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0251 Stranger on an Airplane

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 251: Stranger on an Airplane

This is English as a Second Language Podcast number 251. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Be sure to visit our website at eslpod.com. Take look at our new ESL Podcast Store, as well as some other new things we have on the website.

Our dialogue today is called “Stranger on an Airplane,” about two people who meet on an airplane. They're going to introduce themselves to each other, and we'll see what happens. Let's get started.

[start of story]

Fay: Excuse me. I’m in the window seat.

Dustin: Oh, sure. Let me get up and let you in.

Fay: Thanks.

Dustin: Are you traveling on business?

Fay: Yes, I am. I’m changing planes in Denver on my way to South Carolina, and then I’m off to Georgia on Wednesday. There’s no rest for the wicked.

Dustin: That’s a lot of traveling. Doesn’t your husband or boyfriend mind?

Fay: Oh, I’m not married or seeing anyone. How about you? Where are you headed?

Dustin: I’m going to Jacksonville, Florida to visit my parents for a few days, but I’ll be back in Los Angeles by next weekend. Are you from L.A. originally?

Fay: No, I was born and raised in Kentucky, but I’ve been living in L.A. for the past four years. What part of L.A. do you live in?

Dustin: I live not too far from the airport in Westchester. Have you heard of it?

Fay: That’s a coincidence! I just rented an apartment in Westchester and I’m moving in when I get back. With all of this traveling, it made sense to move closer to the airport.

Dustin: That seems like a wise move. You know, since I’m in the neighborhood, let me know if you need any help moving. I’d also be happy to show you around and give you the rundown on some of the better restaurants in the area. Here’s my card. The number on the bottom is my cell phone.

Fay: Thanks. That would really be nice. By the way, I’m Fay.

Dustin: I’m Dustin. It’s nice to meet you.

Fay: You, too.

[end of story]

Our dialogue takes place on an airplane. The passengers - the people getting on the airplane - are taking their seats; this is before the airplane goes up into the air, and Fay says to Dustin, a man who's sitting in one of the seats, “Excuse me. I’m in the window seat.” The window seat, you can guess, is the seat on an airplane next to a window. In an airplane that has three seats on each side, we call the ones nearest the window the window seats. The ones that are nearest to the aisle, “aisle,” which is the path where you walk in between the seats, we call those seats the aisle seats, and the other seat we would call a middle seat.

So, Fay says to Dustin, “I'm in the window seat.” We can guess that Dustin is sitting in the aisle or the middle seat, and Fay is asking him to get up - to leave his seat - so she can get into her seat.

Dustin says, “Oh, sure. Let me get up and let you in” - let you go into your seat. Dustin then asks Fay, “Are you traveling on business,” he's starting a conversation with her.

Fay says, “Yes, I am. I’m changing planes in Denver on my way to South Carolina, and then I’m off to Georgia on Wednesday.” To change planes means to get off one airplane and go to another airplane to continue on with your trip. For example, if you are flying from Los Angeles to New York City, you may have to fly to another city, such as Chicago or Denver, change planes - get on a different plane - and then fly from Chicago or Denver to New York.

She says that she's on her “way to South Carolina,” meaning she's going toward - she's in her trip that is going towards or to South Carolina, and then she says, “I'm off to Georgia.” To be off to means to be going to or to be headed to. You could also say to be leaving for. “I'm off to work,” means I'm going to my company where I work.

She then says, “There’s no rest for the wicked.” This is an old expression, “There's no rest for the wicked,” “wicked.” The wicked are people who are bad - people who do bad things. In this case, “There's no rests for the wicked” means that you have to continue doing something, even though you want to stop. The joke is that because you are a bad person, you have to continue working, so she's making a little joke here.

Dustin says, “That’s a lot of traveling. Doesn’t your husband or boyfriend mind?” To mind, “mind,” means, in this case, to be bothered by something or to not like something. Someone may say, “I don't mind if the children are yelling outside of my window,” that means they are not bothered - they are not annoyed. Or, if you ask me, I would say, “I mind very much that the children are screaming outside of my window.”

Now, this is an interesting question that Dustin asks, “Doesn’t your husband or boyfriend mind?” Dustin, I think, is being pretty obvious here that he's trying to find out if Fay is married or has a boyfriend - is in a romantic relationship. So, he thinks he's being smart by asking this question. Of course, Fay, we hope, is smart enough to know that Dustin is trying to get information from her for his own reasons.

Fay says, “Oh, I’m not married or seeing anyone.” To be seeing someone, in this case, means to be dating someone - to be involved in a romantic relationship. She says, “I'm not seeing anyone. How about you? Where are you headed?” How about you could mean are you in a relationship. Then she says, “Where you headed?” and Dustin just answers the second question.

