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Cultural Differences

Full Transcript - Episode 9

Episode 9 - Transcript: Image

Airline etiquette, equality for men, hawking haggis and more deadly Jay & Gee discuss some of the quirks of living in Brazil.

J: Gee, what month is your birthday?

G: August.

J: Ok, I guess I won’t sing happy birthday right now, then.

G: Probably not a good idea just yet. You’ll be singing a long time.

J: Yes, I would be…that would be quite a long ‘happy birthday’. Ok.

G: But thanks for thinking of me.

J: Yes.

G: You’re not gonna say ‘Good morning São Paulo?’

J: I suppose I could. Good morning São Paulo!

G: There we go. That sounds healthy. Sounds a bit more like you’ve had your coffee.

J: I’m ready to pod. Let’s pod!


 J: Er, Gee, we have a cracking show today.

G: We do!

J: We do.

G: What are we doing today, by the way?

J: Today we’ve got some Guru…

G: We’ve got Guru.

J: …a little bit of ‘What Caught My Eye this week’. But we have something a little bit different today. We’re going to be…hah…we’re going to be discussing today, a little bit, some of the cultural differences…some of the cultural oddities that we’ve noticed.

G: Ah, yes, yes. We’re going to talk a little a…bit about living in Brazil. This will be interesting.

J: Yeah, so some of our experiences living in Brazil, what we’ve gone through…

G: The other point I was going to make is we’re also going to get some, um, people on who have moved from Brazil to, um, other countries, such as the United States, and England, Canada…

J: The United States, England, Canada…

G: And we’ll get their perspective on cultural differences too, so…

J: Yeah, that’s good. I think that’s going to be quite interesting.

G: So…er…um…yes, lot’s to go at here.

J: Ok, great! Erm, so let’s start. Let’s go ahead and move on to ‘What Caught My Eye this week’.

G: Let’s do it.

J: Cos I’ve got some crackers today.

G: Good, and I have some nuts.

J: Here we go.

G: Let’s go.


G: There’s been a few incidents on planes just recently, in the last week or so, which…um…have caught my eye. They’ve been a bit unusual.

J: You…you mean…um, kind of like, let’s say, scary incidents?

G: The first one was a family.

J: Ok.

G: They are boarding a flight from Miami. They sit down and after 5 minutes, the…uh…the stewardess, um, approaches them and taps them on the shoulder and says – “Excuse me but there’s…there’s an emergency. I’m afraid you’re going to have to…er…exit the plane. So they…

J: But, they haven’t even taken off yet?

G: No, they haven’t taken off.

J: Ok.

G: They are still on the runway. So, anyway, they exit the plane, and apparently the stewardess says – “Well, actually, the reason we’ve ejected you from this plane is because we’ve had some complaints about your body odor.”

J: Wha…? Seriously?

G: Yes.

J: Alright, so these people hadn’t, like, taken a shower for weeks, or something like that?

G: Well, I don’t know because then it becomes very political. Because, of course, you know, if you’re accused of having body odor like that then you become very indignant, don’t you?

J: Ye-yes. “You’re stinky!” “No, I’m not stinky!” “Yes, you are stinky!”

G: “I don’t stink!” So, of course, the guy whose been accused of this, is…is mostly the father of the family – he immediately goes and approaches 20 other passengers and says – “Look, do I stink? Do I stink?” And, of course, everybody says – “No, no, no, no. Of course you don’t. No.” So then… But he…he wasn’t allowed back on, anyway cos…cos apparently there were complaints about the B.O. Now, of course, he’s suing. He’s suing the airline.

J: He’s suing American Airlines because he was stinky?

G: Ah, well, he claims that they made some derogatory comments about his religion. So, um, that one’s in court.

J: Ok.

G: But, the same week, American Airlines had another incident. I don’t know whether this gentleman was expecting the family next to him, but he was actually found on the airline with a gasmask on his head.

J: Because the guy was stinky?

G: Well, maybe he was expecting to sit next to the people who’d been ejected off the other flight. I don’t know. But…

J: Oh, my goodness.

G: Anyhow, of course, if you see a guy wearing a gas mask on a flight, it’s going to make people feel very uncomfortable, isn’t it?

