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Going to San Francisco? Learn How to Get Local with iTalki Teacher Sarah Honour

Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 230: “Going to San Francisco? Learn How to Get Local with iTalki Teacher Sarah Honour”

[Instrumental].

Lindsay: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, downloaded more than 5 million times. We believe in connection, not perfection. You’ll finally get real Native English conversation with your American hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Michele Kaplan, the ‘New York Radio Girl’ coming to you from Boston and New York City, USA.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Today, you’ll meet our guest who is a true west coast local and a real San Francisco native. She’ll show you the three phrases that you can use to go local when you visit San Francisco.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Are you on our email list yet? Join more than 5,000 other All Ears English listeners and make sure you don’t miss any of our amazing All Ears English episodes. Get on our list now and we’ll send you a weekly summary of the most exciting and interesting All Ears English moments every week. These episodes are HOT, so go to AllEarsEnglish.com/HOT. That’s AllEarsEnglish.com/H-O-T.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Hey, guys. Thanks for joining us today on the All Ears English podcast. We have an exciting guest today. Our guest today is an American English teacher who has spent ten years of her life in the unique and forward thinking city of San Francisco. She’s also lived in Seattle and Denver and now she splits her time between San Francisco and Italy. She spends most of her time eating Italian food, learning Italian and teaching English on iTalki. Our guest today is Sarah Honour. Hey, Sarah. What’s up?

Sarah: Hi. How are you?

Lindsay: Good. Thanks for joining us today. It’s great meeting you today. [crosstalk] How’s everything (goin-)… Yeah, where are you now? Are you in Italy now?

Sarah: Yeah, I’m in Sardinia, Italy.

Lindsay: Wow. You know we have a lot of listeners from Italy. So, I bet they will be excited to hear that you’re there.

Sarah: Yeah. Definitely. It’s a beautiful place and I think everyone should visit it if they get a chance.

Lindsay: That’s awesome. What do you like best about Italy?

Sarah: (Um), I really love the food, the food and the wine. (Um), from each region there are such specific dishes and wines and, (uh), it’s really fun to explore all the flavors and tastes that they have to offer. Yeah.

Lindsay: Fantastic. Fantastic. Well, Sarah, you’re here today because we wanna (want to) talk a little bit about San Francisco, right?

Sarah: (Uh-hmm).

Lindsay: So I know that you told me that you spent ten years of your life in that awesome city and we – I think this is the first time we’ve actually had a guest on the show who has spent time or has lived in San Francisco. So that’s exciting for us. Can you let our listeners know how they can speak like locals or understand local people in San Francisco?

Sarah: Yeah, definitely. So I thought of three different phrases that (um), that San Franciscans use often when they’re talking to their friends and to coworkers. So, should I start?

Lindsay: Yeah.

Sarah: Okay.

Lindsay: What’s the first one? What’s that phrase that we, that they’re likely to hear if they go to San Francisco?

Sarah: Okay, the first one is, is, (um), “Is there an app for that,” or “There is an app for that.” An app is application. So San Francisco is a very tech-centric city. Everyone is using their phones, on their iPads, on their computers and using applications, (um), in cafes, and restaurants, and bars. (Um), everyone’s talking about what technology they’re working on, what apps they are working on, (um), that you can use on your iPhone, on your Smartphone, (um), and…

Lindsay: Ah.

Sarah: Yeah. All this technology is being developed near and in San Francisco.

Lindsay: Oh, very cool. So is it the fact that everyone is an entrepreneur or everyone’s just using the technology or both.

Sarah: It’s definitely both. People are using it, they’re sharing it, they’re creating and talking about it. (Um)…

Lindsay: (Um).

Sarah: So when you go to San Francisco you can (uh) download apps, applications [inaudible] your phone and (um) use them to get a taxicab when you’re going around, you can rent an apartment to stay in while you’re there. You can have all your groceries delivered to your house through applications on your phone.

Lindsay: Ooh. I like that idea.

Sarah: Yeah, definitely.

Lindsay: So, it’s, it’s, so it’s like an entire city inspired by Mark Zuckerberg, right?

Sarah: Totally. Totally. (Um), it’s everywhere and everyone is really excited about all these new (techn-), technological innovations that are happening.

(Uh)…

Lindsay: And how, how close are you to Silicon Valley? So what is the distance between (like) the inner city of San Francisco and Silicon Valley?

Sarah: It’s a 45-minute drive.

Lindsay: Oh.

Sarah: Yeah. 45 minutes, but (uh), San Francisco is such a fun city to live in.

There’s so many cultural things, (um), concerts, restaurants, events happening, that many people who work in Silicon Valley lives in San Francisco.

Lindsay: Oh, okay.

Sarah: And so maybe it’s like Facebook and Google, have buses that take the workers, (uh), to and from work in Silicon Valley. So they all [crosstalk]…

Lindsay: Okay.

