Hey there and welcome to the BigAppleSchool podcast – the weekly English show where we speak about everything under the sun. The major goal of this show is to help you improve your English by listening and of course, learn something new. My name’s Katya, I’m your host, and today with me…
is Ken from Manila, Philippines.
Let’s get started! Well, before we actually move to our topic of today’s podcast – Alyona, you’re here for the first time.
Can you tell us something about yourself?
Well, like my hobby? Something like…?
Who are you? Where are you from? What are you doing here?
First of all, I’m an English teacher. And that’s probably something I really really like, something I really adore doing. That’s my hobby as well, well, that’s both my job and my hobby. Right.
Like that phrase goes – find a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Absolutely. And I am, just, you know, curious, like how long have you been teaching?
I guess, for about like 5 years something. I mean I started when I was still at university, so.
Well, guys, today we’re gonna talk about entertainment and relaxing. So tell me, how do you relax in general? What kinds of entertainment do you prefer?
You know what? If you had asked this question before, when I was much younger. Although I still consider myself young, maybe young at heart. Not at all, but it was kind of boring I guess. Because I would turn on my computer and then play a solitaire, it’s…
I thought you were gonna say like computer games, like, the shooters and whatnot.
No no no no no, I mean, I’m not into online games, but more into, like, oldish kind of stuff, playing Solitaire while listening to music. And you know, sometimes I don’t just play, I also, you know, while listening I also try to sing along.
And I like to sing my heart out, cause that’s my way to relax, you know. It’s a way to de-stress at the end of the day. But if we talk about nowadays, I would say that a lot of my time is maybe wasted somehow on watching Youtube videos and the videos that I watch are about animals, cause I love animals. I’m a huge animal lover.
What else? Comedy. This might surprise others, but I love pranks. For some reason, I don’t know, it’s really interesting for me. And maybe documentaries, a lot of documentaries, anything about life. Maybe, you know, countries that I’ve never been to, what else? Anything about Russia.
You know, it’s funny, because I consider myself as a patriot, although, of course, obviously I’m from the Philippines. But anything to do with Russia – it can be about politics, it can be about sports, or lifestyle, you know, anything to do with Russia. That’ll definitely interest me.
Well, we’ll get into that, like, in detail, but a little bit later. Alyona, what about you?
Well, I guess, I’m just like Ken. I mean, I really like something I like doing.. Well, I entertain myself watching YouTube videos - they are usually… Well, this is something everybody does I guess. So, usually they are kind of about politics, basically, right? Also psychology, documentaries – that’s something I really like, so, yeah.
I have a question for Alyona. Don’t you feel guilty sometimes? Cause sometimes I feel like I’m wasting my time, especially if, you know, I’m watching videos on YouTube.
Depends, really, depends upon what I’m watching at this very moment. Because, yeah, sometimes, right, I feel like I’m just wasting my time watching some videos. But basically, I like lectures, really, really, I do like them. They are like psychology lectures or I don’t know.
Just some documentaries, probably, to broaden your mind, why not? And also, yeah, I just follow news, I have to watch lots of YouTube to, you know, to be into the topic somehow.
Ken, come on! We, as teachers, have a perfect excuse to be watching all those endless YouTube videos. We are teachers, we’re just looking for the material you know, for our students. Every single time when somebody asks me, like, why are watching this tv show for, like, fifth time, sixth?
I’m like – I’m just looking for the constructions, you know for the students. Solely for the purpose, you know, my students learning. Exactly. So, guys, both of you like documentaries. What about cinema in general? Like, do you like going to movies, do you prefer watching things online? Like, what’s the situation?
You know what? Some listeners might consider me a loser…
Because I don’t watch a lot of films. Well, I think the last time I was in the cinema, it was like 3 years ago? Wait, 3 years ago or 4 years ago? And that was in Kazakhstan, it wasn’t even in the Philippines when I went back there.
Finally! You have no idea how happy I am to meet someone like that!
Cause I don’t like going to the cinema, I don’t do that! I don’t watch films, and usually people are so shocked when they find this out. Like, whaat? Really?.
But what about during conversations, you know, sometimes they try to reference a particular movie and then they tell you this or that and then you just can’t relate. And you know, for example, in my case it’s just aa-haa, that’s interesting!
