1 SHOPPING – podcast episode 1 – transcript

Hello! “My American Friend” has reached its ONE YEAR anniversary! We send out a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all our listeners around the world.

To celebrate our first anniversary, let’s listen to our episode number one dated March 11th 2011.


Happy anniversary!! Marta


M – So, today we’re gonna talk about SHOPPING !

C – Oh, well, Americans love shopping.

M- They do.

C – We have a lot of MEGASTORES.

M -Such as ?

C – For example Wal-Mart, “monster” Wal-Mart, Best Buy for all your electronics needs, Target which is similar to Wal-Mart (Americans love convenience, they like to have everything at their fingertips) And many are open until 9 p.m. every night, seven days a week. Or some are even open 24/7.

M – What do you mean by 24/7 ?

C – By 24/7 I mean : 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

M – Yeah, you’re right. When I went to America I was surprised by that, it seems strange to me, I mean I could buy anything I needed in the middle of the night, at least in big cities.

C – In big cities, usually.

M – It is also easy to find whatever you need while driving across the country.

C – Driving across country is really convenient, as I’ve done myself and I know you’ve done yourself a couple of times, exploring United States. It’s very convenient because on the main highways you’ll find SIGNS listing LODGING, GAS and FOOD just before each exit ramp.

M – That’s really helpful.

C – Isn’t it? When you’re tired and you’ve been driving all day and you just want to stop, you just wait for that sign listing those hotels and find one you like and pull over, very close to the highway you’ll find a room.

M – Just as simple as that.

C – Exactly.

M- Cindy, is there anything that a foreign tourist should know about prices in the USA?

C- Something unexpected for foreigners coming to visit us is that the price you see on the item is not exactly what you will pay. You will pay a certain percentage of SALES TAX on top of that and it varies from State to State. For example in New York City (a lot of people travel to New York City on vacation) New York has a 4% sales tax on each dollar, so if you were to buy an item for a dollar there’d be an extra 4 cents tacked on to it. And it varies from State to State, so you may wanna check that before you go on your trip. For example, California has 8.25% sales tax, Florida is 6%, and where I live in North Carolina is 5.75%. So that could really add up with your larger purchases.

M – Yeah, I mean, if you buy something expensive it makes a difference.

C – A huge difference, so you wanna be prepared for that.

M – Anything else that is unexpected to us?

C – Tipping. Let’s talk about TIPPING. Was that a surprise to you the first time you came to the States?

M – The first time, yes. So, actually you give a TIP …

C – …in addition to your bill, it’s usually 15%, and it’s given to the waiter or your waitress in appreciation for good service.

M – So it’s extra-money that you give…

C – It’s extra-money on top of the bill.

M – Don’t waiters get a salary?

C – They get a reduced salary, actually.

M – So tips are really important.

C – Tips are really important and there’s a great incentive in the States to provide good service to the customers, to make your dining experience pleasurable.

M – Yeah, right. Is there any place except from restaurants where tipping is customary?

C – Tipping is customary in many places, it’s not mandatory but it’s polite and it’s to show your appreciation of a job well done. For example, a valet that would park your car for you, the porter at the airport, shuttle drivers that would take you maybe to your hotel once you’ve left the airport, again, customary to tip a few dollars.

M – All right, so watch out, it could be expensive, more than what you expect!

C – That’s it, start carrying your own bags !

M – Well, actually we’re talking about shopping but we are in the middle of an economic crisis, so how is retail responding to that ?

C – There are markdowns on everything now. Markdowns meaning the price has been marked down, reduced.

M – Reduced, so it’s lower.

C – The price is lower. There’s a lot of “buy one, get one for free” incentives.

M – Yeah, I like that.

C – Or “Buy one and get one half off” which is my favorite way to buy shoes.

M – And how about the restaurants?

C – Restaurants also took quite a hit, many restaurants have gone under, and by gone under I mean they’ve gone out of business, they’ve closed. A lot of restaurants, what they’ve offered is a reduced price menu, a budget price menu, you may not get the large portions that you are accustomed to in America, but you’ll get a little less food but at a very reasonable price.

M – So people have to reduce their spending but they are still dreaming of Tiffany’s, Rodeo Drive, 5th Avenue and…that kind of stuff ?

C – Oh, aren’t we all ? Marta, do you remember Pretty Woman’s scene on Rodeo Drive ?

M – Of course I do!

C – That scene turned me into a ‘shopaholic’ , that very same day I ran out with my brand new credit card and bought those thigh high black leather boots.

M – Really?! Could you walk on that?!

C – No!

M – So you just wanted to buy them…

C – I wanted to be Pretty Woman.

M – I see, I see. How about all those TV shows and movies like Sex and the City and I Love Shopping ?

C – That’s Hollywood effect on us. It turns us all into ‘shopaholics’.

M – It’s unbelievable. Well, I think now it’s time for quotes about shopping.
All right, Cindy, I know you have a great sentence by Dolly Parton.

C – Oh, my favorite, I love Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton said : “You’d be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap.”

M – I’d be surprised, I guess. I got another interesting sentence, it’s by Benjamin Franklin and here it goes : “Beware of little expenses, a small leak will sink a great ship”. That’s it!

