Saturday, October 17, 2009

The End of Crime as We Know It

The cable TV package that we have is supposed to provide us with the optimal selection of English channels that are available here in Bulgaria – which, aren’t very many. Most of the channels are either Bulgarian shows, or English shows which have been dubbed, instead of with subtitles (a VERY annoying practice!) The other problem that we have, is that there are only 3 channels that we can actually find an on-line schedule for, so that we can know in advance whether or not there’s anything worth watching. After that, it’s a matter of flipping through the channels at certain set hours when the programs change, and taking pot-luck.

One of the few channels that we’ve enjoyed watching (for lack of anything better to see) has been FOX CRIME. A few weeks ago, just before we left for Israel, I noticed that we were no longer receiving this channel – there was a notice saying that we were not authorized to watch this. Since this has happened in the past, I figured I’d deal with it when we got back.



When we returned to Sofia, I spoke to the woman from Ellis’s office who helps with this type of problem – she told me that I had to speak to the cable company directly from home, as they would give me instructions over the phone. She gave me the number, told me which number to use when I heard the menu in Bulgarian (I actually did understand some of the recorded message!) and yesterday, I called.

There was someone there who spoke some English, and after following the instructions that I could understand, we finally got all the other channels working except FOX CRIME. He finally told me to bring the box into the cable company, and gave me instructions as to where there was a branch nearby -about a 20 minute walk from our home. So, despite Ellis’s misgivings as to the outcome of such an adventure, we set off this morning to locate the offices.

Under the NDK, the National Center of Culture, is a whole shopping center of clothing centers that we didn’t know was even there – worth investigating at some time in the future. We found the offices of ITV Partner with little difficulty and the worker spoke English. I explained the problem, and he checked the box. What we discovered was that, although when speaking to them over the phone we were told that FOX CRIME was included in our package, they were talking about the DUBBED version – apparently, they no longer had the rights to the ENGLISH version (if they ever actually had them at all….) and so there was nothing wrong with the box, and we are now left with one less channel to watch….(since coming here, we already lost CNN to Al-Jazeera).

But, we had a nice walk, saw some new sites along the way, and at least we know where the cable offices are in case we need them in the future.

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