Watching American TV Abroad

 

Admittedly, I love TV. I have an addiction to the Real Housewives of most cities and have seen the majority of the seasons at least once. We cut cable in Michigan about a year before we moved to Germany but we had Netflix and Hulu. I was able to watch the majority of shows I wanted to watch and didn’t really miss cable.

Add in an international move and I immediately started to miss cable and tv in general. We decided not to get German cable in an effort to save money. Of course, we are traveling quite a bit and not spending all of our time inside watching tv, but there are definitely Sundays spent on the couch relaxing and nights after work where binge watching something is all my brain can handle.

So, how do we watch American tv while living in Germany?

*This post contains affiliate links.*

It’s simple: Netflix and iTunes.

Netflix is the easiest option because 1) it is still paid via our US bank account and 2) I didn’t have to do anything to update our account, our Apple TV just knows we are in Germany based on our IP address. Netflix also works in other countries the same way. The only issue is that many shows on US Netflix are not available on German Netflix. Germany requires steep taxes for movie and tv production companies, so many shows do not want to pay. There’s no 30 Rock or Parks and Recreation, which is a big bummer, but we have other shows that we probably wouldn’t have watched, like Suits. Netflix also has lots of German shows, too, so it helps with learning German, too.

iTunes is really how I watch the majority of my tv and that’s because it’s how I can watch my housewives shows. Shout out to my dad for Apple Family Plan! I really don’t think I could have survived without it. It’s a taste of home and the perfect background noise. I just started rematching season 3 and 4 of New Jersey and, man, did I forget how awesome these seasons were!

I have some friends who also watch things on Amazon but I have no experience with that. My sister has Amazon Prime and she absolutely loves it. Not sure if it makes sense to have Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it once we move back.

Other people we know have a VPN that allows them to watch cable from an American tv. Here’s an article on how to set up a VPN but I find it too complicated and don’t want to put in the effort to figure this out. It seems like a lot of work to just watch This is Us. 

I’d love to know what you are watching now. Leave me a comment down below! 

 

How to watch your favorite American tv shows in Germany

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When The World Sucks

 

The news has been terrible lately. Terribly sad. Terribly upsetting. Terribly confusing. I can’t believe a lot of the news stories I’m reading about the Las Vegas shooting, about the unrest in Barcelona and how Americans don’t seem to be pulling together, but rather ripping each other apart. No matter your political affiliation, I think (hope) we can all agree that the state of the world is not positive and things need to change. And they should change sooner rather than later.

But I, like others, feel stuck and don’t know what to do. Sure, I could look up my Congress representative (which state do I look up if I’m living in Germany, I don’t know) or sign a petition, but that doesn’t seem like enough. I honestly don’t know what to do. I just know that I should continue to live my best life, to make changes at home for a better future, to keep a smile on my face and to focus on the positive things. I do believe that we should focus on the things we can change, like our attitudes, our opinions, our willingness to change and what news we read or watch.

Sometimes when the world sucks, I find myself leaning into silly things that make me happy, like the housewives, funny memes, entertainment stories and long walks with the dog listening to a silly podcast.

 

I hope this blog helps bring some sunshine to your day because that’s what I want it to be. But I just wanted to share some thoughts on the horrific news about Las Vegas. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected.

What do you do when the world seems to come crashing down?

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5 Must-Do’s in Tokyo, Guest Post from Tea for Dinosaurs

 

Today I have something a little different. I have a guest post from fellow Marquette alum, Victoria, who moved to Tokyo with her husband and son about a year ago. We have connected and bonded over being expats and adjusting to life abroad. Victoria has a blog, Tea for Dinosaurs, and we decided to swap posts about the top 5 things to do in our respective countries. Be sure to follow along her journey if not only to see the cutest pictures of her three-year old son! 

Hi, Room for Gelato readers! First of all, thanks to Jessica for letting me guest post today. I’m Victoria, an expat mom (both my husband and I are fellow Marquette alums) living in Japan and blogging over at Tea for Dinosaurs.

Tea for Dinosaurs, Living Life in Japan as Americans

Japan has so much to offer tourists, it’s definitely a must visit destination! Here are my top 5 recommendations if you find yourself in the world’s largest city. Hint: they aren’t where ALL the tourists are hanging out!

1, Gyoza & Champagne

Kampai! For a unique dining experience head to Akasaka. Tokyo Champagne & Gyoza Bar is a delightfully small establishment featuring gyoza (fried dumplings) and champagne. You’ll love rubbing elbows with the locals and the surrounding area is great to explore afterwards as well. They do have an English menu so you won’t be totally lost when ordering.

2, Real Life Mari Car

Something that just screams “only in Tokyo” is commandeering your very own Mari Cart through actual city streets. This has by far, been my most favorite activity! You are able to choose from a few different courses which makes this a fantastic way to get in some sightseeing as well. Costumes are also involved, bring your own or use one from the shop (included in your tour fee).

One final note is to contact them via Facebook prior to book your tour in advance as time slots can fill fast. Also, you will need an International Driver’s Permit to participate (US citizens, simply visit AAA and pick one up for $10).

Tea for Dinosaurs, Living in Japan as Americans

3, Explore Shimokitazawa 

Dubbed the hipster’s paradise of Tokyo, this neighborhood is a favorite with locals for vintage shops, antique hunting, fun cafes and bars. Plan to spend at least a few hours wandering around – just be sure to arrive after 11 AM as most shops and restaurants open late. Some great places to check out are:

Madoche Cafe – you’ll love the 80’s Americana decor and the food is mostly avocado based

Shimokitazawa Gardena – the flower shop that turns into a bar at night

Ballon D’ Essai – coffee shop serving up some impressive latte art

Tea for Dinosaurs, Living Life in Japan as Americans

4, Shop Daiso 

Daiso is one of the largest 100 yen ($1.00) shops in Tokyo and it is amazing. I had heard great things but was truly amazed by the selection, quality and price of the goods! Around Japan you will find 100 yen shops which are like dollar stores back home. The difference, is that Daiso (a branded 100 yen shop) is not your average Dollar Tree. They literally have everything from food, to crafting supplies, to dress shirts. Some things are more than a dollar but I haven’t seen anything over $5. In general, the quality is very good for the price and the selection will leave you laughing if nothing else. In fact, just writing about the store has me itching to go back to find more treasures!

Tea for Dinosaurs, Living Life in Japan as Americans

5, Asakusa 

OK, this suggestion IS touristy but it makes the list because you get a lot of culture in one stop. A few things to know before you go:

  • it will be crowded
  • the main attraction is Senso Ji Temple – be sure to get your fortune there!
  • bring cash for all the fun shops along the way
  • there is an adorable, old timey amusement park located very near the temple – exit to the left of the main temple (if you’re facing it directly head on from entrance) and then turn right, you’ll eventually find it!

Life in Japan as an American

Bon voyage and hope to see you in Tokyo!

Victoria

www.instagram.com/tea_for_dinosaurs 

www.teafordinosaurs.com

www.kawaiidirect.etsy.com

Thanks, Victoria! Be sure to check out her blog and Instagram for more. If you liked this post, please share it on Facebook and leave a comment below of which must-do you’d do first.

Also, if you liked this post, would you want to see more stories from other expats? Let me know in the comments below!

What to Do in Tokyo that Aren't Touristy

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