By Shane Cashion
I couldn’t agree more with Susan’s last post and Jean’s reply lauding the mood-elevating effects of reading. The panacea for my doldrums would have been choice D: exercise. As much as I love a good book, I’ve always turned to physical activity to lift my mood. At any rate, I would most certainly pick reading over television, especially now where satellite has only multiplied the number of inane shows. That said I still watch way too much TV. When the heat index is in the mid 150s, there’s not much else to do. Read, eat, complain, argue, and flip channels. It’s too hot to exercise.
So with that as a backdrop, I thought I’d “plug” a TV show that I’ve been watching a lot lately. It’s called House Hunters International. For those who haven’t seen it, the premise is pretty simple. In each half hour episode, the viewer follows a couple seeking to buy real estate in a foreign country. The couple is presented with three properties and at the end of each show the viewer gets to see which property the couple chooses. Through the magic of TV land, all the red tape that attends buying property is eliminated; ensuring that the chosen couple can close on their new home in less than twenty minutes.
What’s great about the show is the variety of cities and countries showcased. In the dozen or so episodes I’ve watched, they’ve gone to Israel, Kenya, Fiji, Amsterdam, Iceland, and the Cayman Islands. The beauty of these foreign lands always steals the show, but what often shocks me is how expensive it is to live abroad. Here in St. Louis, the nation’s most dangerous city, you can buy a new three thousand square foot house for pretty cheap. Want that same house in Noosa Australia? Forget it! It would cost you a couple million bucks!
Occasionally, the buyers themselves can be pretty entertaining, too.
Agent: “This house is priced competitively at 9.7 million dollars. Naturally, the home is beautiful, but it’s the exquisite view that you’re paying for.”
Buyer: “Well it certainly is a beautiful view. I just don’t know about the drapes. And that yellow’s way too bright in the eighth bedroom.”
Agent: “You can always replace the drapes, and paint’s cheap.”
Buyer: “Hmmm. I guess that’s true. Let’s look at the next house all the same.”
Real estate agents have a tough job. The buying public would send me straight to the nervous hospital. At any rate, if you’re waiting for that next great book to arrive in the mail, or feel like catching a half hour of television before calling it a night, check out House Hunters International. Between it and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations you can learn where to eat and what to buy in just about every city in the world, which is certainly better than the rest of the excrement that’s on.