I'm coming clean. One of the things I miss about home -- along with my garden and having a regular paycheck -- is television. I've never been a huge TV watcher and in fact, TV was strictly rationed when I was growing up and we were absolutely forbidden to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings. But every now and then, especially when I'm tired, it's kind of nice to turn on the TV and just enjoy a smartly written comedy or a good thriller.
People keep telling me that watching TV is a good way to improve your language skills so I've tried on and off to get in the habit of watching. But I don't know, I guess I just haven't been willing to make the commitment. Until recently that is, when I noticed that one of the kids had been fiddling with the TV and magically turned on the closed captioning for the hearing impaired. And while my French isn't good enough to understand mumbling cops who use nothing but slang, it is plenty good enough to read the French subtitles. Plus, it turns out that there's a lot of recycled American fare dubbed in French: ER (Les Urgences), CSI (Les Experts), Without a Trace (FBI Portes Disparus) to name a few. Knowing a bit about the characters and the context does help after all. So if you're thinking if I'm spending my evenings sipping fine wines and discussing existentialism, think again. It's more likely than I'm flopped on the couch watching three-year old reruns of David Caruso squinting into the Miami sun. His acting is just bad even with the French voice over but at least I can pretend it's time well spent.