Hello-hello and welcome back to another episode of the BigAppleSchool Podcast where the goal is to help you improve your English through listening. My name is Benjamin, and today I'm joined by three wonderful guests. And our first guest today is...
Ken from the Philippines.
And our second guest, a blast from the past...
So welcome back. And of course, we have...
So today's topic, we're going to be talking about vintage items, retro vintage items. And we have a few different topics we're gonna cover in this area. So the first subject we're gonna talk about today is hoarding. So do you consider yourself to be a hoarder? What is hoarding? What would you classify as hoarding?
Is that collecting, you know, different kinds of stuff excessively? It's not just like..
Never throwing away anything.
I've just realized I'm the only Russian over here. Oh, I've got a lot to say on the topic, actually.
Oh, yes. Yeah, we do have.. Yeah, we will definitely discuss this. Well, is your balcony filled with items? Are you a balcony hoarder?
You know, I have a tiny balcony at the moment, and there's no glass. It's just, you know, like open air. So there's literally no chance to store anything over there because it's just going to be blown away. But I do see some balconies, you know, of my neighbors just being full of stuff that I'm pretty sure they don't need and they will never need in their life.
Stuffed to the brim with stuff. Why is it the balcony? Why don't people get garages here and..?
It depends. Some people do. Some people do. But, you know, I think it's more like, you know, you need some place where you wouldn't look. So you wouldn't feel guilty about not using all this stuff. And how often do you look at the balcony? You know, how often do you go there?
I mean, I like looking out my window.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. I'm smoking.
So, yeah. So yeah. So tell me about your view from the balcony. Do you keep things on your balcony?
No, not at all. Only my ashtray and pack of cigarets. That's it.
Okay. So, you're not a hoarder?
Kind of. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Well, hoarding, obviously, that like, Ken said perfectly. It's excessive collection and accumulation of older items. Why are some people hoarders? What drives people to be a hoarder?
You know what? I don't want to sound judgmental here, but I just think like it's a.. It has something to do a little bit with the psychology. It's like, you know.. Yeah. Cause this kind of reminds me of my grandmother. She collected many different items, which, you know, when I was a kid, I thought about it, like, why do we need all these for? It's just.. Maybe, like, a bad habit somehow?
You know, different kinds of clothes, even though they're already kind of torn a bit. But she has also had this other hobby of sewing and try to repair, you know, do some kind of, you know, mending. Or different kinds of dishes. I mean, plates.
I have a question to you.
So if we, you know, make parallels now between Russia and the Philippines. So did you have the situation when you wanted to use some of those dishes or plates and your grandma would say, No, that's for special day? We can't use it on a daily basis.
I am so happy you've mentioned that because actually she was exactly like that. And the funny thing is some of them are not even used, like totally. They're just there for display. Yeah. So that whenever we had guests, she could show off basically. Oh, we have some, you know, imported plates from Japan. Yeah.
Oh. So there were vintage plates from Japan. From the Japanese..
Yes. Right. Because my mom, you know.. Well, to this day, she still lives in Japan. And back then she would sent us, you know, some plates or even spoon and, you know, forks that were kinda not the ones that you would normally see in the Philippines. And there's just put some where some of them are really kept, whether totally hidden, and then the others are just for display. And then there was a time when I asked her, Can we use that? That looks so fancy. And then she said, No, it's just for display purposes.
So these plates are not going to be on your balcony. These are properly cherished.
Yeah. Do you have any similar things of plates in your family? Turkey. Do you have a family silverware?
No, I've never seen them collecting or displaying any kind of item in the house.
We were kind of living like minimalistic. As minimalistic as possible. So, yeah.
Yeah, it's a clean lifestyle ti live. We'll talk about that in a second. But what else do people store on balconies in Russia?
Well, I mean, all sorts of thing you can possibly imagine. I mean, it can be some broken things that you hope you'll fix one day, some instruments, stuff like that. But if we talk about hoarding in Russia, you know, I think.. It's a common thing. It's really a common. My mom is a real hoarder. You know, she keeps all those, you know, those dumb, stupid statuettes or souvenirs brought to her, you know, by people she doesn't even remember.
Like kinder egg surprises.
All stuff like that, yeah. You know, the fridge magnets and I sometimes like.. When did something like, Do you remember who you got it from? And she's like, Oh, well, it might be this person or that person. I'm like, Why do you keep all that? And she has a, you know, like a separate cupboard with like dozens of shelves just for this purpose of, you know, displaying all those souvenir plates and everything. So and I constantly ask her, like, What do you need it for? And last time I came to visit her, she said, Oh, you know what, there were some places, like the plates or things that got broken and I threw them away. I'm like, Oh my God, I'm going to mark this day right in my calendar and celebrate every year. We finally threw something away. And I think that the reason for that lies down in our Soviet history, because back in the day, it was hard to get hold of anything. You had to wait in lines. You have to hope that somebody might, you know, bring in from abroad. From abroad, you know.
Yeah. I remember watching.. Well, there was this series on YouTube discussing old Soviet history artifacts. And I remember people collected things like plastic cigaret.. So plastic cigaret bags with the Marlboro logo on it. And people would like sell..
O my Godh, are you serious?
Yeah, people would sell this thing.. These things. And it was be very prestigious to have these things back in the Soviet days.