“I’m going to Jacksonville, Florida to visit my parents for a few days.” He's going to the state of Florida to visit his parents, “but I’ll be back in Los Angeles by next weekend,” or before next weekend. Dustin then asks Fay, “Are you from L.A.” - Los Angeles - “originally?” When someone asks where you are from originally, they're referring to the place where you were born and raised usually. In this case, originally refers to the beginning or an earlier time.

Fay says, “No, I was born and raised in Kentucky.” We use that expression a lot - to be born and raised - to talk about where you were born - where your mother was when she had you as a baby, and where you grew up - where you went to school and so forth. That is to be born and raised. I was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, for example. Fay “was born and raised in Kentucky,” another state in the eastern part of the US, but she's “been living in L.A. for the past four years.”

Fay asks which part of L.A. Dustin lives in; Dustin says I'm “not too far from the airport in Westchester.” Westchester is a neighborhood here in Los Angeles, close to the Los Angeles International Airport. Dustin says, “Have you heard of it,” and Fay says, “That’s a coincidence!” A coincidence, “coincidence,” is when two things happen at the same time and you are somewhat surprised, usually. When two things happen at the same time or in the same way, we may say, “Well, that's a coincidence.” For example, you may tell your friend that you saw a good movie yesterday, and your friend says, “Oh, really? I saw a good movie, too,” and you say, “Well, which movie did you see?” and your friend says, “I saw “Little Miss Sunshine,'“ which is a popular movie here in the US right now, and you say, “What a coincidence, I saw that movie also yesterday.”

Fay says that it is a coincidence because she has “just rented an apartment in” the same neighborhood where Dustin lives in Westchester, and she's going to be “moving in” - she's going to taking her things from her old apartment and putting them into her new apartment when she gets back - when she returns to L.A. “With all of this traveling,” she says, “it made sense to move closer to the airport.” The expression to make sense, “sense,” means to be logical - to be a good idea.

Dustin says, “That seems like a wise move.” A wise, “wise,” or smart or intelligent move means a good idea - something that was good for the person to do. Dustin says that since he's “in the neighborhood” - since he lives near Fay's new apartment - “let me know if you need any help moving.” What Dustin here is doing, of course, is creating an opportunity for him to see Fay again when they return to Los Angeles.

Dustin says, “I'd be happy to show you around and give you the rundown on some of the better restaurants in the area.” To show someone around means to show them the most interesting and important places, usually in a city or in a neighborhood. To show you around has a couple of other meanings; take a look at our Learning Guide for some additional definitions.

Dustin also says he can give Fay “the rundown,” “rundown” (one word). To give someone rundown means to give them an explanation or a description of something. Dustin says he can give Fay “the rundown on some of the better restaurants” - he can tell her where the good restaurants are and, for example, where they could go and have dinner. Dustin then gives her his card - his business card. He says, “The number on the bottom is my cell phone” - my cell phone or mobile phone number.

Fay says, “Thanks. That would really be nice,” and after now they have been talking to each other for a couple of minutes, they introduce themselves - they actually give their first names. She says, “By the way, I’m Fay.” By the way is an expression we use to mean some additional information - here is some more information, in this case.

Dustin says, “I’m Dustin. It’s nice to meet you,” and Fay says, “You, too.” Ah, Fay and Dustin, what will happen to them in the future?

Now let's listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of story]

Fay: Excuse me. I’m in the window seat.

Dustin: Oh, sure. Let me get up and let you in.

Fay: Thanks.

Dustin: Are you traveling on business?

Fay: Yes, I am. I’m changing planes in Denver on my way to South Carolina, and then I’m off to Georgia on Wednesday. There’s no rest for the wicked.

Dustin: That’s a lot of traveling. Doesn’t your husband or boyfriend mind?

Fay: Oh, I’m not married or seeing anyone. How about you? Where are you headed?

Dustin: I’m going to Jacksonville, Florida to visit my parents for a few days, but I’ll be back in Los Angeles by next weekend. Are you from L.A. originally?

Fay: No, I was born and raised in Kentucky, but I’ve been living in L.A. for the past four years. What part of L.A. do you live in?

Dustin: I live not too far from the airport in Westchester. Have you heard of it?

Fay: That’s a coincidence! I just rented an apartment in Westchester and I’m moving in when I get back. With all of this traveling, it made sense to move closer to the airport.

Dustin: That seems like a wise move. You know, since I’m in the neighborhood, let me know if you need any help moving. I’d also be happy to show you around and give you the rundown on some of the better restaurants in the area. Here’s my card. The number on the bottom is my cell phone.

Fay: Thanks. That would really be nice. By the way, I’m Fay.

Dustin: I’m Dustin. It’s nice to meet you.

Fay: You, too.

[end of story]

The script for this podcast was written by Dr. Lucy Tse.

That's all we have time for today. From Los Angeles, California, I'm Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2007.