C – And Adrienne Gusoff : “Shopping is better than sex. If you’re not satisfied after shopping you can make an exchange for something you really like.”

M – And Will Rogers: “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”

C – Oh, how much happier would we be if we listened to all those words?

M – You’re right.

M – As far as shopping is concerned Teenagers are professionals. So I guess we should get in contact with a friend of ours, Ashley. I’ll try and give her a ring. Here she comes…here she is.. Hey, Ashley, how are you doing?

A – Hi Marta! How are you honey?

M – I’m fine, where are you? Oh, I’m sorry, can you introduce yourself to our listeners?

A – Hi everyone, I’m Ashley, with a Y, ’cause I like lil’ smiley faces with my Y’s.

M – So…you draw smiley faces when you write your name..?

A – It’s really cool. I’ll show you next time I see you, ok?

M – I can’t wait. So, where are you?

A – We’re at the mall, Kelly and I are at the mall, we’re getting mani’s and pedi’s , it’s so cute, Marta, I got French tips on my toes, and we’re gonna go out and buy toe rings. We’re just hanging out at the mall, we’re just chilling because I can’t spend any more money, Marta, I maxed out my credit card.

M – You maxed out your credit card.

A – My Dad won’t let me shop any more, so we’re getting mani’s and pedi’s as I told you, and then we’re gonna go and get Smoothies, and then….oh, my God, oh Marta! I bought the coolest eye-shadow, it was a steal, it’s silver and it’s all sparkly.

M – It was a steal, oh my God, Ashley, are you crazy? Do you mean you stole it?

A – Marta, I didn’t steal it, no, I mean I got it on sale.

M – You meant it was not expensive, so it was a steal. (oh, teenagers!)

A – I got it for , like, nothing, ok well I got it for like 6.99 $, but it was originally 12.99$ then it was marked down, and I had a coupon, and I got it for like 6.99$ it was a steal. it’s so pretty, I’ll show you next time I see you.

M – All right so I really gotta go now.

A – Oh, you have to go? No, Marta, wait a minute, I have to tell you something. Debbie is here.

M – Debbie who?

A – Debbie, I told you about her, that b**ch.

M – Who? Oh, that ‘bitch’!

A – She’s the one who stole Kelly’s boyfriend, I told you about her last week. She bought the dress that Kelly wanted, she’s such a bitch!

M – I guess she is. So, girls, what are you gonna do now?

A – We have to go window shopping. ’cause I can’t spend any more money, my credit card’s maxed out, so we’re just looking, we’re just window shopping.

M – I see, so don’t spend too much of your father’s money.

A – I won’t

M – Behave!

A – I will.

M – Have fun, girls!

A – Ok, will you go shopping next week …with me?

M – Yes, of course…

A – I wanna show you where I got that eye-shadow!

M – Of course… Bye honey!

A – Bye Marta!

M – Ooh! Wow, I made it! Sometimes teenagers are so difficult to deal with! Ooh! Cindy….

C – Sweet girl, though.

M – She’s sweet, kind of sweet.

A – Kind of on her own planet, but she’s a nice girl.

M – Yeah, and she’s crazy about shopping too, it seems like… women just can’t help but go shopping, no matter the age.

C – It’s true.

M – Women can’t help but go shopping, that’s an interesting expression.

C – Yeah, we don’t mean help as in…

M – …to assist, giving assistance…

C – “I can’t help it”, it means it’s stronger than me.

M – I can’t resist, I can’t avoid it. I really need to go shopping.

C – I need to go shopping especially after watching (the film) Pretty Woman.

M – And when is the best period of the year to go shopping ?

C – Oh, well after Christmas sales, fantastic, because everyone wants to get rid of their stock, there are markdowns everywhere.

M – So in that period of the year you can’t help but …

C – …take advantage of the sales! And in between the seasons, as well.

M – Well, I guess, that’s it. We have already taken up enough of our listeners’ time, so, guys, I can’t help but say goodbye here.

C – And stay off the roads because I think Ashley just got her driver’s license.

M – She’s dangerous, watch out!
That’s all, folks! You can find the trascription of this podcast on martainnocenti.com
Thank you again for listening but now we really have to go, we have to go shopping! Bye!

C – Thanks everyone, bye bye!

M – See you next time!


24/7 : 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

TIP : extra-money (approximately %15 of total bill) given on top of the bill in appreciation for good service

MARKDOWNS : to mark down a price means to reduce a price

to GO OUT OF BUSINESS / to GO UNDER : to close a business, cease to exist

a SHOPAHOLIC : a person addicted to shopping

I MAXED OUT MY CREDIT CARD : I can’t charge any more purchases on my credit card because I have reached my charge limit.

IT WAS A STEAL : Not actually stealing. A way to say something wasn’t expensive at all, I got it on sale.

to GO WINDOW SHOPPING : hanging out and watching the windows without buying anything.

I CAN’T HELP IT / I CAN’T HELP BUT GO SHOPPING / I CAN’T HELP BUT … : I can’t resist, I can’t avoid it, it’s stronger than me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: