Involuntarily Giving Up TV – Almost

I’ve met expats who’s TV habits ranged from zero to immersion. Not much different from folks I knew in the states. ‘English TV’ was on two lists of required town features I created, one before leaving Nevada and one before leaving Dumaguete. Next time I update the list I expect to move it down to the ‘desirable’ category.

A few days after moving into the current apartment on August 1st, the landlord switched from cable TV to free satellite. The number of English language channels went from small to two: Russia Today and Fashion TV. I unplugged the tube and satellite box, then put the remote somewhere I’d find it when I moved out.

I realized I’ve been unintentionally weaning myself from TV simply by where I choose to live. Cebu had enough channels that using TV was one of my first choices to kill time. Dumaguete cable had far fewer English channels, but it was better than nothing. So far no problem. First place I stayed in Hua Hin had cable, but the only two channels that were better than not watching were France 24 (all news, all the time) and Universal. The latter had House, which was A Good Thing and several laughably bad crime oriented series. But mostly it had Law & Order, which I can not stand. France 24 had some young women presenters who were attractive, educated, native English speakers who used their fluent French accents as necessary. I can’t stand watching TV news, so I’m not sure why I even remember the channel.

I wrote the above about a week ago. Dropped it in a folder called ‘Aged’ which is usually a one way ticket to the trash. Since then I purchased a new laptop that does two things my old one doesn’t: play DVDs and video files. I may have kicked the habit but now I can download and play TV episodes. OK, download slowly. At a bit rate that plays nice with the other residents, I can download about an hour of TV quality video a day. So the habit can come back but it will be on a diet. The third episode of Dexter season 3 is downloading as I type this. After that, I’ll start in on Mad Men, also season 3.

Curious about what DVDs I picked up? Kick Ass, The Hurt Locker and Cop Out. The latter received mostly bad reviews. Picked it up just because it’s Kevin Smith’s first time directing a film he didn’t write. Commercial grade discs are available soon after the new pictures are released in Thailand. Cost is 100 baht (~ $3.20).

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