Hello-hello-hello 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 and of course learn something new. My name’s Katya, I’m your host, and today with me…
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The premiere brought podcast of all podcasts.
Wow, that’s very ambitious.
We’re gonna take on Joe Rogan.
Wimp puke. Right yes. Wait until Joe hears about that. Right, yes.
Right. He’s like oh no, competition. How can I handle it? Well but the way we’re gonna do it is we’re gonna talk about transport. But wait! Haven’t we already?
Because I can’t get enough of transport.
That’s actually the only reason why we’re doing it. So but let’s remember the last episode, last time that we talked about transport. So can you tell us what exactly we talked about. Gary, that’s another memory check over here.
Right, yes. Alright, okay.
So what did we discuss last time?
Well I think… It was also about transportation but I think it ended up being about automobiles mostly.
Yeah, we ended up talking about that, cars and driver’s licenses and…
Yeah and then only at the end the podcast we were like oh yeah right there are other types of transport, let’s talk about planes. Yeah, I think we talked about cars mainly. So that’s why today we can…
Another test. That’s two tests.
Two aces. Two straight A’s so far.
I’m gonna check next time, you know, when we have a podcast together.
Okay. I’m just gonna remember it this way maybe.
So dear listeners, you know, feel free to send comments and you know, in a comment section asking Gary different questions about the past, we’re checking his memory. Making sure he’s okay. So yeah. And since we spoke about mainly cars last time, let’s talk more about planes today and other types of transport that we didn’t even mention last time. So and I think Benjamin over here is a huge fan of aviation.
Yeah, I can’t get enough of planes. It’s, yeah.
Okay. And I… Can I interrupt here before we even start? I wanna know where does your interest in this subject come from? How did that…
I’ve always been really lucky. As a kid I grew up in Brazil and I flew a lot when I was younger.
Where were you flying from?
Flying… Places, for instance, from Sao Paulo to London, sometimes the states. So I was really lucky, I got to go on a lot of planes when I was younger. And I still fly occasionally. And I’ve just always been fascinated with flying and the mechanics of such huge machines. They just fascinated me.
I love aviation too but mostly for the reason that some family members were in aviation. So I have an uncle who used to be a flight attendant first for like 15 years.
And he used to show us all the things he brought from other countries, and, you know, growing up in Yakutia you were shocked about, you know, the very idea of there being other countries, you know. You live on a stranded island basically, cut from the world with the trees and taiga and whatever.
Which airline did he fly for?
Yakutia, yeah I know. So he flew on the Boeing 737 I believe.
I’m such a nerd. Yeah I know… Yakutia… I believe they used to have the old Tupolevs as well.
But then Russia outlawed them I believe.
I believe they’re still only used for the military purposes, but previously they were more civil aviation.
Oh tell me. Can you remember which one?
No, I can’t. Yeah not to that degree. I’m sure I’ve flown on them, yeah, the TUs and IL-s. That was what used to fly, that was… I mean that was before, Boeings were kind of a new thing in the 90s.
Yeah. And then some of my family worked at the airport but now flying. My dad worked at the airport his whole life for 30 years.
But he was… How do you call people who just like, you know, load the plane and then take the cargo off…
So was he a load master or was he… he was a baggage assistant?
Baggage handlers, yeah. We say baggage handlers.
But what if it’s not baggage?
I guess you would say a load master maybe.
A load aster. I love the word.
Load master, that sounds wonderful, yeah.
Yeah. Cause they didn’t normally…
That sounds positively Russian.
Cause they didn’t only deal with the luggage itself, but sometimes they would, you know, have to load different devices, furniture, horses.
Once they had, you know, they had to take a horse off the plane. And they were in big boxes and the thing is that, you know, the moment you put the you know, you try to hold, you know, this cage maybe. And the horse tried to kick the hands, so it was very dangerous. But yeah, we heard a lot of stories. And since he spent his whole life, you know, working with planes, so inside the planes…
They call, in general, everybody that’s working, they call it ground crew.
Ground crew, okay. Being… Cause he was also a driver, and being the ground crew, first it affected his hearing at some point, cause you can imagine, you work with the engine on. And yeah, because of that he knew all the, you know, the makes of the plane, the types of them. So and Yakutsk is a small town, so whenever there’s a plane flying, you can see it pretty well and you can hear it.
Cause it’s a tiny town. This is what I miss here actually. So and we would be having, you know, dinner and there would be a plane flying. He would just look out of the window and he was like Boeing 747 to Moscow, a little bit late today, but okay.
That’s cool. That’s cool.
Yeah. So that’s why I got to love the planes. I was like how can you remember all these things. And sometimes he would say Горбатый полетел. And you know the humpback is flying. I’m like what does that mean? And he explained it to me that, you know, the plane had, you know, like, it looked as if it had a humpback.
So yeah. So can you tell us a little bit about the history of aviation? Do you know how it all started? I mean…
Well technically the people who kicked it all off were these two brothers called the Wrights brothers. And maybe Gary you might know a little something about this.
Maybe you might know them. Do you remember meeting them?
Wilbur and Orville. Uncle Wilbur we called him and…
Well it was back in 1904. So it was a long time ago. Maybe…
Like I said I was very young. I didn’t say I was old at the time, I was…
Right, in my 20s, yes. To my prime.
This is debate as to whether… Well actually it took off in Kitty Hawk in North Carolina. But weren’t they from Ohio?
They were, they were from Dayton, Ohio. Which is where there is a big air force base.
That’s where you know them cause you grew up in Ohio.
We would go down in the horse and buggy to visit Uncle Wilburn and Orville.
I believe there were many pioneers attempting to make the first flight and the Wright brothers were not particularly… They weren’t physicists, so I don’t think they were physicists. They were bicycle mechanics.
Right, as opposed to physicists.
Okay, that puts… I wouldn’t trust them then, you know.
Yeah and they put all these physicists…
So but, but the plane that they made, it didn’t look like the planes we know now, right? So it was not the one that you can go inside and sit in a nice chair. What was it like?
Well to explain it in easy words, it was just a double decker wing kind of aircraft if you understand what I mean. There were two sets of wings.
Above each other. And the flight only lasted for something like 12 seconds but it was still pretty cool.
How far was it? Was it like 100 yards?
Yeah it wasn’t particularly far, but it was enough to capture the world’s attention obviously.
Well they were tinkers, you know, 19th century, it was into the 20th was when people would just tinker, somebody who works with their hands, makes tools and makes new mechanisms. That’s what they were, and it would be a pretty amazing thing.
So how did it develop from there?
Well from there I guess the American military must’ve caught onto it somehow.
We have a flying thing, woohoo. So it all started in the US then.
And France. I mean, people of course tried to make it happen. It’s not like it was just the Wright brothers. Of course they’re called the Fathers of aviation, but they, yeah, they were the first two to get the things going. And then from there obviously the military took over and then I believe in World War I aircraft, so WWI, so before the 1920s… What was it? 1914-1918.
Yeah they were active in… There were aces, you know, there were dog fights, fights in the air.
But it was mostly, you know, planes with limited capacity, for like 1-2 people, not cargo planes that we can imagine.
That was in the 30s I believe to be happening.
And if I’m not mistaken, some time after that, like several decades after that, there was a zeppelin, there were zeppelins, so do you know anything about that?
