Thursday, September 04, 2008

I heart SKY TV

And of course my siblings. For my birthday they were most thoughtful. Without them there would be no TV.

I went to Euronics (an electronics store here in Rome) and nodded as the salesman discussed the various TVs’ pros and cons. I had an idea of which brands I was interested in and was glad there was a sale.

However, I had no idea what the heck he was talking about. I asked him to please speak a little slower and then I was able understand approx. 40%. When I went to pay I forgot that you need a pin number for your credit cards here. I couldn’t remember the number to save my life and the numbers I wrote down were for a different account. I didn’t want to charge it to my American credit card because I had already transferred my siblings’ gift from my American bank to my Italian one.

Good thing I bought my little checkbook. In Italy checks aren’t used that often. For one Euro you get ten checks. Other than the security deposit for my apartment, I haven’t used the book and forgot how to fill it out. The saleslady seeing my frustration (I couldn’t use my Bancomat/ATM card because it was more than the limit) filled it out for me. She was super nice.

SKY came yesterday. Big problem they couldn’t access the roof. One of my neighbors was home. She speaks English and gave us the key and a ladder.

Second problem they need access to the apartment on the top floor to get to her terrace. Something to do with the cable. The neighbor isn’t home.

Later I run upstairs to leave a note on her door and she happens to be home. She tells me she’s leaving town the next day and not returning until late next week. I’m frustrated. I have a TV I can’t watch. I really wanted to watch some of the Republican convention and Mad Men. I don’t have a number for the office that made the appointment. Something told me to check my cell and I see ten minutes before my appointment someone called. I hit that number and it’s the SKY store. I tell them the lady is back, SKY shows up 10 minutes later. Phew. I think my neighbor or her housekeeper was annoyed though. One of them basically hung up on me when I called to tell SKY was coming back. I get it. She was leaving for a trip and had stuff to do.

After five months of not having a TV it feels kinda weird to have one again. The plan I picked is reasonable. I’m on a strict budget and I don’t really need a soccer package when I can go to several places in my neighborhood to watch a game. Movies, I need to see before they hit cable so I didn’t get a movie package either. I love how my cable package is cheaper, even with the exchange rate, than what I paid in L.A.

Last night I was going through the channels. There are a bunch of American shows I can watch in English or dubbed.

In the news section I have everything from BBC News to CNN World to Al Jazeera to French News. I can’t believe how many international channels there are. I have VH1 too. I will have to make sure I don’t get sucked into their reality show vortex. It will be hard but I must try.

26 comments:

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Wow, 5 years here and I still don't have a satellite...I watch so little television I'm not sure I'd really enjoy it (though maybe the movies!) It is nice to have some comforts like this, don't you think?

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Yeah! It's *so* nice to have this link to American culture, I have to admit. The Internet is great, but it's just not the same.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

sara - If I didn't work in Hollywood, cable would be more of a want than a need. Especially living so far away. One of my exec friends asked me how would I be able to stay "current" living overseas. Now I can tell him I have E! so it's all good. ha

Being able to watch and hear the Italian programming will hopefully help me with my Italian.

michelle - It is nice. I was able to watch Palin's speech on CNN World this morning.

I see that Kimora Lee Simmon's show is broadcast here. I can't wait to see her in all her over the top fabulousness. If fact I'm not even going to watch in English. I'll watch it dubbed. I wonder what Italians think of some of this programming.

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

There's also "The Simple Life" and "Al Passo con i Kardashian" in case you feel *really* removed from LA ;)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

michelle - You've got to be kidding.

While Kim Kardashian has amazing brows I don't know why the show is available internationally. ha

erin :: the olive notes said...

It will be hard not to get in the vortex. We have a TV, but it only works with DVDs...no channels. I kind of like it like that...but we have been going to a friends house to watch the speeches on CNN!

glamah16 said...

I lived without a tv for a few years. Surprisngly , I survived. But it is nice to keep in tune. Did you see Ms. Palins speech last night.?

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Glamah16 - I was able to see it this morning. I'm confused. I know part of her job is to rally the base but I think her snarky delivery will be a turn-out to the non- evangelicals.

I wish I had seen Rudy Giuliani's speech. Did he forget he was mayor of the largest city in the country? He really shouldn't talk about values. Ever.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

erin - now that michelle told me that "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" airs here it will be tough to stay out of the vortex. ha

Monika said...

