There in this crowded movie theater were so many Americans; children, blondes wearing way too short miniskirts, muscle dudes, college students and black families…. I wanted to talk to everybody, make friends, listen to them…. it was absolutely amazing. And yet none of us do these things.

Maybe I’m the only one who gets excited to see that many Americans in one place. Sometimes I can’t stand seeing my fellow Americans; mostly it is just those obnoxious ones, but when I see English language movies, I get excited and pumped that I’m going to be around people who not only speak but completely understand my language–our language. But then I’m there and I have no idea what to say or how to introduce myself. And they seem quite content to not bother either; they have families or significant others, and they don’t seem as excited as I am to be around each other. So I just talk to the G-Man, and listen to the people around me, a function I turn off around Germans. And for those few hours, I feel like I’m home again.

I just don’t understand why we aren’t friendly with each other in this social atmosphere. How come everyone was so shy and hesitant to make contacts? Americans aren’t known for being shy, on the contrary, we are loud and proud. Although these things might not always be the best….. Anyway, should I take the extra step to introduce myself to my fellow expats at the movie theaters? Should I take the chance of embarrassing myself so that I can finally make some friends? Am I the only one considering this? What do you think??


2 thoughts on “The Avengers Experience

  1. Ellie, definitely introduce yourself. The worst that can happen is rude people and you can deal with that. Make the effort and you may find some great acquaintances perhaps even friends!

  2. I have perhaps the opposite problem. When I’m at the movie theater for an English-language movie (usually just Monday nights at our Cinemaxx multiplex), I usually forget that my obnoxious comments to my tolerant, patient wife are quite likely to be overheard and understood by all.

    Out in public, apart from the movie theater, I have the relative obscurity my native speaker skills provides. Sure, locals will probably hear me and recognize that I’m speaking English (or at least not German), but I don’t figure they quite pick up on how snidely I’m commenting on my surroundings.

    I get scolded a lot at the movie theater.

    Me personally: I’d never strike up a conversation out of the blue at the movies. I’m outgoing and I like to meet new people, but I need a Macguffin.

    On a barely-related side note: have you considered the annual Whiny Expat Blogger Meetup (WEBMU) in Berlin this fall? You won’t be limited to just Americans there: we try to throw in a few Australians, Canadians, or Britons for good measure. has a summary, and links to the details on our discussion board.

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