That's interesting. So yeah, I think it just comes back, you know, to history. But speaking of plates and dishes and whatnot, it's a very common thing in Russia as well, you know, to house those plates, glasses, you name it, and never use them, you know, because it's for special occasion. You know, some people might take it out and use it for like New Years or something. And my family used to be the same. Like, you know, my family would take out these beautiful plates and everything for New Year and birthday celebrations. But later on, they realized, well, with through sad, you know, events, but that it's what is called the syndrome of postponed life. When you keep the best thing for the later, you know, you buy, you know, a beautiful outfit or something, a great sweater, and you think I'm going to wear it for different events, but then you never do. It gets old, it gets outdated or, you know, things like that. So and my mom finally realized that this syndrome of postpone life isn't doing her any, you know, any good. So she started to actually use those plates. So use those, you know, outfits, jewelry and so on and so forth. She still doesn't throw away most of the souvenir stuff, though, but I'm waiting. I'm hoping.
Well. I believe earlier there was a podcast about minimalism, like, quite a long time ago. Yeah, a long time ago, but I wasn't here. But let's quickly touch on that subject because it's quite relevant. Would you consider yourself to be a minimalist? Well, Ken?
Right now, yes. But I just want to go back a little bit to like, you know, hoarding although.
I'm not sure if I can qualify that as hoarding. Because well, as I've already mentioned, my grandmother, she used to collect many different things. Well, technically, she was a hoarder. And then partly I kinda, you know, got that habit because I remember when I used to have different beautiful notebooks. Yeah, Snoopy, Mickey Mouse again from Japan. Or it can be, you know, from somewhere else given by my aunt. So I just collected them. And then going back to the syndrome that, you know, Katya described earlier. So I was thinking, Okay, I'm not going to use them now because I'm going to use them later on for some kind of purpose. And whatever that purpose may be, it never occurred to me what it was. It is just.. I just wanted to collect them and I thought they were too beautiful to be use. And instead of using them to school, I used the ones that I bought from the Philippines, which were nothing special, you know, just ordinary, because I thought, Well, they're too nice. Like, I'll find an occasion, sort of, you know, to use those beautiful notebooks. But I never did. And to be honest with you, right now, I can't even remember where they are. I don't remember throwing them away, but then I don't even know where they are. So that's funny.
But going back to your question — minimalist. Yes, I am. Because, you know, I want.. If we talk about the flat, I want it to be simple, clean, you know, spacious, not with so many decorations or unnecessary things. Because, you know, let's face it, I live abroad, I don't own the flat. And even if I want to make it look fancy, I don't want to spend my money there knowing that I'm not going to own it at the end of the day. So the best approach is to be a minimalist.
Yeah, it's a very flexible thing. I definitely used to be a hardcore hoarder. And then I..
Oh, to what extent? Oh, tell us. Tell us.
I used to.. Yeah. My mother would definitely vouch for me on this. For sure. I used to just collect things. I used to.. I kind of wanted to have a studio. Do you know Paul Smith? Paul Smith, the famous fashion designer. Well, I read a book of his, and he had this artist's studio which had all these little figurines. And, yeah, like you said, with your mother, she collects all these souvenir things. And I wanted a studio like his. And unfortunately, it just got to the extent where I just had too much stuff and it was just.. Yeah, it was not very pleasant for my.. For my parents.
What sort of things did you collect?
All sorts of junk. All sorts of junk, like road signs..
Oh, road signs? Where did you get them?
Just on the side of the street..
Steeling? Well, technically.. Isn't that, you know, consider stealing if you find a road sign on the side of the street? Ohhh...
Or if it's discarded on the street, then maybe not.
That's so random, though. Like.. Who collects such things?
I mean, that was justone of many different things.
Oh, I mean, come on. People collect all sorts of things. Like some people collect empty coffee cups, you know, like the disposable ones, the pens, the ear, you name it. You can literally point at any object in this room and there will be people collecting it. Well, I have a story when.. I have a groupmate. We studied together at university and she was tutoring. So she came to one girl's place and she was like 15 years old or something. She was collecting chairs.
Chairs. She had like chairs stack, you know, on top of each other. So people collect all sorts of things.
Oh, yeah. Well, basically, I used to collect way too much stuff. And then I thought.. And then I went the complete opposite way. I'd say I'm now like a hardcore minimalist. Like, I really like to keep my lifestyle as clean as possible. As free from peripheral junk.
Does that mean that when you came to Russia and, you know, if you need to move or something, you can pack all your belongings in one single suitcase?
Yes, yes. But I just bought a computer so..
Like a PC. So that's the only thing that I .. to pack. But yeah, in theory, yes.
That's how I've been living for the last ten years. With one large suitcase or luggage.
So Ugur of course was in Thailand, Vietnam. Yeah. And when you were in those countries, did you collect any items?
Just for souvenir. My friends were asking, Alright, could you please buy that for us or keychain as you said, or a magnet or something.
But it wasn't that you collect it? You, kind of like, you know, they asked to bought for people. Yeah.
And would you say that having a minimalist lifestyle was, like, good for your head?
Yeah, I guess so. So you live as compact as possible, so you don't need to care much about what you need to carry with you and for your next destination. It's quite convenient to just pack up and just move.
I think it makes it so easy for you to, like, kind of move then. Oh, that's fantastic.
You know, attache to things.
I really envy you how you can keep just one suit.
Because I've been working on that. Well, as I've said, I consider myself a minimalist, but for some reason I feel like I still have more stuff, like that I have to let go. But.. Wow, one suitcase. Wow.
It's liberating, believe me. You don't need to think about the things that you owe, so..
