You know the feeling when you're really far from home, halfway across the world, experiencing totally different and new things that are so far from your norm at home? And whether you really recognize it or not, you feel a little homesick and then...there in that new place, that foreign place - something familiar from home! You turn on the TV and it's an old Friends re-run with Croatian subtitles (or better yet - dubbed like in Germany/Austria)! It just brings you right back to the first time you saw that show back home or reminds you of someone who you know who likes that show. Now, here in Zagreb we have a few cable channels but really there is nothing on, ever. So we hardly watch anything on TV and if we do, it's only from 2 channels.
First, Euro-VH1 which replays the most annoying commericial ever at least 5 times an hour, and I mean at least. I don't know, maybe it's 10 times. Any time, day or night, VH1 replays music videos from all different years and genres and then every 10 minutes or so, they play this "VH1 Commercial" which shows short clips of songs. I swear, everyone in Croatia must know the order of these songs if you've ever turned this channel on! I'm singing it in my head right now..everything from:
She's dancing in the video Next to 50 Cent
They travel in packs of two and three
With their itsy bitsy doggies, and their teeny-weeny tee"
"We more than shooters
More than looters,
Created in his image,
So God live through us,
And even in his generation living through computers
On love, love, love can reboot us"
"They call me 'hell'
They call me 'Stacey'
They call me 'her'
They call me 'Jane'
That's not my name."
"Get down, girl go 'head, get down"
"Beautiful girls, that's why it'll never work..."
Oh my, it's so annoying but sometimes you just want to turn something on to hear some music in the apartment (and I'm sorry, but I just cannot take CMC (Croatian Music Channel) for more than 15 minutes at a time!) so VH1 is what goes on. Until you hear that commercial AGAIN and you just turn it off!
The other channel we have that we watch is Fox Life. It plays mostly American and some British sitcoms and shows, everything from '90s shows like Spin City and Ally McBeal, to shows from the '00s like Hope & Faith and Yes, Dear and even now, recently we've noticed that they're getting more current shows like Revenge and Once Upon a Time. So that's one that we sometimes may put on and it reminds me of something my sister and I would watch back in the day in Poland. My grandparents have only 3 or so channels on their TV and we used to watch super old reruns of the Bold and the Beautiful on the farm with our Grandma. It was a real treat when Saved By the Bell would be on, but of course the ONE Polish man dubs ALL of the characters voices so we'd sit close to the TV to try to hear the muffled English.
ANYWAY - what you can see from this is we don't have a lot of TV-home-entertainment type options here. No OnDemand to watch or anything like that, we just have the most basic cable option for our TV so it's the most basic form of cable. Now you might think, that doesn't matter, you can always watch stuff online! This is totally true. BUT, being in Europe and not in the States, you can't watch TV shows live and even if it is offered online as being live, it's not possible to watch outside of the U.S.A. You get the dreaded, "Not Available in Your Country" message. Ugh, hate that! Especially when it happens on YouTube. So it's frustrating because even though I'm living here, watching American shows gives me a sense of home and reminds me of American customs and ways of thinking and also keeps me up to date on pop culture and such (especially SNL, which I've mentioned before). But the age old question is, how can I watch my favorite shows?
In the States, I'm a die hard Food Network fan. I could leave Food Network and Bravo on all day long, and throw some HGTV in there, especially at night when HHI is on ;) Here, I can't watch any of those shows, ever. BUT WAIT! There is a way to watch all my favorite shows! I was incredibly shocked and amazed to find out that the geniuses over at UnoDNS have created a program (UnoTelly) to somehow bypass the dreaded "Not Available in Your Country" message and allow access to all of the websites like Hulu, Netflix, and my beloved Food Network. Even Pandora works! I really could not believe when I found out about this that someone made this possible. Serious geniuses! My expat friends rejoice! All of my friends from everywhere in the world who want to have access to all of the same websites and TV streaming options as everyone in the States has - rejoice!
UnoTelly has literally made my freaking year! It works so fast and so well and lets me stream anything and everything. It was simple to set up and such fast streaming with no problems at all. It's such a smart way to let the rest of the world see what Americans get to see back on the homeland! Lucky for you all - UnoTelly will be offering up some discounts for my wonderful readers for this already super affordable service!
So have you ever felt this connection to American shows abroad while you were traveling? Do you miss seeing your programs? And if you're in Croatia, do you know which VH1 commercial I'm talking about?! Check back in, I'll be posting more about coupons from UnoTelly for you guys!