J: What would I do? I actually don’t know what I would do. I…I’d just say – “There’s some weirdo sitting next to me.”

G: Yeah, I know. But why’s he wearing a gas mask? I mean, who is he? You’d wanna know who he is. What does he look like?

J: Well, I suppose it…it could give some fear to the passengers that he’s actually going to do something, like he’s preparing some kind of terroristic attack.

G: Exactly! That…that would be my thoughts.

J: Ok. Well, maybe it’s some kind of fashion statement he wanted to make?

G: He said he wanted to make a statement. You’re exactly right.

J: Well, I mean…

G: But nobody knows what the statement was. Anyway, he was also ejected from the plane.

J: Ok.

G: Um…I don’t know whether he’s suing or not but the plane was delayed an hour.

J: Ok.

G: And…um…

J: But wait…he hasn’t filed a lawsuit so far?

G: I don’t believe so. Anyway, he was flying from Dallas, and he was also on American Airlines. So, American Airlines staff had a trying week. And then the third incident this week, would you believe, was about our…um…former Prime Minister, David Cameron. Do you know him?

J: Yeah…well, I don’t know him, but I’ve heard of him.

G: Well, apparently, because he’s the…um…the former PM – a bit like the Presidents – he gets some…er… personal police protection when he travels. Anyhow, he is flying back from The United States, and he’s got his…um… detail with him…um…his protection…

J: Right.

G: …and, I guess, one of his bodyguards needs to use the…the bathroom and…um…he takes off his… He’s wearing a gun. He’s got a gun. He takes off his holster, and when he leaves the bathroom he…he forgets to put his gun back on. So the next passenger in goes in the bathroom…

J: He…he’s not a very good bodyguard, is he?

G: …and she…she finds this gun in the bathroom and, of course, she panics, you know...

J: She freaks out, of course!

G: She completely freaks out. But luckily…

J: But what…what…what did she do? Did she start screaming, or what?

G: Well, luckily she gave it to one of the flight attendants, so the…er…the passing…the passing terrorist who happened to be taking that flight was unlucky and didn’t pick up the gun, fortunately.

J: So…so now you’ve got flight attendants…armed flight attendants on…on board the…the plane?

G: Yes. Exactly. And what is the gun doing there? Why do you need a gun on a plane?

J: “You are stinky!” “No, I’m not stinky!” “Yes, you really are, and I’ve got a gun!”

G: “And take that gas mask off!” Bang! Bang! Anyhow, um…he also had the pass…he also left the passports. He left Cameron’s passport in there too.

J: He left…he left his…he…so…

G: The gun and the passports.

J: My goodness. Th….the…no…this guy is totally…he needs to be fired immediately.

G: He…he’s toast. He’s been suspended, and they are investigating and I suspect he’s going to be taken off…er…protection detail, yes.

J: Yeah, be…obviously this guy can’t protect his…his…he can’t protect anything!

G: Anyhow. That…that’s what’s been going on in the air this week. Um…and that caught my eye. What about you? What have you found this week?

J: Gee, how would you define haggis?

G: Haggis?

J: Yeah. Wha…wha…what is haggis?

G: I…I wouldn’t define it. I wouldn’t go anywhere near it, personally, but, if you want to know what haggis is…

J: Please. Please tell…

G: …I believe it is a sheep’s stomach wrapped around a mixture of oats, and some sort of offal. Some meat of some kind.

J: Offal?

G: Some sort of…um…cheap cuts of meat.

J: Ok.

G: And, a few spices. I’m not sure what spices they use, actually, and I’ve never eaten it, I have to say.

J: Ok. So, let…let me start. So technically, what I…what I understand haggis is… It’s a traditional… It’s traditionally made of heart, lungs and liver of a sheep. So…so…

G: Right. That’s what we call the ‘offal’, the…the…the innards of the sheep.

J: Right, the innards, the…the things you…you normally wouldn’t eat of a sheep, they chop that up into little…little bits and then…er…they blend it with onion, oatmeal, barley and spices. Now…

G: Sounds right.

J: …exactly as you said, the spices, nobody knows what it is. That depends on the own mixture, and it’s traditionally eaten in which country?

G: In Scotland.

J: In Scotland, but not exclusively for Scotland.

G: Well, that’s new to me. I didn’t know.

J: Ah-hah! Did you know that it is an official export product?

G: I’d forgotten that, actually.

J: Yes. A-actually, it’s traditionally eaten in Scotland. Typically they have…er…I’ll get into the history in a little bit but it is now an official export product – or it has been, actually for a while – and they export it to many different countries.

G: Ok.

J: But they also export it…it is also exported to France, Ghana and Hong Kong. And exports are good. Business is good with…with…er…haggis.

G: Good.

J: Exports are up 136%.

G: Excellent. So they’re now selling three!

J: Yes. Anyway, er, it’s in…like I said, it’s a traditional dish of Scotland. It…it sounds for me… I don’t know if I would ever consider eating this because heart, lungs and liver…wh-what? Heart, lungs and…er…and liver.

G: I…I like liver, actually. Liver’s lovely. Sheep’s liver is delicious.

J: B-but all…all chopped up and stuck inside a sheep’s intestine? And then typically they…

G: No. Stomach, please.

J: Oh, their…their…their stomach, I’m sorry. And typically they boil it.

G: Yes.

J: I mean, just…

G: It doesn’t sound very appealing, does it?

J: No, it’s…it’s…I mean...

G: It’s about as appealing as one of those dobradinhas you see that the mother-in-law used to make.

J: Oh, it jus…it just sounds terrible. But anyway, people that like it like it and they traditionally…er…drink it or eat it with…er…a bit of whiskey.

G: Oh, ok.

J: I imagine the whiskey prob…the strong taste of the whiskey probably offsets the strong taste of the heart, lungs and liver.

G: Indeed. Probably you need quite a bit of whiskey before you begin on the haggis actually.

J: Yes. What I understand is at…at the…the Scottish Highlander Games, they will have these little festivals. They’ll…they will recite a poem addressed to a haggis, and they’ll all raise their whiskey in a ‘cheers’ to the haggis, they’ll cut it open and then they’ll drink their whiskey and everybody gets wildly drunk and eats haggis.

G: Dancing in their kilts and just behaving like…er…wild Scotsmen normally do.

J: Like…er…wonderful Braveheart wild Scotsmen.

G: Exactly. That’s why we built the wall, by the way, but anyway.

J: Yes. So anyway, that…that’s my story of the week.

G: Very nice.

J: Exports are up. Business is good.

G: Exports are up. Good news for the Scottish. They’ll be even more motivated to get back into Europe and have their own independence.

J: Yes. And happy haggis.

G: Very nice.

J: Ok, so what else do you have for us, Gee?

G: Well, I…I have a story that…um…made me feel a bit uncomfortable actually because I…as you may know, I’m somebody who likes my beer…

J: Ok, but it’s not related to farting and beer?

G: It’s not related to farting and beer, but it…it might possibly be related to something we discovered in Pod 2.

J: Oh.

G: Do…do you remember the mysterious liquid that killed those unfortunate people in Barueri?

J: Yes, that yellow liquid tha…that somebody took out of a car and started passing round to his friends and everybody died.

G: Well, possibly we now know what it is that they were drinking, because…

J: Oh! Ok. What is it?       

G: There is a beer-maker, um…in…Belo Horizonte…

J: Ok.

G: They make…a…a…company called Backer actually…

J: Backer. Backer-beer.

G: …and they make a beer called Belo Horizontina. It’s a Pilsen.

J: Ok. And it’s…what color is that?

G: It’s kind of yellow again.

J: Ok, so…

G: So, this is…this is why it’s a candidate. Um, anyway, it’s been responsible for 33 cases of poisoning and six deaths.

J: Six deaths this year?

G: Um, since about October-November, yes.

J: Wow. So, in three months?

G: Yes. So what seems to have happened…

J: That’s worse than the Coronavirus.

G: It…it’s…well, it’s pretty serious…

J: It is.

G: …and, you know, for a man who likes his beer, I had to go and check my cupboards to check that I didn’t have any of this stuff cos it’s a…it’s a craft beer, you know.

J: Right.

G: Anyway, what they think happened is that 41 batches of the beer became contaminated with ethylene glycol.