And also, I remember many years ago, I lost my wallet in my room and I had so much junk in my room and I got so angry. I flipped the bed over looking for this wallet. And I just couldn't find it. And I just realized it, Alright, time to dejunk to declutter.
Yeah. Great word 'declutter' meaning to get rid of junk.
But I like also the word that he used. It's liberating.
So I am surrounded by three people who consider themselves minimalists. And I am not one. I am so far from being a minimalist. I love the idea, but at the same time I get so easily sentimentally attached to things like..
Yes, ... Sentimental attachment is..
Like, how could I possibly throw this away? This was a gift from my sister or my fiancee or something. And then, you know, we have a special box with my fiancee where we keep like all these, like all the little gifts, all the cards, all the letters, you know, all that sort of stuff. I'm like, No, I can't just throw it away. That has too much sentimental value.
Yeah. Exactly. That's one of the ..
Well, speaking of sentimental items, I used to, by the way, also collect them, because for me, they serve, you know, a certain memory in your life because you value the people around you. Well, especially when they're very important to you. Right? Letters, different kinds of gifts. In fact, they can be in the form of clothes, some kind of display. And it was so hard for me to let go of them. I remember when I had to leave the Philippines in 2013 to fly to Kazakhstan, I thought, Oh my God, what am I going to do with this? Like, it's like a sin to just throw them away. Because, remember, you know, these presents were given to you because you mean something to them. And it's like it was like a crime to me. But then I told myself, but I can take them with me to Kazakhstan. And, you know, at that time, of course, you know, I didn't own a flat, so there was no way I could keep them. So with a heavy heart, I said goodbye to them. But anyway, it's not the present or the gift that counts. It's the thought that is more important. So just to sort of appease myself, it's okay. I will remember all of this.
.. You can't just throw away.
Yeah. We'll definitely talk about that. But just one quick question. Why do people like vintage items? Is it just the sentimentality of it? What way does the word vintage have a positive connotation? Why do people associate vintage with positive things?
I think it also goes with the mentality that if you have something vintage, you're kind of cool because it's not.. It goes against what is popular or trendy at the moment. Yeah, so it gives a sense of like individuality, you know? You know what I mean?
Yeah, I guess so. It makes you different. It makes you stand out sometimes when you have like an outfit or something that people haven't seen, you know, something different, something you can't find in a store, especially now, you know, when the clothing items, they look the same. When you go to a shop, it's all the same.
It's eye catching to see something different, especially if we talk about, you know, clothes like everyone's wearing the same thing and then, Oh my God, that looks like from the eighties. How cool. Right?
Yeah. Why is it that we think this is cool? Just because it stands out or is it..? What is it that makes new things not so cool and..?
I think it can be different reasons. Standing out, being just one of them. Then..
Romanticizing, yeah. You know, there's actually a term which I do not remember the name of, of course, for this nostalgia about the times you never lived in. That's how people, you know, a lot of people feel about the nineties. They've never lived in the nineties, so like the eighties or whatever, they kind of feel nostalgic about them. So maybe this is the romanticizing of those times.
Yeah, it's true. I guess, would all of you agree if I said, Oh, I'd love to go back to the 2000. Would you like to go back to 2000?
Oh, no. I'm pretty.. I'm good. I'm good.
Everyone think has the associations with the nineties. Maybe not in Russia people..
But, I mean, at the same time, ten years from now, people won't have a good association with the 20s. So, you know. But, I don't know, I don't have this, you know, like feeling, like, Oh, I would love to go back to the eighties or the seventies or whatever. Each era, each decade has its own problems and everything. But now I can enjoy all the technology, like all the smartphones, the internet and everything. Like, I'm not ready to give it up, so..
Fair enough. Well, well, let's look at consumerism. So you mentioned consumerism. I think maybe we've talked a little bit about this in other podcasts as well. But let's start with the environmental consequences of consumerism. What those modern day consumerism do to the environment.
I guess the main thing is the amount of rubbish. Because, you know, let's face it, consumerism is all about this attitude of one thing to buy and possess, you know, things that are not very necessary. But then again, we live in a consumerist society. We want something new, something different. And so as we accumulate all of these items, whatever they are, they can create this huge amount of waste and that's not very helpful to the environment.
Yeah. And what actually happens to, to waste.. What in Russia? Where does the waste go? Does it go to China? Or does it to stay here?
It stays here. It's all horrible over here with the trash and everything. Because we don't have many recycling facilities and the ones that we do don't get enough funding. So they have to eventually close down. So it all accumulates and just basically does nothing. Well, some companies burn it, but then again, as the CO2 emissions, which is definitely not good for environment.
I think it's probably the other emissions that like the worse, like CO2 is one thing but let's like.. The plastic.
Talking about the, you know, the environmental, let's say,.
Impact or whatever of consumerism. So not many people know, but actually.. So we know that consumerism is directly associated with, let's say, fast fashion. So the companies and, you know, all those shops that we all know and love, lrt's say, like Zara, H&M, you name it. They produce enough clothing to actually issue new collection every single week. So it's 53 mini collections per year. Now, fast fashion companies, they need to produce cheap clothes and they need to do that fast. So and by doing that, they actually become third biggest pollutants in the world. Because they use cheap materials, toxic materials. So if you look at the surrounding areas on like Google Maps or anything in China, for example, they have toxic rivers. People are suffering and everything. So then we wear these clothes, you know, with this toxic dye or something and that kind of accumulates, so...
Oh, coming back to what you were saying previously about balconies and people wanting to repair things in the future, leaving things to repair at a later date. Would you say older items were made to last?
