It's good to be back here in the studio. If you're a regular Culips listener, you'll know that I just spent the last few weeks in my home country of Canada, but I'm back here in Seoul, South Korea now where I live. Have you ever seen the movie, The Wizard of Oz? One of the famous, famous lines from that film is, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home." And that essentially means that home is the best and the most comfortable place there is in the entire world.
And I'm lucky enough to feel like there's no place like home when I visit Canada, but also when I come back to Korea. For me now both places feel like home. Welcome to the Culips English Podcast. My name is Andrew, I'm your host and your study, buddy, and this is bonus episode number 40. Thanks for joining me today for an English study session. In this episode, I'm going to talk with you about the last few days of my time in Canada, and the long journey I took to get back to Seoul.
A little later on in the episode, I'll teach you in detail about a useful expression that you'll hear me use when I'm telling these stories. So, keep your ears open for the expression and maybe you can find it before I introduce it to you. And of course, there's a 100% free transcript that accompanies this episode. You can download it as a PDF file if you prefer to print it out with your printer.
Or you can use the online interactive version, which is best for those of you who are using your computer or your smartphone to study with this episode. To get the free transcript, just follow the link in the description, or visit our website Culips.com. I also want to let you know that our February live stream for Culips members will be happening soon. It's coming up on February 28th at 8pm Korean Standard Time.
Now Kassy and I will be hosting together, and we'd love for all Culips members to tune in and join us. We had an awesome live stream last month in January with more members than ever participating, and it was just a really fun time. To watch the live stream, you just need to log into your Culips account and follow the link from the Dashboard.
OK, last time I checked in with you I was at my brother's house in Kelowna, British Columbia, my hometown, and we had just finished celebrating his birthday with my family. Now the next day, the day after his birthday, it was the weekend and he invited me to join him and a few of his close friends for a birthday party at a place called the KBI, the Kelowna Beer Institute, which is a craft brewery.
Now craft breweries, or microbreweries, as they're sometimes called, are so popular these days. And they are everywhere, I noticed that there are so many of them in Canada. When I was back there, I saw them in Vancouver and Victoria and Kelowna. They're just all over the place. And for those of you who don't know what a brew pub or a microbrewery is, well, they're places where beer is made and then sold.
You can buy the beer and take it home with you if you like, or you can stay there, and they usually have some tables set up, there's a little seating area, and sometimes they often sell some very simple food as well. You just order at the counter and then pick up your food and your drinks yourself, and they're really cool. And my brother and I went to the KBI for his birthday, and we had a lovely time.
It was my first time in fact, meeting some of his friends, but it turns out that we had a lot in common. We actually had attended the same elementary school and we even had some of the same teachers and it made me feel like the world is a really small place. His friends were so nice, and I had a blast talking with them and hanging out with them. Now Kelowna in the winter is a very sleepy place, especially when visiting from Korea, which is always full of hustle and bustle and lots of energy.
Kelowna is like the opposite. It's just quiet at night, and even on the weekends, there's not much going on. So, because of this, of course we were the only table at the KBI. It wasn't even late at night or anything, but we were the only customers there. At least we were until another group of people came and visited the KBI and sat at a table a little bit behind us. And of course, when new people come into a business, you kind of notice, right?
You can hear them making noise and stuff, but they were sitting behind me, so I didn't really notice them. But after they sat down and started speaking, I immediately heard that they were speaking in Korean. And so, I turned it around and I noticed that it was a table of Korean people hanging out. And that was pretty cool for me to see because there aren't too many Korean people that live in my hometown. For those of you who are new to Culips, and don't really know my backstory, I'm Canadian, but I do live in South Korea.
And I've been here for around 10 years and one thing that has happened to me so many times during my time here in Korea, is that if I'm hanging out with one of my non-Korean friends, and we're in this kind of situation, where maybe we're out for a drink at a pub, or something like that, and we're speaking English with each other, in this kind of situation, almost always without fail, a middle aged Korean guy will come over to our table and interrupt our conversation, to introduce himself and to practice trying to speak English with us a little bit.
