Whenever I travel to a foreign country and have access to a television, I am always compelled to watch something so that I can soak up the local language and culture. I’ve done this in Mexico, Costa Rica, Hungary, Australia, Thailand, Japan, Spain and Portugal. When I visit countries which speak a language I can understand, I make an effort to listen and understand the language. For example, I can catch bits and pieces of Japanese when watching Japanese television, because I have had a lifelong exposure to Japanese programs. When in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Spain, I understood the majority of what I watched and heard on television, and I felt that it boosted my cultural understanding of the country I was visiting.
When I was in Hungary, I got a chance to watch Family Guy with Hungarian overdubs, which was truly bizarre but also quite fascinating. Then when I visited Spain, I caught a few episodes of the Spaniard version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, as well as another Spain-based game show, and was pretty surprised when I was able to follow the shows in their entirety without any struggle. My experience watching TV in Spain made me even more courageous about speaking Spanish while I explored Barcelona and Girona. Even in Sydney, Australia, I got a kick out of the language nuances and cultural differences which were revealed in the programs I watched.
Who else has a habit of catching television shows while traveling abroad?