But I mean, think about it. Is it okay that I'm just chatting so much? Feel free to shut me up any moment, you know? But, you know, now the things don't last because of business. It all always comes down to money these days. So the companies are not interested in you having a laptop for 15 years. Who wants that? Who's going to bring them money?
Well, what's the longest time you've had a phone for or a computer for?
I guess average three years or something. For the smartphone. Yeah. That's, I guess the optimum life for, uh, a smartphone that you can use in a way.
And for laptop, it's longer than that. I guess five or something.
I actually feel really vintage. As we speak in front of me I have a laptop which is, which is from 2012.
Ten years old. And right now I have an iPhone 5.
And it's still working. It's still satisfied.
It's still working. Exactly. So hopefully these things will.. Definitely, my laptop was built to last. Definitely. But I do agree a lot of technology was built to..
I have an exampl, actually.
So, on average the modern washing machine lasts about like 5 years before it breaks down. Of course you can prepare it, but still. Now I have a friend and she got hold of an old washing machine. I think it was Bosch or something like that. So from her grandma and by the time she got it, the washing machine was 30 years old. Never been repaired. And then she had some problem with it and she called, you know, repairman and he said, you know what? That's because it's made of metal. So and most of the insides are made of metal, so and not plastic that we have now. And actually, the only thing that she had to fix in that exact washing machine was the rubber gasket. But the model and everything is still good to go. You know, it's still good. And the repairman said, you know what, when it breaks down, you just change one detail or you know that good to go for another 30 years.
I was looking at flats a few months ago with my girlfriend and we walked into this one flat and this old lady had this old Soviet fridge and it was still working. It was very loud.
But it was working. I couldn't believe that. Yeah. A fridge would still last all these years.
What's the shortest issue owned a device or something? Like if we talk about devices.
Oh, I mean, this some crappy devices. There's so many things.
Yeah. Definitely some headphones. Headphones. Oh, my God. The headphone cables always seem to break for some reason. What about you, Ken? What's the longest time you've owned a phone for?
That was my HTC Desire Eye, which I bought in 2014 when I was still in Kazakhstan. And then finally it gave way in the year 2021.
Yes. But I must say that in the latter years of its life, I hardly ever used it because then I already bought a new one. But then it was still functioning until one day when I tried to charge it, it just wouldn't. So I had to, you know, discharge or, you know, get rid of it.
But, well, nowadays, I prefer to buy phones every, let's say 2 to 3 years. Not because, you know, I want something, you know, fancy. No, it's just.. There are certain features that all phones don't have, which the new ones have. And so I got to have them. I got to keep up with the times. Yeah. So..
Yeah, I do agree. Definitely. I had a, I had this app, this flashcard app, which I use to, to learn Russian words and it really helped me. But then because I have my trusty old iPhone 5, unfortunately a lot of apps just don't work.
It's kind of crazy how these developers have excluded iPhone 5. I feel so marginalized as a result of this. But yeah. Well, what about you, Ugur? Any technology that you.. Or have not been satisfied with in terms of its life?
I guess the mobile phones are the, the biggest thing that you need to update, I guess, in every two or three years. So you need to keep up with all the apps and everything. That Ken said. So I guess computers and PCs and mobile phones, I guess the biggest, most important things that you need to update from time to time.
Oh, I'm sorry. I also have this camera. It's a digital camera. Samsung. It's kind of bulky. I bought it in 2015, but it still works. It has great quality.
No, not exactly. Just your average, you know, digital camera, but it works perfectly for this day.
Do you think governments should ban disposable crappy technology because of it creates so much waste? Do you think that this is something the government should do? Or do you think no, not at all? It's not the government's responsibility.
I just can't see how they can do that. You know, because people would still find, you know, ways to to use that, to find that. And then, you know, sometimes it's needed, maybe. So I don't.. I mean, look, they can't even handle the situation we have at the moment. How they, how can they handle something like disposable stuff.
I don't know. Like maybe they need to have some kind of regulation to the companies to make sure that, you know, the products, whatever they make can last longer. Although it sounds a bit authoritarian once the government, you know, gets in the way and tells companies it should be like this or like. That doesn't sound very democratic. But, um, I guess we need some kind of regulation because also on the part of the companies, by doing or producing such products, it encourages people to keep producing a lot of waste and encouraging people to buy more things that they don't really need.
What do you think about..? Well, plastics are the biggest problem, I'd say. Because plastics pollute well, oceans, etcetera. And yeah, that they actually have bad hormones or things that negatively influence your hormones. Do you think things..? Obviously plastics have quite important in the medical sphere and in like daily hygiene sphere, for instance, disposable razors, toothbrushes and stuff. Do you think we could have old school wooden toothbrushes?
No. I mean, look, we can even have the.. You know, nowadays companies, when they produce the packaging and everything, they always have the alternative of another sort of plastic, which is recyclable. Because, you know, there're like different sorts of plastic and everything. But most companies just go with the like packaging type seven, you know, which is non-recyclable because it's cheaper. And again, these days we live in a very money driven world, so it all comes down to money. They wouldn't be interested in that, in spending more money to produce something to last.
Or you can replace plastic with other products. I remember in Vietnam the disposable toothbrushes were made of bamboo.
You can still.. You can get them nowadays. Yeah.
Yeah. People were buying them instead of having the plastic ones.
So the bristles. Were the bristles.. What would the bristles made of? Was that ..?
Brush is not made with plastic too. It was kind of..
It was kind of plant based or something. Yeah.
So I remember that. And the taste was great.