Yeah they were kind of a… Full of gas.
Yeah they were functioning on hydrogen I think?
Yeah. Well so it flew from the Nazi Germany to the States I believe.
I think they did that, yeah.
Yeah, it was cross-Atlantic.
You know, they were capable. And they were quite luxurious, they were supposed to be maybe the future of aviation. But then they weren’t. Because the hydrogen gas is very explosive.
Yeah I know that, you know, they… Well people had a lot of hopes about them, they thought oh, they can fly further than the planes they had at the time. So and they can carry more people and more cargo, so, you know, they had a lot of hopes about that. But I think it was all over after the 1930s, the catastrophe with…
Disaster, yeah. I mean it was so spectacular, there were photographs, it was a live radio. There’s a famous radio clip of…
Yeah, because it was an event, you know, the Zeppelin’s coming in, and going to land, and just sort of preparing to just to have a big celebration. And the thing goes up in these horrible flames. And the guy, you know, the broadcasters were like weeping and just, you know, totally emotions in his voice. Cause he can’t believe what’s happening.
Oh I wouldn’t want to, I wouldn’t want to…
It’s like watching the Challenger, you know.
Oh that would be very tough to hear, yeah.
And you know when you have a thing like that happen you’re not going to… I forget who was on that, and that was probably notable people.
Well yeah, cause you know, it must’ve been really expensive, so not really available to the mere folks, so simple people. But yeah.
Right, not simple people.
And did everyone die in the catastrophe?
Oh absolutely. Everyone died.
Yeah it was a huge flame, it was a huge fireball, it was… There is no way people could survive that.
I think there’s one thing that, you know, put fear into people’s minds, you know.
In general, you know, a lot of people are afraid of flying, especially, you know, after seeing all the videos about catastrophes. Even though technically airplanes are the safest transport.
But let’s say my best friend, she has a phobia, she’s terrified of flying. So every single time she has to fly, she’s like promise that if I die, you’ll bring my dog back to Russia. I’m like you’re not gonna die. Promise me! Okay, okay, I promise that should anything happen, I’ll take care of your dog. So yeah, she has to take some kind of like you know, the pills or something like that. Prescribed by the doctor, so.
So she would just take like a lot of valium before the plane.
Well I’m not sure what exactly she takes, but… But whatever it is, it is prescribed by a doctor, so totally legal!
Right, this is the family podcast.
Right. Not recommending illegal…
On handling a flight yeah.
But yeah, yeah. So can you remember any of the big plane crashes?
Oh there were loads. I mean, where should we start with? I mean, there were so many. I mean, obviously, I believe at any moment there are thousands of planes in the sky at any given moment, so obviously there has been a decline, given the whole covid situation.
But nonetheless, there are still thousands of planes in the sky as we speak. So but every day or… Well not every day, but every few days there is at least an incident. Not necessarily whereby people die. But…
Yeah, I think people rarely die. I think, it may only be in the states, but I think they went a whole year with no accidents.
I mean it’s really dependable. I don’t think that was global, but…
Yeah they say that in general when there is an accident it’s like 90% of surviving. Like 90% chance of surviving it. Unless it’s like a huge catastrophe when the airplane let’s say falls into the ocean. Then… Yeah.
Well, speaking of it. So, here is an example of a huge aviation incident. There was a flight between… It was an Air France flight between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Paris.
I think it was 2014. Maybe I’m wrong.
Okay. So not too long ago.
Not too long ago, and it was a very advanced, it was an Airbus A330, so that’s a very advanced aircraft and I believe… It’s kinda hard to explain, I don’t wanna use really technical words that nobody is gonna need, but the first officer, well, the co-pilot, he was left in charge of the plane.
I believe the pilot went for a nap or something and it was the dark of night and they were flying over the Atlantic ocean. And for some reason the first officer had not been monitoring the altitude and before it was… Before he realized it was too late and he just, yeah, they collided to the ocean.
Somehow he disengaged the autopilot. And the plane just gradually drifted down and it was nighttime, so he had no visual reference of the ground. And it was… The plane just hit the ground.
It’s that that they overrode the, you know, so much of the actual aviation that it’s automatic now, it’s computerized. Where the pilots are only really involved at landing and…
Which is why it’s so dependable, the machines are better than the people.
Yeah by accident or something. I mean it happened in Russia too, there was a flight between I believe it was Moscow and Hong Kong. And this was a older airbus, it was A310. If anyone knows what that is.
I know what that is. I used to fly on those from Yakutsk to Novosibirsk.
Oh cool. Cool. I think S7 had them or something.
But anyway, the captain allowed his son into the cockpit, it’s okay. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but he… So the captain, okay, so in cockpits you have the autopilot.
So it’s like a dashboard whereby you can choose the headings. So the heading’s the direction you’re going in. And he allowed the child… So the plane was flying on autopilot because he wanted to let his son have the impression that he was controlling the plane.
So he allowed his son to sit in his seat and the son took control of the yoke. The yoke is like the steering wheel. And he changed the heading setting and said turn the plane right. So he thought it was turning right. No problem, it was all okay. But what the pilot didn’t realize was because…
I believe he was new to that aircraft, I can’t remember. Was that if you hold the yoke in a position for a certain amount of time, the autopilot disengages without an alarm. And the kid… He thought the plane was just turning, but then all of a sudden the plane reached what’s called bank angle.
Bank angle is like the maximum angle that a plane can turn at. And then before they knew it the G forces were getting too big, so the pilot couldn’t return to his seat. And the co-pilot managed to get the plane out of a crazy dive, but then he just lost control and they crashed into the ground.
No, no one survived. I mean at least like the crash would’ve been instant and everyone would’ve died immediately. But it would’ve been terrifying to go down.
I remember, speaking of airbus A310, I remember in 2006 there was an air crash. At that time S7 was called Сибирь, so they had a different name. There was a horrible air crash, you know, involving that airbus. And everyone was shocked at the time, cause it was the first I think big air crash that people were talking about.
So and about 1.5 months later, my family, you know, my family and I we had to fly the same airline, same type of airbus. I was just sitting and was like, you know, like okay, okay, everything’s gonna be fine, everything’s gonna be fine. We’re gonna be fine. But still, you know, it was really stressful flight.
I mean, it’s a very safe aircraft, it really is.
In general, in general planes are really safe.
Yeah they’re extremely safe.
And we remember about air crashes but we don’t take into account how many dozens of thousands of flights have safely come back, you know, or reached their destination.
I heard something really funny that you’re more likely to die in your living room chair being kicked to death by a donkey than you are…
I thought you’re gonna say…. Cause usually people, you know, use an argument saying you are morel likely to die on your way to the airport than on a plane.
I’m sure that’s true, that’s absolutely true.
I remember I asked my uncle, like, aren’t you afraid of flying? And he’s like well there’s not a single plane that hasn’t come back to the earth. Like, well you’re not wrong.
So but do you happen to know, when there is an air crash, so usually people who investigate the crash later, they use the information, the data from the black box. So do you know anything about the black box? So what is it? How does it function?
Well black boxes are constructed out of really durable material, so that they can survive crashes. Although they don’t always survive crashes. And every major airliner has to have a black box. Yeah, it’s usually stored somewhere…
Which is how they know what happened with the kid being in the cockpit and the copilot.
