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It's Not Weird, It's Russian!

James K B Brough

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It's Not Weird, It's Russian!
It's Not Weird, It's Russian!

It's Not Weird, It's Russian!

James K B Brough

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Its not weird, it's Russian

Latest Episodes

Part 12: Hunting

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go…. such a cliche, isn’t it? but true. Once a week I was being asked by my Russian friends “let’s go hunting.” So casual too… imagine going to a bar, meeting some people for the first time and saying “Let’s go kill something this weekend.” After 2 years I finally bit the bullet (see what I did there) and I tossed the thought around in my head; can I do this, am I this kind of person, am I not a conservationist, is this morally correct… the list goes on and on. Why is hunting so taboo? It’s not poaching. Remember when the whole of UK and France were upset because certain beef products turned out to be horse? - what do you expect? If you don’t see what’s going down in the slaughterhouse, sorry, abattoir, you don’t know where your meat is coming from. That’s the risk of trusting a la...

-1 s2016 JAN 24
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Part 12: Hunting

Part 11: Documents

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file It’s not the imitation game, it’s the document game. Many people have asked for this blog Opus Dei that I’m about to unfold, so take a seat. You’re sitting? Good. So you want to immigrate to Russia? You have near maxed out your passport on pages (I don’t have a single blank page left as I write this.) You are ready to take that I-don’t-care-about-sanctions-or-speaking-English-so-much step! Some of us are lucky; our place of work can do all the paperwork for us, if we are immigrating for work purposes. Some of us are not so lucky; you and your other half (who is native Russian) have decided to make this 3 year visa and take on the burden yourselves. Somewhere in that brain of yours, this is a good, profitable idea. After all - millions of people run into Moscow every week, because apparently that’s where all the money is to be ma...

-1 s2016 JAN 24
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Part 11: Documents

Part 10: Russian Hospital

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file If you are going to collapse, or call in an emergency, make sure you are in the city center. The hospitals outside the zone 2 border are like something from an eighties war movie. The building's are in need of a refurbishment. Drastically. To find doctors or specialists is a maze of doors (often involving you to drive to the other side of town, get some old yellow piece of paper from another doctor, then return back to your first doctor), which leads you with the belief that little has actually been resolved. Paperwork is done in such a horridly-antiquated way that you wonder if they've ever heard of 'windows' or 'Apple' in the electronic context. The system is outdated, and it's what makes Europe a power force forward in the medical sector. I half expected the doctor to pull out a jar of leeches their system is so old. The full force ...

-1 s2015 JAN 27
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Part 10: Russian Hospital

Part 9: The Weather

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file I was born in England. Not exactly forged in snow (as I was born in July) but I had a strong self-belief of being able to withstand the cold. I was wrong. In my heart's core I'm a southern boy. Give me an African coast. Give me Florida heat. Moscow has the extremes; albeit a short summer, it's worth seeing. And experiencing. There are some awesome little fake beaches about Moscow with pools and loungers. There's even the tropical bar setting to drink beer and pass out in the sun. Not many people know this, but Russia fires chemicals into the air on special days to ensure it doesn't rain (can you say damage to the environment?). The chemicals would go great hand in hand with car methane emissions. The heat is so much that the roads must be sprayed with water so the tar doesn't melt. The two weeks of autumn can be some of the most beauti...

-1 s2015 JAN 13
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Part 9: The Weather

Part 8: Russian Taxis

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! Russia has an amazing taxi system; stand on the side of the road and stick your arm out, and someone will pick you up. I kid you not. The car will be a square item from another time, but the fair will be cheap. What's scary is I've seen young girls doing this. Maybe I've watched too many horror films, but if a beautiful person climbs in a vehicle with an odd-faced character wearing driving gloves (be prepared for that) their odds of showing up on the back of a milk carton are fairly high. If gambling isn't your thing, there's a taxi service called City Mobile. The App can be downloaded to your phone and you can order a taxi to your door. You can even track the progress of your taxi on his way to you. While this sounds too good to be true it's because it is; I've ordered one or two taxis where I can see the pers...