It happens all the time, like I said, without fail. Now, in fact, most of the time, this is kind of fun for me, and I like speaking to random people like this, and I'm happy to have these kinds of conversations for a little bit. Now sometimes it can be annoying, though, especially if the guy has had a little too much to drink.
But anyways, when I noticed the group of Korean people hanging out at the KBI, I knew that I had to return the favor and be the Canadian middle-aged guy that goes over to their table to practice some Korean with them. Maybe you don't know this about me, but I'm actually a pretty shy person and I don't like talking with strangers in general. But my brother's friends wanted to hear me speak a little bit of Korean, and me too, I actually wanted to know what these people were doing in my hometown.
So, I built up some courage, I went over to their table, and I introduced myself and asked them about what they were doing living in Kelowna. And thankfully, these people were super friendly. They were all younger than me, like university student aged and they were really friendly and fun, and I think they were a little bit shocked to have a conversation with me in Korean. I talked to them for about five or 10 minutes. and then I ducked out and went back to my table.
To duck out means to leave somewhere early, and I knew from my experience that a five- or 10-minute conversation is fun, but after that, it gets a little bit annoying, and you just kind of want to go back to hanging out with your friends. So, I didn't want to bother them too much, and I only chatted for a few moments. But it was just a really random encounter, and I was so happy to talk with them a bit in the Korean language about life in Kelowna.
It's actually funny because my wife, who is Korean, was with me in Canada for a couple of weeks. She actually went back home a week before me because she had to go back to work, but during the time we were in Canada, we didn't really come across any Korean people. Some in Vancouver, but none in Kelowna. But then my wife left, she went back home, and I ran into these Korean people on my own, so that was pretty neat. Anyways, celebrating my brother's birthday was really fun.
And after that, I just had a few days left in Canada, and most of that time, I just hung out with my family. But one thing that I also did was visit some thrift stores near my parents’ house. Thrift stores are stores where you can buy used products that people have donated, and these products are usually really cheap. Now, as someone who loves vintage things and old things, these kinds of stores really float my boat.
Now at one thrift store, I hit the jackpot, and I found a bunch of old country western LPs that were being sold for a very fair price. Now regular Culips listeners will know that I'm a big music fan and I love pretty much all genres of music. So, I was excited to find all of these old country records by artists like Tammy Wynette and Glen Campbell and Conway Twitty and the reason why I was so excited to find them is because my record collection actually doesn't have very many country records in it.
So, this was filling that gap. Anyways, there were probably 100 or so records at the thrift store. And when you come across a collection like this, what I think it usually is, is someone's estate that has been donated to the thrift store. This means that someone probably passed away, and their relatives didn't know what to do with the old country records. We call that your estate. When you pass away all of your things that you leave behind, those things are your estate.
This is just my guess, but I think probably what happened is that there was a country music fan in Kelowna who passed away and all of their old records were donated to the thrift store. So of course, I couldn't buy the whole collection and bring it back with me across the world to Seoul, but I did buy about five records, and I brought them back with me, and I've been listening to them this week and they're really great.
And I'm just happy that I was able to breathe some new life into them by adding them to my record collection. That pretty much wrapped up my time in Kelowna, and then it was time for me to make the long journey back from my hometown to Seoul. I left Kelowna on Tuesday evening and got back to Seoul on Thursday evening. It was a long trip. The hardest part of the journey was the 11-hour flight from Vancouver to Seoul.
Now weirdly, the flight from Seoul to Vancouver was only eight and a half hours, but the return flight was 11 hours. I guess the jet stream and wind patterns really change depending on which direction you travel in. And so, the return trip takes just a lot longer. Well, thankfully, I did an online check-in as soon as I was able to, and that meant that I was able to pick a good seat on the plane, and I had this wonderful aisle seat with lots of legroom and nobody else around me.