J: Oh, ok. Wh…what is ethylene glycol and how does it get into beer?

G: Ethylene glycol is actually…er…a substance that’s used for making anti-freeze.

J: Anti-freeze.

G: And also for making polyester fibers too. And it has a sweet taste, apparently, so this is why it’s…um…some countries they have deliberately tried to change the taste of it to stop people drinking it because, you know, places like Russia, you can imagine. You get some of this sweet-tasting ethylene glycol – “Yay! Let’s put this in our moonshine!” – and that’s why they all drop dead like flies up there.

J: Anti…it’s basically anti-freeze.

G: It’s basically anti-freeze. So they’ve got anti-freeze in their beer.

J: Oh my god.

G: And, yes, there’s been six deaths so far and the brewery’s been shut down.

J: Of course, because I mean that’s…

G: Of course, you wanna do a product recall but the recall has not been going very well, apparently, and their reaction to the recall has not been appropriate, and so...

J:  You…you…you mean the brewer hasn’t reacted properly to the recall.

G: Well this is what they’re being accused of allegedly. I should add the word allegedly or otherwise we might get sued here. Um, and basically they are being prosecuted by the justice minister because of their…um…reaction to this crisis. And they face up to a R$10m fine.

J: So, let’s say, on top of having all of their products taken off of the shelves, which is a huge financial loss…

G: Yes.

J: Because they have to pay now the supermarkets to take the products off the shelves…

G: Exactly. So maybe that’s why they are reluctant to do it? Why they are being prosecuted.

J:  Well, sure but they’re possibly facing further fines from the Justice Department because they didn’t act appropriately, and they’ve endangered public health.

G: Exactly.

J: By their lack of action. As…as…leas…that’s the complaint.

G: Exactly.

J: I think consumers are going to be worried about the processes involved.

G: And what’s Brazil doing with anti-freeze anyway? It never freezes here. So, how did it end-up here? Who ended up with anti-freeze in their beer?

J: I mean, that’s a huge mystery. How did that anti-freeze get into the beer?

G: Anyway, the symptoms are – it affects your nervous system. It, um, basically it gets converted into oxalic acid, which is toxic, and it affects your nervous system, your heart and your kidneys. And then, basically things shut down and you drop.

J: Well, yes, if your kidneys aren’t functioning, you can die pretty quickly. That’s…that’s terrible.

G: So, if…erm…the Corona beer virus doesn’t get you then maybe the toxic anti-freeze beer will get you!

J: My goodness. It’s not a good year for beer drinkers.

G: Anyhow, do you have anything else for us this week?

J: I do. I have…I have one more thing. Why is it that only women get to have an extended paternity leave?

G: Patern…paternity leave? Yes.

J: I mean ma…maternity leave!

G: Because that was a confusing family right there! Um, well, um, they actually do all the work, don’t they? They have a physical trial that they have to recover from, whereas men, generally don’t.

J: In Finland, they have gone a step further. They have initiated a measure to bring more equality into Finland, and now they have introduced the idea of paternity leave.

G: Ok, but many countries have paternity leave already.

J: Not like this.

G: Ah, ok.

J: Yeah, because in…in Finland the government plans to give fathers the same amount of paid time off of work as mothers.

G: Wow.

J: And, so they have extended paid paternity leave to nearly 7 months.

G: Wow. Good lord.

J: So Brazil is out there with six months paid maternity leave. In the US you do not have six months maternity leave. You might have 2 weeks, and that’s about it.

G: Yes. Get back in there.

J: Yes, so in…in that sense the US lag is…is behind Brazil and the rest of Europe in this…in this idea. In Finland they are going to extend paternity leave, and the reason for this…er…you might say, well, “what is the reason?”

G: What is the reason, Jay?

J: Thank you. Thank you for asking! The reason for this is that they have…the birth rates in Finland have gone down the last decade.

G: Ah.

J: Since 2010, the birthrates have gradually gone downhill and if you realize that Finland only has 5.5 million people living there, in the entire country, if the birth rates are going down, in probably 20 years there won’t be anybody living there to support the…the…uh…pension.

G: Ok.