I just nod and smile. Like, yup, mmhm, heard about that, what’s the name again? Alyona, what about you?
Well, I do like movies, right? But I don’t really enjoy going to the cinema, right, yeah. But I’m a movie lover, but what I like is old movies really. I don’t watch a lot of, you know, brand new stuff, so that’s why what I like is like black and white movies.
Oh my god, that’s something that I also like, but I don’t if you… For example, in my case, I like Casablanca, Gone with the Wind…
All my favorite, absolutely! Right! Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh I adore them!
I nod and smile for those who can’t see me, now and smile.
So it seems that none of us actually likes going to the cinema! Wow!
I do, occasionally, just occasionally, like, with my friends. When they wanna see something, but on my own – no, never.
Exactly the same as my situation! I only go there if I’m invited, but on my own – uh-uh, no.
Same. Like, I would never go to the cinema, like, on my own. Not my thing. Especially now, you know, like when I think about going to the cinema, but then I see the prices, which is like… Well, in Boston area it’s like $14. I’m lie, nah, thanks.
But do you enjoy the atmosphere though? Because to be honest with you, even though I don’t go very often to the cinema, but I enjoy it, because It’s, you know, a totally different atmosphere.
Alright, well, I like the atmosphere, like I like the popcorn, and I like the people around, especially if some…
And better sound quality.
That is true, but I have realized that I just cannot, you know, keep my attention on one thing for that long. I get easily distracted and I keep, like, you know, peeking at my watch, like, okay, how long is it? You know, I’ve recently talked to a friend of mine and we discussed that nowadays we, people, cannot actually devote ourselves to something long, like, even long Youtube videos.
Right. I try to press forward, forward-forward-forward. And then – okay, next.
When was the last time that you watch a Youtube video that was, let’s say, half an hour? There should be like a sound effect with crickets.
Okay, okay, But then again, it will depend on what kind of video, you know, I’m watching, If it’s a historical documentary – yes, I can sit through it and I can go on and on until the entire documentary is done. And there are some that come in a series, because I love history a lot, world history in particular.
Not so much about Philippines history. I know, you know, my fellow Filipinos who might listen to this will… They might hate me for this, but… Yeah.
So speaking of cinema. Have you heard about this, like, thing that is Theatre HD that is kinda popular in Russia at least? Like, I’ve seen these, like, huge posters on some of the cinemas. The idea is that they show the recordings of plays in British theaters, like the Globe theater, Royal Majesty theater, or whatever. So, have you ever heard about that? Have you ever…?
Well the thing is that not many of us can afford going to, let’s say, London, and watching a play there, so…
So they do the recording so that people have an opportunity to see them in different countries.
That’s brilliant and I haven’t tried it yet! And this is the first time I’ve heard of it.
I told you, I’m not into cinema.
But that’s kinda not cinema. This is theater.
Ohm this is theater, well…
Cause I remember last year they were showing Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch and they were showing the Twelfth Night by Shakespeare and whatnot. So which begs the question – what’s your attitude to theater?
Oh, I am a theater-goer, right. I used to live in Barnaul and I just used to go to theater almost, like, every month I’d say. I really enjoyed doing that, but shame on me, but I’ve been living in Novosibirsk for like four or three years but I guess I’ve been here, like, twice. And that’s it, cause I work a lot, so that’s it.
Again, for those who can’t see us, I’m looking judgingly right now.
She’s a workaholic. Well, if we talk about theaters. I actually enjoy it a lot. But, you know, the irony is I don’t go there often. It’s similar situation with the cinema, because I only go there if I’m invited. And believe it or not, I’ve only been to a theater once here in Novosibirsk.
Opera and Ballet? Opera and Ballet theater?
Exactly. Of course, that should be the first basically. And the funny thing is we watched Chipollino.
There were a lot of kids there that day.
And it was a bit embarrassing, because what are these two adults guys doing here? Because mainly it’s, you know, for children. But then again I was… So he invited me and at the time it was the only one that was on, so I thought to myself why not. And this will be my first time to see opera and ballet theater. So I went there and I really liked it a lot.
Actually, that wasn’t written for children, Chipollino. That’s kind of adult thing.
Yeah if you look into it, you’re like is it.. .really?
Yeah, there are a lot of things to think over.
What’s your attitude to ballet?
Ballet? No. I don’t like it.
