General, Travel

Time Zones: The Terror of the Traveller

When Jade and I left the UK, we were very aware of just how many time zones we were crossing. Once we arrived in Thailand, however, neither of us experienced any form of jet lag. We were definitely travelling the right way for it, but for some reason, we both escaped without so much as a broken night’s sleep. We were travelling on buses and boats, tuk tuks and taxis, so we didn’t realise, for the first month, just how problematic this could be. Yes, we called home a few times but this slotted around times we were free, and were less dependant on the time difference, and more if we had wifi, or could spare a bit of time. Yes, we watched the odd thing from the UK on the TV, but again, it was a case of when we were free rather than when it aired live.

And then we moved and settled in Roi-Et.

When we arrived in Roi-Etit is safe to say that we weren’t happy. We didn’t really like where we were living, and we didn’t have access to the town or to other cities. We were left with a week to stress about teaching, what we would be doing, when we would be teaching, what ages would be in our classes, how we would prepare resources, it was a nightmare week. Combined with the need to save money, we began to think of films and TV programmes we wanted to watch and calling home more.

As it turns out, a lot fo the shows Jade and I watch air in Autumn, or have a new season that launches in the Fall. When planning a TV watching schedule, timing and launch dates need to be considered. We both watch some thing live, such as Strictly and sporting events, when we are at home and wanted to do so while we are here. We both would like to watch the TV show episodes as they air or soon after. It’s just not possible.

Last night, well early this morning, I couldn’t sleep and Jade woke up int he middle of the night. As it turns out, it was 2am, and that was the time Strictly airs over here, so we decided to stream it live. Let me tell you, the feed is not great out here, and the timing of the showing was so late that we were nearly passed out by the end. When we want to watch the game, or the grand prix, we have to make sure that the time it airs in UK is not too late to watch, or stay up to watch, so that we can enjoy it without impacting our work.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it is an easy to sacrifice to make in order to travel. And yes, some of you might say it’s better to have access even at dodgy times than not at all, but the thing is, if I never knew I could watch it live, or at all, I wouldn’t be disappointed when it’s on a bit late, or the feed break up because we’re the other side of the world. Yes, it si great that we have it, but it’s blooming annoying not always being able to watch what you want.

I am getting to catch up on a lot of programs that I have wanted to watch for a while which I am really pleased about, but most of these are shown so late at night in the country of origin, that I have no chance to watch it for at least 24hrs after it was first shown. And yes, I am well aware that isn’t long, but it’s frustrating.

I moan about TV shows etc., but live sports are the biggerst problem. With most football kicking off after 10pm here and a lot of sport airing in the afternoon, much of live sports is just too late to watch here. Although waiting for TV shows is irritating, it isn’t any different later than it would be live. Sports is a form of theatre, the tension and the joy in watching comes from not knowing what will happen and seeing the result unfold in front of your eyes. If you know the score, it just saps the enjoyment. I don’t want to lose interest in sport for the time I am out here, and I don’t want to stop watching, but it is so difficult. I think live sports is the thing I miss most out here.

Ringing home is becoming more of a mission. It’s not particularly more difficult to do, but planning when we are free from work, and shopping etc, making sure it is early enough to wake up and be alert the next morning, and making sure that friends and family are awake/not in work is a bit annoying to say the least. I’m not particularly struggling with speaking to them, but it’s strange knowing they are living on a completely separate timetable to us.

Rant Over.

2 thoughts on “Time Zones: The Terror of the Traveller”

  1. I know it’s so weird to be talking to you as you’re planning to head off for bed and I’m just in an afternoon shift at work, can’t imagine how irritating trying to watch any live sports must be. They really are things you need to watch in the moment as well. Oh well, at least you have a plan and catch-up tv. 🙂


    1. It really is strange to know when I get home from work, people are only just clocking in!! I shouldn’t moan about TV, because any access is better than none, but I think knowing you can get it and then it not loading is worse than never being able to get it at all in some ways. Watching sports over here has given me a new found appreciation for all the foreign fans of teams and sports played in the UK. It must be a mammoth effort to support them all the time from so far away.


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