October 23, 2008
We're driving in the pouring rain, coming back from the gig. On the way here from our hotel, the 2 hour drive took almost 4.5 hours...You never know! Although we have had some flights that are technically charter flights, it's really an airline that is adding some unusual routes just for us, in exchange for $$$. We still check in at the desk, wait through all the security etc., get boarding passes, and wait for the bus to take us, but there's usually only a few strangers on the plane, the rest are from our tour entourage.
I had the distinct and very grateful pleasure of being able to watch one of my favorite shows, "Junkyard Wars" in English while we were in Kiev. They get clever people on two teams and give them an assignment to make some sort of machine from the junk they can find in this salvage yard....then they later have a contest to see which team's machine performed the best. Most people I know wouldn't like it and would be bored, but to me it's fascinating watching the design ideas and compromises that must be constantly made to get some functionality in the relatively short time limit. I wonder why nobody else has the Discovery channel in English on the entire continent...........
Anyway, the shows are going pretty well, since we have all our own equipment, with a little different sound system, but I have my familiar guitars and Engl amps, and it's pretty easy for me to enjoy the show.
Now, it's a few days later, and we've just completed our flight to Siberia. The Russian lady on the plane had the perfect, low pitched, accent. She would come up to each person in a strict posture and say "Ticofi". All syllables with the same accent, and a very guttoral 'O' vowel sound. What she was asking was, "Would you like tea or coffee?". It brought a gentle smile to each band member that heard it, and illustrates the little differences in culture regarding delivery of a simple offering. Very few of the people my age seem to speak English outside of the bigger cities here, but they are all friendly, like pretty much everywhere in the World. People tend to be pretty easy to deal with for anybody that tries. Having said that, we don't actually go into active war zones where we might get shot simply for looking like foreigners. I should have said we don't 'yet' go into those areas, because DP is always trying new places to play to music lovers.
I heard a disturbing report last night that one of only a few photographers that consistently take good shots of us died recently. He was known by his nickname of "Pyro" and he was a warm and friendly man who was always generous with his work, as well. If this is true that he suddenly died, we will miss him, but his work will live on.
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