Troy McCubbin: Planes, trains & automobiles! Part 1.

Time of publication: 27.11.2006
So Guys I'm now sitting on a little fold out seat in the hall way of a train, heading to Moscow.
Its 7am in the morning and every couple of minutes I have to jump up to let people by.
Now how did I get here, 500 km's outside Moscow riding on a train you ask?
Well first of all I better go back 24hrs to where we left Moscow on a private Jet heading to Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan! Sexy sex! Borat country baby!!
Of all the times to go to a country that you never ever hear of, and suddenly its becoming quite famous because of Borat, Tatu goes there to play some private show for the vice president. And I'm told the President of Kazakhstan will be attending too. Its hilarious!
All of us guys are excited to be going to Kazakhstan after seeing numerous episodes of Borat's TV show. (yeah I know his show was shot in Romania)
But It will be just fun to say we've played Kazakhstan!!

Tatu and a bunch of other Artists jump on a private 727 Boeing Jet.
Its Tatu, our crew, a bunch of Gypsy dancers, guitar players and then a girl singing/dance group.

We all pile on this private jet and I'm so happy to get the no hassle, V.I.P treatment. Its fantastic, no screening, no passport problems, no rectum searchers, just sweet easy boarding, almost as easy as catching a taxi. I love it! And the planes big enough so everyone gets their own row of seats to stretch out on. This is awesome! The only way to travel!

We all start drinking and introducing ourselves to the other artists, being the sociable fellows we are.
I start talking to this gypsy guitar player, Nik and he's trying to encourage me to join him and a bottle of Johnny Walker while we taxi down the runway.
So I stop look around and just notice where I am and what I'm doing. (I often do that being a kid all the way from the Australian bush)
I'm standing up, drinking with a Gypsy guitar player, taxing down the runway ready to take off from Moscow heading to Kazakhstan.
No mean stares from a flight attendant because your not in your seat, no turn all cell phones off, buckle up and seats upright announcements.
Its party plane baby and all of a sudden I feel like I'm back in the 70's on Led Zepplin's Starship private jet!

This is how we all should travel. Even if there was a terrorist on this plane, he'd be having way too much fun to worry about blowing up this flight!
So we hit the sky's as more drinks fly around the cabin. After an hour or two I fall into a deep sleep, stretched out in my row of seats.

Just under 4hrs flying time I wake up as we are approaching Almaty the capital of Kazakhstan. Its a beautiful day, no clouds in the sky, just all blue baby! These incredible over powering snow covered mountains in the back-round look down on the city of Almaty. Its an awesome site as we make our final approach. The surrounding land looks like a huge white desert with large blocks of land all sectioned out for farming I presume. We touch down in beautiful Kazakhstan, as the pilot comes on the speaker system to tell us that its a sunny -15 outside as I hear many moans and groans around me.

I'm feeling pretty good as I didn't indulge with the Gypsy and Johnny walker. Perfect landing and within minutes we are all in the V.I.P section of the airport being escorted through. Once again no hassles! Its pretty cold outside but refreshing for about a minute or two, until I realize I'm an Aussie and I'm not made for this kind of weather.

We pile into our personal vans and speed off to the Hotel. There's snow everywhere, and it just a perfect day. The little I see of the city, it seems like a great place. As we drive through Almaty I see lots of workers on the street cleaning up the city, I guess they take pride in their city here and it shows.
Tonnes of clean white snow and it all looks like a perfect xmas postcard. We arrive at the Hotel continental and its a ripper! (Aussie for great) We manage to sneak a quick buffet breakfast in as they are packing everything up. Then up to our rooms for a couple hours of rest until soundcheck.

Fast forward - standard souncheck at a small club for a private party, on route back to Hotel we stop and pick up some cheap souvenirs.
We get to the club for the show and its a small event for the vice president. The president doesn't show and the girl group dance around, look great on the eyes while they mime. The Gypsy group sound awesome so I make sure I clap, whistle and show my appreciation.

