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Paige:  You're listening to “Coffee with Gringos.” I’m Paige Sutherland.

Ian: And I’m Ian Kennedy.

Paige: So, today we'll be talking about health. It's pretty broad so we'll be covering a lot of different topics. Remember if you get lost, check in on that transcript online as well as the vocabulary guide. So, Ian, it is August—the month that everyone dreads. Have you gotten sick yet?

Ian: I have gotten sick—I'm actually feeling a little under the weather as we speak right now. My voice is a little nasally…I've got the sniffles…I don't know if it's allergies or something in the air, or what it is, but it seems like August is the month where everybody's feeling a little bit down, health wise. I've heard that you got to get through August and then you can make it till the end of the year. So, what we have half the month left, so let's keep going strong.

Paige: I have not gotten sick yet in August so, that's a plus. But I definitely feel like these winter months are harder. I mean, you can see the smog, you can feel the smog. I mean, I go for a run, and I can, like, feel it. when I’m breathing.  

Ian: Exactly. I feel the same way. You go outside or you do some walking, maybe go to the top of Cerro San Cristobal, like I like to do, and once you get to the top, you look out and see just clouds of smog covering the city. It's pretty gross.

Paige: I know, at first because I'm from Boston, you're from Missouri. I mean, we don't have smog. So, this was the first city I've ever lived in where there’s smog. And so, I remember my first hike, San Cristobal, “Ah, it's really hazy out. Like, the clouds… it's going to rain.” And people are like “No, it's just smog…”

Ian: That's just living in a big city.

Paige: And you can definitely feel it like days where I exercise and I feel it in my lungs. I’ll look on my app of the smog level, and it's always, like, you know, in the red zone.

Ian: Sure, yeah, I'm even to the point where, when I go out for a run, or do anything outside. I usually like to have, like, a little face cover or something. Cover up my mouth, my nose—just for a little precaution. I don't know if it helps a lot but I like to think, at least, it helps. So, it's interesting living in a city with smog and what's even more interesting is when you hear about, like, smog warnings. When you the government or the city say “today is not a good day to spend a lot of time outside” or “don't let your children play too long outside.” That's kind of crazy.

Paige: It’s nuts that you have to kind of like regulate what you do, based on the air pollution.

Ian: Yeah, exactly.

Paige: Yeah. So, August we're surviving. So, you've been in Chile for about two years.

Ian: Yep.

Paige: Have you gotten sick a lot since you’ve been here?   

Ian:  I haven't gotten that sick.  I think a couple times I've gotten the flu, but I feel like pretty normal. Just a couple days. I've only been to the health clinics once, and they gave me shot and I was out on the street again, doing fine. So, pretty good experiences here. But yeah, I've been lucky not to really get so sick while I've been here. What about you? Besides August, have you gotten sick at all? Or had any experiences?

Paige: Yeah, I mean, I’ve had a few colds, but, you know, kind of the normal, nothing to cry about. I mean for you, do you, are you someone that, like, really doesn't want to get sick and, like, is proactive about that?

Ian: Yeah, so obviously I don't like getting sick…don't want to get sick. But, I'm not really obsessive to the point of every single choice I make, making sure that I'm not going to get sick. I don't really try to necessarily, like, avoid certain people on the subway, things like this. I think lot of it's inevitable. But yeah, there are definitely some measures I take to try to stay healthy, to try to prevent myself from getting sick. It was funny, the other day I was feeling, like I said, under the weather—not that great. So, to be preventive I went to the pharmacy and I bought cold medicine, I bought vitamin C tablets, I bought tea for the cold. I had something important happening the next weekend, and I thought, I cannot get sick before this. So, I was a little more preventative than usual, in that case. But normally I just try to try to eat healthy, make good decisions and just hope I don't get sick.

Paige: Fair, I think the winter here is very different because since we're both in the US, especially like for me, I'm from Boston. I mean, our winters are harsh. I mean they're painfully cold. If you go outside and your body hurts.

Ian: I can only imagine.

Paige:  So, I mean heating is part of every building, part of anywhere you go. You're going to find heating. You're never going to see someone wearing a jacket inside, because there's so much heat. Where here, it was so hard to get used to. A lot of buildings don't have central heating. So, you go to a classroom, and you're going to teach a class with a jacket on and a scarf. Or in my apartment, I'm always wearing a sweatshirt. I'm wearing a sweatshirt, I'm wearing slippers, wool socks. Maybe a blanket and maybe, like, an “estufa” right next to me.

