Hockey and Ladas

I took an early morning Uber ride recently with Andrii (not real name). Andrii works nights and comes home in the morning. He has a son in Minnesota, speaks Engoish, and we had time to talk about hockey and Ladas.

Bryan: Dobry Den! (Hello)

Andrii: Dobre Den. English is better for you, yes?

Bryan: Yes. I only know a little bit of Russian.

Andrii: My English is not so good though.

Bryan: Your English is fine! How did you learn?

Andrii: I have four sons. One of them lives in Minnesota. He plays hockey there. All my sons play hockey.

Bryan: That’s great. I was born in Minnesota. It’s cold – but no problem for Ukrainians.

Andrii: I would like for my sons to work in Ukraine – but it is not so friendly for businesses here. I hope that will change.

Bryan: I hope that changes as well. Ukraine has so much potential. How long have you been driving with Uber?

Andrii: Just three weeks. I like it. Mainly I drive at night. More rides – people going to clubs and bars. I often work late at night and then come home, sleep, spend time with my wife, and then I go back out.

Bryan: It’s important to make time for the wife.

(Phone Rings – Andrii speaks in Ukrainian)

Andrii: That was her – she was saying good morning and wants to see how I am doing. I will go back home soon.

Bryan: So everything is good with being a driver? Anything you don’t like?

Andrii: In Kyiv as long as you take the main roads, everything is fine. However, if you go to the left or the right, the roads are bad. It is not good for cars. I have a truck at home that I use when I am not taking the main roads.

Bryan: I like Ladas. They last forever.

Andrii: Yes, but in Ukraine, we are not fans. These are Russian cars and Russia is at war with us.

Bryan: I understand. I am anti-war but pro-Lada.

Andrii: The newer Ladas are the better ones.

Bryan: Maybe I should start a service like Uber – but just with Ladas?

Andrii: Hah. I don’t know if you could find enough in good condition.

Bryan: There are many Ladas around here – but yeah a lot of them need work.

Andrii:  So this Uber Lada service – what would you call it?

Bryan: Luber?

Andrii: Hah. Maybe better to have modern cars!

Bryan: That’s my stop over there – thanks!

Andrii: Good bye. Good luck!