March 27, 2010

Entertainment in a foreign country

I decided now was the time to step back from all the travel updates and give everyone a picture of our lifestyle in Munich from a technology standpoint.

The first thing I'll just go right ahead and say: we don't have a TV. Granted, Greg and I didn't watch that much TV in the States either. Now, we have to use our laptops as TVs when we want to watch something. But the US television companies added another hurdle: a lot of them don't allow people overseas to watch shows online on ABC, NBC, certain videos on YouTube (shame on you, Sony). Hulu doesn't work overseas either.

Greg subscribes to the nightly news on iTunes, we borrow DVDs from the school's library, and sometimes we go see English movies at the cinema months after they've been released in the States. But other than that, we're really out of touch with American TV right now. Thank god, Facebook, Skype and Google work overseas!

Speaking of Google, when it's feeling cranky or mischevious (not every day), Google will switch me to its German sites. For as much as Google knows about my personal life, it doesn't seem to get it that I rely on the Google Translate toolbar to automatically translate German websites as if my life depended on it.

One moment I'll be happily searching on Google in English and the next moment, I'll be having a serious, swear-word-filled conversation with Google about how to find the link that will let me get directions to where I want to go. Google is not always on my good side, to put it simply. I won't even go into what happens when I try spell-checking an English e-mail while on German gmail.

Lastly, I have no clue how I've survived this long without Yelp. There's an expat forum called Toytown, which has been very helpful, but Yelp is in a league of its own.

So the moral of this blog post for those in the US, please enjoy all the entertainment options and social media stuff that us poor people abroad have to do without!

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