Okay. I have a story actually about ballet. Cause I love it. I mean, not to the point that I know, like, the names of ballerinas and whatnot, but I love watching it. And I remember last year, in September, I bought the tickets to the Nutcracker in Boston Opera House.
I had been waiting for it for like several months, cause the tickets were for the first of December I think. So on the first of December I all dressed up, I go the theatre, I entered… The moment I entered the building I realize that I have forgotten the ticket at home.
I know. I went to the, like, the ticket office and I said – Look, I forgot my ticket at home but I have the email confirmation, I have the number of the row, but I just don’t have the number of the seat. They said – we’re sorry, can’t help you since you bought it, like, on some other website.
I called the support, of you know, of the website, told them my details and they said – we’re sorry. Since we mailed the ticket to you via post, we cannot see the seat number. I was begging people at the ticket office – look, I can stand, I can sit on the floor, like, just please let me do that.
They were like – we’re sorry, we have nothing that we can do. I just left the theater, I was crying my eyes out for like 15 minutes.
I then later made a post about it on Instagram and my students – those who do not know, I teach Russian at an American university, so my students saw the post. And at the end of the semester they got a little gift for me, and that was the ticket to the Nutcracker. Again, I was surprised, like, guuuys.
That was so kind of them.
So cute! But yeah, after that I am paranoid when it comes to tickets. I’m like – do I have a ticket? Am I sure that I have my ticket? Is it really my ticket? You know, well.
Well, that’s a really good lesson. But, you know, if I had been in your situation I would have been pissed at myself.
Oh I was! Oh I was, trust me! Like how could one be so dumb to forget the ticket?
well, actually, I wanted to ask what do you think are the most, let’s say, popular and widespread types of entertainment in our countries, well, in your countries? Ken, what will you say is a common thing to do in the Philippines?
You know what? In our last podcast I mentioned it a bit, something to do with singing, going to karaoke – it’s funny because most Filipinos, to be honest with you, are really good at singing, so I think I’m not a Filipino then.
I mean, although I love singing, of course, and I do enjoy sometimes, you know, going to karaoke, but I want a private room because I don’t want other people to suffer from hearing my horrible voice. And that’s why I don’t like it to be open air.
I had an experience here in Novosibirsk, we went to a lounge and I didn’t know that, you know, that it was pub leg, there were, you know, many different people. And I thought - oh my god, I cannot sing here, I don’t want them to suffer! I don’t want their ears to, you know, bleed.
But then again my friends, he encouraged me, so I told him okay, I need… Let me see, how many more bottles of beer before I start singing. And then I waited for the time, it was around 2 am I guess if I remember it correctly, and I thought okay.
By this time all the people here are drunk, so they won’t pay attention to my voice, so I can start singing. And I did! In fact, I sang Adele’s Rolling in the Deep.
Wow. Wait, I know that you sometimes sing during your classes.
I do, because students have no choice but to listen to me.
I love this. So, karaoke. What else would you say is a common thing or a popular thing in the Philippines?
If we talk about, you know, things to entertain them – if they don’t go out, if they just stay at home. Filipinos are so crazy about telenovelas. These are like soap opera. They originally came from some Latin countries, such as Mexico.
But somehow it founds its way to the Philippines in the early 90s and we developed our own genre of telenovela. And, you know, Filipino families, they gather in the living room, they watch together after dinner. And we have a lot of these, you know, telenovelas.
I don’t understand why Filipinos are so, well, funny that I’m saying this because I used to be so, you know, tuned into telenovelas. I was a victim of that, because I was just a child and my grandmother, my cousins, my aunts, they were all looking forward to it, so I was with them and I was also into the story.
But, you know, now that I’m much older, I’m not into that kind of thing. But to this day, I must say, that a lot of Filipinos families – this is one of the things that unites them.
Oh my god. I wonder how, you know, the telenovelas got the… This is actually a Mexican thing. Latin American thing,
Yeah, exactly. It started with the Mexican telenovelas and they were dubbed into Tagalog, which is, you know, the other language in the Philippines. And then form there, we developed our own.
And they became extremely popular in the Philippines.
Oh my! This is the first time that I’ve ever heard about this! Amazing!
Great! Alyona, what would you say about Russia? Well, you come from a smaller town, right?
Have you noticed any difference in, like, the pastime?
