>Life on Mars

>From left to right, the main characters in Lif...Image via WikipediaCASTRO GLUGGER Snr. lives on party island Ibiza, and has done for pushing two decades now. Dutiful son that I am, I’ve been visiting him regularly for many years. It’s an easy place to visit, for obvious reasons.

A curious memory from my first trips there was the exchange of battered and usually bootleg VHS video tapes among the expat community. This was a time pre-Sky when all the permanent Brits on the island had by way of televisual entertainment was whatever dross was passed around – fuzzy copies of Fatal Attraction or The Witches of Eastwick (the sexual undercurrent in such titles gave them a currency). Now everyone there is plugging in illegal feeds from satellites and all the wonders of broadcasting are theirs for the taking.

As an expat myself, I don’t bother with Danish TV to be honest. And those 350 DVDs I lugged over from England don’t get watched too much. Instead, I’m borrowing English telly on DVD from my neighbours – also expats. I am doing what my Dad and his chums used to do.

I’m a bit more picky. For them, it was a case of anything in English would do. For me, I can have everything I want if I can be bothered to get it. Instead, I go by recommendations.

So far, I have been lent Marion and Geoff, which I enjoyed a great deal. More recently, I caught up with Life on Mars. This struck a particular chord, not because I have been knocked down by a car and woken up in 1973, more because I am a similar fish out of water, if you’ll permit me such a comparison.

There’s something vaguely Auster-ish about repeating what my father did in both becoming an expat and following the rituals of that state, then finding out those rituals concern the expat experience in some respects – Sam Tyler is an expat whose home is 2006 but finds himself in the early 70s. Just as Sam is never quite sure where he is and what is real, so being in a country where you are frequently misunderstood, looked at strangely, and even find the clothing frankly bizarre is a curious experience.

It’s the freakiest show.

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Written while listening to Pulp – Party Hard
via FoxyTunes

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