So, Christmas arrived a little early in Milan in the form of a region-free DVD player. I had no idea such a thing existed, and now owning one has made my expat experience even better.
Not that I had the world’s grandest or most covetable DVD collection, but I have a selection of movies that are all near and dear to my heart for various reasons, and while a few favorites have traveled across the pond with me (The Lives of Others, Io Sono L’Amore, Paris Je T’aime, Love Actually and Mean Girls to name a few), several others remain in the U.S.
See, European DVDs and American DVDs are formatted differently, therefore both American and European DVD players differ. So, any DVDs that I purchased in the U.S. weren’t playable on the DVD player I purchased here. That being said, I could watch American DVDs on my computer, but honestly, in the four plus years I’ve been here, I have only ever watched Mean Girls once. Though the rest have collected dust on my shelf, having them here with me was reassuring just in case I ever did want to pop one in to my computer. And honestly, it wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to watch them. I was just that I spent so much time on the computer for work and what not, that I don’t want to watch movies and TV shows on here if I don’t have to.
So with each trip back to the U.S., I started toting parts of my life (usually books) back here with me, and I always put DVDs on the back-burner because I knew that if I haven’t watched Love Actually since I’ve been here, there’s a chance I wasn’t going to get around to watching Austin Powers: the Spy who Shagged Me, so I would prioritize packing books and Harmon toiletries over the DVDs.
Recently, a couple of American friends and I chatted about how much we love and miss Seinfeld (it’s probably the one American T.V. show not in syndication here) and one friend said she had the DVDs here and that she watched them with a region-free DVD player. I had no idea such a thing existed! So I went on Amazon and got one for myself.
The region-free DVD player arrived just before my holiday getaway, but I can’t wait to hook it up. You can watch any DVD from anywhere in the world, and there’s even some Wi-Fi component which I think means I can watch NetFlix on here, too, instead of on my computer.
Now next time I go back to the U.S., I will slowly but surely start moving my beloved little DVD collection here…a good and a bad thing as now there are more items to choose from as I try to narrow down what makes the 50-pound-maximum weight mix. Here’s to hoping that when Santa comes for Christmas, he brings me the Seinfeld complete series DVD set. (And the Gilmore Girls and Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be nice, too, as I’m really dying to start the former and re-watch the latter, one of my favorite TV shows of all time. )
Cover photo: Visualhunt.com