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What’s Porn In Russian? The Book Extract With The Answers
Film & TV|Apr 14, 2022

What’s Porn In Russian? The Book Extract With The Answers

What Really Happens On A 300 Million Euro Superyacht? You’re About To Find Out…
Brendan O’Shannassy

Extract

The morning after the night in the Fairmont, I meekly joined my colleagues in the Monaco Yacht Club. I knew it was going to be a very long day and it was such amateur form to be starting it with minimal sleep and a hangover. We had met to conduct a pre-meeting rehearsal before we took the helicopter to Nice airport for the Aeroflot flight to Moscow. We were presenting to a client the technical details supporting a €300 million yacht that was soon to begin construction.

After the always tortuous path through Russian customs, we met our handlers for the trip to the private residence of the client. On arrival at the walled compound, we were subject to electronic and physical security checks that stopped just short of a prostate exam. Once through, we were accompanied by translators, private staff and guardians as we walked to a large meeting room in an outer building. We laid out the plans, documents and electronic drawings and we waited, and waited.

Some hours later the client joined, and we presented late into the night and the next morning. It was an epic project, and the client’s team was drilling for details. Thankfully, my co-presenter was a garrulous chief engineer from New Zealand and she led the meeting, reciting fact after fact in response to relentless challenges. The questions were not important for the success of the project, they were important for our success. The client’s team wanted to know that we knew everything in microscopic detail. Aside from my colleague’s competence, my only other saviour was the time needed to translate each question from Russian to English and back. As it neared 3am, I was fading; I had lost count of the espresso coffees I had consumed in the last 20 hours and just hoped this interrogation was going to end soon. Just 24 hours earlier I was talking of long afternoons at Palm Beach jetty and toasting with champagne to a carefree childhood. Also in my thoughts was that the return flight to France was boarding at 9am. With customs and Moscow’s infernal traffic, I knew we were going to go straight through. Why had I even checked in to the hotel?

So how do you say “porn” in Russian? He wants to watch his own porn

With eyes heavy and mind wandering badly, I was brought back to the room by the client demonstratively asking in Russian why there was no USB port adjacent to his bed that would feed the television in the master suite. Following translation, the audio-visual consultant took over, presenting with some condescension why there was no need for this. All entertainment would be streamed and there would be no need for such an antiquated approach as a USB port.

The client was tired too, getting louder and clearly not happy. It was also apparent that he understood English perfectly. Cutting through the escalating noise, my engineering colleague, with her eyes firmly on the oligarch, asked the translator, ‘So how do you say “porn” in Russian? He wants to watch his own porn.’

The oligarch client stood, laughed, shook our hands, and hugged Sarah, the engineer. Without another word, he departed: we had passed the test and won the contract. Sarah could not have found Rockingham on a map, but that morning in Moscow I bestowed on her honorary home-town status.

* Superyacht Captain, by Brendan O’Shannassy, published by Bloomsbury, April 2022, rrp $32.99