The way I see it is that tuning in like the locals is just another way of people watching. It gives you an inside track on everything from cultural mores to marketing schemes. Plus, sometimes it’s flat out intoxicating. Take, for instance, three of my faves:
- Glitterball: I discovered this on my first trip to England. The Brits looooove them an evening call-in quiz show, and they are 100% in the right on this one. These shows are flashy, loud, and completely bizarre. I watched Glitterball for a solid four hours at one stretch and I literally had no idea what was going on. HOW IS THIS A THING? I love it. Sadly, it’s no longer televised, but no worries. YouTube to the rescue!
- Bernd das Brot: I can’t even talk about this. I just get too excited and want to pace. A Muppet-like loaf of bread (pause, re-read, continue) with a bleak outlook and cynical sense of humor is repeatedly dropped into situations that he finds infuriating. That’s a big Danke schon to you, Germany. (And Spain, where I actually discovered Bernd.) PS: If you think that George didn’t import me a stuffed Bernd, well, you’d be mistaken. (Hands off, ladies.) Here’s Bernd being forced to, wait for it, WORK ON A CALL IN TELEVISION SHOW (See how I did that there? Full circle.)
- Bob the Parrot: Whaaaa? Why is this TV weatherman sporting a stuffed parrot on his shoulder? WHO CARES! It’s glorious! Local news is like the haven for weird (I mean, Steve Keeley: Need I say more, Philly?) and tuning into One Caribbean during our recent trip to Puerto Rico was a clear win.
PS: Thanks to YouTube, from which I snatched all these terrific clips!