J: So, there…there is, kind of, let’s say, an economic reason to stimulate…er…let’s say, higher birth rates.

G: So, then the idea is then, if they both take 7 months off, at some point they’re gonna to conceive another child.

J: Exactly.

G: And then that will get a boost…

J: More time at home for mommy and daddy leads to more children, leads to rising birth rates, leads to a happier population.

G: But how do the companies pay for this, though?

J: That’s a different question. I have no idea how that works.

G: Because 7 months paid for both partners is…is incredible.

J: It’s a lot.

G: If they worked for the same company, the company’s gonna go bankrupt, isn’t it?

J: Well, but this model…they’re actually mod…in Finland they’re modelling this system after what they’ve already introduced in Sweden and Iceland.

G: Wow.

J: Sweden and Iceland have a similar problem – er, declining birth rates – and there it has been a success. So now they’re getting more little mini-Swedes and mini-Icelanders running around, because the daddies are at home and, I guess, everybody is happy.

G: I guess everybody is. Well, that’s everybody except the employer.

J: Everybody except the employer. The employer’s totally screwed.

G: Who’s moving to the United States, probably, yeah?

J: He’s outsourcing his work to China right now.

G: Very interesting! Wow…

J: So, that’s my story for the week.

G: I don’t think it ever…I can’t ever see it happening here, in Brazil…7 months. I can’t see…what do they…what do they get for paternity leave here in Brazil, do you know?

J: I think…er…3 or 4 days.

G: 3 or 4 days.

J: May…maybe a week, at max.

G: 3 or 4 hours, just to, sort of, wet the baby’s head and…

J: Yes, and that’s about it.

G: That’s it. Back to the desk.

J: But, I mean, if you consider equality as a good thing, I think that’s go…a step in the right direction. Sometimes the woman earns more than the…the…the father and she should naturally just work. There is one other small detail. They have proven that in schools where the father takes a…a larger, let’s say, obligation to help raise the children, the children do better in school. So, smarter children…

G: …higher productivity.           

                                                                                                                     End of Part 1 


Episode 9 - Transcript: Text

G: This week we don’t have an interview…um…so we’re going to do something a little different.

J: Exactly. Cultural differences.

G: Yes, so we thought…um…we’ve both been living here in Brazil for a while and we thought, we’d maybe, discuss some of the things that we noticed when we first come to Brazil in terms of how things are different, how things are the same…

J: Not necessarily a quality evaluation because you can’t say one thing is better than the other. Things are just different. It’s part of the culture.

G: How long have you been here, Jay?

J: I’ve been here for 12 years. I’ve been here for 12 years, because I spent 2 years in Argentina. The best way I’d describe Argentina people is that melancholy that you here in…er…Tango....that is basically the soul of the people there. I dunno.

G: So it sounds like the complete opposite to the personality of the typical Brazilian, then? Because…

J: Exactly.

G: For me the first thing that always strikes me about…um…coming…well, the first thing that did strike me when I came to Brazil was just how friendly everybody is here.

J: Exactly, an…and how genuine interested people seem to be in…in…in you. They want to know about you.


J: And…and I think that’s a very good thing.

G: It is. And they…they have so much energy, is the other thing. I mean, if I compare them to your typical British person…

J: Ok.

G: …you…you…you meet them and – particularly if you are in a big city like London –

J: Right.

G: …you know, everybody’s very much keeping to their own space, they avoid eye contact, they’ve got their earphones on if they’re on the metro, they generally try not to talk to strangers, unless it’s…er…the end of the evening and they’ve all had a few drinks and there’s something going on.

J: Is that something cultural, that you don’t want to talk to strangers? Wh…why don’t they talk to strangers?

G: It’s…um…it’s just the way we are. We are very closed in that respect. We…I…I…I don’t know whether it’s…

J: …dis…distant, I would say.

G: I think it’s about…partly it’s about respecting the other person’s right to silence, I think.

J: Ok. So it’s partly out of respect but, on the flip side, that’s a little bit boring!

G: It’s extremely boring! And when you come to Brazil, I mean, everybody’s so open and so engaging and so friendly. I always remember – do you remember Crocodile Dundee?

J: Yes.

G: I’m…I’m showing my age here but…

J: Yes.

