Russian Ballet Comes to Santiago; Theatrics Ensue

There's a nice theater around the corner from where I live. A Russian ballet company was coming to town to do "Don Quixote." Why not go?

We arrived with tickets in hand, gained entry, and hurried to the upper level to find our seats before the performance started in 2 minutes. Almost everyone else was seated. We showed our tickets to the person manning the aisle. He pointed us to aisle 10. We looked down the row at seats 7 and 9. People were sitting in them. In fact, the whole row's seats were taken. The culprit was a 40-something mother with her two young children. We squeezed down the aisle and then showed our tickets to the women sitting in our seats.

Chaos ensued. Rapid Spanish. People checking their tickets. Usher comes over and looks at our tickets, looks at hers, says random shit. People are moving around but people still in our tickets. The clock is ticking. We discover that the woman in our seats is not in her assigned seat — she was trying to sit in between her kids.

She denied the truth. We held firm. Everyone was looking at us. She then tried to grab our tickets to get a closer look. I said loudly to J., "Be careful of a bait and switch." Oldest fucking trick in the book. I took the tickets and held them arm's length from the short woman even as she grabbed for them.

We exited the row. The usher then said some stern words and the family left. We got our seats. Gringos: 1, Chileans: 0.

5 minutes into the performance, the woman behind me puts her hand on my shoulder and asks in a firm tone, in Spanish, "Can you move down a bit in your chair? I can't see anything." "Lo siento," I replied, "Soy alto." (Y fuerte.)

For Part 2 we sat in the way back in the farthest side aisle, where there were two empty seats, to be away from everyone else and so I could stretch my legs.

By the end of Part 2 my water bottle was expired and I needed more water, so I went home, while J. stayed for Part 3.

Just another day of ballet.

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