It’s actually not as small as everybody thinks. Yeah. But.. I mean, it’s the center of the region. Well, of course, it’s not as big as, like, Novosibirsk. But basically, just the same, just the same. Karaoke – yeah, but not for me.
The majority of people do like them, I mean going there. Cinemas. There are a lot of shopping centers, shopping malls there. And just, yeah. They go shopping a lot. I’d say that Barnaul is the city of shopping centers.
Yeah, a lot, a lot, actually.
Interesting. So we would say, if we sum it up, so the most popular ways to spend the time are shopping.
There are plenty of them, right.
Well, speaking of museums. The funny thing is we do have, of course, we have museums, but it’s mostly for students. I mean, it’s the students who mostly go there. Because, on our own, for example, with families that would be the last thing that we would think about.
So it’s mostly for the sake of, like, education.
Yeah. You know, to be honest with you, when I was in the Philippines, I wasn’t… Well, I never visited a museum with my friends. It was more of a, you know, a school thing, as you said, you know, for educational purposes. But on our own? No.
But don’t get me wrong, I do like museums. Yeah, I do like them.
Actually, I wanted to talk a little bit more about museums. I think we can do that now. Is there anything else that people in Barnaul do a lot?
I think you can answer your question. I mean, it’s the same country still the same country.
But talking about museums, I can just… Well, I do like them. But also one more thing – if you go to a museum, any museum, I think that’s a really good, great idea to have a guide with you, right?
It’s no use if you just go and look at all that stuff just on your own.
Okay, okay. I’m thinking about how I would summarize the ways of entertainment in Boston area. Like, I’m not sure about, like, the Midwest or the West Coast – like, I can’t say anything about those places, but let’s say in Boston area it’s surprisingly not karaoke, for some reason.
Like, when my friends and I wanted to go we couldn’t find any then. I think it’s mostly going to, I don’t know, pubs, restaurants, sport clubs – like, you know, sports restaurant with huge tv sets so that everybody can follow the game, whatever it is, be that football game.
Like, they’re crazy, Americans are crazy about sport. And then the museums too – there are so many of them in the Boston area at least. And they are amazing, god, I love them! Expensive? Yes, which is supper annoying cause I’m not always ready to pay $25 for the ticket.
This should be illegal! But still… So, if we talk about museums, there’s one thing that always annoyed me about Novosibirsk – this is the third biggest city in the country! We never get any, like, you know, genuine works. Copies, replicas – yes, which is lovely. Local artists- y es, amazing. But nothing is ever brought here.
I cannot remember a single time when anything was.
And you are talking about art galleries?
Yeah, I’m talking about, like, paintings.
I mean, I’ve been planning on going to a museum for a while. I mean, I have the one I really wanna visit – it’s called Funeral Culture Museum.
Yeah, yeah. It’s just, as far as I know, it’s just, like, the only one we have in Russia.
It might be, it might be.
Funeral culture museum, right. And the point is, I’m not sure, but I guess it’s somewhere in the suburbs.
Yeah, it’s kinda in the outskirts of the city, so you need to take your time to get there.
Right, so that’s the problem. But, yeah. I just really want to go there.
I’m so sorry to ask this, cause you said funeral museum. Are there corpses there?
No no no, no corpses. No. But basically, some… I don’t know, can I call it equipment or something? Or, like, some clothes or all this stuff.
And I think they show the story, like, the history of it – how it developed from earlier times, what the coffins looked like and whatnot.
I know that this museum is always… I mean, every year it is the participant of Museum Night. So, well, yeah. This year, unfortunately, it was canceled throughout the world, but… Have you ever been to a museum night before, by the way?
You said you love museums!
Yeah, I do, but again, when people invite me. On my own I don’t go there.
Alright. So, a note to any of our listeners who live in Novosibirsk – please invite Ken to places!
Yeah. Please do! But okay, just to be clear – not the museum of the so-called funeral museum.
Oh, alright. Noted. Not to that place.
Okay, alright. Well, what about.. We talked about theater, like, plays, ballet, museums. What about concerts? And different performances?
Well, I really love live concerts. Okay, I’m trying to remember the last time that I’ve been to a concert. When I was in the Philippines though, I tried once. No no, I had in Kazakhstan, but that was, still, many years ago. What I like about going to concerts is that everybody’s happy, the mood, you know, the music is real. And…
And everybody’s on the same wave.
