Hey there and welcome to the BigAppleSchool podcast. My name is Sam.
And today we’re asking what’s the craic about being stranded. So we’re gonna look at famous stories connected with being stranded, have we ever felt stranded or isolated anywhere in our lives. What things we would bring with us in maybe a few different situations.
What are the advantages or disadvantages of isolation. Or rather what are the advantages and disadvantages about isolation. In this modern world, modern age that we have the Internet, the mobile phones and all of that – are we too connected?
Maybe we have a little bit of isolation? And what imaginary friend we might have. Gary’s thinking carefully about that.
I put a lot of thought into that. I’m eager to answer that question.
We want to know, I want to know your survival tips. Maybe I’ll share some of mine if I have many.
Eat your heart, like Bear Grylls. Have you ever heard of Bear Grylls? British survivalist guy. Actually I think he was born in Northern Ireland, but lived in England, maybe a lot. He sounds English, but maybe he was born in Northern Ireland. Yeah, he’s a survivalist guy, does a lot of TV shows and stuff where he drinks urine from camel and all kinds of things, eats bugs.
I don’t think I want to do that.
Not gonna be one my of my tips.
That’s right. I want all your tips about camel urine. Don’t hold back, I’ll share mine too if you start.
Yeah, the best urine in the world.
Urine and mine, yeah. You start with urine and I start with mine.
The best idea’s not to drink it.
I think it’s one of finest… If you leave this podcast with nothing more than that I think…
Then you’re gonna die, you’re better off.
I would recommend it, death.
There was a guy actually… So our first question is about stories. I should ask the question before I answer it. What famous stories are there about being stranded?
And here I think you are going to have more answers than I have.
Treasure Island? You know Treasure Island, right?
You’ve read it, right? I don’t honestly know if I’ve read it. I feel that I did, but it was a long time ago.
Yeah, longer for you of course.
Of course. In that case I think you know…
There’s a film called Cast Away that was very popular, very successful as I remember with Tom Hanks. Which wasn’t so long ago. Life of Pi, which was also really successful. Have you heard of it?
I have heard of it, but that’s all I’ve…
He was stranded on a small boat, ruined boat in the ocean, and there were some animals, at least in his mind there were some animals. Spoiler alert, sorry! You might wanna… Ignore that if you want to, if you still haven’t watched. Too late.
Too late, you’ve spoiled this! You’ve spoiled the movie!
Sorry for that. But you’ve probably seen it already.
We’re gonna use some tips on camel urine, so.
But I was thinking there’s that story 120 days, have you heard of that?
There’s a guy… I haven’t watched the film and I don’t think I want to, to be honest, cause I don’t enjoy a lot of blood and gore, although I do sometimes watch things with that, but I don’t enjoy it. It’s a story about a guy who’s trapped, I think, in Australia, he gets his hand caught in a rock and he cuts his own hand off. It’s a lovely story.
The main reason why I haven’t watched this is cause I don’t really wanna see that to be honest. But yeah, he had to cut through it with a pen knife or something horrible like that, so… But it was… I think it was quite a good film actually, I just don’t have interest in that to be honest, but it was like an isolation, being stranded situation.
Thankfully in Northern Ireland we don’t have that kind of situation, you know. Everywhere is quite compact, lots of people around, so you can’t really be stranded like that thankfully. But yeah, great place Australia, but unfortunately you need to be careful when you go out on your own.
Have you ever felt stranded? Isolated?
I’ve been in a couple of places that felt remote. I wasn’t actually stranded. I actually… Maybe I… Too long a story to tell, but now that I think about it…
I… At one point I had opportunity to fly… I had… I was invited, at least I thought I was invited to visit a church in Haiti, Гаити, that’s Russian. Island in the Caribbean, black people there. And… But the arrangements for my trip there were made by someone else who didn’t really get…
the information about the fact that I was coming to the people that I was going to see. These arrangements, I made the arrangements and they didn’t pass them on. So the bottom line here is that I flew into Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and there was no one to meet me. And of course it’s a French-speaking place, and I could speak some French enough to, you know, I could communicate.
