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0391 Traveling and Medical Needs

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 391: Traveling and Medical Needs.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 391. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Visit our website at eslpod.com. You can download a Learning Guide for this episode to help you improve your English even faster.

This episode is called “Traveling and Medical Needs.” It’s a dialogue that includes lots of vocabulary related to the kinds of medical problems you might have when you travel. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Delia: Oh, my feet hurt! We must have walked for four hours straight today. I have blisters on my heels and bruises on my toes. Where are my band-aids?

Yoshi: Yeah, your feet look bad. I told you not to wear new shoes on vacation, but you wouldn’t listen.

Delia: Oh, yeah? Look at you! I told you to put on sunscreen, and did you? Your face and neck are sunburned. Your skin is going to be red and peeling tomorrow.

Yoshi: I’ll be fine. If it weren’t for my stomachache, I’d be ready to walk another four hours.

Delia: I told you not to eat food from street vendors.

Yoshi: My stomach is just feeling a little irritated and I have a little diarrhea. It’s nothing serious.

Delia: You probably have salmonella or food poisoning.

Yoshi: No, I don’t! Don’t be ridiculous. Here are some band-aids. Now leave me in peace.

Delia: Fine. I’ll let you suffer in silence. I won’t say another word.

Yoshi: Will miracles never cease?

[end of dialogue]

Our dialogue begins with Delia complaining to Yoshi, “Oh, my feet hurt! We must have walked for four hours straight today.” Delia is saying that she and Yoshi have been walking for four hours straight, meaning four hours consecutively, one after the other with no break in between. “Straight” has a couple of different meanings in English; take a look at our Learning Guide for some additional explanations.

Delia says, “I have blisters on my heels and bruises on my toes.” A “blister” (blister) is a small part of your skin that is raised, or higher than another part, usually because it is filled with liquid and usually because it’s created when you are rubbing something against your skin. So for example, if you are walking, your feet are going up and down in your shoes and this creates pressure – this creates a certain friction on your skin, and the skin develops these little blisters. So if you walk a lot, you might develop blisters. A “bruise” is a temporary dark spot on your skin, usually caused by being hit. So for example, if you are in a fight and someone comes up and hits you in your eye or hits you on your shoulder, if it’s a very strong hit you could develop a bruise. Later on that day or the next day you could see a big, dark spot on your skin, and that spot is called a “bruise” (bruise).

So, Delia has blisters and bruises on her toes, perhaps she fell and that’s why she has bruises. She says, “Where are my band-aids?” A “band-aid” is a small piece of paper or plastic that usually is used to put over some injury on your skin. If you cut yourself, or if you have a blister, you might put a band-aid over it. So, it’s a small piece of paper or plastic that has some sticky substance – it sticks to your skin to cover your skin, allowing it to get better – to heal more quickly.

Yoshi says, “Yeah, your feet look bad. I told you not to wear new shoes on vacation, but you wouldn’t listen.” Yoshi is saying that he told Delia not to wear new shoes on their vacation, because sometimes when you have new shoes, because your feet are not “accustomed to,” or used to the shoe, you can get blisters. The skin can develop these little – well, they’re almost like bubbles on your skin.

Delia says, “Oh, yeah?” This is something you might say if someone is criticizing you, like Yoshi is criticizing Delia, and you want to respond by saying something bad about the other person. You say, “Oh, yeah? Look at you,” meaning let’s talk about you. “I told to you,” Delia says, “to put on sunscreen, and did you?” “Sunscreen” is a cream or lotion that you put on your skin to protect it from getting burned – from being damaged by the sun. So, Delia told Yoshi to put on sunscreen and he didn’t, and now, his face and neck are sunburned. “Sunburned” means your skin is red; it is often painful because you have been in the sun for too long. This happens to me all the time! Especially if you have very light skin you will get sunburned more easily. It’s not a very pleasant experience. Delia says, “Your skin is going to be red and peeling tomorrow. To “peel” (peel) means that the skin comes off in very small, thin pieces. The dead skin on the top starts to come off of your body, we would say you are “peeling.” We use this verb, “to peel,” in a couple of different ways; take a look at the Learning Guide for some additional explanations.

Yoshi says, “I’ll be fine. If it weren’t for my stomachache, I’d be ready to walk another four hours.” A “stomachache” is a pain in your stomach that lasts a long time, usually because you, perhaps, have eaten something that is not good for you or that your body doesn’t like, you may get a stomachache. So, Yoshi says he could walk more if he didn’t have a stomachache. Delia says, “I told you not to eat food from vendors.” Notice how Yoshi and Delia are saying to each other “I told you – I told you,” they’re obviously somewhat mad at each other – like any good married couple! That’s how you can tell that they are married, because they’re mad at each other!

