I have become accustomed to living in unfamiliar surroundings. Sometimes it is good to embrace the oddities of another culture, and sometimes it is good to take a break and attempt to recreate the confortable atmosphere from home.
After work yesterday I decided that I had enough adventures walking around Leon, driving around the surrounding countryside, and generally enjoying the culture. It was time to spend some quality time alone in my hotel room. I just wanted to watch some TV.
At home I like to relax with an ice cold adult beverage, enjoy a cigar while sitting in the back yard watching a show on Netflix.
I tried Netflix on my laptop computer, but found that it is not available outside the US. What a bummer. But I am not generally discouraged that easily. I used my VPN client to port to Portland Oregon. Now Netflix thinks I am suddenly stateside, so it let me login. After logging on, I started looking for something to watch.
Netflix likes to ask a lot of questions about your viewing habits. I normally balk at any attempt to pump me for information, but this time I went along. It asked me to rate various movies and TV shows. The idea is that it would develop suggestions according to my preferences. So I spent the next half an hour rating movies. Which was kind of fun, I was brutal in my assessments and rarely gave a movie three stars out of five. I used an all or nothing rating system, one star for movies that I don’t want to see twice, and five stars for movies I like it enough to watch something like it.
After a while the system started to make recommendations. There is something telling about fact that the first recommendation was DR Who. I didn’t even know that the old series started up again. Oh, and I want a sonic screwdriver.
Here I am sitting in a leather chair in a hotel room watching a British television series on a laptop computer using a wireless access point in Spain to port to Portland Oregon. The show stopped for a moment to load. Apparently the speed that the show plays is slightly faster than the bits can fly in from Portland.
While I am waiting for the show to load I look around the room.
First of all this is a smoking room. So I can enjoy a cigar while watching DR Who. Not many smoking rooms in the US, maybe none.
I went to the refrigerator. It is stocked every day with eight different bottles of various beverages, including sparkling water, water, Fanta orange, Coke, etc… Each one is in an old-fashioned glass bottle. Included were a few coasters and a bottle opener. It’s been a long time since I opened a bottle opener on anything but beer. Oh and everything is complementary. In the bathroom were drinking glasses, made of real glass not plastic.
I guess there are fewer lawyers in Spain than in the US. Glass water cups in a bathroom that is completely covered in marble tile and a giant glass sink would normally spell disaster. I guess they trust their guests not to drop things in the bathroom. Oh and marble is as slick as seal snot when wet.
So I mixed myself a whiskey and coke and settled down to watch more DR Who until I went to bed. It was nice to watch British television again. In an odd way it felt Comforting. If felt kind of unreal. I felt like I was back home watching Netflix in my back yard, enjoying an adult beverage and a cigar.
The next morning it was time to return to reality. I turned on the room’s television to see what the weather had in store. The channel that happened to be on was playing Myth Busters translated into Spanish. That is a rough combination, especially at 6:15 in the morning.
It was time for breakfast.
The restaurant was filled with Danish workers who didn’t speak Spanish and a Spanish waitress who couldn’t speak English. I am illiterate in both Spanish and Danish, but I have memorized a few key phrases. Godmorgen, café negro, por favor.
Time to go to work….