Sarah: …on a bus together. Yeah.

Lindsay: Oh, very cool. So if our listeners happen to go to San Francisco, they could use that phrase to start to feel (like) closer to the locals or they could expect to hear that phrase from the locals, right?

Sarah: Exactly. So if they’re waiting for a city bus, there’s an application they can use to see when the bus will come. So you can always ask people, “Ah, is there an app for the bus service?” Things like that. They’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.

Lindsay: I love it. I love it. Very cool. So what’s the next one Sarah? What would you say is the second phrase that our listeners should know if they’re going to San Fran (Francisco)?

Sarah: Okay. So this one is not exactly a phrase, but it’s, (um), a group of words that you’ll find all over San Francisco: organic, local, sustainable, and seasonal. All of these…

Lindsay: Ooh.

Sarah: …(re-), words refer to food in San Francisco.

Lindsay: Wow! Can you explain that a little? Can you explain each one? Is this, is this a big movement that’s happening out in San Francisco in terms of the way people are eating?

Sarah: Definitely. Definitely. People want to know where their food comes from and if they’re getting it in a thoughtful and conscientious way, if they’re getting it from farms that are, (um), treating their animals and their plants in a, (um), in a healthy way. (Um), so organic means that the food has not been (um), sprayed with pesticide. (Um)…

Lindsay: (Uh-huh).

Sarah: …it’s, it’s all natural food. Local means that it has come – I’m not sure of the exact distance, but from where you live, but I think with, (uh), in a certain amount of miles from where you live, 150 miles – so, food that has been grown in your area.

Lindsay: Oh. Very good. What about sustainable? What does that mean? That confuses me too.

Sarah: Okay. Sustainable is, (um), food that is not grown with a lot of water for instance, (uh), but it’s (some-), it’s plants and animals, (uh), that are being raised in a way that’s good for the environment. (Um), it doesn’t use so much water. For instance, there’s a farm that, (um), grows tomatoes where they stopped watering the tomatoes after a certain point and those tomatoes, (uh), the plants [inaudible] all the nutrients into the actual tomato and, (uh), they’re the best tomatoes I’ve ever had. But they don’t water them very much, so they’re sustainable tomatoes.

Lindsay: And more delicious.

Sarah: Exactly. It’s better.

Lindsay: And what was the, the fourth [crosstalk] term that you…

Sarah: Fourth is seasonal. So food and… foods, (uh), vegetables and fruits that are grown in a, in a particular season. So in the summer, tomatoes, zucchini, (um) – I don’t know what else. Lettuces. Things that grow during the summer are seasonal to that season. And winter: broccoli, chard, kale – these things grow in the winter. So you try to eat food that is grown in the season you are in.

Lindsay: I see. That’s awesome. So people are very health-minded and environmentally-minded. (You know), here in Cambridge on the east coast, a very different city, right.

Sarah: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: Boston, Cambridge is very different from San Francisco, but we still have things in common, (you know). We have this movement going on too. We have farmers markets out here and – but I bet it might be a little bit stronger out there in San Francisco. (Um), but that – have you ever been to Boston?

Sarah: I haven’t actually. I’ve (ne-), and I’ve never been to New York either. So…

Lindsay: Really.

Sarah: Yeah.

Lindsay: Oh my god. [crosstalk] You’re not living. You are. You are. Well, we’re excited to learn about the west coast from you because it is quite different in many ways, (you know).

Sarah: Yeah. Yeah, and I think it’s easier to eat this way in California because the weather isn’t as severe as it is on the east coast. (Um), it’s hard to eat seasonal when there’s snow on the ground. So…

Lindsay: Right.

Sarah: Exactly.

Lindsay: Yeah, we, we do maple syrup and that’s pretty much it.

Sarah: Yeah. [inaudible] delicious.

Lindsay: So Sarah, what’s the third term that our listeners can use if they go to San Francisco?

Sarah: Okay, this one’s really specific. (Uh), “Where’s the Wiggle?” And this is in reference to a bike route that we have in San Francisco. And, (uh), if you haven’t been to San Francisco yet, it’s a city that’s filled with hills. (Um), even though it’s filled with hills, (uh), it’s a great city for biking. There are many bike lanes and locals bike there, and many tourists who come to San Francisco bike (um) to see the [inaudible] and the Wiggle is the, a specific route that allows you to, (uh), maneuver through the city, (uh), without having to climb many hills. (Uh)…

Lindsay: Oh.

Sarah: And it has many twists and turns. That’s why it’s called The Wiggle because you have to wiggle through the city, (um), and it’s easy to lose this route. (Um), so I suggest to anyone who goes to San Francisco to rent a bike and…

Lindsay: (Uh-hmm).

Sarah: …bike to the Wiggle. And you might have to ask “Where is the Wiggle?” because there are so many turns in it.