-1 s2014 DEC 23
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Part 8: Russian Taxis

Part 7: The Metro

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! Where to begin... Let's see. First is the journey down to the famous metro. The escalator seems like an endless tunnel to hell for most commuters, and I've often fantasised about them installing a slide for those of us that grind our teeth at waiting on an escalator. Try walking up or down them. I dare you. In Russia to do this every day would be enough for a short gym session (could explain the lack of joggers.) The metro themselves are marble wonders. Impressive but on first try are perhaps too complex. A pleasure for first time tourist gawkers but a pain in the ass for regular commuters. The crisscross of walkways and lack of English signage make for a frustrating campaign for tourists. How are we to know that on the metro map, where it shows circles over stations, that it means they are linked and can be wa...

-1 s2014 DEC 16
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Part 7: The Metro

Part 6: Gorky Park

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! Yes, yes, just like the Scorpions song (who make a living out of visiting Moscow often to sing that one track that I never heard of until I moved here.) - - - Listen to it here The thing is Gorky Park is something to write home about; in the summer it's the epicentre of all that's fun and happening in Moscow; over-priced drinks (in Russian terms anyway), lots of little eateries... But that's not the main pull. Volleyball, ping pong, skating ramps, biking ramps, dancing, cycling, outdoor cinema in English (gasp), paddle boats, roller blading (all of which can be rented if you bring your Passport along?). If you want to chill and relax there's beanbags and sun loungers. Benches overlooking a dancing fountain. Interesting displays and statues. Some of the Russian girls will simply sunbathe in their Victoria’s sec...

-1 s2014 DEC 11
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Part 6: Gorky Park

Part 5: Russian People

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! I know a lot of good Russians. This chapter is about the cliche; what you will, without doubt, encounter. This is not to say all Russians are like this. Let's get to it. From my observations the average man in Russia is 6 foot tall. He owns a pair of blue denim jeans and a black leather jacket. Though majority of them are shipped off to compulsory military training they do not appear to be overly muscular, broad shouldered or dangerous. He doesn't wear gel or wax in his hair. When you see them you will feel like you are in the set of Party of Five. That's right, a 90s theme television show. You will feel like you are from the future. I was wandering around like Marty McFly with my mouth open. Next, the girls. Russian women are, sorry to disappoint women of the world, naturally beautiful. Most have slim figures,...

-1 s2014 DEC 9
Comments
Part 5: Russian People

Part 4: Moscow Traffic and the Mashrootki

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! Traffic is a way of life in Moscow. It seems to me that people in Russia wake up and decide “I think I’ll climb in my car and drive on the freeway just so I can be a part of the traffic,” even if they have no reason to be there. I’ve been stuck in traffic jams at 2am, Moscow time. It is insane. For someone like me who believes every second of my life is a god/universe given gift, this is a waste of a life. The reason the traffic is so bad; A: If there is a fender bender (sometimes even a scratch), the cars have to stop dead where they are and wait for the police to arrive on the scene, assess what happened, and then things can proceed. Ridiculous, right? In a world of smartphones and modern technology, no one is capable of exchanging their insurance details, taking photos (possibly uploading them to a traff...

-1 s2014 DEC 6
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Part 4: Moscow Traffic and the Mashrootki

Part 3: The Supermarket

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! First, let’s talk about currency used in the market. Roobal, rubble, potayto, potarto, makes no difference. All shops take Rubles. The coin system is too much extra effort. There are five different types of notes and six different coins. It’s worth noting that most businesses in Russia pay in Rubles or Euros. Theres’ the 10 and 50 kopek coins (which you can’t buy anything with.) Then there’s the 1, 2 and 5 Ruble coins (which you can’t buy anything with.) From 10 Rubles onwards it becomes interesting. There’s a 10 Ruble coin and note. Russians love their loose change. They LOVE it. So much so that you are often asked by the person at the checkout counter for their loose change. “Do you have 99 roubles?” “No… why would I if I gave you a 100 Ruble note?” Bizarre. I’m rubbing my hands together as I typ...