Oh, yeah. I could definitely..
The taste what was great. So people were using that one.
You can buy some toothbrushes in Novosibirsk, actually.
'Cause I know in some Arab countries I believe people use a special type of stick and it actually works very well and they don't use toothpaste. I don't think. Yeah, well, actually, I stopped using plastic raises a long time ago. I actually use a cut throat razor. Do you know cut..
The metal one? Like old, old school one?
Yeah, but I started using a.. Well, literally last year. In April last year I bought. And when I started using It's like cutting my face.
It is dangerous. But now I got the hang of it and it's nice. Yeah. You feel like a man when you ..
When you use it, yeah. But that's a vintage thing. I got into that because of I must have seen some old film or something and I became so..
They actually promoted these days as a, as an eco friendly alternative to the plastic ones.
Yeah. And all you have to do is replace the metal, the metal razor, but you can actually sharpen the blade if you want to. That's a whole of art. It takes forever to learn how to sharpen a razor and you need a special rock for that. It is quite cool but it just takes a lot of time. Yeah. Could you ever use a cut throat razor, Ken?
Um, well, that's a very good question. I might. I might. So my doors are not totally shot.
We can always use an old school safety razor where you replace the blade. It doesn't have to be the cut throat razor. I mean, I just like the cut for razor because it looks cool, but it is dangerous.
Yeah, one wrong movement and you're screwed. Yeah. All right, so let's look at other items that were.. Well, we have older cars and more modern cars. Would you say the older cars were also built to last and modern cars are.. Kind of disposal.
I just sit back and relax listening to you, because..
All right. Ugur, so you've ridden mopeds, motorbikes. Would you say older ones are better than the new ones?
Older ones are kind of performing well when you compare with the new ones. But do you need to just visit the repair shop every other week to get them fixed. But the way you ride them is completely different and kind of cool when you compare with the new electric ones.
But they are consuming lots of gas and oil and everything, so it's not good for the environment.
And what repairs did you have to make to the older bikes? Was it more just..?
You need to just replace the chain. You need to replace the just igniting.
Yeah, the ignition. The spark plugs.
Spark plugs, yeah. You need to just replace them every other week or twice a month or something.
The older ones, yeah. Especially if you're riding a Honda Cub 500 CE. So, you need to do that. But if you're riding kind of an electric bike so hassle free, no problem.
Well, because I had a.. When I lived in Las Vegas, I had a..
Sorry, I just remember the story.
But I had a.. Oh, are you talking about the story where my car burn down?
No, no, no. When you were buying a car or you were selling the car to a guy and it like burned down or something. Yeah. Yeah. That's story.
Oh my God. Whoever hasn't heard this story find this podcast. I don't remember which one it was, but God look at the outlines or whatever, but you have to hear this story.
That's the thing that modern.. Well, I don't know, modern cars have too many electronic components inside it and it's just.. It causes such a headache whenever these components stop work, especially in a hot place like Las Vegas, where the hottest temperature I experience was, I think 48 degrees Celsius. Yeah, it was just another level. I mean, maybe not quite like do bikes, you have the humidity there. But anyway, the cars just, yeah, it really puts strain on the cars. And, to be honest, I would rather have like an old school Lada than, than have a..
Oh, you think that old school Lada would be better in the heat of Vegas? Right...
Maybe, I don't know, maybe the old Жигули, like simpler.
You do understand that there was no AC and no AC could possibly be installed at the row...
Well, that the thing is that when you have such high temperatures, it's actually sometimes have to turn off the AC because it puts too much strain on your engine. That's of course if you have an expensive car, which can..
Fuel consumption. Yeah, yeah.
Exactly. But I had to turn off the AC in my car because it really strained the engine. It was a Huynday Accent which in Russian is a Huynday Solaris and yeah. And also you would always have like problems with the electronics it just yeah. Happy to get rid of that car.
I have a feeling that, you know, remember we talked about romanticizing you know, the different.. I have a feeling that you're not romanticizing.
Yeah, missing the nineties in Russia. You know, with the Жигули and everything.
Everyone calls me crazy, for one thing, Жигули. But I'm hell bent set on getting a Жигули.
I mean, look, you know, it's always.. You know, what they say like, I live by the motto of my favorite writer, Terry Pratchett. 'Coming back to where you started is not the same as never living.' So trying Жигули and then selling it and never wanting to be in it again is not the same as always, you know, dreaming about it. So you should give it a go to get one.
It's for another podcast, but I want to get my Russian license and then.. But, yeah, there are so many cars on Avito, which is the Russian.. Well, in England we call it Gumtrees, the equivalent of gum tree, which is a forum whereby people post listings for use items that they want to sell or get rid of. And there are so many cool cars, so many cool old Russian cars that that I'm a kid in a candy store.
Wow. You like such things.
And they're cheap as well. You can find, like, a really cool old car for 40,000 rubles.
Yeah. Then you visit the.. Where do you take the.. Oh, what would you call this place where you take your car to be fixed?
Then you take this car to the repair shop once a week.
Well, are there cars produced in Turkey?
Yeah, we have kind of collaboration with Fiat, Italian Fiat and Renault from France.
And they're about to launch their new electric car, I guess, by the end of 2023.
So it's kind of a made in Turkey electric car. So yeah.
Cool. And, yeah, would you say cars that comes from there are of a higher quality?.
Yeah, but I would go for the old muscle cars instead of go for the new one or new technology.
Well, because of the quality or because of the sound..