Exactly! Especially if, you know, the ones performing on stage are your idols. Or, you know, somebody you really look up to! So, it makes you, you know, the level of happiness is just beyond!
I love the way it sounds! Alyona, what about you?
No, I’m not much of a concert-goer, no, I don’t do that If I want to listen to music, I’d rather do it on my own somewhere.
But is there any kind of a concert, or performance maybe, that you dream of visiting?
If I had a chance, I’d definitely go.
Well, my students know this – I would want to go a Christina Aguilera concert.
I knew you would say that! I knew that!
Christina Aguilera is my diva! And I had a chance, almost had a chance in fact here last year when she came to Russia.
She did, yeah. She performed in St Petersburg, in Moscow. But then again, they were not in line with my holiday, because, you know, when I went to, when was that? When I went to St Petersburg, the concert was done. Anyway, you know, I’m still alive, I’m still gonna get a chance.
Okay, so I am not, I think just as Alyona, I’m not much of a concert-goer, just because I don’t know bands, I don’t know, like, musicians, I don’t listen to music that much. I was supposed to go to Die Antwoord concert this April in Boston, but, well, we all know what happened.
So, yeah. And I mean, I like performances. Something like…. I like classical music concerts. That I really do love. And I remember last March or last April that was, my department, the Department of Russian language at Wellesley college - they took students and the faculty, myself included to a concert of Rachmaninov’s concert.
Well, it was concerto #3 with orchestra. That was the first time in my entire life when I was crying during a concert just because it was so beautiful. I had goosebumps.
Was it really so impressive?
It was, it was! And the musician, I do now remember his name, but he’s a genius. He’s been performing throughout, you know, around the world since he was 18. And I don’t know if you know that, but Rachmaninov’s concerts are…
You know, the music is incredibly hard to play just because his fingers were so long, that he would be able, he was able to cover 12 keys with one hand. And it’s not that, you know… There aren’t that many musicians who can do that.
So that was the time which I really liked, and I realized that I would enjoy going, you know, classical music concerts from now on. And there was one more performance that I enjoyed. Well, we all know how popular Harry Potter is, right?
There are so many fans. And starting with like two years ago, one of the little theaters in Rhode Island, they started this performance. They would show a movie, one of the movies on a big screen with a live orchestra, symphonic orchestra. God that was…!
That’s even more impressive, wow!
Like, of course, it was… Well, it sometimes costs an arm and a leg, but it’s totally worth it.
That would be cool to see and experience, cause I don’t think I’ve ever been to such, you know, an event, or a concert.
As far as I know it’s getting popular in the world, cause recently, well, not recently, like, 6 months ago, I saw the same thing happening in London, but it was Star Wars. And they have been thinking about the same thing in Novosibirsk with Star Wars. But I think they never got a chance to, so who knows! I mean, I would totally go to an event like that.
I like it how I’m like I would totally go! And Ken is like I would probably try. I’m not sure.
Well, because I’m not sure yet how I’m going to react.
Fair enough, fair enough.
It must be much more expensive, yeah?
Yeah, yeah. So… Let’s compare, so a movie ticket is like $14, on average is $14. Let’s say the ticket to the Harry Potter and the symphonic orchestra was $80 for like row 45 I think. I think it was up to $220 for the first row. So, yeah. But again, this is symphonic orchestra, so.
There are a lot of people in it, like what? 30. So, yeah. It’s worth it anyway. So, Alyona, you mentioned that people in Barnaul love shopping. What about you guys? Do you love shopping?
Is it a way to relax for you?
When I do have money for it, yeah.
Of course, you need cash first.
I mean, I really enjoy like shopping for clothes, right. I usually… I guess I go shopping for clothes once in two months, okay, something like that. I buy something, something nice. I enjoy trying it on, just…
And do you go with something specific in your mind or do you just go there, you know, to run around?
Yeah, I usually have, like, something in my mind, but it turns out that I buy, just, I buy more usually, right.
And would you consider yourself an impulsive shopper?
Yeah. Definitely, definitely. I just know some people recommend making list before you go somewhere, before you go shopping. And it actually… Well, I’m honest with you – I do that, I do that. But I just throw that away as soon as I enter. Come on!
Oh you mean the shopping list!
Come on, we all are impulsive buyers from time to time.
It doesn’t work, it doesn’t work with me.
But I wonder though, how much time does it take you to go shopping? Well, if you don’t mind me asking.
Well, I can easily spend a day on that I guess.
I mean, usually at the weekends, I go at the weekends. Right. Especially if I have something specific in my mind, I have to find that. It takes a lot of time.
I do understand the pain.
Oh my god, I can never take that much time because I’m very impatient. And sometimes I get annoyed when I go to a shop and then look for this exact item and if I don’t find them – I need to go to another shop and then another shop. I hate it!
I hate, you know, the process of going to the dressing room and trying clothes out. I don’t know. If I go to a shopping center, to any clothes shop, I want to go a place where everything’s there. So then I won’t have to spend a lot of time.
What about online shopping then?
Online shopping. What I hate about this is the waiting time. Cause it doesn’t arrive immediately, I mean, it’s not like when you go to an actual shop and you can get the item immediately. But you know, sometimes it takes weeks or even more than, or longer. So, no. I’m not into online shopping either.
You know how they say like oh, online shopping can help you save time. Well, I strongly disagree with that. Every time that I try to find something online, I spend even more time, cause I’m reading every, like, you know, characteristic, every description.
Like, what kind of a fabric that is, what about the size chart. Ugh! It’s way easier to just go to a shopping mall. I don’t like the quality or the fabric, oh, that looks nice, let me try that on. So, yeah.
Then, what about you? Speaking of shopping.
I love shopping, and I love… Okay, I love two kinds of shopping. The first one is book shopping. I can spend like hours in a bookstore.
Okay, okay. I’ll comment later.
And then the second one is clothes shopping, but not just like, you know, in any stores. I love thrift stores. Cause you know this feeling of a hunt? Will you find something valuable? Will you find something cool or not? Is it my day today?
So there’s a thrill there.
Yes! Yes! And god, sometimes I found real gems in a thrift store where I go. Like, I love that, I love the atmosphere.
Are you looking for a bargain or something?
Depends on a store I guess. But more often than not it’s not about that being a bargain, but it’s more about that being something unique. Cause you can find, like, vintage clothes there. You can find something still with the price tag on it. So yeah, it’s more about something unusual.
Do you like flea markets then?
Well I haven’t been to many cause for some reason they don’t happen that often in the places where I go or where I live. But yeah, I think I’m gonna love that. Like, I’ve been to a flea market I think twice and it was, you know, like a hunt. Oooh, what’s that? Oooh, what’s that? Vintage earrings? Don’t mind if I do.
You know, I guess the only kinds of shopping that I do enjoy are food shopping, cause I love eating of course. I can spend a long time in the supermarket.
Looking for some junk food sometimes.
Do you read the ingredients?
Depends on how much time I have, but yeah.
In my case, in most cases, I do, because I’m a bit health-conscious, although it’s not very obvious.
Why it’s not very obvious?
Cause, you know, you know.
You’re too harsh on yourself. But yeah, food shopping! God, I love it, especially when you go to a place, you know, which has, you know, well maybe not unique, but things imported from other countries. And you’re like ooh, what’s that? Some Belgian chocolate I’ve never heard of?
Ken, you were gonna ask something if I’m not mistaken.
Well, no, no. There’s another thing I’d like to say. If it is about electronic… I mean, gadgets - yeah, I can spend a long time in the shop. Like, going around, asking the shop assistant, so what are the specifications of this, for example, tablet.
Can you tell me this and that? Yeah, I wouldn’t mind spending a lot of time there. But not in a clothes shop.
So, are you much of a tech-nerd?
I don’t know. Not exactly, I just like gadgets.
I’m a little bit jealous right now.
Well, because last May when my phone died and I had to, you know, buy a new one. And I had to find a shopping mall, which I knew existed somewhere in the Boston area, but I didn’t have Google map, I didn’t have anything.
I would go to the first store that I could find and ask, like, hi, do you have an unlocked phone? They would be like no. I would go to another store that I would find on my way. I would be like hi, do you have an unlocked phone? They would say oh, it’s on a plan for the next two months.