-1 s2014 DEC 6
Comments
Part 3: The Supermarket

Latest Episodes

Part 12: Hunting

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go…. such a cliche, isn’t it? but true. Once a week I was being asked by my Russian friends “let’s go hunting.” So casual too… imagine going to a bar, meeting some people for the first time and saying “Let’s go kill something this weekend.” After 2 years I finally bit the bullet (see what I did there) and I tossed the thought around in my head; can I do this, am I this kind of person, am I not a conservationist, is this morally correct… the list goes on and on. Why is hunting so taboo? It’s not poaching. Remember when the whole of UK and France were upset because certain beef products turned out to be horse? - what do you expect? If you don’t see what’s going down in the slaughterhouse, sorry, abattoir, you don’t know where your meat is coming from. That’s the risk of trusting a la...

-1 s2016 JAN 24
Comments
Part 12: Hunting

Part 11: Documents

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file It’s not the imitation game, it’s the document game. Many people have asked for this blog Opus Dei that I’m about to unfold, so take a seat. You’re sitting? Good. So you want to immigrate to Russia? You have near maxed out your passport on pages (I don’t have a single blank page left as I write this.) You are ready to take that I-don’t-care-about-sanctions-or-speaking-English-so-much step! Some of us are lucky; our place of work can do all the paperwork for us, if we are immigrating for work purposes. Some of us are not so lucky; you and your other half (who is native Russian) have decided to make this 3 year visa and take on the burden yourselves. Somewhere in that brain of yours, this is a good, profitable idea. After all - millions of people run into Moscow every week, because apparently that’s where all the money is to be ma...

-1 s2016 JAN 24
Comments
Part 11: Documents

Part 10: Russian Hospital

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file If you are going to collapse, or call in an emergency, make sure you are in the city center. The hospitals outside the zone 2 border are like something from an eighties war movie. The building's are in need of a refurbishment. Drastically. To find doctors or specialists is a maze of doors (often involving you to drive to the other side of town, get some old yellow piece of paper from another doctor, then return back to your first doctor), which leads you with the belief that little has actually been resolved. Paperwork is done in such a horridly-antiquated way that you wonder if they've ever heard of 'windows' or 'Apple' in the electronic context. The system is outdated, and it's what makes Europe a power force forward in the medical sector. I half expected the doctor to pull out a jar of leeches their system is so old. The full force ...

-1 s2015 JAN 27
Comments
Part 10: Russian Hospital

Part 9: The Weather

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file I was born in England. Not exactly forged in snow (as I was born in July) but I had a strong self-belief of being able to withstand the cold. I was wrong. In my heart's core I'm a southern boy. Give me an African coast. Give me Florida heat. Moscow has the extremes; albeit a short summer, it's worth seeing. And experiencing. There are some awesome little fake beaches about Moscow with pools and loungers. There's even the tropical bar setting to drink beer and pass out in the sun. Not many people know this, but Russia fires chemicals into the air on special days to ensure it doesn't rain (can you say damage to the environment?). The chemicals would go great hand in hand with car methane emissions. The heat is so much that the roads must be sprayed with water so the tar doesn't melt. The two weeks of autumn can be some of the most beauti...

-1 s2015 JAN 13
Comments
Part 9: The Weather

Part 8: Russian Taxis

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! Russia has an amazing taxi system; stand on the side of the road and stick your arm out, and someone will pick you up. I kid you not. The car will be a square item from another time, but the fair will be cheap. What's scary is I've seen young girls doing this. Maybe I've watched too many horror films, but if a beautiful person climbs in a vehicle with an odd-faced character wearing driving gloves (be prepared for that) their odds of showing up on the back of a milk carton are fairly high. If gambling isn't your thing, there's a taxi service called City Mobile. The App can be downloaded to your phone and you can order a taxi to your door. You can even track the progress of your taxi on his way to you. While this sounds too good to be true it's because it is; I've ordered one or two taxis where I can see the pers...

