......and to think that less than a fortnight ago I was complaining about the thoughtless characters whose incessant chatter made going to the movies in Abu Dhabi such a challenging experience.
Last night, we returned to the multiplex cinema at the Abu Dhabi Mall that was the scene of the original crime. There cannot have been a picture house anywhere in the world where the evening's programme was followed in more respectful, appreciative silence.
I would like to say that this was entirely the result of the quality of the film. How indeed could anyone not sit enthralled by The Kite Runner, with its moving story of boyhood friendship and betrayal in the Afghanistan that existed before a great land was torn to pieces and set on the road to barbarism by an ugly process beginning with the Russian invasion?
No one in the cinema made or received irritating mobile phone calls. No babbling conversations or loud guffaws broke out around us. There wasn't so much as the crackle of popcorns to compete with the soundtrack.
We watched the film from the last of nine rows, each row containing 10 seats. From start to finish, not a sound could be heard from any of the other 88 places. Every damn one of them was empty.