OOh sky, I couldn't live without it.
When we ordered our internet and phone package, they came and installed it and also installed SKY. I told them I didn't order it and asked how much it cost to which they answered GRATIS GRATIS and something in broken English like 'part of your package, gratis'. So of course I get my first bill last week, gratis it is not. But it could be 1000 euro's a month for all I care, I get to watch English speaking TV. I have all of Florence outside beckoning me and I'm sitting inside watching Becker re-runs ;)

Monika said...

ps by the way, my sky is streaming through the net so no cables were needed...could they not have done it this way for you?

Lucia said...

I just watched keeping up with the Karadashians...I don't understand...Kim's butt is huge!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

monika - not sure why they couldn't but I'm happy everything worked out. I watched some Frasier dubbed. Priceless.

lucia - Kim gets crazy play because of her booty. I'm pretty sure it's hers...no implant. (yes some women get them now.) I'm sure her man Reggie Bush doesn't mind. Oh God, why do I even know who her man is? Let me go and conjugate some Italian verbs.

fashion survivor said...

When I lived in Rome we had a TV, but no satellite. I got by with the Italian stations. My favorite show was "Striscia la notizia," a satirical look at the news and cultural goings-on in Italy. I highly recommend it. The TV definitely helped with my comprehension--or at least that was what I told myself when I stayed home to watch it.

glamah16 said...

Snarky is exactlty the word I would use for her. Rudy disappointed me. I hated the way they belittled Obama as a community organizer.

sdg1844 said...

Congrats on your TV connection! Don't get addicted to Realtiy TV. LOL.

dmarie said...

Your post made me remember that I went for a whole semester in college without tv. Yay for getting connected!

Faith said...

Ah Sky. When I lived in the UK I was able to tape Wonder Woman, Dallas and a bunch of American shows I hadn't seen since I was a kid.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

fashion survivor - I've seen that show during past trips. Last night I watch Ugly Betty in English but with Italian subtitles. I am going to see how much my Italian improves in a month. Between watching the Italian news and meeting people for language exchanges I'm optimistic. Reading Italian magazines help too.

glamah16 - I think that comment will backfire. The next night McCain encouraged people to do community service. Interesting.

sdg1844 - thanks. I'm going to try my best.

dmarie - I didn't miss the TV the last 5 months but I like being able to watch the news and not just read it.

faith - we weren't allowed to watch too much TV as kids but we could watch Wonder Woman. I still remember the theme song. ha

Milanese Masala said...

With all "poop" they show on regular Italian tv I am sooooo grateful I have Sky. I can't bear to watch Gilmore Girls dubbed. It's even good for my kids since I let them watch cartoons in English (and some of them are Canadian, too!).
But for the first few years all I watched was Italian tv. And I must admit I picked up a lot. It helps you not only linguistically but also keeps you in touch with local culture.

WIFan said...

Nice to see another Caribbean or at least somneone with Caribbean roots in Rome. There is a small group of us here - if you ever like to join one of our get together's just let me know!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Congrats for the cultural link and for having such great sibs!

That would be a great piece of "home". Not sure you really wanted to watch the RNC, though.

Fly Brother said...

Definitely feeling the blog. It's always nice when folks in your adopted home help you out instead of taking advantage of your foreignness. I'll be stopping back through to see how your career shapes up in Italy, as I'm contemplating a move into full-time writing myself. Thanks for the inspiration.

Stop by when you get a chance.

-E

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

milanese - I watched SATC dubbed. It was odd to not hear the familiar voices but I was pleased with how much I was able to follow.

wifan - I've met a few Dominicans, Cubans, Jamaicans and Puerto Ricans but not many from the smaller or French speaking islands.

jen - I watched Palin and McCain's speeches. I saw only part of Giuiliani's . No comment.

flybrother - thanks for stopping by and good luck with the writing. There are days that I have a complete freak out about finances but I'm hopefully about the future.

Isabelle said...

I've just discovered your blog and God how it reminds me of my fastweb adventures last year when I moved in here... and the thing is : it never stops ;-) They are still calling to send "un tecnico" for any strange purpose...

I have French TV here (for I'm French ... not that French TV would interest anyone else ;-) and I unfortunately realize that Italian TV is so trashy I almost never watch it... Prefer spending some time on French news or on my new favorite American series (bought all West Wing dvds on amazon)... Maybe that's what living abroad and feeling "international" is about...

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

isabelle - thanks for stopping zee blog. I wish I could still speak french. I studied it for seven years and my mom is fluent. However, I never had a reason to speak it living in America and forgot everything. Now I'm just trying to get my Italian up to speed. Someday I would like to study French again.