A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
Unlike a lot of people, I don’t have the Tv running constantly, only having it on when I’m watching something. There are shows that I’m devoted to and I wish I could watch more movies, but one of the programs I watch regularly is “House Hunters International” on the HGTV cable channel. There’s another version of the program featuring just homes in the U.S., but I’d rather see other places. The premise is of people moving from one place to somewhere far away, usually in another country. It’s not always people from North America either, they are from around the globe and can be individuals, couples or families. Sometimes they go to places drastically different from their current location, one episode was of a lady in snowy Finland moving to a beach house in Australia. Three different potential homes are shown and at the end of the show they choose the one they wish to live in. The last minute or two is filmed at a later date, once the people have settled in, and features changes to the decor and how they are getting along in their new home.
I like seeing how different residences are in various countries. Their size, layouts, furnishings and locations are often very different from how they are in America. Some of the buildings are hundred of years older than most houses in the U.S. and there are often flourishes in architecture and decor that look exotic. Over the years of watching this program, I’ve noticed that kitchens in tropical locales are sometimes separate from the rest of the house to keep things cooler, houses in Mexico often don’t have windows and their backyards are totally walled in. Continental Europe favors high ceilings, Middle eastern homes are many times on winding, narrow streets filled with arches and alleys. The architecture in Asia, especially in traditional homes are splendid and very different from other nations, especially in their use of wood. I’ve learned a lot about foreign cities and culture and marveled at people being able to live near rain forests and wildlife that I’ve mainly seen in zoos.
But I do have one quibble and it’s mainly to do with how the people react. It’s usually Americans who, at the beginning prattle on about how they want to experience another culture and broaden their horizons, but as soon as they start looking at apartments or even homes, are aghast at how different everything is. The big complaint is how small all the rooms are and the lack of an elevator in a building that might be 200 years old. They lament that their king sized bed and all their furniture won’t fit and where are all of the appliances in the kitchen? What it amounts to is wanting to transplant their suburban McMansion to another country, THAT’S how they really want to experience another culture.On a recent episode, an American family was moving to Bilbao, Spain and the wife at one point yelled “I want a bucket of paint and all new furniture!” Thankfully, most of them seem to be more open minded about the cuisines than the residential options or maybe they just aren’t filmed going into outposts of American fast food restaurants.
So aside from occasional rolling my eyes at the comments of the re-locators, the show is an enjoyable part of my weekends. I may not have the health or money to travel, unfortunately, but at least I can see some of the world through television. Modernity has it’s benefits.