Cause it records everything that is happening in the cockpit, it has data about every single process on the plane.
Yeah so you’ve got the data recorder and the voice recorder. They’re two separate boxes, but they’re in the same place. And usually when there is a crash, if the data box is not… Well if the box has not been completely destroyed, they make the signal for like usually 30 days whereby an emergency squad can retrieve the box.
But 30 days isn’t forever. So sometimes if a plane goes down in the ocean, you can’t exactly just go and find the black box.
I remember what surprised me about them is that they’re not black and they’re not boxes!
It’s all a lie! Cause they’re round and they’re what? Red, bright red? So that they’re easy to spot.
There was a cool episode actually… Yes, I am going to tell here about another podcast, but there is a podcast called Stuff You Should Know, it’s two men that explain how things work. For example, how radio works. And they had an episode on how black boxes work.
Well, there are, you know, some technical terms, but they try to explain it in as simple words as they can. So yeah. I remember I was listening to that episode, I was like what? They’re round and red, and after that I googled and I’m like! They are round and red!
Right, how dare they! Yes. Right.
All a lie! So and speaking of flights, Ben, you’ve travelled a lot. Gary, you’ve had plenty of cross Atlantic flights. So how do you deal with these long-haul flights? I mean cause it’s okay to let’s say have a 2-3 hour flight. But what about those long 9-10-11 hour flights? How do you del with them?
00:23:23 G: How long was your flight from Rio to…
I mean it was pretty long, it was, Sao Paulo to London is about 11.5 hours.
Yeah in the air. It’s pretty long. But there are longer flights out there, you have Singapore to New York which is 19 hours.
Oh god! Wait do they have enough fuel and it’s like a nonstop flight?
Yeah it’s a nonstop flight. It only happens… They only started recently… It uses an Airbus A350, so it’s not a big double-decker one, but it’s a really long distance…
Cause I thought that it’s not possible to have such long flights cause you would need too much fuel with you and like it’s…
Singapore to New York, longest flights I believe in the world.
I hope I will never have to take this of course, because 19 hours, no thank you.
It’s one thing if you’re in business class, that’s okay. But If you’re in economy class, then you have to…
I don’t know, I think in general you know, that’s not something I would like to experience in one go.
Yeah, that’s pretty long.
Oh we discussed this word not long ago.
Wait wait wait, so Gary you do know the word schlep.
I do know the word schlep.
Oh cool, so you see, it’s not completely…
I still like the way it sounds.
Schlep is mainly a verb, you schlep something.
I remember you told us it’s form Yiddish, right?
I guess it is. Of course it is, yeah, of course it is.
Yeah, you schlep something, you know, like if you’re dragging something up the stairs, right. Schlepped it.
Wait, so what was your longest flight?
It probably would be that one, yeah.
That’s always the same. I think it’s basically 9 hours from Moscow to New York.
The longest one I’ve been is 11 hours.
I wonder how long the one from Moscow to Los Angeles is. I guess that is…
I don’t think there is one…
14-14.5 hours I would guess. Cause it wouldn’t go…
It would be much longer than that, cause it’s got… If it’s 11 hours to New York, it’s 3000 miles across.
Ah, but, it doesn’t go from that side, it’ll go through Asia. So across Russia and then there. It’ll go the opposite.
Okay. Yeah. I had to do the math on that, I just by time…
I think it’s around 14-15 hours then.
Yeah cause I remember being at LAX and seeing an Aeroflot there. LAX is the Los Angeles airport.
Right, yes. It’s pretty painful.
I bet it wouldn’t be… I don’t know would there be more air miles. Would there be more air miles than Moscow to New York?
Okay, we’re gonna check this out after the podcast, cause…
Cause Los Angele is more south as well, but… Cause…
Wait, the Pacific ocean’s huge.
Perhaps… We’d go over the…
GMT -8 I think it is. -8, yeah.
15. So 15? That would make something like…
But also I just don’t think it can be anything like 16-17 or 18 because I don’t think there are planes that can fly that long in Aeroflot. So that we have.
And this long flight which is 19 hours, I think it’s more of an exception. So because on average the longest flights tend to be like 14-15 hours.
Yeah. At that it might be like 14-15 hours to LA.
Okay, 11, 11, 11.5. So how do you deal with that? 11 hours.
Well try not to sit in the middle seat.
Yeah, try to sit on an aisle seat or a window seat.
Which one are you? Which one do you prefer?
I actually like.. Well to be honest, I love looking out of the window.
I’m only a window seat. I always buy, like, I don’t’ care about that, I will always pay extra, but I will buy, you know, a window seat.
Is there a particular reason or so you just like looking out of the window?
I don’t care about the window and about… I mean I like looking out of it, but usually I have my pillow with me, so I just lean on the wall. So and then I can sleep, you know, for a longer time. Cause if it’s aisle, I can’t really stretch my legs, cause then they will be in the, you know, in the way.
I just do that. But I gotta be on the aisle cause I like room and everything else. Pretty painful.
The word aisle is so, it’s actually really funny. Cause I remember explaining someone…
Yeah, how is that spelled. Spelled like it sounds.
said что такое проход на английском? And I said aisle. But he was like isn’t that…
Speaking of, you know, leg room. So long haul flights are the only flights where I’m ready to pay extra for the extra leg room and a window seat. Cause otherwise I’m like oh no.
I don’t pay extra. Just period. Right, yes. Torture me. Give me the best price.
11 hours. No. I have a whole, you know, set of rules maybe, so a lot of things that help me make these 11 hours really comfortable more or less. Cause I always have, you know, like a bottle of water, a moisturizer, cause the air is so dry. Cause it’s basically, what, it circulates, you know, in the airplane.
There’s no fresh air. So then to relieve this, you know, foot swelling, cause I once made a mistake of having really tight sneakers, god, that was so painful. I had to just take them off, I was like oh my god, my feet. So I always make sure to have those, you know, warm loose, loose warm socks with me. So I take off my shoes, put on these socks. I’m like okay, comfort.
Okay. And off to the restroom.
No! Well of course not! I wouldn’t go to the restroom wearing my socks! Oh god, Gary! Why would you even suggest that?
Time to go to the restroom.
So you just dress and undress for each trip.
Well yeah, I mean 11 hours is like what? 3 trips to the bathroom.
So I mean what is the etiquette with socks on planes? Do people take off their shoes on planes? In your opinion, what is the correct thing to do?
Okay, I was once flying with some people who took off their shoes and I had a feeling that they hadn’t washed their feet for like 2 months. So I think in this case it would be a bad thing to do, so let’s say when I put on my socks, you know, I have shoes that are, you know, aired. So I’m pretty sure, you know, I don’t add to the aroma.
So considerate. Such a model flyer. Yes.
I’m not even going to deny that, yes.
Okay. She takes the praise graciously.
I mean what else? Something to pass the time of course. You know, like a book or something like that, cause if it’s a day flight, can’t really sleep. So and… I mean cause it’s not only about the flight itself, so let’s say I usually travel with a pillow. And not the one that goes around your neck, but a normal size pillow.
So and I remember when I was flying from Boston just, you know, an officer just looked at me like ma’am, are you travelling with that pillow, like, why? I said look, I have 25 hours of planes and airports ahead of me.
