The wandering yellow behemoth

Vladimir and his Hummer H2 is on a mission to see that world. After completing his Europe and Balkan tour, he has come to visit the countries of Asia. During his trip, he had a brief stay in Bangladesh, where team Turbine approached him to as a few question about him, his journey and the behemoth he affectionately named “Yellow”.

Since you’re on a world tour what is your motivation

I think travelling is the best way to find answers for many questions. When you see many situations from many sides, you understand more clearly what is good what is bad, what is positive what is negative, how people work and what they find important in different parts of the world… When you’re crossing country after country, you see similar things such as everyone loves their family, and you see many things which are given to us by nature and given to us by government. Every country is full of surprises and its completely different when you travel by car.

How did you start travelling with your Hummer and why did you choose it?

The Hummer as a brand is not practical, although it is very useful. When I bought it 11 years ago I didn’t buy it to travel, I just bought it because I liked it. I started travelling with it and thus it became my companion. It is a choice not by logic but by heart.

What does the Hummer mean to you?

I’ll tell you a story. Two months after I bought the car, I found out that my grandfather was still alive. My family had been out of touch for many years. When I learned he was alive, I wanted to meet him as soon as possible. I wasn’t fond of flying, and I found friends who were willing to travel with me, we drove for three weeks and finally met him. I wrote a story about my experience, and the story of a man with a hummer travelling in middle of Asia looking for his grandfather became viral in Russia. Most importantly, I learned about the things I can do and learn by crossing different countries and thus it means a lot to me.

Prior to the world tour what are some modifications you did to the car

The world tour is divided by parts, and different parts require different modifications. For example, in this part of the world I had problems with petrol and water for technical use, such as in Myanmar it was an issue sourcing petrol. So I mounted two cans on two side to carry petrol and water as I needed. I also mounted a bike to the back to access some parts that are not accessible by any car much less the hummer. In Europe for example I don’t need a bike because all the roads are easily accessible. There are many other general modifications like an air compressor so that I can inflate and deflate my tires for different terrain.

Tell us about your Vortech engine

I wanted a table made from a Hummer H2 engine block, but it was impossible to source an engine suitable all over Russia. So I took that out and installed the new engine. The Vortech engine is very reliable and the fuel economy is not as bad as some people say. All in all, it’s a reliable engine and can support any type of fuel

What are some difficulties that you faced so far?

This might be different, but I think the two most important things to have while travelling long distances is your laptop and a tea pot. It is impossible to get all the tools and all the spare parts with you and it’s not possible either to predict what will go wrong. The tea pot makes me feel comfortable and not feel stressed that sooner or later there will be a solution. The main problem I face everywhere is with documents as every country has their own rules.

What do you think about the road and cars?

The roads in between cities are in really good condition but they are quiet narrow. The bus drivers initially were a problem but I got used to how they drive afterwards.  One thing I don’t like in highways is that everyone uses the high beam and it becomes very difficult to drive properly. The traffic in between cities is not that bad either. I also thought that I was doing something wrong because all the drivers were honking at me, but then I understood that this is not because of me but this is the norm.

How is your stay in Bangladesh so far and the places you visited?

My stay has been amazing mainly because of the people. They are so friendly and welcoming, and they showed me many places like the ship yard and many other places that I don’t remember the name of.

Opinion on Bangladeshi cuisine

I like it a lot. I don’t like spicy food and I find that Bangladeshi food has a very good balance of spice and flavor. I tried to eat with my hands like the locals, it seems very easy but I found it very difficult and looks very funny. I tried to eat in local places only, the food is very nice but I can’t tell you exact names.

What do you think of Bangladesh overall?

I don’t see any reason why more tourists don’t come to Bangladesh with cars. The roads are nice, the people are nice, mechanics and workshops are available everywhere and overall it is a wonderful experience.

Do you have any message for Bangladeshis?

Don’t use high beam on highways. Jokes aside, I would like everyone to come to Russia and see how things work in my country and to travel more. This will help you enrich yourself and help you understand better.