G: Do you remember the first Crocodile Dundee movie…

J: I remember.

G: One of the gags was that you had this bushman who…um… has very, sort of…used to living in a very small community and he goes to New York and he starts walking down 5th Avenue and he starts saying hello to everybody he meets! You know, - “Hey! Gooday son, I’m going to be here in town for the next few days and…er…I hope to catch you in the bar for a few “tinnies”, later.

J: Yes, he tries to talk to everybody and there…there’s too many people.

G: Exactly. An…and it seems to be a little bit like that here, you know. We’re in a big city, and yet everybody naturally engages with the people around them, even if they’ve never met them before. It’s just part of the nature of…um… the social nature of people here, and I think that’s very refreshing and I…I really appreciate that, personally.

J:  And that’s good but on the other side…let’s say, the flipside of that is….that sometimes people want a bit more privacy and then they can’t have it because everybody’s talking to them.

G: Exactly.

J: But in general, I prefer the Brazilian people and the Brazilian way.

G: I agree.

J: Er, ok.

G: I would definitely say that.

J: Ok. One…one thing that I…I noticed that was for different, for me, is birthdays.

G: Birthdays?

J: Birthdays – birthdays in Brazil.

G: Nivers.

J: Yes, so birthdays in Brazil…eh…very loud first of all!

G: Ye…we…everything in Brazil is loud. I don’t…I don’t know if you noticed that! I mean…

J: Everything’s loud, yes.

G: So why are birthdays loud?

J: So, birthdays are loud because…well…part of it comes from the songs they sing.

G: Ah.

J: So…er…you know, and…and everybody’s clapping…“parabens pra você…”

G: And you get things like “é pique, é pique, é hora, é hora”…

J: Ok. Right.

G: …and all that stuff I never understand what to say.

J: …and go on. Actually, until today – I’ve been here for quite a while – and until today, I still don’t really know exactly everything that they sing in that “parabens pra você”.

G: Yes.

J: That’s about as far as I go and then – “hora, hora…”

G: I just clap and smile a lot, and chant and look like I’m saying something – singing something.

J: It’s difficult. Not compare that, let’s say, to…er…a United States birthday party, where we’ll say… And I’m going to sing this so you can hear some differences, so...

G: Oh dear!

J: Oh my goodness.

G: I…I’m…I might just have to excuse myself for a moment, here.

J: I’m not…I’m not a great singer but I’ll give it a go. So…erm…first of all the traditional way, when…when you know the person but you respect the person.

G: Alright.

J: So – “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…”

G: I know that bit.

J: “…happy birthday to Fulano, happy birthday to you.” Now, if that is your relative, you might want to give it a twist, or you best friend. Then, you say something like this – “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, you look like a monkey and you smell like one too.’

G: That’s fa…that’s…um…that’s a different take isn’t it? Yes.

J: Well, that’s a different song, yeah.    

G: We used to have some…when we were kids we used to have versions like ‘squashed tomatoes and stew’, or stuff like that but…  

J: Oh, ok.

G: But calling people a monkey, these days, is quite…it’s quite radical, actually. I’m not sure we can get away with that, but…erm…

J: Well, y-you could re-insert monkey with…I dunno…er…hippo, or…

G: Baboon.

J: …anything like that. Basically any two-syllable word will work.

G: Ok. Alright. Do you do that here, in Brazil, when you are singing to…you know, your…your…mother-in-law? ‘You look like a monkey.’

J: No, but my daughter knows it. She’s five-years-old and she knows that version, so she sings it sometimes too.

G: Oh, right.

J: What I was going to say regarding the celebration themselves (sic)… in the United States, basically, you…when it’s your birthday, people want to take everything off of your shoulders and do things for you, because it’s your day.

G: Ah, right.

J: So, the idea is, because it’s your day, you don’t have to do anything.

G: Right.

J: So, then somebody goes out there, gets you cake, they get flowers, they organize the party, and that’s it. But here, you’re expected to give a party for everybody else.

G: Right. Well, I must have disappointed a lot of people because I’ve never held a birthday party here.

J: Oh, ok, so then.

