One of my favourite things to do when travelling is to sit somewhere and have a cup of tea and read the local newspaper. There is something about reading a local newspaper that captures the essence of a place in a way that’s difficult to get otherwise: both the experience of reading the paper, and what I learn from the paper itself are instructive and often entertaining.
In a somewhat diluted version of this spirit, I noticed that Eastlink’s Digital Cable offering here in Charlottetown now includes channels 260 through 279, a package titled the “Time Zone Pack,” and available for free until February.
These channels are all mirrors of existing basic cable networks but from other time zones. There are CTV, CBC and Global from Vancouver, NTV from Newfoundland, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and PBS from Seattle and CITY from Toronto.
Not only does this afford the opportunity of watching programs at unusual times of the day — the supper hour news from British Columbia at 10:00 p.m., for example, or Survivor at 1:00 a.m. — but it also makes local market commercials from “foreign” markets available, which, for me, is the most interesting part of watching different television.
In a similar vein, I noticed that fred, the alternative weekly newspaper from Fredericton, is now available on the newsstand at the Formosa Tea House. More political and issues-driven than The Buzz, reading fred gave me an interesting insight into life in Fredericton. There’s a particularly interesting article in the current issue about a man who’s been camping on the front lawn of the New Brunswick Legislature for 152 days in a campaign to have Ritalin use curbed.