Rebel without a wristband

Jaspa – During our recent trip to Mexico, I was amazed by how fond the Mexicans are of wristbands. Of course, we Ses never have to worry about such things, but Rich and Sue seemed to get a new one everywhere we went. I bet they could have saved a fortune on sunscreen if only they’d left all their wristbands on!

We’d been in Mexico for less than an hour when they started their collection, since hotels and resorts use them for security, as a quick, low-profile way of showing who’s a guest and so allowed to be there. Different colours also let staff know how important a particular guest is!

Many attractions in the Mayan Riviera have done away with tickets entirely and use wristbands instead. After all, you can’t lose your wristband. And since they’re waterproof, they don’t end up as a soggy mess in the bottom of your pocket when you forget about them when you go swimming, unlike traditional tickets. In some places they even use them as notepads to keep track of things like what equipment you’ve hired and if you’ve returned it before you leave. Simple but clever.

The only real drawback I can see is that, after the trip, a wristband don’t look as nice as proper ticket in an album.

Take it from me though – there’s no point worrying about zombies or aliens or even Microsoft…. It’s wristbands that are going to take over the World! So watch out!!

Rich – I had a new experience this week, when I took part in one of those market-research focus groups. Last Sunday we went to a new cinema near where we live to see the movie Hanna. While we buying our tickets, Sue and I got approached and asked if we’d like to take part in a focus group examining what people thought of the place. As it turned out, Sue wasn’t eligible (all the spots in her demographic were already full), but with cash and movie passes on offer, I jumped at the chance. We first-time authors don’t earn very much!

My job began immediately, as I was asked to fill out a questionnaire before I left the building. Then on Tuesday evening, I turned up at the designated office for a 75-minute discussion. Seven of us sat around a conference table and were asked a bunch of questions by a research analyst, while interested parties from the company that owns the cinema watched from behind a one-way glass window. Very Big Brother!

With our opinions and suggestions being requested (and recorded) every step of the way, we were guided (virtually speaking) from the parking lot (“Is it big enough?”), into the lobby (“What words would you use to describe it?”), through the concessions line (“Is it organized properly?”), via the choice of refreshments (“Does it matter if the pizza is/isn’t brand-named?”), and finally to the theatre itself (“Did you like the seats?”).

Overall, the experience was very interesting, and I’d definitely do it again. Having said that, for me the general focus of the questions missed the point. When I go to the movies I want a clean theatre, a comfy seat, a big screen and huge sound. A real bombard-the-senses kind of experience! So long as it’s not dirty, cramped and scruffy, I don’t really care what the lobby looks like, or whether there’s a lounge to sit in while I’m waiting. Yet, although the theatres themselves were considered, of course, the lion’s share of the discussion (which ended up being nearer two hours) most definitely surrounded our opinion of the lobby and the things it contains.

Interestingly though, when someone brought up the overpricing of refreshments at movie theatres in general, the subject was quickly changed. The issue of how theatres should do more to enforce their own ‘no talking during the film’ policies, was similarly side-stepped. Seemingly, these are two things on which our opinion wasn’t required.

(In case you’re curious, Hanna was pretty good, although it’s not really a feel good film. Definitely not for kids either!)


About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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