Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Internet Radio: Great for Serbian Expats... Sort of

I scored a bunch of flowers and an Internet radio for (Step) Mother's Day. The flowers, at least, were not at all a disappointment.

I'd been dropping a lot of hints about wanting an Internet radio for a while now because I figured how great would it be to have a radio that we could tune to practically any station in the world? I could listen to stations I missed from places I used to live and my husband could listen to stations from Serbia whenever he wanted a little Balkan background sound on.

And so it was. A box containing a Sono Digital Media Player by Merconnet appeared by my bedside on Mother's Day morning, and we spent much of the afternoon setting it up. Turns out Internet radio doesn't quite have all the kinks ironed out yet. To make it work you must have a wireless PC set up someplace in the house that's always turned on with a perfect broadband connection. If it's ever turned off, you have to rush over and click around a bunch to get the darn stations up again.

Aside from that inconvenience, the real problem that cropped up were those Belgrade radio stations. My husband was So Excited to be able to hear spoken Serbian on demand. Sometimes when we are living in the US, the 360 degree English, English, English 24x7 gets too much for him. When he woke up in the middle of the night last night, he eagerly loped out to the kitchen where the Internet radio was set up, hoping a bit of his native tongue would sooth him back to bed.

No such luck. The Belgrade station was playing music our daughter's US college roommates would be perfectly familiar with. Song after song in American English. He thought, 'Oh well it's 4am, I guess it's OK for them not to play Srpski music now." But then he remembered about the time difference. It was 10am in Belgrade. Prime time devoted to sounds that were anything but Srpski in nature.

Since then we've kept the radio tuned on Serbia for whole the day and into the night hoping to hear some good Serbian sound. So far the English to Serbian ratio is roughly 8:1. Slivers of Serbian and then right back to English. Not much good for curing homesickness!


darrenchilton said...

Why not subscribe to one of many podcasts? Particularly those on B-92?

Joni said...

Try NAXI 96.9 or Radio Buca.