I don’t care what people think – 25 hours. I need it. Best decision of my life, really. I was sleeping nicely. The only time when I couldn’t do that was during the pandemic, cause you know, it’s a pillow. So I’m like ugh, okay. And it was the worst flight, I couldn’t sleep.
Wait-wait-wait, so you couldn’t carry a pillow because…
Well you know, cause you can imagine, like a pillow, I usually have it with me. But during the pandemic I thought I don’t know, I don’t feel comfortable enough to have it in public spaces and whatnot.
I don’t know, I felt… It was last year when everything just started, I was paranoid and panicky.
Wait-wait-wait, so you’re paranoid about taking the pillow on board a plane?
I was, last year, when the pandemic started. I thought what if I somehow, you know, get the covid because of it?
What, because the pillow absorbs the covid you mean?
Remember Benjamin, it was March 2020, we didn’t’ know anything about covid yet. We just had panic in the air.
And these pillows are just massive covid catchers. They just…
They could be. Yeah, at that time….
I mean March 2020, like, people were washing bags of chips in their sink after going to the supermarket, so you know. Don’t judge me please.
Alright. See, it was a good reason Ben.
So I usually take my pillow and deodorant, cause 25 hours… Usually when I go to the US it’s like what, 23-25 hours on planes and airports, so. Long time.
Yeah, it takes me exactly the same time each time, cause I do the same route. It’s 24 hours from the time that I get up on the morning that I’m leaving till the time that I’m there. Cause I go to Florida from New York. So that’s another…
Yeah, that’s where my mother lives. So I have an added thing with a layover and all the things.
I think, yeah, averagely it’s 24 hours. Cause you know you spend some times in airports as well. So let’s say Novosibirsk-Moscow, then you have a layover at least a couple of hours, you need at least a couple of hours.
Then you cross a border, you need at least 2-3 hours to cross the border. You know, you can’t be… Well, maybe you can do it faster cause, you know, you being a citizen.
Well it’s variable. Sometimes it could be surprisingly long. Usually it’s not that long.
Sometimes it can take hours and hours and hours. They would ask you…
Wow, that would make it really tough to schedule your flight.
Exactly. So that’s why every time I have, you know, a layover in let’s say New York city or you know, the first airport, the first place…
Yeah, where you do the bordering…
Yeah. I’m like I need at least 3.5 hours, at least. Cause I remember we had… The very first time that I went to the US, so my flight was Novosibirsk- Saint Petersburg, 8 hour layover there. And Fulbright just, they got us tickets, so we didn’t have to… We didn’t’ get to choose. Saint Petersburg – Amsterdam, Amsterdam – Minneapolis, Minneapolis – Fayetteville, Arkansas. 35 hours in total.
That’s a terrible flight, yeah.
And we had a 3 hour stop or like 3.5 hour stop in Minneapolis, but there were so many people. And they were asking us a lot of questions like do you have anything to declare.
Oh you did the border at Minneapolis.
It was the first port of entry.
Oh wow. What a weird place to come into. I wouldn’t even think they would, yeah, well, sure…
I’ve never been to Minneapolis.
I’ve driven through it, that’s all.
But let’s just be thankful that we didn’t have the first port of entry in Georgia, in Atlanta, cause this is the biggest airport. The busiest airport.
Yeah I’ve gone through Atlanta.
Giant number of times… It’s okay. I mean, you just take trains around the airport, all that stuff.
One thing I can’t understand is why JFK is such a bad airport. It’s one thing I can’t understand. I’s such a bad airport.
Whenever I can avoid flying through JFK, I do that.
I don’t mind JFK, I’ve gotten used to it. You know, I’ve learned how to do it. What I sometimes do to make my connections, I’ve gotta take… I’ve lived in New York, so I know how to do this without it being a major production, but I… There’s a domestic airport called La Guardia. I actually lived for a couple of years near La Guardia, I could’ve almost walked home kind of.
Not exactly, but I took a bus even from the airport. And but I’ve sometimes… The connections were such that I come into JFK and then I gotta go out to La Guardia. And so I gotta do another shuttle bus thing which is …
And it’s terrible traffic between the two airports. JFK is bad and then La Guardia, they’re doing major reconstructions. They’re probably over by now. I mean it was bad just getting between airports, I almost missed the plane.
Oh god no, whenever I can, I try to avoid having a stop at JFK. Especially that being the first port of entry.
I don’t mind, I’ve gotten used to, sort of learned the ropes. But it’s not… It hasn’t been redone in a long long long time, you know, it was built in like mid 60s.
What’s the best airport you’ve been to? In your personal opinion.
I’d probably say, I think it was the one in Shanghai, that was a really good airport.
Oh, I bet there would be…
Yeah, that was a great airport.
That sounds like it would be.
I mean London Heathrow is actually a really good airport too. It’s pretty damn good airport. Especially Terminal 5.
I love it that you can actually take the tube from there. It’s convenient, you don’t have to wait for the bus or something like that.
And it’s logical. I mean I am easily lost, you know, at new places. So at Heathrow it was so easy to, you know, find your way and do things. So I loved it. Even though I was terrified at first. I was like there are so many of them and I come to one Terminal, but then, you know, the tube station is at a different one, how do I get there.
Panic-panic-panic. And then when I came there I was like oh, signs everywhere for people like me. I didn’t get lost.
When they do the signs, signage as they say makes a big difference. You can really make things even complicated things clear if you try. Or you can really mess it up and just make it preposterous, you know, you can’t find anything. It could be either way.
But I don’t have too many airports where I felt like wow, this is a great airport. Most American airports are older and you can imagine the Chinese airports, they just built them… They built them five years ago or ten years ago.
They’re building a new building of Tolmachevo airport in Novosibirsk right now.
So another terminal, yeah?
Cause next year we’re gonna have…
Well Tolmachevo, it’s still got its sort of old … next to, you know… I mean it’s not great now, but maybe… It’s changed so much from when I first came, oh my goodness.
Oh wow. Yeah I remember I flew in, when I first came in Novosibirsk, I had all… I had my luggage, I was coming form Magadan.
The sunny Magadan. And I had my luggage and there was a separate baggage…
Yeah like a separate baggage building.
Oh they used to do that in Yakutia. Can you imagine like -50 and you’re waiting outside?
I have a story about that.
Well, they had a whole thing. And I can’t remember I’m looking at my bags and some guy got his eye on my bag. Marching and going round this. You know, what do they call it?
Carousel, thank you, yeah. He’s going around this carousel and I’m outside, it was a hot day, it was July and it was about this time. A long time ago. And just you know, I’m thinking man, what if that guy goes for my suitcase, you know what I mean?
And he didn’t go for my suitcase, but I was really… But just the whole way of coming into this unheated building, you know, with the doors open. I mean un-airconditioned. Excuse me. Unairconditioned.
Hot July day, I got a lot of bags. I don’t even know, I’d never been to Novosibirsk. I didn’t know anything about it, I didn’t know… I barely knew where I was gonna go, how I was gonna do any of it, you know. And I’m dressed like an idiot.
Which year roughly was this?
25 years. Right now. Ladies and gentlemen.
Celebrating, woohoo! Applause!