Lindsay: So what does the word ‘wiggle’ mean in English?

Sarah: Oh, that’s a good question. (Um)…

Lindsay: Right, to, to move, right, to (kind of)…

Sarah: To, to move (uh), up and down or from side to side, right?

Lindsay: Yeah. So that makes me think it was named with that in mind, right.

[crosstalk]

Sarah: Definitely.

Lindsay: Yeah, that’s interesting. I think I remember in San Francisco driving down a really, windy road. I’m not sure if that’s the same one.

Sarah: (Uh), yeah, it’s (um), Lombard Street.

Lindsay: Yeah, [crosstalk] that was it.

Sarah: Yeah.

Lindsay: That was it.

Sarah: And now I want to make sure, but yeah, that - I think that’s the most twisty, wiggly street in the United States.

Lindsay: Okay, but that’s not the official Wiggle. That’s not the Wiggle…

Sarah: No. No, no.

Lindsay: [crosstalk] …path. Okay.

Sarah: No, the wiggle is on (uh), the main street, (uh), in San Francisco. So it’s an actual bike lane and…

Lindsay: I see.

Sarah: Yeah, it’s a specific route. So…

Lindsay: Oh, very cool. Man I feel like a local already. I feel like…

Sarah: Great.

Lindsay: I feel like I, I could go out to San Francisco and just fit right in. So I wanna recap what we’ve said today. So your first phrase was “There’s an app (application) for that” or “Is there an app (application) for that?” Right?

Sarah: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: And your second group of four words that are really useful in San Francisco were: organic, local, sustainable and seasonal. Awesome. And the third one is asking people “Where is the Wiggle?” if you want to find that bike path to get all over San Francisco. Now, I wanna (want to) go biking in San Francisco.

Sarah: Yeah.

Lindsay: That sounds amazing.

Sarah: Yeah.

Lindsay: Wow.

Sarah: It’s really great.

Lindsay: Very, very cool. Well, I’m so excited that you were able to come on today to tell us about this awesome city. I love this city of San Francisco. I think it’s just such a cool place and I’d like to spend some time out there at some point in the next few years. And, (uh) – so Sarah, you are also a teacher on iTalki, I heard. Is that right?

Sarah: It’s true. Yeah, I am.

Lindsay: Wow. Interesting. So how many hours a week are you on there? Are you on there all the time working with different students?

Sarah: I am. Yeah, about 30 hours a week I’m teaching right now. Yeah.

Lindsay: Wow. So do you have any room in your schedule for new students?

Sarah: I do, yeah. Of course. I’m always looking for new students. (Um), what’s great about iTalki is it’s flexible. So you can schedule a, a session when you have the time and (um), some, some weeks, (uh), I don’t see a student and the next week I do. So it’s very flexible. Yeah.

Lindsay: And how would you describe your, your lessons, like in one or two words. How, wh-what are your lessons like?

Sarah: Okay. So I’m a really laid back teacher. I’m relaxed and I like to have fun during the session…

Lindsay: Awesome.

Sarah: …while learning of course.

Lindsay: Yeah. Of course. Of course. So laid back means what? What does laid back mean?

Sarah: I’m (um), I’m relaxed. I, I (um), I don’t take things too seriously and (um), I, I (um), (huh) – I’m free flowing I think. I go with the flow, which really doesn’t help, but…

Lindsay: I like that. No, no. I think that’s great. (You know), a lot of our listeners have spent years in classes with grammar books…

Sarah: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: …and they’re looking to just start using the language with a real native speaker and someone who’s relaxed would also make them feel (re-), feel relaxed around English. So I like that idea. So guys if you wanna (want to) work with Sarah this week, you can go to our promo link to get ten dollars off your second lesson with Sarah. But to do that, you need to go straight to AllEarsEnglish.com/iTalki. You need to register through that link and then after you’ve registered, you can search for Sarah’s username. Sarah, what’s your username?

Sarah: Sarah Honour.

Lindsay: Okay. And can you spell that for us?

Sarah: Yeah.

Lindsay: The full name?

Sarah: Yeah. So Sarah-a-r-a-h space H-o-n-o-u-r.

Lindsay: Perfect. So if you guys wanna (want to) work with an awesome English teacher who’s relaxed and is gonna (going to) help you have fun, give it a try with Sarah. Thank you so much Sarah…

Sarah: Yeah.

Lindsay: …for visiting us today and letting us know about San Francisco.

Sarah: Definitely. Thank you for having me.

Lindsay: Yeah, thanks a lot. Have a good day.

Sarah: Thanks. You too.

Lindsay: Bye.

Sarah: Bye.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: If you believe in connection, not perfection, and you wanna (want to) put your ears into English more often, please subscribe to our podcasts in iTunes, on your computer or on your smartphone. And hey, if you liked today’s show, please let us know with a review in iTunes. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.

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