So, that was really nice and it made for a comfortable flight back. Killing time on an 11-hour flight isn't easy. That is a long time. I watched a Korean movie about this mathematician from North Korea, which starred an actor that I really like, but the film overall wasn't so great in my opinion. After that, I watched a show on Netflix that I had downloaded to my phone called Love on the Spectrum. Have you heard of this show?
Actually, my younger sister introduced it to me, and I immediately fell in love with it. And I actually binged both seasons of the show while I was riding the plane. So, Love on the Spectrum is a documentary-style show that follows a group of Australian young adults, they're all in like their early 20s, who are on the autism spectrum. And it follows them as they start to enter the dating world and start to look for love and relationships. And the show is just great.
It's cute, it's heartwarming, and I instantly took a liking to a lot of the people who are on the show. I can't recommend this show enough, I think if you're looking for just an awesome Netflix show to watch, I really highly recommend this one. And since it's an Australian show, all of the people on the show use an Australian accent, which is something that we don't cover too much on Culips at all, unfortunately.
So, if you're interested in learning more about the Australian accent, then the show could be a great one for you to check out. Anyways, by the time I had finished the two seasons of Love on the Spectrum, the plane was about to land finally, then, of course, after you get off the airplane, the worst thing is that you're still at the airport and you have to go through immigration, you have to collect your bags, and then you have to make your way home, which for me takes about another hour and a half of riding the airport train and then the subway.
So, it kind of feels like you're home once you get to the airport, but your journey's not quite over yet. Now for this trip, I packed pretty light, but unfortunately my wife didn't pack pretty light. As I mentioned earlier, she returned home a week before me and she left me in charge of carrying the heavy suitcase that we had filled mostly with gifts to bring back for friends and family.
So, I think the official weight limit for the airline that I rode was 23 kilograms, that was the maximum weight that your bag could be. And when I weighed in that suitcase, it was 22.4 kilograms. So, it was like at the limit, it was pretty much as heavy as it could be. So, I had to carry that heavy suitcase filled with gifts, plus my own personal suitcase and backpack with me, on the airport train, and then on the subway.
But to be honest, though, after sitting on an airplane for 11 hours, getting some exercise like that actually felt good, and I needed to stretch and move after sitting for so long, so it was fine. So then finally, around 9:45 at night, I got home, and I was exhausted, and I just crashed right away. And that was pretty much a day for me. The next day after a good sleep, I woke up, unpacked my bags, I washed my clothes, I got my life organized.
But there was one really nasty surprise waiting for me and one of my suitcases, and that was spilled honey. Spilled honey. You see, my wife wanted to bring back some gifts for her friends, and I guess Canadian honey is supposed to be really good quality honey, or something like that, it has a good reputation. So, she bought several bottles to bring back with her, and during the flight, the lid of one of the honey bottles came loose and a bunch of honey spilled out.
Now thankfully, I had wrapped the honey in a couple of plastic bags, just in case this kind of thing happened. So, most of the honey was contained within the plastic bags. But not all of it was and some of the honey spilled throughout my suitcase. So, you can just imagine honey in a suitcase is a really sticky, gooey mess. But like I said, there wasn't too much of it. And also, thankfully, the bottle didn't break, and instead, the lid just came off.
So, there wasn't any broken glass to deal with and we can actually still eat the remaining half a bottle of honey because we don't have to worry about broken glass pieces, being inside the honey or anything like that. So anyways, cleaning up a bunch of spilled honey kind of sucks, to be honest, and it wasn't exactly the way I wanted to spend my first morning back in Korea. But that's life, right? And I learned it's actually easier to clean honey up than I originally had thought.
So, all in all, the trip to Canada was awesome, but it's just wonderful to be back here in Seoul now. And this week ahead, I'm going to try and catch up on all of the comments and emails I've received during my time away that I haven't had the chance to respond to yet. And I'm also really excited to record some new Culips episodes, and to work on some projects that we have bubbling here behind the scenes. So, I'm looking forward to having a really productive week here at Culips this week.
