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Episode 8: In Which Fiona Watches a LOT of TV

Do you know what that is? That’s a TV show about the Industrial Revolution, and it was riveting. Know why? Notice there’s no subtitles on the screen there? Huh? Yep. It’s in ENGLISH.

After nearly 18 months of pretending I didn’t care a hoot that I never saw any English language TV programmes, I caved. In fact we couldn’t even get Chinese TV at our house, thanks to the telephone installation guy accidentally cutting the cable from the aerial the month before we moved in. Plus we were still in our high and mighty ‘No, we won’t watch any TV when we live in China! We’ll… books…….and talk to each other…….and make sure we email and skype our friends!’. Well how the mighty have fallen. I caved. After watching yet another pirated DVD from Big Movie on the 4 inch screen of my laptop, requiring both supersonic eyesight and hearing, I caved.
A phonecall to Mr Zhang, our kind landlord, proved he was a man of action. No aerial cable? No satellite dish? No problem! He knew a guy who knew a guy who could get us English language channels via our ADSL connection. The next day, zap! English language TV! Pirated illegally from the Phillipines! For the last three days we have done no reading of books, or skyping of friends, or even talking to one another. No. We have just watched 56 channels of really bad TV, every waking hour. 
There is an Australia Channel, playing non-stop re-runs of a lame action 90s gameshow called Wipeout!, and nothing else. We also have a channel that plays NOTHING BUT episodes of So You Think You Can Dance, Season 5, US version. So depending on the time of day you watch it, it could be the Top 10, or the Seattle auditions, or the Final 3. In no particular order apparently. We don’t care. It’s in ENGLSH. Sorry, I mean, ENGLISH. 
Gotta go. Nigel Lithgoe is about to give his verdict on the cha-cha. 

  • Camille

    Funny. We don't watch much tv, either, but I'll watch just about anything if it's on in English! 🙂

  • whisperinggums

    Nice to find you Fiona. We have just been to Hong Kong… but have not been to China proper yet. However, I love your comment on your About page about food, about breakfast being a good time to think about lunch and so on. That's how we like to travel…in Hong Kong we tried Pigeon for the first time. In Japan, we've eaten all sorts of food including some unidentified innards.

    And, I do love your "mighty have fallen" comment here … that's so familiar to me. The gap between the ideal and the real!

  • Anonymous

    Very funny and completely understandable! When I moved to France I gave in after only 3 weeks of no nothing (no tv, and no internet!) then zapping feverishly for a channel – any channel!! any show -other than in french. Michaela

  • Fiona

    Oh yes, there has been a lot of feverish zapping here too! It has to end soon or we're all going to implode….