Maybe not celebrating, but we’re observing, we’re counting. Simply calculating here. We’ll put the celebration on hold, but no, anyway, celebrating. Anyway, really, it was, and it was quite a thing. But it was okay and I got my bag.
One thing I love about Tolmachevo, you know, airport a lot is that you don’t have to take your shoes off, to take your belt off. You just go through that cabin, 15 seconds, you’re done.
A rigorous test. That’s right, yes.
They catch terrorists each and every day using that careful testing.
Yes, screening, that’s right. It’s like a screen on a window, like a meter each block is a meter across.
Yeah but it’s so convenient though, especially in winter when you know, in all the airports you have to take off your coat, the scarf, the belt, the shoes.
Yeah it’s a complete pain. Which is another part of the joy of the JFK experience by the way. Is when you’ve got these lines of these long lines going…
Ironic, yeah, put air quotes there. And it’s just this long line and…
Oh god, yeah. Yeah, that’s why Novosibirsk airport is convenient in that way.
And then there was a time when I was in the middle of a line or toward… I was actually toward finally getting into where they’re gonna inspect the baggage, and I get paged. I get paged.
When there is an announcement over there.
Yeah. Passenger Gary Lucas report immediately to this.
Oh I thought you were talking about those old pager devices.
Yeah but this was last year or the year before. Whatever, it was recently. And I’m in the middle of this thing and I’m thinking what in the world is this? And it had to do with… They had somebody new at the desk and they looked at my documents and they couldn’t, they hadn’t parsed the documents correctly, so they weren’t sure if I was qualified for the flight or whatever. So I had to get out of there some way, figure and ask what I was and make my way through…
And start all over again.
Yeah, go back again. Which is another reason to allow a lot of time before.
Yeah cause you never know how many people are going to be there, yeah.
Or what might go wrong, yeah.
So let’s say in Boston airport let’s say most… Well they have several terminals depending on the airline, but let’s say when you’re flying with international terminal, it’s one terminal, and all of the people come through 2 or 3 officers.
And then there are 2 or 3 lines, it’s so long. I usually spend like one hour and a half just you know, getting through that.
So wait, what about low cost airlines? Do you often fly with those?
Oh around Europe of course. And also I flew on Pobeda to get…
Well the seats didn’t recline, they didn’t go back. And it was a night flight, so I thought, yeah, it was a bit uncomfortable.
But I mean it got me from A to B.
Well that’s basically the goal of all the low cost airlines. Comfort? Who’s she, never met her.
It’s cheap, it cost me 35 pounds, what’s that? 3500 rubles.
From Moscow to Novosibirsk.
Cause let’s say, I bought tickets with Pobeda to Saint Petersburg for the end of August. It’s 15K, return tickets. 15 thousand.
Yeah round trip, round trip.
I mean he flew to Moscow for 3.5. For me it’s 7.5 one way.
Yeah but I took a night flight and it was a nasty time to fly. And to arrive… I arrived at about I think it was 6:30 in the morning.
It’s not bad. A typical Aeroflot flight would… There is a flight that comes back and gets in at like 5…
Yeah. I mean, it’s bad. You have to wait for the…
I mean it’s one hour of waiting. Actually, you know, the airport express, it starts running at 4-4:30am. So but if it’s like 1am, then it’s either a taxi or nothing else. But one thing about Pobeda…
Of course taxi is so cheap now it doesn’t even matter, right?
So but, I have a question, hoe do they even manage to keep their prices so low? So how does that work?
Well for instance in Europe, Ryan Air or EasyJet they will fly out of secondary airports.
So smaller airports, okay.
Not necessarily smaller, just… Well…
Less convenient airports. So for instance if you fly out of London you won’t fly out f Heathrow or Gatwick, which…
Sometimes Gatwick, yeah. Definitely EasyJet Gatwick, but Ryan Air will fly out of Luton, if you know Luton?
No I have never heard about it.
So Luton is a town which is outside of London and it’s an airport town. But usually these airports charge lower landing and departure fees to the airlines, to entice them to come. So let’s say if you fly to Florence in Italy, usually you would end up flying to Pisa.
If anyone knows Pisa, the leaning tower of Pisa. Because it’s cheaper to fly there than it is to fly to the airport in Florence. So usually they will find alternatives. And of course they will not include food service on board and will charge extra.
No food, no beverages, yeah.
And they’ll do extra baggage charge. I guess you have encountered Pobeda.
The Pobeda baggage charge.
So it’s 20 kilograms is the limit and when I was travelling over I spent a whole week weighing my bags at home. My mom thought I was crazy because I was weighing my bag every day.
Yeah. And I got to the check-in desk and my bag was exactly 20 kilograms.
The check-in lady looked at me and she was just like, she gave me this look as if I was lucky.
Cause you know you never know…
They’re ready to pounce..
20.0 she is like respect.
Yeah right, that’s right.
But you know, you never know how they are going to react if you have like a little bit of extra. Cause let’s say sometimes it can be 21 or let’s say you are allowed to have 23 and it’s like 24. And some people ay well okay, that’s okay, just go.
Sometimes it’s like 23.5 and they’re like no, that’s too much. You’re like fine and you have to take something out of it, put it in your carry on or something. You know what I don’t like about Pobeda? So the thing is that you’re allowed to have…
Yeah as many things as there are to like about Pobeda…
You could even overlook it. I’m sure it’s very small.
So but the thing is that they are very strict about carry on.
So first of all you can’t have any plastic bags. You can’t have any kind of plastic bags or paper bags. Nothing like that. They’re not allowed. Then, if it’s a backpack, it can only be, you know, a tiny backpack, the one you use in your daily life. But the thing is that you know how they measure the carry on. So the thing that they use to measure when you check in and the one they use to measure when you board the plane are different. The one…
Oh no, that’s dirty. That’s dirty.
It is. Cause my sister let’s say last time she was flying with it, she… They checked it at the check-in desk and it fit. So it was fine. But then when she was boarding the plane they were like it’s over the limit. She’s like no it’s not. And they put it and it didn’t fit. So and they’re like well, you have to pay for it as a luggage. And since it’s late check-in, it’s gonna be 3000.
Well that’s insane. That’s how… My advice is to use an Ikea bag because Ikea you can smoosh it down and you can…
Depends on what you can inside.
Yeah and that’s why people are just furious when they board a plane. Cause they are mad to pay.
Well I had my experience with this and this was my fault. I have not done a lot of low cost, but I did do it one time. It was Air Baltic. In fact I think….
In fact I think it was from London to some other… Was it…
Yeah through Vilnius or something. It was some weird place…
Some weird place, what is Lithuania?
Well I mean not to offend our many Lithuanian listeners who we value, right, yes. But I had done… Here is what I did. I was in London, it was the only time I was in London. And I spent a couple of weeks there. And I went to a charity shop, Marie Curie.
And they had.. It’s place, they raise funds for cancer research by selling things. And they had some wedgewood by wedgewood manufacture, it was a classic wedgewood china. It was like crockery dishes. And it was like… I really liked the pattern so I said I’m gonna buy this whole thing.
It was a service for four. You know, big dinner plates and you know, this whole thing. Weighed a ton. So I bought this and I get to the airport and I don’t realize that they’re gonna count the bags as one thing and I was gonna take this carry on.
