This is a sad, but true tale about just how mundane life can seem when one lives overseas. When my husband and I lived in Singapore for three years, by the 3rd year we’d seen everything in that city/country more than once. We liked it, but we’d seen it. With our work days filled with, well, work, we hurried home at the end of the day to make sure we caught Wheel of Fortune. I have no idea why we loved this show so, but about 2 in the afternoon, I’d look at the clock and think, “Just two more hours. Whooppee!”
Probably, our attachment to the show had a lot to do with air-conditioning. The only room in our town house with air-conditioning was the room with the TV. Trust me; if you go to Singapore, air-conditioning can turn an average experience into Nirvana. It didn’t even matter to us that we were seeing shows from the past years. Cars and money had been won long before we ever saw the contestants win. That may seem sad, considering here we were living in another country and our pleasure came from a TV show we don’t even watch when we live in the U.S. The feeling of sweat drying while we drank an afternoon cup of coffee while solving the puzzle was exquisite.
There must be something about Wheel of Fortune that crosses cultural boundaries because different countries have their own Wheel of Fortune versions. Not the Vanna White and Pat Sajak version, but their own version with hosts from their own countries. Here is a website that lets you know which countries have a Wheel of Fortune knock-off. Some are over, but some are still on-going or may come back in the future. Or, you may be able to catch a U.S. version Wheel of Fortune re-run. Overseas cable television still carries episodes. Here is an interesting article about television marketing overseas and it mentions Wheel of Fortune as a franchising success story. This past week, by the way, Wheel of Fortune’s theme was Far East Adventures. Coincidence? Maybe.