Delia says, “I told you not to eat food from street vendors.” A “vendor” is someone who sells something. A “street vendor” is someone who sells something in the street – not in a building, not in a regular store but out on the street. Usually, or often, street vendors are selling food, so you can buy a hot dog or other types of food on the street. Some people think that this is not a good idea because sometimes the food is not prepared in a clean environment, and that can cause problems with your stomach.

Yoshi says, “My stomach is just feeling a little irritated and I have a little diarrhea.” “Irritated,” here, means a little painful, a little uncomfortable. It’s not a word we would often use with a stomachache related pain, but it’s possible. “Diarrhea” is something that you might develop if you have eaten something bad, or your stomach doesn’t like what you ate, you might develop diarrhea. Diarrhea is when your excrement – the part of your food that goes out of your bottom, that leaves your body through...I think you can guess how – when it becomes suddenly very wet, very liquid instead of being solid; that’s diarrhea. Not a pleasant condition!

Delia says, “You probably have salmonella or food poisoning.” “Salmonella” is a bacteria that is found in uncooked eggs and chicken that can make you sick. So if you eat a raw egg – an egg that isn’t cooked, or if you have certain kinds of chicken that might have this bacteria, you can get sick. It’s a very, again, unpleasant illness, salmonella poisoning, it can make you very sick and be very dangerous. “Food poisoning” is a general term for any time you eat something that makes you very, very sick. It may last 24 or 36 hours, but it’s not considered, normally, a serious condition, though it can be very uncomfortable.

Yoshi says, “No, I don’t,” meaning no, I don’t have salmonella or food poisoning. He says, “Don’t be ridiculous. Here are some band-aids. Now leave me in peace,” meaning leave me alone. Delia says, “Fine. I’ll let you suffer in silence.” To “suffer” means to experience pain, or a difficult or sad situation. Yoshi, at the very end, uses an expression in trying to be funny; he says, “Will miracles never cease?” To “cease” (cease) means to stop. “Will miracles” – things that are not normal; things that are not natural, usually good things – “Will miracles never cease?” What he’s saying here is he doesn’t believe that something will happen, or that it is very unlikely to happen. He’s saying, well, if you did leave me alone, that would be a miracle – that would be a very unusual thing. He doesn’t actually think that Delia is going to leave him alone, so he uses this expression: “Will miracles never cease?” He thinks it would be a miracle if Delia did leave him alone.

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

[start of dialogue]

Delia: Oh, my feet hurt! We must have walked for four hours straight today. I have blisters on my heels and bruises on my toes. Where are my band-aids?

Yoshi: Yeah, your feet look bad. I told you not to wear new shoes on vacation, but you wouldn’t listen.

Delia: Oh, yeah? Look at you! I told you to put on sunscreen, and did you? Your face and neck are sunburned. Your skin is going to be red and peeling tomorrow.

Yoshi: I’ll be fine. If it weren’t for my stomachache, I’d be ready to walk another four hours.

Delia: I told you not to eat food from street vendors.

Yoshi: My stomach is just feeling a little irritated and I have a little diarrhea. It’s nothing serious.

Delia: You probably have salmonella or food poisoning.

Yoshi: No, I don’t! Don’t be ridiculous. Here are some band-aids. Now leave me in peace.

Delia: Fine. I’ll let you suffer in silence. I won’t say another word.

Yoshi: Will miracles never cease?

[end of dialogue]

The script for this episode was written by someone who has blisters on their fingers because they’ve been typing so much, Dr. Lucy Tse. Take it easy Lucy!

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 2008.