Croissant, please, S’il vous plait. But I did speak some French, so it ended up being somewhat of a situation, because I waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and no one ever came. And I didn’t even have contact information, I didn’t have a telephone number, I didn’t have anything.
So I did know an address, I did have an address, but it took me a while. So I guess I felt stranded, a little bit stranded then,
It wasn’t completely comfortable. How about you?
I’m glad you asked. I have an answer to this. Right. So, two places actually. So we had talked a little bit earlier about Yakutia, I’ve been in Yakutia. But I was in the main city most of the city most of the time, the capital, Yakutsk.
But I also chose to go as a tourist to visit a village. And the village had just about 800 people. And this was 2010, it was my first trip to Russia, and although I thought that I had decent Russian. I soon realized how poor my Russian was.
I just learned from CDs actually. And maybe CDroms I’d learned some Russian. But really, I had no grasp of grammar, I just had some phrases.
So this is what you call immersion situation.
So that was immersion. You know what? It was… I’m not saying that I felt stranded, cause I was fine, I was only there a few day in this kind of village.
Farm village, really, where there huts. People didn’t live in these, but there were huts made for cows out of cow dung. People lived in fairly good wooden houses, well packed, well insulated.
Made out of well packed cow dung?
I don’t think there was any cow dung in the human’s houses. But I was quite surprised, because it felt so remote that there was a babushka, yeah, a grandmother, I stayed with a grandmother and grandfather and they had mobile phones.
At least the grandmother had. I was quite surprised me because for me it seemed so remote. Although… And this is my first time in Russia as well, so it seemed so remote, it seemed quite poor. And yet she had a mobile.
And this was back in 2010, a little bit further back, and she had a mobile phone and everything you know. And I guess the internet and stuff, so… But it seemed a little bit ‘Wow! This is remote!’ and yet they have all the technology and everything.
But it was quite isolated in respect because there were few people who spoke English. There was like one woman basically who I wasn’t staying with. She was a teacher there, a school teacher. So it was only her. And I met hew once or twice and she spoke English and that was kind of it. So it was tricky.
I did practice a plenty of Russian, and I felt very peaceful I must say. It was really really peaceful, the weather was pleasant, it wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t cold at that stage. And it was…
It was… I think it was August, but it wasn’t, you know, it was maybe mid-, late August, but it wasn’t so cold at that time. I really enjoyed it actually. But I mean, there wasn’t much to do, so I think three days was enough, you know. I wouldn’t want to have stayed longer.
How did you arrange that? Can I ask?
Through a tourist agency. And that’s all I know. I don’t know how they…
So was this like off the path, off the..
Well, no… That woman and her husband do generally have tourists come and stay at their house. So it’s the done thing, it’s quite normal. She’s done it before and seems to do it quite regularly. For people to kinda get the culture, experience of the culture, the weather, if they go in the winter you know.
Extreme weather. So it’s very popular I think for people to do that, but it was just at that time of the year it wasn’t so popular maybe. But that fitted with my education.
So people go there even in winter?
Yeah, yeah, just to experience… I guess…
Well, you know, people who haven’t experienced -30-40-50 want to see what it’s like and experience that. I never really wanted though, I’ve experienced it as part of life in Novosibirsk, but I never really had a purpose to do that to be honest. But the other place was the Isle of Man.
It’s a small island between Great Britain and the Island of Ireland, so it’s somewhere in the middle of the British Isles. It’s quite… It really is quite small and some people nickname it… And it’s terrible, I’m sorry if you live there, but some people nickname it the open prison.
Well because for some people and for me has a real feeling of isolation and kinda depressing to be honest. And I found it tough, I stayed there for maybe a week or so, and I was… Actually it was for a purpose to help church work and to participate there. But I felt very isolated.
And I wouldn’t want to live there at all. The first time I had went, I went with the group of young people of my age , I was this… It was a while ago now. And it was a group of us, I was maybe 20 at the time. And it was a group of maybe 10, let’s say 8-10 young people.
And we were helping the church out and stuff. It was great, as I say great craic, great fun. But second time I was alone, you know, more or less. There were people that looked after me, but I was really kind of alone and it felt so isolated. Just so…
You know, there was nothing really to do, and I wasn’t really comfortable where I was staying, and it was just very isolated. So I have… That was the most negative experience I think… Sorry… I’m sure there’s some people really love the Isle of Man, but not me.
So, I have a few ideas… So, situations that I might be in or someone might be in if they’re stranded. So, stranded on a ship in the ocean. This is Life of Pi, a guy was stranded not on a ship but a boat. And I have a few ideas of what I might do. Things you would bring with you. So…
If you knew you were going to be stranded?
Yeah. Who knows… Oh yeah, by the way, I’m gonna be stranded.
I’m gonna be stranded, so I better be sure and take some things.
Right. But when you travel, do you ever think I need to pack things in case I get stranded?
I think we don’t automatically do that, right?
You don’t normally think that.
But maybe the next time you will, after this. And maybe you guys listening, you’ll think twice. Automatically assume that you’re not gonna be stranded, you won’t do that again, right?
So, if I’m stranded on a ship, big spacious enough, but it’s not… There no way to make contact, so we’re assuming I’ve no radio, I have no Wifi, or Internet or anything. No way of connecting to the outside world, no one knows where I am.
It’s a big… Yeah. Not a huge ship, but bigger than a rowing boat you know. Big enough, big enough for me to walk around, but not so easy to find I guess.
I’m gonna bring a fishing rod. I’m very clever. So I don’t… I’m not a lover of fish, but if I’m stranded, I think that’s the best option, right? I toyed with the idea of bringing a pellet of beans.
A pellet, a big big pellet of baked beans, you know, in tomato sauce.
Well, no, I’m assuming that it can be one thing, right? And I’m being very generous to myself. But realistically you wanna have a fishing rod, right? I’m not great at fishing, but I think I can get good with practice.
You can get lots of practice.
There’s plenty of fish out there, so I think that would be… Also I would bring… So I want to read, I like t read, and every day I read the bible and I know you do too. So normally I do it online, but you need the wifi, so normally I use my laptop. It’s comfortable for me.
I do have paper copies of the bible, I actually have it in Russian too, but I prefer… It’s simpler for me to do it online. And I can go online and there’s a website biblegateway.com. But if I’m on a boat, ship or whatever, I will probably bring a paper copy and that would be simpler.
And it’s not heavy, so. And it’s a book that you don’t get tired of, I would say. There’s so much to learn from, so much to investigate. I mean it’s a book of 66 books. It’s got poetry and history and what else has it got?
It’s got the history of Israel, history about Jesus and his death, and the theology about that, about his resurrection to save us. And it’s got poetry from the Psalms, love poems as well. Actually…
It’s got a lot of different themes, a lot of different styles of writing.
It’s inspired by God. So, I think it would be…
You know, I think about if you’re gonna be stranded, like we’re talking about, right, that can get pretty discouraging, right?
And, you know, you could feel like you’re forgotten, but the bible, one of the messages is that you’re not forgotten.
And in fact it’s kind of the opposite of being forgotten, you are remembered, right? And it’s pretty valuable. Not only that, but it would remind you that maybe people don’t know where you are at the moment, but God knows where you are, right? And I mean he really does.
There’s no place you can go, there’s no place so far away or so high in the mountains or so deep in the sea that God doesn’t know where you are and even what you’re going through. Why being stranded. Or whatever else may be.
There’s actually a Psalm and I can’t quote it, terrible. But it talks about, you know, if I send to the Heaven, you are there. If I go down to the depths of hell, you are there, you see me. What Psalm is it?
1:37, yeah. Actually, it’s one of my favorite psalms. I haven’t read it in a while, but I really like that. And it could be really comforting.
Your knowledge is too wonderful for me . From the source that in mind, you know it all together. Yeah Sam, your thought’s terrific.
But not to be compared. I think the things that got into our psalms and there’s a message about the sea.
Surprisingly, given that it’s in Israel where there isn’t a lot of…
Yeah, sort of. Well, there is, there isn’t.
There is and there isn’t, yeah, but still.
It’s got a… But the story of Jonah would maybe be really good. Followed by a great fish it could be really… I love that story by the way, I always enjoy reading it. So, something to read. And I think that would be a good thing to read. And I was also thinking yo-yo.
And I’ll tell you my logic. You might be wondering why. When I’m tired fishing, and I’m tired reading, cause I’ll get tired of reading, I want to do something. I mean, you can walk around the ship okay, I want to do something that maybe… yo-yo…
Yeah, well, maybe I should bring sudoku or something, or a crossword or whatever, but yo-yo might be a little bit different for a boat from keeping bored, and I used to have a yo-yo and play some tricks. Do some tricks and stuff. It wasn’t fantastic, but if I’m gonna be stranded, maybe I can really be good at yo-yo.
Yeah, come back as a Youtube sensation. If they discover you, if they find out where you are, you can come back and be a Youtube…
With a big beard and stuff.
With a beard and the whole thing, yeah. You have to keep the whole beard, definitely.
I would bring a knife too. I guess that’s logical, right?
I hope… Hopefully I don’t cut my yo-yo with my knife.
Break the string or something. So that would be for my fish, you know. Fishing, catch my fish and then I can…
But you got the fishing rod.
I wanna cut them up, I don’t wanna… Well, it may be not super important, but I think a knife would be helpful.
Sam, I think that’s some sound thinking….
Well I had other ideas. So, frozen taiga, if I was stranded in a frozen taiga of Siberia, I might bring… Well, I’d bring a good coat.
For that I would bring a survival book. Cause I don’t want to… There are no camels, right?
Right, no camels, that’s true.
I would want to know what I can and can’t eat, cause I think it an be tricky, you know, in the forest.
Yeah, frozen taiga, you can eat everything, everything.
But you can get very sick I guess if you ate the wrong berries or something.
I don’t think there gonna be berries in a frozen taiga.
Yeah… Maybe I would just lie down and die.
Well, I’m hoping that I have good enough clothes and really really good clothes, maybe some really good animal fur, some way of protecting myself from hypothermia. But yeah. I guess don’t get stranded in a frozen taiga.
One message – don’t do that.
And I was also thinking about space station on Mars.
Space station on Mars, yeah.
Yo-yo, you wanna take a yo-yo?
Well, here I’m thinking that you’ve got rooms. I’m thinking that you’ve got water and I’m thinking that you’ve got food. Cause it’s a space station, right? It’s not, you know… It’s been set up, it’s been prepared, but I just can’t get home.
So this is the situation, right? So I’m thinking I want a spacesuit, cause sooner or later I’ll wanna go for a walk outside. But I don’t wanna breathe in poisonous gas or something, you know. Atmosphere or whatever.
So I want to kinda survive my little stroll. I might bring more books for reading, cause I’m assuming a spaceship might have a little bit more space. But maybe I’m wrong. So I might bring a little bit more reading. Not just the Bible, but maybe other books too.
Right, okay. Well what would be one book? I’m just curious. I don’t know what book I would bring.
Well I like to read comics, but I… One of my favorite books has been a historical book Stalingrad. But then again, I don’t generally re-read books, so… I might go for comics, sort of… Not necessarily… Sometimes I read classic stories in comic form that aren’t necessarily a super hero, like I’ve read Mouse recently which was a story of the Holocaust.
But it was written in comic book form. The mice are Jews and the cats are Nazis. And that sort of thing. It was a difficult story, very honest story, but also very interesting. And it was… But it was done in a comic book form. It’s something like that maybe, that kind of thing. I find it quite…
Quite enjoyable to read comics, you’ve got the art which I’m a lover of art. And maybe in a more traditional, non-traditional way. So I’m a lover of art and then you’ve got sort of words to go with that and a story to go with that.
Maybe something like that. And ping-pong, I’m going for ping-pong this time, because I can have more space. But I don’t know…
How’s the gravity situation?
Well, if you…. I’m hoping on a space station there’s some kind of artificial gravity.
My yo-yo wouldn’t work, my ping-pong wouldn’t work.
Well I’m not bringing that to Mars, but yeah, the fishing rod.
Which is… Everything kinda goes… You know.
Yeah, my beard would be going up.
Yeah, it would be going upwards.
Yeah, this is nothing but problems when you…
Maybe not get stranded in Mars either.
I don’t know, does Mars have gravity?
Oh, hang on, well… Now, Mars is quite similar in size to Earth, so yes, it does have gravity.
Well we don’t have that problem then.
See, I’m looking problems…
So, I should’ve corrected you – Mars has a gravity and it’s quite similar to Earth, because Mars is a similar size. And gravity is all about the size of an object. If the object is so big, it generates gravity because of the size, so Mars is similar to Earth, so it would have gravity. It should’ve, so it would’ve been okay, so ping-pong, yo-yo.
Yo-yo’s okay, ping-pong yes.
If you… So, what would you bring if you were stranded anywhere? I’m just gonna give you anywhere.
Anywhere for the rest of my life, is that the question?
Yes, no… First of all, if you were stranded, let’s say on a desert island, what would you bring? Would you bring a yo-yo?
I must say honestly I would not bring a yo-yo.
Sure. Kicking myself for not thinking of that yo-yo, on a desert island without yo-yo. No yo-yo and I’m saying. Well, if I was on a desert island, I would bring something that was solar-powered, how about that for being a smart guy?
See, that’s the 30 seconds of thought that I put into this podcast. You just had the benefit of the 30 seconds of thought.
Yeah, you can get coconuts, maybe pineapples. You haven’t got winter weather so you wouldn’t need a lot of clothes.
Solar-powered phone maybe.
You gotta say solar-powered cell phone and you can call people and you won’t be stranded anymore.
That’s right. Blows the whole thing.
So, well, moving swiftly on. Not that I don’t enjoy that, but if you were stranded anywhere, if I said your money or your life, you’re stranded or your life, where would you choose to be stranded if you had to?
Well, I mean the classic tropical island wouldn’t be bad, you know, a Hawaiian island kind of thing.
Cause sleeping out even in +10 could be really really bad for you.
Yeah, I wouldn’t last long.
I had thought more mountains which are beautiful, quite small mountains in my region of Northern Ireland. But the weather could be a problem, you know, winter time weather. I mean it’s not super cold, but it can be cold enough if you’re sleeping outside, it would be a problem.
But, so, I would love to be stranded there, but I would need, sorry, if I had to choose somewhere to be stranded, it would be there, but I would need to be well-equipped to cope with the cold weather. Not super cold, but cold enough to cause problems.
Yeah, below freezing yeah?
It can be below freezing, yeah. It’s not necessarily… Well in the mountains it probably would be often, more often of course, but generally it’s +8 in the winter, like on average.
A kind of weather that I would end up getting sick.
Yeah it wouldn’t be good for you to sleep out. So, what would be good and bad… Well, the weather, yeah. What’s good about isolation? What would be the advantage?
Peace and quiet, I see. Peace and quiet, no one’s shouting at you.
That’s right, no one… Nobody telling you what to do, bothering you, interrupting your thought pattern, yeah.
Distract your breakfast. I’m eating my breakfast! Leave me alone!
That’s right. You can just have breakfast all day.
No loud cars, no one pushing in line in supermarket, cause you don’t have one.
I think the weather could be a bad disadvantage, what other disadvantages could there be?
Well, I mean, if you got a place with good weather, you’re gonna pick your place to be stranded…
I mean there are advantages to being isolated, there’s… You know, it’s good to be… Spend some time alone I think.
Not exclusively, but it’s…
Not for the rest of your life, but a little bit of isolation.
Yeah, it can be kind of creative.
Yeah. I think… I don’t know, some people need that little bit of isolation, a little time to themselves.
I do. Of course I have it.
Some people just seem so social and loved to be around people, but you and I I think both, yeah, we like…
Yeah, a little bit time to ourselves at least.
Yeah, for sure, for sure.
In this modern age, in this modern age you’ve got mobile phones, cell phones, you’ve got Internet, wifi, skype, all of these different things – are we too connected do you think?
I think we sure could be. I don’t feel too connected, but I’m not on social media person for example, and so I’m not as connected as a lot of people are. And I think that it wouldn’t be good for me to be too much more connected than I am, which is why I’m not connected more than I am. What do you think?
Well, for me personally, I don’t like to be too connected if you like. I don’t like to be, you know, I’m available 24/7 to anybody. I don’t care for that, I’d never cared for that. And you know, I grew up without mobile phones.
I didn’t get a mobile phone until I was 15. And it was, you know, it was a new thing then. And so, some people my age still love them and love to be connected, but I’m just not. It’s a personal thing. I like to have that separation and to be able to just not be thinking about that or to be connected to that.
Right, or having to respond to that right now. That is…
There are some times where people can message you. I think it’s quite common nowadays – people expect a response straightaway, or expect an answer to a phone call and it’s quite a popular idea, but I… For me, maybe I’m not the norm, but I preserve the right not to answer. I feel I have the right not to answer.
Yeah, yeah, sure, I don’t answer all the times. I always call back, but it’s… When it’s not going to, you know, in a search when to call back. I’m gonna try to be considerate, but I don’t like the thing of, you know, right now!
Yeah, I think it’s down to personality too, but some people really love to have that social aspect and be connected.
Yeah, they like to be connected, yeah.
I think the minority don’t want that, and maybe there can be a conflict at times. What imaginary friend… Right, you’re back to being isolated, I’m isolated, would you have an imaginary friend with you?
Would you create one? In the film Cast Away he made one of a supper bowl, it was a hand painted on with his blood I think, like a face as well. Would you do something like that?
I would not do anything like that. I wouldn’t do anything. But I think I do talk to myself.
Well, it’s some sensible person…
Can have some conversations sometimes. I’m joking. But, no, I do talk to myself.
I talked to myself more when I was younger. I don’t do it anymore.
Well you’ll find yourself more, right.
You’re speaking from experience. Well, so, I mean, as a Christian, and you’re a Christian, we can talk to God any time any place. And he is not an imaginary friend, but a real friend. You can get comfort from his… feeling of him being with you.
You can get counsel. Sometimes you can get, right, that’s God, helps you…
Yeah, speaking in your spirit. But, you know, I might still want an imaginary friend just to… As a kind of a human companion, or an idea of a human companion.
So I might still want that.
I don’t know. I mean, I like to build this little men soldiers, so maybe I would do something like that. Or make something out of sticks. I don’t know. It probably would depend how many years I’m isolated. If we’re talking…
How convinced you are that no one is going to see who you’ve been talking to for the last…
So yeah, I would make it look like my wife. See, this is tough, cause I wouldn’t wanna be isolated without my wife, so it’s may be harder for me, cause I know you’re not married. So it would be tougher for me I think to be away from my wife and her away from me, so.. .So maybe I should revise my list of things I want to bring. I’m going to say my wife, not a fishing rod.
Right, that’s right. Reminds me of a joke where the fella was looking for a like a personal, looking for.. a man seeks woman with a boat. Send photo of boat. Anyway, no one will get the joke.
So, but just to clarify, that’s not what I said.
That’s right. I did say that. My name’s Gary and I said that.
It just somehow reminded him of that, that’s all.
Have you got any survival tips?
I would say that I have like 0. I would say try to plan your life so that you don’t get stranded. How about that? Take extra steps.
I’m not a survivalist, although I like reading and watching things like that, or I have I should say. I don’t do it regularly. But I know that one thing that you need water. That needs to be your priority unless you’re injured and then that would be a priority, but get water.
Get clean water. If you’re in an ocean you need to find a way to separate it form the salt and then drink it. I guess…
Maybe catch rainwater or something.
Something. Something different anyway. Maybe you can find a way, maybe bring something with you, if you’re planning. Water, clean water, decent water, that would be your priority, because you can survive longer with water than you can without water. If you just have food you’ll die quickly. But if you get water…
You’ll last a month with water, but without water you will last…
Yeah, have water. It’s my advice. SO that was the craic. We spoke quite at length about being stranded. I talked about various situations, we spoke about some media connected with being stranded, some of the places where we felt not stranded, but isolated. Where we would choose to go if we had to be stranded anywhere.
What imaginary friend we would or wouldn’t make. And any survival tips, but we mostly talked about water. So that was the craic about being stranded.