I had a heavy carry on. Largely with this dishes. And they say well, it’s about a carry on, they were gonna do the 3000 rubles equivalent or a $100 or whatever it was. And so I ended up parting with almost the whole set.
Yeah, yeah. And I was so angry.
I was really ticked. But it was my fault. I mean I’m sure it was in baggage, you know, the rules. And I had to read that stuff. But I had never had the experience before, you know, that carry on was sort of a freebie, but you know, not in this case like you’re describing. And I had… I don’t remember if I like threw…
I think I threw them in the… Literally, the whole thing. Except for I kept, I kept one set, you know, one of the four. And I probably just should’ve just paid the difference. I should’ve just paid a hundred bucks and taken the rest of it. But anyway, it was like a bummer.
It was a mega bummer. And in they went. Like literally into the trash. You know I walked over with this thing and I’m putting this, you know, nice brand new crockery into this just trash along with you know, everything else.
I know that sometimes, you know, some of the low cost airlines, they sell more tickets than there are seats on an airplane. Cause since they are non-refundable, there’s always, you know, a certain percent of passengers who will not show up.
Who have changed their mind or, you know, for some other reason. So they sell more than there are seats. So that’s how they manage, one of the ways they manage to keep their prices so low. Have you ever flown with Spirit?
They look so fun but I’m terrified of them.
Well they’re all Airbus planes, they’re all safe planes, they’re just low cost for America.
I mean, cause I heard so many stories about how they cancel the flights the last minute. They don’t refund. They change the time, the day.
I think the passengers are surly or something. It would be human relations problem you know. Because it’s just like too little service or something.
Yeah, they usually have such tempting, you know, prices. But I’m like no-no-no-no-no, don’t fall for that.
Well America has much significantly higher prices for flights then Europe does.
Well than Europe, yeah. Compared to Russia…
Yeah, compared now with Ryan Air and all that stuff, but generally it’s cheaper there than here.
Well I’ve never flown around Europe but I heard about the prices. But I compare to Russia and compared to Russia US has fantastic prices.
And I remember when I had my three week trip around the West Coast, so I got…. And I bought tickets for the end of December in October. So like 2.5 months before the flights. So my ticket from Washington DC to Vegas was $45.
Vegas – San Francisco, 50. San Francisco – Portland, Oregon was like 75 and I thought oh okay, 75. And then I had to…
That’s really cheap. Super cheap.
And then I had to go back to Washington DC from Oregon, but it was bad timing, so I didn’t plan well, so it was on Christmas day. Not Christmas eve which would be super expensive, but Christmas day. It was 200, and I thought 200, after paying, you know, 50 bucks for a ticket.
But then I thought wait a second, 200 is like at that time it was like 12000 rubles. I can’t even get to Yakutsk for that money. It’s fine. So and then I realized that it’s actually not much.
Yeah at that point you’ve lowered your expectation.
But then $45, $50, it was not Spirit, that was American Airlines, so not a low cost airline.
Yeah well they’re competing with the low cost, that’s how they…
So and I had no problem, you know, no delays or anything like that except for my flight from DC to Boston, but that was another story. Yeah.
Yeah that’s fantastic. Yeah if you can plan, if you can do your thing a couple of months ahead, you’re fine. But what I hated about online ordering is the way that they float those prices.
They are constantly changing… I hate that. I hate that. Tell me how much this costs and don’t change the thing. I mean, it just feels like you’re just gonna be ripped off.
I believe you have to delete your cookies on your browser.
Cause the cookies track your activity. I mean, I could be wrong.
I heard that… I don’t know, I’ve never got to actually check it, but they say that the best time is to buy the tickets on, I don’t know why, but on a Tuesday 5 weeks before the flight in the morning. So apparently that time is not, is absolutely not popular for people to go and browse their tickets, so they’re trying to lower the prices.
But I usually just have the notifications when I know that I need that flight. So I just turn on the notification when the price goes down.
Yeah if you’re buying it five weeks ahead, then you’re not in the total rip off. But as soon as you get closer, then you’re just saying I’m desperate, you know. I hate that.
And sometimes it’s something not really noticeable, like, let’s say in rubles like a 1000 rubles, 500, 200. But when I was tracking the prices for Moscow-London flight in 2014, the difference was shocking. Cause it was 15000.
Round trip. So but it was like 15, it was just one day, 22, 23. I was like oh 22-23. 35. And that was 35 for a long time. Then it was again 23. And I’m like damn it, 23, it’s finally you know, way cheaper. So and I asked my sister can you, you know, can you lend me some money. She’s like yeah sure, tomorrow. Tomorrow the tickets were like 40.
That’s what I hate. They do that and intentional.
Yeah, it’s gigantic, yeah. It’s a huge ridiculous…
I think I ended up paying like 33 thousand for all the tickets.
You’re probably right. I mean, talk about something about worth a podcast listen is clear your cookies. Venue in the price.
The most valuable information of the whole podcast, dear listeners. Clear your cookies.
Maybe of all the podcasts ever.
Clear your cookies people. And yeah, because that’s what they do. I mean I would game it by, I knew that if I looked at it once and then if I looked at it the next day, the price would be up. So I was gonna…
I just needed to term that they’re still flying whatever this is, and then I’m gonna buy the thing when I see it. The next time they do, they think they’ve got their hook in your mouth, you know. And they’re gonna just play you and play you and play. I mean that’s evil. I mean, can you imagine going to the market and you…
Welcome to the capitalist world.
I mean, yeah, and using technology, so I mean that’s one of the things where romance of flying isn’t so romantic. Where the… And even the experience isn’t always that great. But anyhow.
What about other air transport? Let’s say have you ever flown on a helicopter?
I really want to actually.
Hot air balloons. I guess we talked about the zeppelin before, but…
Well zeppelin is zeppelin, it’s not a hot air balloon.
Yeah there’s no more zeppelins I think. They’re not doing anything with hydrogen gas.
Yeah I don’t think they are.
Except maybe Jeff Bezos, he’s got his own hydrogen probably.
He’s probably doing zeppelins too.
Is it the owner of Virgin Airlines?
Yeah yeah, well, Virgin the whole company, cause it’s not….
Yeah it’s not only the airlines.
It’s huge. In England, well, in the UK, it’s huge. There’s so much.
Are they really… It’s like in two weeks that they’re going to…
I think it’s like really-really soon. Have you ever heard about people signing the petition so that they don’t come back to Earth?
I haven’t heard that, but..
Yeah, people are doing that.
You’re talking about something. I don’t think that Bezos, that their thing, that they’ve ever flown anybody up.
Oh you mean on that particular space…
Now I’m talking about that entire Blue Origin organization.
He’s gonna be the human….
But see, they don’t go out of what I understand, they’re not going that far out. Just barely going into space and coming right back.
But I mean this is the guy that’s got I think he’s still the richest guy in the world. And can you imagine making… You’re the proof test, you are the guinea pig, wow. That is preposterous, you know. I mean after they’ve done it 100 times then you do it.
I would like to discuss it in more detail, but actually we are planning on an episode about space, like a separate episode.
So I’ll have to wait, you know.
Katya restraining us, don’t talk about space right now.
It is, it is a little teaser. You know how they say like next episode.
Yeah, yeah, that’s the same.
Coming up in one of the podcast episodes. What about water transport? Have you ever taken one?