But I was leaving for Russia in the next 5 weeks, so I didn’t have this opportunity. And basically the way I buy things is – hi, I need a phone which is, let’s say, unlocked and is less than $200. Show me all your options. And then they do, and I’m like okay, now…
Yeah, that’s me! That is me! I’m like, okay, which one has more memory if it’s like the same money? They’re like that one. I’m like perfect, I’ll take it. That’s how I bought my laptop, my camera, and my phone.
I’m just curious though. What do you think of some shop assistants who try to ask you, I mean, not just ask, but try to offer you many different things and sometimes they follow you around as you walk in the shop. How do you feel about that?
Oh god. I mean, if there are sales assistants who do that listening, I’m sorry for what I’m about to say, but I hate that! I hate being followed! Like, if I need help, I’m gonna ask you!
What about you guys? So Ken, you feel the same. Alyona, what about you?
Just the same way. I guess when I’m looking for something, just browsing in, like, the aisles or something, yeah. I get a little bit, I feel uncomfortable, so.
Well, if they ask me, I usually say thank you. Because I’m not the person who, you know, who is afraid to ask for help. It’s easier for me to ask somebody if I’m lost than to take my phone and find. But if I do not need any help, I’m just… I start getting furious to be honest. Uncomfortable and furious.
You know, the funny thing here in Russia is that sometimes they approach me and they keep talking. And I’m like lady, I don’t even understand a word you’re saying out of your mouth. This is all a waste of your time, so if you could just leave me alone.
And then if I need something, then I’m gonna ask for your help. And they do it, you know, with such enthusiasm. Like oh my god, I don’t wanna waste your time, cause really, I don’t understand.
You should have, you know, like a piece of paper which says I don’t understand Russian, leave me alone.
Please! And a smiley face, so you don’t sound rude.
So, that was about shopping. Now, what about restaurants and bars? Cause this seems to be the most popular way to send your free time in the US. Well, again, Boston area. What about here? What do you think? Well, and Manila.
Well, that’s what I love doing with my friends, because instead of inviting them over to my flat which will entail need a lot of preparation.
Yeah, exactly. So I would rather just meet with them in a restaurant or in a bar, cause, you know, again, the atmosphere is also, you know. important, And the other thing is I don’t have to cook. Well, in the first place, I don’t cook at all.
But then again, there will be a variety of choices when it comes to food, What else? And if, you know, if either of us wants to drink, then of course, it will be available. Unlike if I invite them over to my flat, then I would have to go and ask them what would you like me to buy for you?
Right? And you have to keep everyone’s wish and dietary restrictions on mind.
Yeah, that’s too much energy. So, Alyona, what about you? Do you like going out?
I don’t like night clubs, cause usually it’s too noisy there. But I do like bars. Actually.
I went out with my friends yesterday.
Especially bars with a live band, with some live music.
Yeah, that’s a nice addition to the atmosphere. Have you ever done pub crawling?
Have we done it? I think once, when I was in Bangkok. And I almost died. I mean, figuratively I almost died.
I mean, it’s pub crawling, so, you know. So, thanks for clearing this out. But you haven’t, why not?
Cause, well. I guess, if you do that, you have to… Do you have to drink in every bar you visit?
I mean, that’s usually the idea, but I think you don’t have to.
I mean, I do like bars, but I never get legless or something. I don’t think it’s a good idea. We just find some nice place to, like, have fun and that’s it.
I don’t think I’ve ever done that. Just because I’m too lazy. You know, that would mean that I have to actually physically walk somewhere? Huh, no! But, what I did once is – I was on a date, and instead of pub crawling, I did this sweet-places-crawling.
So we started in a waffle place, then went to, like, some place which I knew had a good baklava. Then moved to some Spanish place to have some churros, so it was like that for about five hours and six different places.
And what was the experience like?
Oh god, there was so… So I have a sweet tooth, so I’m ready to eat sweets like all day long. But after that I think I had some sugar overload, so I couldn’t eat anything sweet for like a week after that.
No regrets. None. Absolutely. But yeah. So, both of you guys have been living here for some time, but you’re not local. What about places that you like here? Have you been to any restaurant, café, or bar that you really liked? That you would recommend other people to visit.
Well. Interesting. I just like. No, I can’t even recall the names of the places that I’ve been to, because, you know. The first thing that came to my mind was Respublika, which, you know, others would look down on at, because it’s for, you know, university students, right?