Glossary
window seat – a seat on an airplane that is next to a window, not an aisle or a middle seat between two seats

* The views are better from a window seat, but I don’t like to make everyone stand up when I need to go to the bathroom.


to change planes – to get off one airplane and get onto another airplane to continue one’s route

* To fly from Lima, Peru to Portland, Oregon, I have to change planes in Houston, Texas.


on (one’s) way to – going toward; on one’s route toward

* I saw your parents while I was on my way to the grocery store, but they didn’t see me.


off to – going to; headed to; leaving for

* After work today, I’m off to the gym for my exercise class.


There’s no rest for the wicked. – a phrase meaning that one must continue doing something, even though one would like to stop

* I’m tired of cleaning the house, but it has to be done before my parents arrive. There’s no rest for the wicked.


to mind – to be bothered or annoyed by something; to not like something

* Chelsea’s parents don’t mind if she stays out late, as long as she calls to let them know where she is and when she’ll be home.


to be seeing someone – to be dating someone; to be involved in a romantic relationship with someone

* Aaron asked Kelly to go to the movies with him, but she said that she was already seeing someone.


originally – referring to a situation at an earlier time; from the beginning

* I live in Omaha, but I’m originally from Baton Rouge.


to be born and raised – to have been born and to have grown up in a place; to have spent one’s infancy (time as a baby) and childhood in a place

* Omar was born and raised in Orlando and never even left the state of Florida until he went to college.


coincidence – when two things surprisingly happen at the same time or in the same way

* Cheryl needed to buy another camera and Shelby wanted to sell her old one. It was a happy coincidence for both of them.


to make sense – to be logical; to be a good idea

* It makes sense that Ida wants to be a lawyer because she speaks very well and she’s very intelligent.


a wise move – a good idea; a smart thing to do

* Buying that house for $95,000 two years ago was a wise move, because it’s already worth more than $185,000 today.


to show (one) around – to show someone the most interesting and important places in a city

* He spent all day showing us around Washington, DC. We saw a lot of museums and monuments.


to give (one) the rundown – to give someone an explanation or description

* The president asked his advisors to give him a rundown of the situation in Eastern Europe.

Comprehension Questions
1. Where is Fay traveling to today?
a) Denver
b) South Carolina
c) Georgia

2. What does Dustin offer to do for Fay?
a) To help her move into her new apartment.
b) To run down to the better restaurants in the area.
c) To help her find an apartment in Westchester.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to mind

The verb “to mind,” in this podcast, means to be bothered or annoyed by something or to not like something: “I don’t mind the rain, but the cold temperatures are horrible!” The verb “to mind” can also be used to politely ask for someone’s permission to do something: “Do you mind if I open the window?” “To not mind” means that one is willing to do something. For example, if someone says, “I don’t mind waiting 20 minutes,” it means that he or she is willing to wait for 20 minutes and it doesn’t annoy them to do so. As a noun, the word “mind” can mean one’s brain or one’s ability to think: “The strangest thoughts were running through my mind all evening.” Or, “He has a good mind and a good heart.”

to show (one) around

In this podcast, the phrase “to show (one) around” means to show someone the most interesting and important places in a city: “If you don’t have anyone to show you around in the city, you can easily find a tour guide.” The phrase “to show (someone) up” means to do something better than another person, so that the other person feels bad: “No matter what I do, Tracy is always showing me up at work, doing things better or faster.” The phrase “to show (someone) off” means to show other people someone whom you are very proud of: “At parties, Sebeka always shows off her husband, making sure that everyone knows what a good job he has.” Similarly, “to show (something) off” means to show other people something that you are very proud of: “Sumeet was showing off his expensive new car this morning.”

Culture Note
People who travel a lot for business or “for pleasure” (for fun or on vacation) want to have the most comfortable seats on an airplane. Sometimes they pay a lot of money for those seats.

There are three types of airline seats: “economy class,” “business class,” and “first class.” Economy class is the least comfortable and the least expensive. First class is the most comfortable and the most expensive. Business class has its own bathroom and has more comfortable seats than economy class. First class seats are very large and soft, and on many airplanes, each seat has its own private television. First class “passengers” (travelers) receive better food and free alcoholic drinks.

If you buy a ticket in economy class, you can ask for a seating change. Many people ask for “upgrades” to move from economy class to business class, or from business class to first class. Sometimes the passengers get free upgrades, but other times they have to pay.

Many passengers also ask to sit in the “exit row,” which has more “leg room,” meaning that there is more space between the seats. These people must be able to help other passengers get off of the plane if there is an emergency.

Sometimes an airline sells too many tickets and doesn’t have enough seats. When that happens, it may “bump” people in economy class to business class or first class, meaning that these passengers get to sit in the more comfortable seats for free, simply because there aren’t enough seats in economy class.

People who travel often are known as “frequent fliers” or “elite members.” They receive points for every mile that they travel. Once they have a lot of points, they can use them to get free tickets or to sit in business class or first class for free.

Comprehension Answers
1 - b

2 - a