G: So they must think I’m a right miserable old sod. Yeah, well, that is…that is interesting. I mean…um…I did live in the States but I don’t remember going to any birthday parties there, so…

J: Ok.

G: …it’s all new to me. So staying with the social side, I don’t want to give the impression I’m an alcoholic or everything…anything but…um…I spend a lot of my time in bars. I like drinking. I like the drinking culture. This is what I’m used to. In England the bar culture was always very strong.

J: The bar culture?

G: Yeah, well, the ‘pub’ culture as we call it in England.

J: Ok. So, what…what you understand under ‘pub culture’? So…so, I mean you just go to a bar, you go to a pub?

G: The pub was the place people socialized.

J: Ok.

G: So it became…it…it used to be the center of the community, actually.

J: Really?

G: Th…people wanted to…if you had a small village, maybe the village had one or possibly two pubs and then everybody in the village on a Saturday night would go down to this one location and it was the, you know, the heart of the community. And so…

J: So it wasn’t the church? Because, let’s say, in mid-west United States the church would be the center.

G: Exactly. And in…in Olde Englande, the church used to be the center too.

J: Do you just drink beer there or do you do other activities?

G: It depends, actually. Um…depends on the type of pub because each pub has its own, sort of, target clients, I guess.

J: Ok.

G: So there are certain pubs where different age-groups go, and then from the pub, because of the licensing laws, and the pubs close early, then…um…then people used to go to the night club.

J: Ok. But now that… you say something that’s interesting. You mention the licensing laws. What time do the pubs have to close in general?

G: Well, nowadays…th-erm…you can apply for an extension. You can apply to be open 24 hours.

J: Ok.

G: Until about 15 years ago, the bars used to close at eleven.

J: Eleven.

G: So…which is very early, so people go out much earlier in England because of that.

J: Right. The consequence is you probably go out at, like, eight, or something like that.

G: So people would go out even earlier, sometimes, you know.

J: Seven.

G: Seven-thirty, eight o´clock, and then you’d drink a lot because you’ve only got three hours until the pubs closed, so it encourages binge drinking and then maybe people go on to a night club or they go on to a ‘curry house’, which is the traditional thing to do after you’ve drunk.

J: What’s a…what’s a curry house. Is that a pla…

G: In…Indian restaurant, to you.

J: Ah, ok, nice.

G: Here, people go out much later. The bar will be open…until that time…

J: Basically the whole night.

G: …or you’ve got the option of the night-clubs too.

J: Nice.

G: But…um…in…in ter…anyway…in terms of the actual way they are set-up. In England…um…we are always used to standing in the bar, and if anybody’s ever been to London, or somewhere, they will know that it’s quite hard to get served a drink, and you have to go to the bar every time you want a drink, and then you have to throw…wave your 20 pound note, or whatever, and catch his attention and get your order in, and then he will prepare the drinks…

J: He’ll serve you.

G: He will serve you there while you wait, and then you have to carry the drinks back to the group that you are buying a ‘round’ for – because we tend to buy drinks for everybody, and we call that a ‘round’… Now obviously here it’s very different because here, for a start, everybody tends to sit. So if you’re in a group of ten or twelve people, then probably you’re gonna be sat next to the same person all night. Now, personally I don’t like that so much. I like the, sort of, fluid movement of being able to stand with my drink, and then you can interact and socialize with lots of different people. And then the other difference, of course, is that the…the bar here…um…you have a ‘tab’ and then you have to pay the tab when you leave.

J: Right.

G: So, if you’re at a busy bar, there are (sic) going to be a great line of people.

J: Right. And then people always complain that the tab never is…never is correct. There is always a little bit extra on than what you expected.

G: Exactly. And, once you’re drunk, you gotta remember what everybody had. “And what’s this? And who had this? And how much do you owe? And how much…” – and it gets very complicated.

J: It’s difficult, yeah.

G: So, I think there’s pluses and minuses to both systems…

J: Sure.

G: …but I…I…I personally prefer the British system. It’s…um…what I’m used to and it’s…it’s more conducive also to doing what we call a ‘pub-crawl.’

J: A pub-crawl. Which is what?

