Thursday, 23 September 2010

Another rant about Telly

One of the most boring of all expat conversations at dinner parties is about which fecking cable TV company you use. This conversation follows the exact same pattern week-in/week-out. The smug techy person sitting at the table will have bought some massively expensive satellite system and imported it into the country in a way that mere mortals without connections could never possibly manage. The mac geek has started using his Apple TV to download anything and everything so he doesn't need to pay for TV "in-country" at all. The spoilt, over-paid executive working for a large corporation (usually oil, tobacco or booze) doesn't know what they have and have never bothered to ask because they have every channel in the world plus a NASA link to Martian TV and it all comes included in their "hardship package". And we have sat there for years and years listening to this conversation with a television that is not connected to the outside world at all, watching the same old collection of videos and DVDs over and over and over again!

So when the world cup came round and husband decided now was the time to buy a 42 inch plasma flat screen jobbie, we had to get it linked in to some kind of system. It took several days, a small bribe and various consultations with Alma TV to get connected, but we are now the proud possessors of two TV boxes (one in the living room and one in the guest room for when my dad comes to stay and has a nervous attack at the thought of no news for two weeks), a television table purchased from some friends who moved to Kuala Lumpur and an amazing choice of 93 channels.

And of the 93 channels we watch BBC World and CNN International. And most of the time, they get stuck in digital processing mode and don't work. But tonight, as Obama is regaling the UN with ideas to solve the Israeli Palestinian crisis on LIVE TV, both channels are showing that, and ALL the other channels have stopped working.

I rarely watch telly anyway, having rather got out of the habit with our numerous non-connected years in weird places. But on the one night that I want to see what's going on (husband has a business trip to Tajikistan and my contact with a journalist husband has relayed that things are really kicking off there in a nasty Al-Quaeda-type way) I cannot watch it on my two news channels of even attempt to understand it on the local news where the unrest will doubtless be covered.


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