Yeah I’ve been on ferries before, so across the English channel you have ferries that go across.
It’s about an hour and a half. Excuse me, 3 hours.
Yeah about 3 hours. Oh no sorry. I think it is about three hours, maybe an hour and a half. But my favorite ferry which I’ve done over 10 times is the ferry between England and the Netherlands. It’s a night ferry.
You mean like to go from England to France?
Yeah, but I never did it with a car, I always went on my bike. So I’d ride my bike to the ferry and then get off the ferry on my bike. And I’d do this with friends.
That’s a real Netherlands thing to do.
So wait, if you say it’s a night ferry, so you have to spend the night on a ferry, in like…
Yeah there are like cabins. Yeah. I mean small cabins, but nonetheless they’re comfortable, they have a shower and a loo and everything. They’re really good.
It’s 70 pounds I believe.
So it’s like… It can be three times more expensive than taking, you know, low cost airline.
Yeah but if you’re carrying a bike.
Ah, fair enough, fair enough.
I remember I talked to a friend of mine, who’s French. And I’m like oh yeah you know the English Channel, he’s like this is not what it’s called, it’s La Manche.
So offended, so offended. Right.
My channel. Excuse me fella that’s my channel. Not sure what you’re talking about.
Gary have you ever taken any kind of water transport like a ferry?
I have, I’ve done some ferries.
From Tallinn to Helsinki.
It’s maybe 3-4 hours. I don’t remember it being long. And then I did ne overnight which was from Tallinn to Stockholm and that was with… like the one you were describing. And that was, that was nice, but I spent a long day on one… I think it was from Stockholm back to Tallinn, but that was during the day. And I had the biggest culture shock of my entire life on this ferry.
It was all these Scandinavian-German burghers. You know what a burghers.
Yeah, no, they’re like sort of, you know, prosperous well-fed people. You know what I mean. And speaking these Scandinavian languages that I had no idea and it just… I felt so out of place and it was such a long… It’s a weird place to have a major culture shock, you know.
Just on a ferry, just from here to there, but it was like gosh, I mean, you could just see everything that, you know, like 19th century literature about that sort of class of people. And how, you know, they are well-set and they’re satisfied and… All of this and anyway, it was like a…
I’ve only taken ferry… But you know, it’s not like a place with cabins, but it’s the one you use to go from one bank to another by car. Well I mean, you get on a ferry in a car, then you either sit in a car or you just get out immediately and you can’t get in, cause you know they are so close to each other.
It was from one bank of Lena River to the other in Yakutia. Cause there’s no way, you know, to get to the other side. And then so when you send anything to Yakutia, let’s say you know, a parcel, a package, we do that to our relatives.
So in the summer it’s, you know, trains and then ferry and then some kind of, you know, trucks maybe. But in the spring and in the fall it’s only planes which is twice or three times more expensive cause the river’s not, you know, fully frozen yet so transport cannot get over it. But in winter it’s just trucks going on the river cause the ice is so thick.
So it’s like… I think it’s like more than two meters like that’s the ice. So it can, yeah, all the trucks, the Kamaz, they just go and go and go. That’s alright. But yeah, I remember the first time I did that, I was like adventure! On a ferry!
Cause, you know, not that I often saw water transport in Yakutia. I mean, there are ferries, but cargo ferries that go along Lena River to get to some remote areas. So in the summer. And then these areas are impossible to reach during the fall and during the spring. But what about cruises? Have you ever taken a cruise?
What I don’t love about cruise ships, I mean, cruise idea is that you just make these gigantic colossal ships and then they bring them into like, can you bring a ship into Florence? Do they have a port?
Well Florence is further inland. Pisa you mean.
I didn’t wanna sound ignorant.
I mean just these general, these kind of cities that have these colossal ships and you know, probably just full of tour ants.
Oh you mean Venice actually, you mean Venice. That’s what you were talking about.
Yeah but you know these ancient cities that are fragile, fragile, fragile.
And there’s this gigantic gross thing full of tourists, you know what I mean? And they’re just gonna come in and just do tourist stuff all over.
I know that there are cruises from the… They depart from Florida and they go…
Yeah they go to the Caribbean.
And they’re maybe… Maybe it’s okay. Maybe it helps the people there and the economy and all that. And Venice as well, but you know, it’s still… It leaves it mostly intact there I think, but..
But technically, you know, when you are on a cruise ship, like the cruise liner, all you can see is the ocean. So I don’t see maybe the beauty in it, maybe you know it’s just water. For several days all you see is water. It’s also scary cause should anything happen, you’re dead.
We have no idea what’s down there.
Weird things can happen there too. But they… I think the thing there is that there is activities. And, you know, there’s super food. It’s like Vegas I think.
Yeah, it’s like Vegas in the sea, yeah.
It’s just sort of this gross, you know, also gross, you know, of just constant gigantic feed and entertainment and it’s just…
One time when we took a ship with my family. We were going to the Lena Pillars, have you heard about that? It’s a UNESCO heritage site, it’s nature… it’s like huge cliffs and rocks and it’s all natural, so it’s beautiful.
Which is actually now, unfortunately, on fire because of the forest fires in Yakutia. But the thing is that you can’t really get there by car, cause you know, it’s on an island, you know. It’s river everywhere. So we took a ship, it took like 12 hours to get there cause it’s really slow as well. And there were some kind of, you know, entertainment activities on board. And I’m like oh…
Just take us to the place.
That could be the equivalent of my trip form Stockholm to Tallinn with all Scandinavian…
But I think in general if we compare air transport and water transport, water transport tends to be used differently. It’s mostly for like cargo and taking things, you know, the goods, from A to B. Whereas air travel is more like for people. Let’s say, you know, for travel travel. So yeah. Water transport is not really that fast and efficient maybe, for just travelling I mean.
Well I guess they have… I believe they’re called catamarans which are kinda like hovercraft.
Yeah I did an airfoil, it’s..
Airfoil is a type of a boat, right, but it actually raises up above the water. I did it from Gibraltar…
Oh cool, in Spain. It’s in the UK, it’s out place.
Noutres channel as we say. But anyway and it goes to Morocco.
So it was… I mean it was still just kinda water travel, you know. But it was interesting, it was cool, yeah.
Yeah if you think about it. Of course air travel… If you think about air travel for over much…
I mean what about air travel? You know, the ground is down there, you see the clouds, everything is okay. But the water, you know… Nobody knows what’s deep down there. Like how deep is it really? What’s down there? Cause there’s only, you know, a limited amount of things that scientists can do.
Yeah Lake Baikal is fascinating.
You know how there are profiles… Oh god I wish I remembered the name of the profile on Instagram of a fisherman in… not far from Murmansk. And sometimes they post creatures that got, you know, into their nets together with the fish and they are like we have no clue what that is, but it looks scary. And you know, things like with too many teeth and no eyes. And I’m like mmhm.
I wouldn’t be surprised, you know, if all the stories about Cthulhu are really true and it’s somewhere down there. You never know. You can’t know, can’t be sure.
We do not want to find out.
So and speaking of water transport – what do you think about the plan to launch Titanic II? In 2022.
I have not heard about this.
Oh really? Yeah, it’s set to sail in 2022, it’s being recreated. It’s being built identical to the first one.