G: Which is basically visiting several bars, or pubs, in the same evening – usually in the same location. So, if you’ve got a street with six different pubs in it, then you can go from one to the other, to the other…

J: But…but…

G: …and you have a drink in each and then you don’t have to pay up at the end, each time. It’s much easier.

J: Then, but…let’s say, ok, but ‘crawl’ is…that’s basically – ‘engatinhar’. Th-that’s what little children do.

G: Yes.

J: So, are…are you saying that you…you drink so wildly much you are actually crawling from one…one part…

G: That’s…that’s what’s implied, isn’t it? Yes.  

J: It is!

G: That…that’s probably where it gets its name, unfortunately. Yes.    


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J: We’ll move on, then, to our next section, which is…

G: …the Guru!

J: The Guru. Guru. Grammar Guru. So, Gee, would you like to open with this?

G: Sure. I’ll…I’ll kick off today. It’s actually not grammar, this topic, this week.

J: Ok.

G: It’s vocabulary.

J: Vocabulary.

G: So I…I’m gonna test your knowledge of…um…British English, here.

J: Oh no.

G: Because I know you haven’t been to the UK much.

J: Just don’t ask me what haggis is!

G: Well, haggis we now know, so…um… I’m going to give you some American words, I want to see if you can tell me how the British would say the same thing.

J: Ah, well this will be tricky. Ok.

G: So, I’ll try and start with an easier one. How do the British say ‘Fall’.

J: ‘Fall’?

G: Yeah. Or “The Fall” as they say in the United States.

J: Er…you…do you want me to give the pronunciation?

G: The…the season. No, what…what do the British call ‘Fall’?

J: Ah, ok. Autumn.

G: We call it ‘autumn’. Good start! Um, what do the British call a flashlight?

J: Ah…ff…I have no idea. Flashlight?

G: No, they call it a torch.

J: A torch.

G: What about ‘sidewalk’?

J: Erm, kerb? I don’t know.

G:  Hmm. It’s called the ‘pavement’ in England, actually.

J: Ok.

G: Er, cookie.

J: Biscuit?

G: It is a biscuit!

J: Ah, got one. Ok.

G: Cos in…in the United States a biscuit is a different thing, isn’t it? It’s like a…

J: Yeah.

G: …almost a muffin, isn’t it?

J: No. A biscuit I would never say is a muffin. A muffin is soft and fluffy. A biscuit is typically a little bit more hard.

G: Yeah, like a scone. But you probably don’t know what…

J: No, we don’t have scones in the USA. We have biscuits – little hard things.

G: What do the English call – or the British call – French Fries?

J: You have fish and chips. Chips!

G: Chips. Exactly. Good answer! What about ‘elevator’?

J: Elevator would be ‘a lift’, I think.

G: Very good. Truck.

J: I don’t know. Truck?

G: We got another word for truck. We call it a lorry.

J: A lorry!

G: A bit like your daughter.

J: A bit like my daughter… My daughter’s a truck!

G: Alright, last one. What do the British call an attorney or a lawyer?

J: Er…well…a-attorney’s not an English word?

G: Well it is an English word but don’t…we don’t refer to attorneys in Britain.

J: Erm…representative? I don’t know.

G: We have…er…solicitors.

J: Ah, of course, solicitors! I knew…I knew that.

G: Or barristers, actually. A solicitor is generally a…a legal person who manages, sort of, mundane day-to-day stuff like divorce, buying a house, that sort of thing…

J: Ok.

G: …whereas a barrister tends to manage more criminal cases, and that sort of thing.

J: Ah, ok, interesting. Well I think that’s good.

G: So that’s my guru.


J: That pretty much brings us to the end of our…our guru.

G: It does.

J: And that…that also brings us to the end of this…this pod.

G: It does indeed.

J: Next pod. You want to talk about what’s going to come up next pod?

G: Next pod we are going to have an interview, and we will keep it a surprise, for now.

J: Yes. But we’re definitely going to have an interview and I don’t want to tell you who it is, but don’t miss next pod. I guarantee it’s going to be a good one.

G: It’s going to be a good one.

J: Ok, so thanks once again.

G: And see you next time!

J: And see you next time. Bye-bye everybody.

G: Bye-bye.


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Episode 9 - Transcript: Text
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