Glossary
straight – consecutive; without stopping; without interruption

* Inez practiced playing the clarinet for three hours straight yesterday!


blister – a small part of one’s skin that is higher than usual and filled with liquid, usually created because one was doing an activity where something rubbed against that skin many times

* Orlando got a blister on his hand from playing tennis yesterday.


bruise – a temporary, dark spot on one’s skin, usually caused by being hit or by falling

* Jin has a bruise on his hip because he accidentally hit it against the car door.


band-aid – a small piece of paper or plastic that has cotton padding and is sticky on one side, used to cover a cut in one’s skin so that it heals more quickly

* The doctor put a band-aid on the child’s arm after giving her an injection.


sunscreen – a cream or lotion that is rubbed into one’s skin to protect it from sun damage so that the skin does not burn

* When I’m swimming outdoors, I need to put on more sunscreen every hour.


sunburned – having a burn on one’s skin from the sun; having painful, red skin from being in the sun for too much time

* People with red hair and green eyes get sunburned much more easily than people with black hair and brown eyes.


to peel – to come off in small, thin pieces; to fall off in thin pieces

* The paint is peeling off the walls in the bathroom.


stomachache – a dull pain in one’s stomach that lasts for a long period of time

* My mother said to us, “You’re going to get a stomachache if you eat that whole bag of candy!”


street vendor – a person who sells something, especially food, on the street instead of in a restaurant or store

* Businesspeople in New York City who don’t have very much time to eat lunch sometimes buy hot dogs from street vendors.


irritated – painful; uncomfortable; sore

* Their eyes became red and irritated when they stood near the smoke from the fire.

diarrhea – a condition where the solid waste from one’s body temporarily comes out very wet and very frequently

* The tour guide told us that we might get diarrhea if we drink unclean water.


salmonella – a bacteria found in uncooked eggs and chicken that makes people sick if they eat it

* Everyone who ate the chicken salad got sick from salmonella.


food poisoning – a condition where a person is temporarily sick from eating uncooked or unclean food

* Bobby was vomiting from food poisoning all day yesterday.


to suffer – to experience pain, discomfort, or a difficult or sad situation

* Harriet suffers from allergies in the summer.


Will miracles never cease? – a phrase used to show that one doesn’t believe that something will happen, or that it is very unlikely and extremely surprising

* Eleodoro normally isn’t a very good student, but he got 100 percent on his math test yesterday. Will miracles never cease?

Comprehension Questions
1. Which of these might be caused by food poisoning?
a) bruises
b) sunburn
c) stomachache

2. Which medical problem can be improved with a band-aid?
a) blisters
b) peeling skin
c) diarrhea

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
straight

The word “straight,” in this podcast, means consecutive, or without interruption: “He worked for two years straight without a vacation.” The word “straight” can also mean right away or immediately, without waiting: “Please come straight home after school today.” The phrase “to come straight out with it” means to say something directly and honestly, without trying to hide or change anything: “Just come straight out with it and tell me the truth!” The word “straight” also means honest and truthful: “Stop lying and just give me a straight answer!” Finally, the phrase “to think straight” or “to see straight” means to be able to think or see clearly, with full understanding: “Katie hasn’t slept in two days, so she isn’t able to think straight.” Or, “The sun has been in my eyes all afternoon and I can’t see straight.”

to peel

In this podcast, the verb “to peel” means to come off in small, thin pieces: “The plastic cover is peeling off of her driver’s license.” The verb “to peel” also means to take off the thin, top layer of something, especially fruits and vegetables: “Could you please peel the cucumber before cutting it for the salad?” The phrase “to keep (one’s) eyes peeled” means to keep one’s eyes open, looking for something: “Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the street sign, or else you’ll miss the turn to our home.” Finally, “to peel off (something)” means to remove a piece of wet clothing that is sticking to one’s skin: “After getting caught in the rainstorm, he had to peel off his jeans and change into dry clothes.”

Culture Note
Traveling to a foreign country is always exciting, but it requires a lot of preparation. This is especially true for medical “concerns” (things that one is worried about). When Americans travel to other countries, they often meet with their doctor first to get “vaccinations” (injections that protect against specific diseases) and learn whether the water is safe to drink. Similarly, people who travel to the United States need to take medical “precautions” (things that one does to prevent something bad from happening).

Perhaps the most important thing that international travelers can do is to get “temporary” (for a short period of time) “health insurance.” One pays a small amount of money so that, if there is a medical “emergency” (a very bad thing that happens and cannot be controlled), the health insurance company pays for medical “treatments” (the things that a doctor does to make a person feel better and become healthy again). Medical care in the United States is very expensive, so it is important to have health insurance. Otherwise, a minor medical problem while traveling in the United States can cost a lot of money.

International travelers also need to know that medicines can be very expensive and difficult to get in the United States. Americans must have a “prescription” (written permission) from their doctor to be able to buy many medicines. Often international travelers are surprised by this, because it may be easy to buy those medicines in their home countries. International travelers who take medicines should buy those medicines in their own country and bring enough for the “duration” (the amount of time that something lasts) of their trip.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - a