Friday, February 22, 2008

We Interrupt This Broadcast

Posted from Alleppey, Kerala, India

Q: do you ever watch tv? i can't imagine there is usually a set in you room, but i was curious as to the local programming...

A: There have been a few occasions when we've been lucky enough to have a TV in our room. In Southeast Asia, the TVs were usually hooked up to a satellite service, and we could watch CNN, BBC, Animal Planet, Cartoon Network, and a couple of English-language movie channels. When we were in Siem Reap around my birthday, we couldn't bring ourselves to leave the air-conditioned, posh comforts of our hotel room, so we turned on the movie channel and watched some lame Ray Liotta chick-flick. Totally worth it!

Of course, now that we are in India with a thriving local media, the televisions are no longer connected to satellite systems, and most programs are in one of the innumerable local languages. But that doesn't mean that we haven't tried to wring at least a modicum of entertainment from them. Unfortunately, there's only so much not-getting-it that we can take. From what we've seen, Indian TV seems to be comprised of cricket matches, which are even more boring than golf, and Hindi Pop request shows, where you send in your long-distance dedications via text message. Somehow, "im srry i skrud ur sis, luv u so much" doesn't have the same heartfelt apology behind it as hearing it from Casey Kasem. Oh, and, of course, there's Dora the Explorer. In Hindi.

Needless to say, we couldn't be happier that we brought a laptop and bought all 10 seasons of Friends from some shady guy in Vietnam.

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