You’ve just returned to your hotel room after a tiring day wandering around a foreign land surrounded by signs and conversations that you struggle to understand. You enjoy the challenge of communication and the immersion in a foreign culture, but now that hotel room door is closed you just want to relax and think in your own language for a while. You switch the television on and… there are only local language stations… or CNN.
Ahh, CNN. So little news in so much time should be their motto. And every few minutes the same old advertisements spruiking commentators rather than the news itself. If CNN is the world from an American perspective then it is a very ignorant view they have. Without having visited the US, I cannot say.
Silence would be another option, but you feel a need for some background noise, if only to give an illusion of privacy from other guests and your partner’s visit to the bathroom.
What is nice is to snuggle up in the hotel bed in the evening and watch some light entertainment. Nothing too taxing on the mind or emotions, no current affairs or news. Bad television series or movies that you would not watch at home can seem far more enjoyable in a hotel room or caravan.
On our last trip I took an hand held MP4 player, a PDA and a laptop, all capable of showing movies. The first two devices were too small to play in the background or for more than one person to watch at a time. The laptop was too busy being used for photo and blog updates whenever we had free time!
It’s a pity that hotel televisions usually don’t have AV-in sockets so that you can plug portable players or your camera in. One handy device is a set of small portable speakers to play music out loud in the hotel room. The sound quality may not be the best, but at least you can enjoy some background music without being chained to your player. All I ask is that you don’t bring a portable sub-woofer and play doof-doof music out loud. For all our sakes.