We play our show to the happy crowd who seems to love having Tatu there and head off to the airport straight after the show. Board the plane again hassle free, speed off down the runway as I fall into a deep sleep in my row of open seats. Ahhh I'm finally heading home back to LA after being away for over a month.

So we land in Moscow, its cold and still dark. I'm getting ready to get off and wait the 7 hrs for our connecting flight to LA. Dam its taking a long time for us to get off this plane. BUT then Sven begins to tell me that we aren't even in Moscow! We have landed 500 Km's outside of Moscow because all flights going into Moscow are cancelled due to bad weather. Ahhhhh!! Just our luck! So our LA flight leaves at 12:35pm from Moscow and we are 500km's outside Moscow stuck on a plane that doesn't know if we can fly into Moscow today or not? What to do
F*&$king shit! (sorry mum)

You know how you feel when all you want to do is just go home and lay on the couch and eat crap food. Times that by 100!! After 2 hrs of waiting, we find out that more than likely this plane isn't going anywhere today. So we decide to head for our good old faithful friend the train.
Oh how I missed you! NOT! But if it keeps our chances of making our flight back to LA alive, then I'm all for it. Its a mad dash off the plane to go find some taxi's to get to the station. Hopefully make the next train to Moscow! Our sound crew stay on the plane with all our gear and luggage as we can't get it off the plane quick enough. I'll have to just survive a few hours without all my hair & makeup products that are in my luggage down below. Dam that sucks! (hehehe)

We all climb into several taxis and rush off to the station. Taxi's in Russia can be anyone who feels like taking you to your destination. After a crazy car race through the city, we get to the station and it looks like we'll just make it, or will we?
One of the Tatu crew take our passports to go get tickets while we all run to the train to hopefully get on.
Julia is leading and takes charge in telling us all to hurry up.
The girl throws down when she needs too! hehe

We make it to our train carriage but of course they won't let us on without our tickets and passports. So lots of screaming and yelling in russian to try and persuade the guards to let us on and that our tickets are coming. That only brings more guards and makes things worse. Don't ya love it! Not possible!
Ok course all us guys from the band are standing around like a deer in headlights, having no idea what's really going on. Why didn't I take russian at school? Oh yeah I was struggling with English!

So the train is about to leave and we are all just standing there, not allowed to get on until our guy comes with the tickets. Not even Julia's charm which would normally work anywhere, works on these hard core guards! Mmmm, so I'm thinking, if the train starts to leave, I can get passed the guards, jump on the train and pull the red train stop lever. Yes! great idea Troy! You'll save the day!! But wait, don't they shoot people for that here? Dam, I better not, mum will be pissed if I go get myself shot! So we wait as the bell is ringing that the train is about to leave. Man this sucks!
Wait! I think its......yes.... its our guy with the tickets and he's running! Wow he's running? Dam i've only seen this guy run only for alcohol and he always gets someone else to run for him. This is going to be close! STOP - Due to the graphic nature of this story some names and persons shall remain nameless. Yeah yeah I know its all very dramatic, but hey I'm trying to kill 5 hours on this train ok!!

So he's running, Julia's screaming, the trains leaving and everything goes to slow motion. S-L-0-W M-O-T-I-O-N. Its close guys, I mean the train is now moving and our guy isn't even here yet. So what would you do? RUN FOR IT?... So Julia, Lena & all us guys in the band make a mad rush for the train. We totally knock over the guard at the door and we all pile in as the train starts to pick up speed! Our guy with the tickets and passports gets really really close but slips and falls under the train!!

Only joking, he just makes it and I've never seen him look so red and out of breathe. He went beyond the call of duty this day! Good man!
So that brings me back to the start of this little adventure that mind you hasn't ended yet.
I sit here in this carriage hallway with strange people pushing past me, while I write this novel blog, with the question still pending, will we make our flight?

So thats it guys, until the future unfolds I have nothing else to write. Oh its 9:46am now! Getting close!

End Part 1.
Good on ya mates!
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