The quality plus.. They sound cool, you know. You feel that you're driving your car, in a way, right? If you're riding a muscle or something like that..
I totally agree. I'd much rather have like an old..
Like, yeah, 67 Mustang or Camaro. Yeah.
Well, we can talk about cars forever. It's a really fun..
Please don't. Do it in a separate podcast.
And record a podcast in it.
Well, let's.. I'm sorry to have to leave cars. If you guys want to hear more about cars, please, write in the comments, we'd love to hear your suggestions. Anyway, so speaking about cars, let's move on to music. So collecting vinyls. Ken, did you ever listen to vinyls or cassettes?
Just cassettes. Vinyls it's perhaps my grandmother, but. But then again I don't think I've ever listened to one like that's being played. But cassettes, yes. By cassettes, I mean cassette tapes. And what's funny is if we're going to, you know, go down memory lane, I had to buy them quite often because sometimes they get entangled in the cassette player.
You put the pen and try to just..
Yeah, I know. Like, you know, if you want to do it manually instead of, you know, fast forward or..
Rewind. Oh my God, I had some horror stories from way from way back when. And it was just so frustrating sometimes because I had it, let's say, for about two weeks and then something happens and then I had to buy a new one. But then again it was okay because it's, you know, it was kind of cheap then. And so, yeah, it was no biggie. But then still kind of frustrating. Instead of buying the CD, of course.
Yes. Oh, good. Good phrase. No biggie. I love this phrase. It's a great one. It means no big deal. Just for the listeners. Yeah. Great phrase. It's, um. Would you say it's American? I'd say it's definitely American. Would you say it's a..? Yeah.
No biggie. No big deal. So. Yeah. Anyway, did you..? Would you ever collect cassettes? Is this something that you would do now or is that just to hipster?
When I was a kid, there were only cassettes instead of CDs, so we used to listen through the cassettes and my father had vinyl collection. I guess he's still keeping them in the storage.
With the turntable and everything. So I know both of them in a way. But right now, we don't need them.
Oh, do we all remember when DVDs first came out? I remember when DVDs first came out. It just felt like..
Yeah, from like another planet. Yeah.
It's funny you say that now, because, you know..
You show a CD player to modern kids. They're going to look at it like, What it is there.
And sometimes you would jump up and down and the CD would stop playing because.. Yeah, so, yeah. But why do people still collect vinyls? Why are vinyls particularly attractive?
I guess the quality is better than the digital sounds. Because you're manually putting it on the turntable and you just put on the pin on it so you can hear every detail that they record on it.
So maybe that's why people still collecting the vinyls.
Yeah. Oh, Katya, would you prefer vinyls or..?
Oh, see, I'm not, I don't listen to music much. Like I can turn on a song as something like play a song once a month or something. So I'm not the right person to talk about that, but I do see a tendency of people to collect the vinyl. So it kind of got popular again. I don't know why. Maybe it's again like with all the vintage things and everything, but I mean even the modern bands, they do..
Or collectors kind of edition kind of thing.
And I guess nostalgia has, you know, has something to do with it too.
Yeah. Well, in my early twenties, I collected loads of vinyls. It was such like a fun hobby.
Was that one of those items that you used to collect?
There were many things I used to collect. But yeah, in London there's a big culture of, well, reggae music. And you have, yeah, stores which are dedicated to selling reggae vinyls. Not that many stores, but we have a few.
And it's so cool when you go to these stores and flick through all the the collections of vinyls. And sure, it's expensive, but it's just a whole experience in and of itself. And it's almost like a source of meditation almost, whereas on a computer you just press play and you go, whereas you would really savor the track if you listen to it on vinyl. And also you can play around with it and make..
Yeah, exactly. But, yeah, I definitely love vinyls. What about cameras? I used to love old school film cameras.
I used to own one, actually, several of them. But the funny thing is, you never know how the picture looks like until it's, you know, I mean, what's the film is developed.
That's why you extra careful about taking a photo. Like, are you sure you're not blinking?
And wait for the flash. Yeah.
Well, I definitely prefer the quality of older, older photography.
You know, again, speaking about things that kind of got back, you know, and got popular again. You know, those like.. Was it Polaroid and everything? These cameras are so popular these days and so expensive as well. Like, I have a student who's a photographer and she decided to take a couple of pictures during the photo shoot on her old camera and everything. And she said to buy a film for like 30-36 pictures, I think it was, it's more than 2000 rubles now to buy this.
Yeah. And then you have to pay someone to develop it. So it's like, oh my God. It's like an expensive hobby these days.
I used to.. When I first came to Russia, when I was in Krasnodar, I had a film camera and I went to the develop.. I guess, yeah, the Photoshop to develop the, the film. And it was.. Back then it was okay. It was an okay price. It was something like 300 rubles. Actually, maybe, no, no, no, no. 300 rubles now is about 900 rubles in today's money. I guess you could say. So, yeah, it was quite expensive I guess, but it was such a fun hobby.
But you know what. Since people back then had only such type of cameras, they had to develop the films, they had to print the photos. So you had some sort of memories that could last. Of course, that kind of ... you would have tons of photo albums that you have no idea what to do with. So, you know, I'm kind of in between minds. What is better to have those albums, physical albums, you can live through, look at the photos and everything or to have everything digital. But again, you know, it's not trustworthy. Nobody can guarantee that your hard drive or anything won't crash and you will lose all the photos. So it's kind of like, you know, safety..
Physical copy versus digital.
But kind of taking space.
