Sailing Long Distances

Spanish TV

Our guests sometimes look a bit bewildered when they spot the TV set mounted on a bulkhead in the main cabin. As a rule, I quickly explained we bought it to improve our passive English skills by watching American movies during wintertime until we memorized all the dialogues. A Brit might respond, I wasn’t aware the Americans speak English. But what is the use of telling a first language speaker we do our best to understand the variety of English accents whereas the Brits think, don’t make a fuss, it’s given by nature. Should I see too many question marks in the guest’s faces, increasing doubts of their hosts’ intelligence, I name a second reason for the TV, navigation charts mirrored on the big screen. This is accepted by an audible and visible sigh of relief; the Athene crew seems to be halfway reasonable.
Here is what I don’t say. We’re curious to watch what’s on in other countries. Best of all is the local news, especially in the times of a pandemic. And frankly, we like to see faces, as the omnipresent Portuguese President, Marcelo, like the locals say respectfully. A joke has it there is no family home in Portugal without a selfie picture of him.
In Cadiz, the range of digital programs is enormous. The tuner counted 75 plus 20 radio stations. I tuned in, and the very first production I saw was a woman reading the horoscope to a viewer who called in. There must be a rule behind these shows. A mature woman sits behind a desk, long thick black hair, heavily made-up, plenty of cheap-looking jewelry. Her facial expression suggests an earthquake right under the caller’s chair. I watched these setups in different countries, and they all look the same, including a prevailing blue colored background. Making it enjoyable, I wait a minute in the hope of a black cat or, as an alternative, a gesture by her, and a bolt of lightning hits the producer. So far, bad luck for me, and keep the fingers crossed for the studio crew.
Next station was an attractive anchorwoman reading the evening news. She had very well-groomed shoulder-length brunette hair. Her dark brown eyes were definitely worth watching the entire news, whatever. Yet, too bad, messages were displayed in the lower part of the screen. No joke, I was pretty confused where to look at first and decided for the middle. Gosh! Want a summary? I like Spanish news reading women.
When she said goodbye – you see, I’m interested in what’s going on in Spain – I tuned in one of the classic American movie selection, broadcasted unsynchronized. On air, Eight Below, a 2006 American survival drama. A group of scientists got in a severe snowstorm. Still, the commander insisted on accomplishing the mission impossible. Don’t know what the director had looked at. Pretty good visibility, the folks ‘in distress’ looked like the Athene-Crew after a walk in the woods and the prospect of a hot coffee. The only reasonable explanation for this stupid movie; the snow must have written its own material, with a good sense of humor by the way, eight below. The women in the shot had perfect makeup, first of all, the lipstick. We all know that’s what women care for most when struggling for their lives, a lipstick. The guys had the aura of, let’s go to a James Bond movie and see what the Brits do in the snow.
My conclusion of Spanish TV: the news is worthwhile the time, all the better when it comes to a pretty challenging personal task, namely
concentrating on the speaker’s eyes.

Photo:Puente de la Constitución de 1812