Oh great. Of course it is.
So it’s gonna be like a total replica ship.
No, it is really cool. It’s what, the Starline is the company that originally operated the Titanic? I believe that’s what it’s called. White Starline.
I’m not sure that the company that is, you know, in charge of it now…
Who is doing this? Is this like carnival or something?
Well, I don’t know about the company, but I know that who is behind the project is Australian business and politician Clive Palmer his name is, I wrote that down. And apparently he’s going to hold 2400 passengers, 900 crew members and it will travel from Dubai to Southampton before making the whole journey from Southampton to New York, right? It was to New York, right?
So first they’re gonna have, you know, a trial journey form Dubai to see that everything’s fine, it doesn’t sink and then they’re gonna take the initial route from Southampton to New York.
I guess there’s gonna be so many cringeworthy passengers doing the thing on the boat where Leonardo Di Caprio holds…
They should have a whole, you know, like photo zone for that.
Guarantee it’ll be there.
Can you imagine on Instagram… Sorry no one near the mast, not the mast, whatever they call the thing the hole.
Just think about it – additional 10 pound fee for a photo zone, people are gonna pay that.
And cringe we will. In fact, we can even begin cringing right now.
So and the businessman behind this, he said don’t worry, we have plenty of life boats and we will have a welded and not riveted hull and we’ll have modern navigation and radar equipment, so don’t worry, this one is not gonna sink. But that’s exactly what they said with the first one.
Yeah of course why not. I’ll do it for a photoshoot.
Just… Just do this Leonardo Di Caprio thing.
Ben do you know that there is such a thing as photoshop so you don’t have like pay thousands of dollars to take the Titanic II.
But then you have to learn Photoshop, that’s the downside. Of course you can probably find somebody in the Philippines or whatever…
You learn Photoshop and then you travel wherever you want – space, Titanic, you name it.
Pay them $20 and you’re good. Right.
So as far as I understand, none of us is a fan of water transport.
Well I mean I’m fascinated by all transport to be honest. I mean, yeah.
Right. Trucks with wheels.
Yeah that was me as a kid… Yeah.
Gary, so last time we did a podcast with Benjamin, I was like how was your weekend? He was like I took a bus to Akademgorodok, it was a Pazik, it was a real adventure.
So just so you understand how much he loves transport.
Boy you have to really love transport to go into excesses of riding a pazik. It’s like wow.
I loved it, I had to pass the change down to the driver about 5-6 times, yeah.
Oh yeah, that’s the beauty part, when you get to…
Yeah in hot weather as well…
I hate that, and you have to sit there and calculate.
I still… I’ll still in the back, you know.
Benjamin is going to take the электричка today, so…
Oh have you not taken the электричка?
No I haven’t, no I haven’t. First time.
Oh my goodness. Well you are in for another treat.
Adventure, another adventure.
I mean that’s gonna put the pazik in the shadow. It will all be электричка all the time. Pazik? No! I’m going on the электричка.
It’s interesting how you have such a passion for transport.
Well here in Novosibirsk you have the opportunity to ride many different kinds of…
Yeah, many times, yeah. I love the tram.
Trolley… I mean in Novosibirsk?
Yeah, yeah, I’ve done the троллейбус and the tram. Trolleybus was so funny. I’m not a tall guy, I’m 5’7, so what’s that? 170 cm. And I come to this trolleybus and there was this seat whereby the seat in front of me squished my knees.
Oh yeah that happens a lot.
I couldn’t fathom how if I were any taller, how anyone could sit in that seat.
Yeah. And as I was on this bus, it started shaking really violently.
Oh, you’re getting the whole experience. Right, yes.
Oh it broke down. Now you…
Full experience. Adventure with a capital A.
What about маршрутка? Have you ever taken?
Yeah, I’ve taken… So I went to…
So you can cross out everything off your list, so especially…
Yeah so you got no holes in your bucket.
They’re pretty good in Novosibirsk, they’re more modern, they’re more modern in Novosibirsk.
Than where if I might ask?
Than in other parts of the country. Novosibirsk is pretty good.
And yeah, I got… This is really funny, cause I mixed up the number 8 bus…
So the number 8 bus, I mixed it with the маршрутка and I got the маршрутка and the driver said… He got to Золотая нива, which is the metro station in… Yeah here in Novosibirsk and I said something like I thought we were going to Akademgorodok.
He said just get off my bus. Well he didn’t say it like this. But it was essentially.
Well you are indeed having adventures.
You took a bus, you took a pazik from, what, from Rechnoy Vokzal to Akademgorodok?
It’s actually from the train station, yeah…
Oh so you got the whole pleasure.
So I got… When I was at the train station I went to the loo quickly and I had these shoes that didn’t have very good soles and I slipped.
I could just tell the security guard who was looking with a very serious face, he started smiling.
Did you go down? You fell?
Yeah yeah, I slipped. It was a majestic fall.
It was pretty… It was beautiful.
Having the out of body experience.
That’s how you make, you know, all the serious guards smile.
I won’t be surprised if I end up on some compilation video in the future.
From the surveillance video. Yeah I think the restrooms at the train station could be pretty rough still. Were they rough?
Well to be honest at the central… It was okay, but it was the… I had… Did I tell you my horror story? Actually it’s kinda graphic, I don’t wanna get into too much detail, but yeah.
I’ll just say the location was Apsheronsk in Krasnodarsky kray.
As somebody, you know, who took a car trip from Yakutsk to Novosibirsk, I can imagine what you’re talking about. Wait! Quick question! But you have not taken a bus, you know, between cities.
You have? From where to where?
Yeah from Novosibirsk to this place called Galbstadt.
Oh yeah, the German village.
Yeah, yeah, so that was, what, 8.5 hours.
No. I really want to, I can’t wait to eventually take the Trans Siberian.
I mean you can start small, with like a trip to Barnaul. I have no idea what you would want to go there. Krasnoyarsk, it’s a cool place.
Yeah. No I know there’s a monument there to the ten ruble note. If you know about this, they’re phasing out the… They’re phasing out the 10 rubles notes.
Not the monument to the 10 ruble note but the monument that is on the 10 ruble banknote.
Because they’re phasing out 10 ruble banknotes. And Krasnoyarsk is…
And Krasnoyarsk is on a 10 ruble banknote.
And there’s now a monument to the 10 ruble banknote which you can check out.
Ah, I see. So they’re gonna do away with the 10 ruble banknote.
I mean when was the last time you saw it?
I have had a couple. Sometimes I get a 10 ruble change, but they’re being phased out. So that’s the thing to see in Krasnoyarsk is the 10 ruble banknote.
You gotta go there while it’s still warm, cause there is a place which is like a national park over there which is pretty cool.
So, yeah. Alright. Wow, we have a real transport expert and nerd over here.
Part 3. What else are you going to talk about on part 3 Benjamin? About электричка?
Oh god, everything. Maybe bicycles, maybe…
Samokaty, oh scooters, electric scooters could be a whole podcast, yeah.
With you, definitely. Yeah. Alright. Well thank you so much for this amazing podcast. So today we discussed transport part 2 and we mainly focused on airplanes and a little bit about water transport. So dear listeners, thank you for being here with us and remember, if you struggle to understand our conversation, you are always welcome to our website which is…
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