But that’s… I don’t know, for some reason that’s the only place that I remember. But I have been to other places though. And they were far better than Respublika. But I don’t know, for some reason, it’s the only thing that I remember.
Yeah, that’s for when you’re broke but still want to go to places.
Interesting. Alyona, and what about you?
You know, I’m kind of a coffeeholic. I really like coffee.
I can, like… Do you see what’s happening here? We have a lot of things in common! I like that!
I used to work as a barista for half a year. Right. I just… I like, I adore coffee, I cannot live without that. And I had an idea to… I just wanted to learn how to make it properly, yeah. So that’s why I got the job and that was fun. I really liked that, I enjoyed that.
And as for cafes or restaurants – well I do like coffee bars. I visit them really really often. Though I do have a coffee machine at home, but I like cappuccino and that’s my favorite coffee drink. I order every time I go to a coffee shop. So one of my favorite is… Should I give you the name?
I really like Dudnik. They make… Well to my taste, to my taste they make great coffee, really.
Well, I don’t want to sound snobbish, but it was nice knowing you, have a good life, bye! Sorry!
Sorry! I’m a little bit, not a little bit, fine. But I’m a coffee snob, which means I really like know a thing or two about coffee, so if you wanna try like the best coffee in the city, two places that I can advise. The first one is Pitchii.
Also have amazing Belgian waffles, like, even my friend who’s from Belgium said that those are like legit. The second place is Blackwood, which is… They have I think three locations in the city, also serve like really good coffee. So, yeah.
Highly recommend. They should pay for this. This is free advertising.
And we have a lot of listeners, so…
Yeah, so if anyone is working there and is listening to this, you know, I’m available.
They should give you at least a free cup of coffee or at least something.
That would be nice. That would be nice. But you know, I actually like how Novosibirsk has a lot of cool places to eat at. Let’s say, there is… We have several wine bars where you can eat seafood and try wines that are so rare that you can’t find them in local supermarket.
We have a Mexican place that serves incredible tacos. Like, we have a place that specializes on meat and beer. God, I love the city for that!
I feel like that’s cause in winter there’s not much else to do, you know, except to go out and eat.
But, yeah. Okay, last question for your guys. Is there anything that you think this city lacks in terms of entertainment?
Yeah. I’m not sure I know the term for it actually. Well, just a nice place where you can go and meet with… Like, meet your friend, you know, like have fun, drink tea.
So, just kind of a space to hang out at.
We do have a couple of them, but not many, not many. I think that’s a good idea to.
Yeah, especially when you can’t really invite people over to your place for some reasons. Yeah, that would be a good thing to have.
You know, I don’t wanna sound boring, but I really love going to parks, like, a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I love Novosibirsk and I featured this city a lot on my Facebook account, uploading many different phots. But one thing that I find… How will I put it in a nice way…
A tiny bit disappointing?
A ted bit. The parks. I don’t know, they’re not so impressive. It’s not jaw-dropping. It’s not like, okay, don’t get me wrong. For example in Almaty in Kazakhstan they really have huge parks. And they’re really beautiful.
Like, it’s hard to explain, but for example, the first time I came to the Central park. I had high expectations because I thought – this is the central park, like, this is probably the main park in Novosibirsk. And then when I entered – okay, so you have this and that and that’s it?
Where’s the Central park? Am I in the right place?
I was waiting for something like a spectacle, like something that would be attention-grabbing, but I thought – oh, okay, I guess I can just sit down here. That’s it.
Yeah, I agree. I think this city lacks, like, cool green spaces. I agree. Alright, thank you guys. So that was BigAppleSchool podcast and today we discussed entertainment. We talked a little bit about cinemas, museums, galleries. How much we are, you know, concert-goes or rather non-goers.
We talked about restaurants and bars. And we talked about what’s popular in Novosibirsk, Barnaul, Manila, and Boston. So, thank you for listening and remember – if you struggle to understand our conversation, you are always welcome to our website, which is BigAppleSchool.com/podcast where you can find full scripts of each episodes.
You can read it while listening, isn’t it cool? Also, if you want to get more content, which will help you learn English, you can follow us on social media, such as Instagram, VK, Youtube, Telegram, or basically everything. You can just search our name, which is, again, BigAppleSchool. So that was Katya, and my guests for today were…
Stay tuned and I’ll see you around!