Saturday, March 24, 2007

Illegal TV channels and a new expat low

Abruptly, seditious channels like Disney, Cartoon Network and StarWorld*, disappeared from our TV. A few days later, a note from the compound management arrived saying that they had been ordered by the government to remove these channels from the transmissions within the compound. They were, however, working on the issue and hoped to have it resolved within 30 days.

You know your life as an expat has sunk to a new low when you feel compelled to go en masse to the local Texas BBQ promptly at 6 PM on Wednesdays, take over a room, hassle the management to change channels, turn down the restaurant sound system and turn up the TVs so that you can get your weekly fill of Simon, Paula and Randy. The sad thing might be that while the margaritas were great, the sound wasn’t, and we were hard pressed to be able to distinguish who was really singing well from who wasn’t.

Over 5 weeks later, still wandering to various other compounds and restaurants to participate weekly in reality TV, compound management remains unable to reconnect the “illegal” channels, though they are working on the “legal” ones (those were the ones I was obviously not watching). But, to hold on, as they are working on a solution. Well, I don’t want to know what the solution is, just whether it’s time to go invest in an “illegal” satellite dish of my own!

* StarWorld shows American programming such as Desperate Housewives, Oprah, Scrubs, My Wife and Kids, Grammy Awards, etc.

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