And now it's time for this week's vocabulary lesson.
Before I wrap up this episode, I'd like to teach you about one of the idiomatic expressions that I used when I was talking about thrift stores. Did you notice when I was talking about how much I like thrift stores? I said that they really float my boat. They really float my boat. You know what, why don't we listen to that part again? Let's rewind, go back, and listen to that part a couple more times. Here we go.
As someone who loves vintage things and old things, these kinds of stores really float my boat.
OK, so then what does it mean? What does to float your boat mean? Can you take a guess? Well, the idiom to float your boat or float my boat or float his boat or her boat, we can change that pronoun depending on the context of the sentence, it's just an informal expression that we use to describe something that you find enjoyable or appealing. So, when I say that thrift stores float my boat, I just mean that I like shopping at thrift stores.
Now this expression is thought to have originated in the 60s, but it's still commonly used today, often in a playful or lighthearted way. It's very, very casual, you wouldn't want to use this expression in an important formal situation. Now, to float your boat is a common way to express a feeling of pleasure or excitement about something. So, for example, if you were to say, "This new restaurant really floats my boat." Well, then it means that you really like that new restaurant.
Now, one thing that you need to be aware of is that this idiom is sometimes used by people in a sexual sense to talk about people, or activities that they find sexually attractive. So, it's just good to be aware about that, because I think a lot of times when you hear this expression when you're watching movies or TV, it might be used as a kind of joke or pun to talk about sex. So, just keep that in mind. Of course, for Culips here, we're not going to use it in that kind of way.
And instead, we'll just focus on the meaning of to float your boat meaning to like something. So then, how can we use this expression in a natural way? Well, to help you with that, I've prepared three example sentences. So, let's take a listen to the first example now. Here we go!
Example sentence number one.
If you're into outdoor activities, then hiking and camping will definitely float your boat.
Let's break this example down. In this example, we hear the speaker give a recommendation and he says that hiking and camping will definitely float your boat if you're interested in doing outdoor activities. So again, remember that float your boat just means to enjoy or to like. So, in other words, it just means that you will like hiking and camping if you enjoy doing outdoorsy kinds of things.
Example sentence number two.
Even though I love rock music, classical music floats my boat too.
Let's break this example sentence down. In that example, the speaker says that classical music floats his boat, which means that he likes classical music. Even though he really loves rock music, he's a fan of many genres and classical music floats his boat also. He also enjoys listening to classical music.
Example sentence number three.
Let's break this final example sentence down. In that example, we hear the speaker say that he doesn't like Hawaiian pizza because he doesn't like pineapple on pizza and Hawaiian pizza features that ingredient as like the main ingredient, right? Pineapple on Hawaiian pizza. But when he's talking to his friend, he says, you know if it floats your boat, if you like pineapple on pizza, well, then we can order it.
So, I guess he's not too picky, and he's open to eating Hawaiian pizza if his friend wants to do that, so I think he's a really nice friend, don't you agree?
Well, that brings us to the end of this week's bonus episode. Thanks for listening, congratulations on making it to the end of the episode, and great job on doing some English studying today with me. You can now cross "study English" off your to-do list for today. Doesn't that feel good? I love that feeling. Of course, we'll be back with another brand-new episode a little later this week.
But if you can't wait for it, then don't forget that we have hundreds of free English lessons on our website Culips.com. And if you're looking to take your English skills to the next level, consider becoming a Culips member. With a membership, you'll get access to the study guides for all our episodes, plus interactive transcripts, ad-free audio, monthly livestream invitations, exclusive bonus content and so much more. Simply go to Culips.com to sign up and become a member today.
So that's all for now, everyone. Have a fantastic week, take care, and I'll talk with you soon, goodbye!