I came across this YouTube channel while I was researching countries where it possibly snows for 5 months of the year…actually now that I think about it, it was because this guy went to Chernobyl with a local who still lives on the verge of the radiation zone (and survives on Buckwheat and vodka in a house with no electricity or running water). But this is besides the point – What we have here is one of the most unique channels that you will ever find on the internet. This is Bald and Bankrupt.
So what is it exactly? Well, it’s a vlog channel that was created in 2018 by Benjamin Rich, a presumably bald and bankrupt english-man (I doubt he’s bankrupt anymore) from Brighton who has a long history of travelling throughout his life (and is also the author of “The Burning Edge” Travelling Through Irradiated Belarus” under the pen name Arthur Chichester). Rich goes where google maps fears to tread. He functions primarily within the former USSR, but his journeys have also taken him to India, Mexico, Cuba, Burma, Bolivia, Albania and Armenia, among others. He gets buses, trains, taxis, planes and rental cars to travel around. He meets the locals (Both straight-forward and eccentric), goes to their homes, goes to their shops, stays in their hotels, and enjoys what ever food and alcohol might be available, offered or served. His fluent language skills (along with the subtitles) really bring us along for the ride, and has become a minor celebrity within the former USSR, as teenagers have approached him for an autograph or a selfie in the streets.
I find his videos to be very informative and interesting. And while his video titles are designed to be eye catching or borderline clickbait (such as “The Cuba they don’t want you to see” or “Eating Cow Brains with Albanians” or “Avoid This Man In Mexico”), regardless of what they’re called, you finish watching them with a broader scope of the world, whether it be through a history lesson or the exploration of abandoned buildings or watching Rich having fun and getting plastered with the locals – either way, his approach is very neutral and respectful (With some exceptions, such as accidentally using a certain word in Chechnya that didn’t go down well. Like us, he never stops learning).
It’s also a blessing that he is still able to do what he does, as a survivor of double pneumonia that was triggered by COVID-19 back in July, which left his channel quiet for about 3 months. But he got back on track eventually.
So, I would highly recommend his channel. Very interesting, fun, and informative.