Last month, Susan Carlisle had a wonderful post on drive-ins that took me back to my youth (you can find her post here). I remember the very first movie I saw with my family at a drive-in—it was one of the Herbie the Love Bug films. I’ll never forget the wonder of sitting in the backseat in my PJs eating popcorn as that mischievous white car zoomed across the screen. As I became a teenager, and indoor movie theaters replaced the outdoor variety, we still found ourselves pulling into one of those grassy parking spots from time to time to watch the not-so-latest release. There was nothing quite like the experience of a good, old-fashioned drive-in.
When my children think of a drive-in, their reactions are likely to be along the lines of turn-your-head-and-pretend-you-never-saw-it. You laugh, but I’m serious. We do have drive-ins here in Brazil. The lettering is even in English, as you can kind of see from the blurry picture I posted (we were driving by it at the time). And yes, what went on in the back seat of an American drive-in theater goes on here as well. But there are no movie projectors, no big white screens, and no concession stands. Or…maybe there are concession stands, but I wouldn’t know. Honest.
Because movies are not what these drive-ins are made for. You do “drive in.” You do park (in a private bay with a curtain that swishes closed behind your vehicle). You do stay for a while. But that’s about as much as I’m prepared to say about them on a public forum.
My husband and I had a good laugh, when we realized exactly what those mysterious drive-ins were. And heaven forbid if the front entry gates on a few of those drive-ins happen to be open as we drive by, because we all start talking really fast and try not to peer too closely at the interior (or notice how many of those curtains are closed).
When my editor asked me to write a duet featuring Brazilian brothers, I thought it might be interesting for these two to have been separated when they were very young…to grow up in two different countries. The brother who returns to Brazil as an adult finds that what he thinks he knows isn’t always the way things are. There’s a quick mention of a drive-in (and a motel—which is a post for another day) in the second book of the duet, for just that reason.
When we arrived in Brazil (and we truly love it here), our expectations were sometimes turned on their heads. Words didn’t mean what we’d come to expect them to mean. Maybe you experienced this when you traveled to other countries—or even to different regions of your own country. If so, I’d love to hear your stories!
One word of caution. If you (like me) have a nearly unpronounceable German maiden name and happen to travel to Germany, be leery of asking someone to translate it for you. You might just find out that your name means Big Head. Yeah. Not so profound. 😉
And just for fun, here’s a sneak peek at the cover of my latest release! I love the model they found for my broody doctor!