Ian: I know the feeling. Yeah, I'm the same way. In my old house it was very, very cold, especially in July. Let's just say I spent a lot of mornings curled up by the little heater in my room trying to motivate myself to get up and get moving in the morning. It's hard to do when it's so cold and you’re fully bundled up in the house. And, yeah, like you said, it's just culturally something different than what we're used to, so. But I do think it's that is another reason why you see people get sick in these winter months. You have this this lack of heating. And so, like you said, people spend time inside with their jackets, and their long underwear, and their hats and typically things that you wouldn't have to wear inside. And funny enough, there were actually times where I felt like it was warmer outside of my house than inside of my house. So, it was pretty interesting—pretty trippy.

Paige:  I completely agree with that. Especially, the way my apartment is, we don't really get a lot of natural light. And the winter months, what's strange here, and I do not have in Boston, is the mornings will be very cold. And the nights will be very cold. But at two or three pm, it is, like, t-shirt weather. In Boston, when it's winter it's obviously colder at night in the morning but the daytime you're not wearing a t-shirt. You're still wearing a jacket and gloves and scarves and hats.

Ian: Here, it can be, you know, it can be super cold in the morning. I’ll leave the house with two jackets and by lunchtime, like you said, sweating, and I'm in my t-shirt. So, here I think you have to prepare for the whole spectrum of weather, with your wardrobe, with anything when you're leaving the house for the day. As opposed to other places, like we said in the United States, where the same thing all day and you'll be fine. So, yeah, you have a lot of people complaining about those temperature changes during this month, especially.

Paige: They always say “dress in layers” here in Santiago. The other thing that I really noticed, and we can relate to coming from the US, is the obesity problem here, since we're talking about health. I actually read an article from the New York Times before I moved here, and I was shocked. I was like “wow, “Chile has one of the highest obesity rates in the world. And I didn't know that about this country at all. And so, when I came here, I kind of had my eyes open, looking at everyone. And you don't really see it in Santiago because, you know, where we are in Las Condes, Providencia, Ñuñoa, it's all people who are professionals, all working. So, they're more, you know, apt to exercise, have the money to eat healthier. So, it's in, like, the smaller, lower income areas and just a lot of junk food. I mean you can get a Super 8 for what, like, 10 cents.

Ian: Yeah, something super cheap like that.

Paige: And the amount of fast food places here…like, they actually have McDonald's that only serves ice cream.

Ian: Yeah, I’ve seen that.

Paige: We don't have that in the US. I mean, you go to McDonalds—it's not good for you but they have even more McDonald's because they have just ice cream.

Ian:  Right, right, exactly.

Paige: And the soda, they drink here—so much soda.

Ian: Yeah, you see a lot of sodas, you know, something that makes me cringe is when I'm going to work early in the morning and I see someone drinking a can of Coca-Cola. I can't stand it. It makes me, it makes my stomach turn almost to see it. But yeah, it's very normal and you see the same kind of habits, the same sort of dietary lifestyles in the United States as well, so while it's different in where we are, you kind of see similarities and how people are treating their health, how they're treating their diet. And like you said, you know, it's not cheap to eat healthy. So, for the people that are lower income, maybe working a couple jobs, they don't have time to cook good food for themselves or their family. You look and you say, “do I want to spend, you know, this much money on vegetables, and all these good foods that then I’m gonna have to cook. Or I can just pop over to McDonald's and buy hamburgers for my whole family and we're good. But that leads down the cycle of, you’re eating unhealthily, your body becomes unhealthy and it almost becomes just a really nasty dietary cycle that unfortunately, we see too much.

Paige: I agree. I think the biggest thing that I've seen here, if someone asked, like, “oh why is the obesity problem so high, here” and I would say bread. I think the amount of bread that people eat here is, like, it's crazy. And it's not even the amount, it's the access. I mean, I can go into any store in the city and get fresh, delicious bread. You don't have that in the US, you, like, have to seek it out. Like, you'd have to go to a bakery or you'd have to find that supermarket where they make good bread. But like, you can get it at a gas station here. It’s everywhere, and it's so cheap. So, I think if someone said what's the biggest reason, I would say bread.

Ian: Yeah, I would agree. Lots of bread, lots of carbs.

Paige: Yeah, I would say since I've been here, I've eaten the most amount of bread in my life. It's hard not to, it's just everywhere.

Ian: Right, it's delicious. Who's gonna turn down a marraqueta, a fresh marraqueta?

Paige: So, we covered quite a lot of topics. We went from smog to the heating systems to obesity, but I hope everyone survives this August—stays warm and does not get sick.

Ian: Yeah everyone, stay healthy out there, get your vitamin C, make sure you make it to the end of the month.

Paige: So again, if you get lost, check out that transformative vocabulary guide. Thanks for listening.

Ian: We'll see you next time.


Key Vocabulary, Phrases and Slang:


1.     broad (adjective): general, not specific.

a.     She always gives broad descriptions of her clients.

2.     to dread (verb): to fear, to dislike

a.     I dread having to go to work in the rain.

3.     under the weather (idiom): to feel sick.

a.     I’ve been feeling under the weather all week because of my allergies.

4.     nasally (adverb): sounds coming from the nose.

a.     Why do I always sound so nasally when I talk on the phone?

5.     sniffles (noun): the sound of breathing through the nose, usually with a cold.

a.     She has had the sniffles all week long and is going to see the doctor today.

6.     get through (phrasal verb): to survive, endure.

a.     I need to get through the semester with all good grades.

7.     gross (adjective): disgusting, displeasing.

a.     The streets are filled with trash—gross!

8.     hazy (adjective): unclear, clouded, hard to see

a.     The skies became hazy whenever the clouds moved in.

9.     nuts (slang, adjective): crazy, unbelievable.

a.     It’s nuts that you have never left Santiago before!

10.  shot (noun): medical syringe/needle for giving medical treatment through veins.

a.     She went to the doctor last week and they gave her a shot to feel better.

11.  obsessive (adjective): completely concentrated on something.

a.     She’s completely obsessive with her love for bikes.

12.  to avoid (verb): to keep away from something or to stop doing something.

a.     She avoids doing her homework every week.

13.  inevitable (adjective): certain to happen.

a.     It was inevitable that he would get hungry visiting the super market.

14.  measures (noun): plans, methods.

a.     He always has certain measures to keep himself from getting tired while he exercises.

15.  to prevent (verb): to stop something from happening.

a.     They want to prevent the protestors from marching into downtown.

16.  harsh: extreme, difficult.

a.     The weather in the region is really harsh during the wet season.

17.  curled up (phrasal verb, adjective): to be in a comfortable position, usually sitting.

a.     I like to curl up with a good book on the couch and read at night.

18.  bundled up (phrasal verb, adjective): to be covered with warm clothes.

a.     She was always bundled up when she went outside to play during the winter.

19.   trippy (adjective): strange, different

a.     My first trip to Asia was so trippy—it’s such a different culture. 

20.  spectrum (noun): used to identify the position of something

a.     He is considered more right-wing on the political spectrum.

21.  wardrobe (noun): collection of clothes

a.     He has a lot of sweaters in his wardrobe.

22.  to complain (verb): to be unhappy or annoyed with something.

a.     She’s always complaining about everything!

23.  shocked (adjective): feeling surprised about something that just happened.

a.     She was shocked to hear the news about the attack.

24.  apt (adjective): appropriate, likely

a.     She was more apt to study if she stayed in the library by herself.

25.  to cringe (verb): to show disgust

a.     She cringed when she saw the man pick his nose.

26.  to turn (verb): to hurt, to feel sick

a.     His stomach turns every time he smells fish.

27.  pop over (phrasal verb): to go, to visit.

a.     I’m going to pop over to Carl’s Jr. for lunch.

28.  nasty (adjective): gross, disgusting

a.     The floors on the subway are nasty after it rains.

29.  access (noun): ability to get or enter something.

a.     There’s always access to fresh seafood in coastal cities.

30.  to seek (verb): to look, to search.

a.     They always seek the approval of their friends.

31.  carbs (noun): shortened for carbohydrates.

a.     There are lots of carbohydrates in bread and pasta.