My dad takes his time to really make beautiful old school photo albums and at home we have.. Oh, yeah, back in London at home we have a lot of, we have a collection of old photo albums and it's really, it's really special. You flip through these albums and you take your time, whereas yeah, now a lot of people just keep everything on their phone or ..
You see, as much as I like, well, I liked, you know, film cameras, but then somehow I have a feeling of kind of like regret. Because I, we had lots of photos, but then we don't have the films anymore, so there's no way to reproduce them except to take a photo of the photo, if you know what I mean, and then upload them to your social media accounts, which I do from time to time. It's kind of like sharing my, you know, childhood memories, right?
Well, that's nice, though. I actually try to digitize most of the photos, at least of our family. Yeah, just to keep them somewhere.
I don't know, that's why I feel like, you know, children today are so lucky because there is more.. I mean, it's highly likely for them to be able to keep their photos now for a long time because, you know, you can store them in, in clouds or whatever other, you know, means to save them, unlike with, you know, film cameras and films. You got to have the copy of the film. Otherwise there's no way of reproducing.
But then again, you can't just depend fully on an iCloud or some other device. I mean, I remember in 2017, I had a big three week trip around the West Coast of America. Different, like, well, five states, different cities. Loved it. But I stored all my photos on my phone. And at that moment, I didn't, you know, make any sort of like..
Backup, yeah, on the cloud. I lost everything when my phone just crashed.
I tried to get back. No, I lost all the numbers, the messages, the photos. And I was so sad about the photos. I only try.. Well, I kind of went through the different chats and everything. Where I sent my friends the photos. I'm like, Okay, I have at least 15 photos from those three weeks of traveling. Like, Oh, my God, I was so sad.
Advantages and disadvantages of digital versus old school. Well, I was also going to speak about clothes, so second hand clothes. I used to love buying second hand clothes. And to be honest, I still occasionally do if I find..
It's fine. But in Russia, a lot of people have negative attitudes, too.
Yeah. Do you want to explain that why..?
Well, I think that's mostly connected with the fact that earlier in the second hand shops, you used to have really old, ugly and horrible quality of clothes. It's usually, you know, you would just hope that you would have like lice or something in it. So I think that's why. So whereas now we have several vintage stores in Novosibirsk and you can find really cool clothes there.
Yeah, I've seen a few. Yeah, this was a second.. Секондхэнд.
There's also one not far from here, which is called Gusto. They don't have much of male clothing, but still you can find so many cool things.
That's one thing I've realized. I went to the second hand shop and it was so many female clothes and almost no..
Yeah, well, actually, they, you know, they usually say like, Oh, you know, we.. Well, I think that all that it all comes down to the fact that.. I mean, look, a lot of women are shopaholics. Like, let's face it, how often do you buy new clothes and why? Usually, you know, at least I can see the examples of my male friends and, you know, my dad, they buy things when something's wrong with the old one. It's got a tear that is, you know, that you can't mend any more and everything. But they would never just, Oh, you know what? I'm tired of this thing. I'm just going to.. No, they buy things and, like, wear them for years and years and years. Whereas we girls, you know, we tend to be a little bit...
Speaking of which, just to prove that, right. I have this shirt which I've been wearing since 2014. It's the year 2022 now and it's still with me. And I'm just waiting for it to be totally, you know, torn for me to buy a new one.
And then actually about this vintage and second hand shop that I'm talking about in Novosibirsk. Whenever they get hold of lots of male clothing, they don't sell them, they give them, you know, to charity.
Yeah, because there are so many people who need that.
Were the vintage shops in Vietnam and Thailand or is it not really a thing there?
Turkey. We have lots of in Istanbul, but mostly like retrospective kind of an era.. Like seventies clothing or eighties clothing. It's not kind of a secondhand, but a specific.. If people want to wear kind of specific era's clothing or the fashion, they just go there and buy it.
It's quite.. Because in London or in England we have many, many charity shops.
And it's an almost on every major street you'll see at least one or two chairity shops.
I have such a good, you know, memory connected with London and.. Going to Camden market, you know..
Oh God, I love this place. It's like a mecca for all the quirky people and everything. And I remember going to a secondhand shop over there and I found two sweatshirts and one of them was like, Christmas, the whole Christmas. It was like bright red with all those decorations. I fell in love immediately, bought it for like £10. Still with me. The sleeves are kind of short right now, but I don't care. It's just so sweet. And it was.. It was in 2013. So nine years. Still wearing it.
Yeah. Well, in England there's a lot of people buy used clothes and there's not really that much stigma. I mean, maybe someone's grandma died and..
I mean, you wouldn't know if anybody died, you know, if that's dead persone's clothes. So how would you know? Nobody's going to know.
Yeah. In America, too, there are lots of charity shops and you can find some really good deals and a lot of people actually have a business on eBay flipping clothes. Flip. What I mean by flipping clothes means by buying some old items and selling the items at a higher price. So a lot of people have eBay flipping businesses where they, yeah, go to charity shops on discount days and..
Oh yeah. Isn't that what the main character in Breaking Bad was doing? Just buying things and then selling them on eBay.
Yeah. Exactly. Was it Jesse?
That was the wife of the main character who was sick. I don't remember. Yeah, his wife was doing that.
I don't remember her name right now. What was it?
But yeah. But you know, in America, there are so many vintage stores, you know, and..
In America they call them thrift store.
And actually, yeah, they use it a lot as a verb, like, let's go thrifting. Like, Do you want to go thrift?
And I know one thrift store in Boston area and, you know, they have, you know, like clothes, you know, on rails and everything. But they have one room and in there is just a huge pile of clothes. And if you buy anything from there, it's like 2 or $3 per pound of clothes. So they weigh the clothing and then you buy. You buy per weight.
Yeah, I have heard of that, actually. Well, just interesting. Well..
It's like a treasure hunt.
'Cause you said.. Yeah, it's a verb 'to thrift'. It's a regular, I guess, it's a regular verb. I have.. I have thrifted. Yeah, many times. Okay. All right. So, yeah, regular verb 'thrift'. All right. So what else can you buy in secondhand shops usually? What did you notice in the UK from secondhand shops?
Oh, you can buy absolutely anything, like.. But I think the.. It's usually all the same things like no matter what country you're in, it's clothing, shoes, accessories, bags, you know stuff like that.
Well yeah. Well I noticed in the UK you can buy books. Loads of secondhand books.
Oh, oh my God. Oh my God, America, love America. God bless America and everything. And the thrift stores. Why? Gowell. Clothes sometimes are horrible. You need to actually hunt for good clothing but books. I remember coming to Gowill just because I had like do like a half an hour to kill and everything. I noticed several books of Nabokov and just, you know, I was working in a department which was founded by him. So it's kind of like our founding father and I saw these books, hardcover looked absolutely new for like $1 a piece. I'm like, Oh, you're coming home with me. And then board games for like 3, $4. And I'm in America.. I haven't.. Well, actually, that's a thing in Novosibirsk now, too. I used to buy a lot of like dishes or like baking sheets, stuff like that, because if you buy new, it's kind of expensive, like $30 for a baking sheet?
Cooking items. Yeah, exactly. Cooking items. Yeah. Would people in Russia buy used cooking items?
I don't think you can buy that used. Because, you know, we will.. We were brought up by our Soviet moms and grandmothers. You would never throw that away. My mom has had like baking things and like cooking items for 20, 30 years. We recently were making waffles on a waffle maker, which is from 1987.
Just perfect. So, but if you go to a vintage store over here in Novosibirsk, you can find some dishes over there, mostly like, you know, for the salads, stuff like that. So but not many people just take them there. That's the problem. Yeah.
Gowell is a great, great shop. When I was in Vegas I remember I bought some golf clubs there and.. Mainly for protection but.. Also to play.
Sums up all you need to know about Vegas.
But also to play golf with. But it was amazing. Only $3 for a proper driver. For those of you.. Do you know who a driver is? It's the.. It's like the club that you use, the golf club that you use to hit the ball as far as possible. And then you have ... , which at the mid-range clubs.
No golf players over here.
I can't really play golf in Russia. It is too cold for it. But in America people love golf.
They have these things called driving ranges, which obviously don't drive your car there, but you hit golf balls as hard as you can. It's really fun, actually. And sometimes you have a guy who drives around in a little golf car. Collects the balls, and sometimes you try to hit the car.
Yeah, but the car has like an iron cage around it. Because it knows that everyone's going to try it. Yeah. All right, well, let's finish off by by naming one vintage item of personal significance in your family. So you've mentioned plates before.
I was going to say my personal item would be.. My parents bought this old fan. This old fan. It's like a really heavy iron fan. I think it's called a Stiffkey fan. Stiffkey is a village, I think somewhere in England and it's so heavy, it's so cool. I think it's from the twenties or maybe even, even earlier.
Yeah, it's really old and it's like heavy, I think iron. And there's a brass fan and the brass fan blades. And you have to be so careful with this fan, because if you put your finger on it, it's not like the plastic fans where If you want to play..
Say goodbye to your finger.
You will say goodbye to your finger. It's amazing, but it's beautiful. So that's my vintage item. Do you have a particular item?
I don't have, but my mom, she's still keeping her grandmother's ring.
So, yeah, it's kind of like 90-95 years, kind of tarditional.
So grandmother to her mother, her mother to mom. So, yeah, she's keeping that kind of a vintage item. Yeah.
You know, that's interesting. I'm just trying to think about any sort of item that has been passed through generations. We don't have anything like that. But if I think about my parents, let me think. I think that waffle maker from 1987 might have.. I mean, it works so well. I'm definitely going to like, you know, take it if they don't need it anymore. And yeah, I think that's it. I think that's it. I mean, we got a lot of stuff from, from my dad who passed away last year. So like, you know, in the garage and everything, we just don't know what to do with that. So I'm like, Okay, I guess it just stays with us, you know? But yeah. So the waffle maker. It is the waffle maker.
I would say apart from the platess. It's a Zinger sewing machine. From way way back. From the eighties, I guess, or even late seventies.
They are really good quality, yeah?
With the pedal. I must say though that even though it's still around, it's in my aunt's house. But they don't use it, but they keep it for nostalgic, you know, reasons because, you know, it was used by my grandmother. And I remember growing up whenever a shirt needs to be mended, my grandmother would use that. So it's still there for that purpose.
Oh, you know, what? When nostalgia wears off, you can kind of sell it for a good money.
All right. Well, thank you very much, guys. So we want to hear your comments. We want to hear suggestions. If there's a particular part of this podcast that was interesting to you and you want to hear more about it, do you let us know or if you have any questions about any of the words or idioms or anything we said, do let us know. And make sure to subscribe to us on our various social media platforms, including VK, Telegram and Apple Podcast, and also visit our website www.BiAppleSchool.com where you can find some other interesting podcasts like this one and you can find articles and more information about the courses that we offer. So that's it for today, guys. Thank you very much. And we'll see you next time.