-1 s2014 DEC 23
Comments
Part 8: Russian Taxis

Part 7: The Metro

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! Where to begin... Let's see. First is the journey down to the famous metro. The escalator seems like an endless tunnel to hell for most commuters, and I've often fantasised about them installing a slide for those of us that grind our teeth at waiting on an escalator. Try walking up or down them. I dare you. In Russia to do this every day would be enough for a short gym session (could explain the lack of joggers.) The metro themselves are marble wonders. Impressive but on first try are perhaps too complex. A pleasure for first time tourist gawkers but a pain in the ass for regular commuters. The crisscross of walkways and lack of English signage make for a frustrating campaign for tourists. How are we to know that on the metro map, where it shows circles over stations, that it means they are linked and can be wa...

-1 s2014 DEC 16
Comments
Part 7: The Metro

Part 6: Gorky Park

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! Yes, yes, just like the Scorpions song (who make a living out of visiting Moscow often to sing that one track that I never heard of until I moved here.) - - - Listen to it here The thing is Gorky Park is something to write home about; in the summer it's the epicentre of all that's fun and happening in Moscow; over-priced drinks (in Russian terms anyway), lots of little eateries... But that's not the main pull. Volleyball, ping pong, skating ramps, biking ramps, dancing, cycling, outdoor cinema in English (gasp), paddle boats, roller blading (all of which can be rented if you bring your Passport along?). If you want to chill and relax there's beanbags and sun loungers. Benches overlooking a dancing fountain. Interesting displays and statues. Some of the Russian girls will simply sunbathe in their Victoria’s sec...

-1 s2014 DEC 11
Comments
Part 6: Gorky Park

Part 5: Russian People

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! I know a lot of good Russians. This chapter is about the cliche; what you will, without doubt, encounter. This is not to say all Russians are like this. Let's get to it. From my observations the average man in Russia is 6 foot tall. He owns a pair of blue denim jeans and a black leather jacket. Though majority of them are shipped off to compulsory military training they do not appear to be overly muscular, broad shouldered or dangerous. He doesn't wear gel or wax in his hair. When you see them you will feel like you are in the set of Party of Five. That's right, a 90s theme television show. You will feel like you are from the future. I was wandering around like Marty McFly with my mouth open. Next, the girls. Russian women are, sorry to disappoint women of the world, naturally beautiful. Most have slim figures,...

-1 s2014 DEC 9
Comments
Part 5: Russian People

Part 4: Moscow Traffic and the Mashrootki

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! Traffic is a way of life in Moscow. It seems to me that people in Russia wake up and decide “I think I’ll climb in my car and drive on the freeway just so I can be a part of the traffic,” even if they have no reason to be there. I’ve been stuck in traffic jams at 2am, Moscow time. It is insane. For someone like me who believes every second of my life is a god/universe given gift, this is a waste of a life. The reason the traffic is so bad; A: If there is a fender bender (sometimes even a scratch), the cars have to stop dead where they are and wait for the police to arrive on the scene, assess what happened, and then things can proceed. Ridiculous, right? In a world of smartphones and modern technology, no one is capable of exchanging their insurance details, taking photos (possibly uploading them to a traff...

-1 s2014 DEC 6
Comments
Part 4: Moscow Traffic and the Mashrootki

Part 3: The Supermarket

Subscribe in a reader If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element or Right click to download the audio file Or listen on Soundcloud! First, let’s talk about currency used in the market. Roobal, rubble, potayto, potarto, makes no difference. All shops take Rubles. The coin system is too much extra effort. There are five different types of notes and six different coins. It’s worth noting that most businesses in Russia pay in Rubles or Euros. Theres’ the 10 and 50 kopek coins (which you can’t buy anything with.) Then there’s the 1, 2 and 5 Ruble coins (which you can’t buy anything with.) From 10 Rubles onwards it becomes interesting. There’s a 10 Ruble coin and note. Russians love their loose change. They LOVE it. So much so that you are often asked by the person at the checkout counter for their loose change. “Do you have 99 roubles?” “No… why would I if I gave you a 100 Ruble note?” Bizarre. I’m rubbing my hands together as I typ...

-1 s2014 DEC 6
Comments
Part 3: The Supermarket
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