A Day The Planetarium (or How I Went Through One of the Most Embarrassing Moments in my Life)

I am reading a very, very good book at the moment (I might review it here once I’m done) so I feel very impatient to write today’s post quickly so I can get back to reading.

In light of that, today I’m going to share a brief anecdote I’ve been meaning to share with y’all for a while now. I’ll add a story about my recent ish visit to my city’s planetarium to make it a little more interesting.

I moved out of my parents’ house 7 months ago, to start my transition. A lot of changes have come from that, obviously, but a significant one has been me discovering my love of riding the bicycle. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of the Ciclovia. It’s a weekly thing where they close major roads to allow people to get out and exercise. Particularly, as the name suggests, by riding bicycles. The Ciclovia happens on Sunday mornings which, right up until I moved out, were dedicated to going to church. So, being free of my parents’ judgement I was finally able to enjoy my Sundays doing whatever I wanted. Nowadays I can ride about 40 miles without being too tired, but back then I still needed to build endurance. So I’d set myself destinations in my city to explore. One of the first was our national museum, which I absolutely need to share with you someday. It’s so cool. Another destination I visited soon after I began my bike rides was our planetarium. I hadn’t been there since I was 7 or 8 years old, so I was excited to see it for myself as an adult.

I got there early Sunday morning, to see it was closed. No problem. I set my bike near a bike stand and put a lock on it, then sat nearby and read for the next hour. When it was time, my phone started ringing, telling me to get up. I did, and I walked all the way up to the main entrance to buy my admissions ticket.

We opened the front doors to walk into a long hall with random paraphernalia related to space, and a darkened room we were quickly directed into. We were in the space exhibition. This consisted of a couple of rooms with different activities in them. The first one was a giant screen with a projection and narration showing constellations, and telling the history of how humans went from looking at the stars and seeing gods, to realising how much more fascinating and complicated they are than that.

We moved on. Here, there was a lamp, and a small moon around a rotating chair. The idea was that you could sit in the chair, and then with the moon moving around you and with the lamp standing in for the sun, you could understand how night and day, as well as eclipses. There was an employee giving a demonstration with a young kid, and after explain what you’d expect, started to talk about tides.

Now, this is the time for a quick ad break. I’m joking, but not really?

There’s a great channel on youtube called Crash Course. It has fantastic lessons on a number of subjects, from World History, to Anatomy, to Astronomy. One of the reasons I went to the planetarium was the fascination the Astronomy series had given me. I’d actually seen an episode about tides a couple days earlier, which you can see for yourself here.

Screenshot 2016-01-05 at 09.43.37

Still from the Crash Course episode mentioned above. The show is sponsored by PBS, as you can see, and the art is created by Thought Cafe.

It was a subject I had trouble wrapping my head about, since part of the explanation involved odd ideas like the Earth actually being a bit elongated. It was explained brilliantly in the video, but as soon as it ended, I was left with a “that makes sense… wait, what?”

So, I was excited for having it explained to me again, except the guy didn’t really know what he was talking about. I’ve come a long way since the horribly annoying know-it-all I was in high school, so I waited until he’d finished and people had left before I mentioned to him, with the little understanding I had, how he was wrong, and what I thought was the actual explanation for why we have tides. It didn’t go well, what with my limited knowledge, but the guy was nice about it.

I moved on.

The next room had a display of a moon rock. Next to it was a Colombian flag. It had apparently been taken to the moon by Astronauts, and then presented to us by Nixon. As fascinating as it all was, reading the inscription made me forget about the whole outer space thing, as you can tell from how I responded to it on Instagram:

Screenshot 2016-01-05 at 09.48.29.png

Pro tip: If you want to piss off Colombians, misspell the name of our country

I walked to the next room, which was by far the coolest thing I’d seen all day. It had infrared sensors, thermal imaging equipment… it was a super interesting room filled with a bunch of different tools used by astronomers to study outer space. You could look through glasses to see a person moving around on the other side of the wall, and among other things, you could stand in front of a camera and see, on the huge monitor above, yourself as seen through a thermal imaging camera.

It looked fun, so I went to take a picture. The first thing I noticed was that my phone didn’t show up, which was interesting. My scarf looked blue, since it was cool and hid my body heat. Then I heard a middle aged man nearby snicker, and that’s when I noticed… Well, you see for yourself:


Yeah. There was a perfectly clear image of my bra on the screen. I had expected the scarf to show up blue, but since it was still early days in my transition, I wasn’t totally used to having a bra yet, and had completely forgotten about it. I quickly put my hands down and walked off, but that was even worse. As soon as I put my hands down, a clearer outline showed up. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, and seeing the look on the face of the guy as I walked by him was the humiliating cherry on top.

So… yup. That’s my story about how a whole wide room full of kids, parents, and a weird middle aged dude all got to see my bra. Now I want to go hide under a blanket 😛

Hope you all have a good week full of interesting things, though nothing as embarrassing as this. If you have any funny/embarrassing anecdotes to share yourself, please leave them in a comment below 🙂




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