On English Teacher John Show number 72:
- Meet my brother, David
- We talk about “East vs. West” — the differences between the east and west of the U.S.
- music by Martin Chenhall.
- transcript (below)
OK. Well, this is East vs. West, today’s show, featuring an interview I did a few months ago when I was home talking to my brother, David, in the East vs.West on a smaller scale. I now live in Japan. And this podcast comes to you from Matsumoto, Japan, right in the middle of Honshu Island in Japan. We are not talking about East versus West, meaning East like China or Japan or East Asian countries. We are talking about — and, of course, West would mean — usually, it means European countries, the America, in general. We are talking East vs. the West in my home country. I now live in Japan but I’m American. And I grew up with my family, my brothers and my brother, David, who you will hear in the Philadelphia area that is in the East — the Northeast of the United States. And my brother, David, he moved out West. He lived in a few places, he now lives in Colorado. And he’s making a few comments about the differences between the Eastern US and the Western US. So, let’s listen to the interview.
John Koons: Alright. Well, everybody, we’ve got a very special interview today. Yes, someone who I rarely see these days. It is my brother, David. Hey, Dave, welcome to the English Teacher John Show.
David Koons: Glad to be here. John: We are back here for a family reunion in the Philadelphia, New Jersey area. And Dave, tell us, what it’s like to come East? You have grown up here in the East, now you live out West as well. Tell us a little bit where you live now and what you do.
David: Well, I live in Boulder, Colorado now. And I’ve been out West for about 20 years. Before Boulder, I was in San Francisco and San Diego out in California. I’ve been in Boulder for the last nine years. And just came back East about five days ago and we’re leaving in a few hours. And it’s quite a culture shock for our family to come East because of the differences. Out West, there seems to be a lot more space and it’s spread out and a very active lifestyle, in terms of fitness and outdoor activity.
Coming East, the first thing we noticed is there is a lot more trees, so it feels a lot more congested. There’s a lot more people crammed into a smaller space. And one thing I’ve noticed a lot, because I exercise a lot outdoors, is the lack of space on the side of the roads. Out West, when we go for a bike ride or a run, there’s what’s called ‘a shoulder’ on the side of the road. Beyond the white line, there’s still 3, 4, or 5 feet or a meter, or so, to a larger biker run. And back East, when that white line ends, the road ends and there’s no room. And it’s not very bicycle or runner-friendly to try to exercise outside back East. That’s the first noticeable difference, John.
John: Well, I think all you guys out there know I’m an avid cyclist, and now in Japan. But growing up, I was just kind of — I wasn’t, we rode bicycles around the neighborhood but I never really became a bicycle rider while in the States. And now, I’m riding bicycle all the time. And now, I really noticed that this is not a bicycle-friendly area. So, there you said, you’re quite the exercise guy, I know that. You are out, what’s the typical routine or workout that you do on the bike? Guide us through something that you do.
David: One of the things I like, I like to run a couple of times a week. I like to bike a couple of times a week. I do Taekwondo with my family a couple of times a week. For a bicycle, there’s two different rides I like to do. One is I leave Boulder and I go North and there’s some really nice rolling hills for 20 miles or so. So, I might go out for anywhere from 20, 40, or 60 miles on rolling hills. We really just enjoy the sunshine and the air — the fresh air. And that’s a beautiful ride. The other ride I like to do, is there’s a very steep mountain right just a couple of miles, a couple of kilometers from my house. And I like to ride that bike up this really steep mountain, get a good, short, high-heartbeat workout that maybe last an hour of climbing. It sure is steep and then the downhill’s a heck of a lot of fun to come down to.
John: And Boulder is already pretty high as far as elevation. So, how high is Boulder where you live? It’s in Colorado? It’s around the Rocky Mountains. So, tell us about Boulder. How high is it and how about the nearby mountains — the Rocky Mountains? How high are those?
David: Boulder is right up the road from Denver. And Denver is referred to as the “mile-high City”. So, ‘mile-high’, John, you know better than me, is 50 something–
John: 5,000 feet.
David: Over 5,000 feet. So, Boulder is about 5,400 feet in elevation which is about 1800 meters approximately. And a lot of professional athletes live in Boulder. They like training in altitude because it gives them an advantage when they go down the sea level and they have increased capacity for oxygen. And it’s like a little extra boost, it gives them a workout. So, Boulder is really great. It’s been voted the fittest or most in-shape city in the US numerous times.
John: And how big are the nearby mountains? David: The mountains in Colorado alone, the Rocky Mountains, have 55 mountains that are over 14,000 feet tall and 14,000 feet — I’m trying to do the math in my head.
John: I’m trying too.
David: It’s around, I don’t know, 4,500 –
John: 4,500, yeah.
David: 4,500 meters, approximately. So, 55 mountains that are over approximately 5500 meters.
John: A little higher than what we have in the Eastern?
David: A little in the East, we have some hills that are maybe 45 feet. Maybe about 15 meters, not the 4500 meters. But the East, it’s all about the go, go, go and go shopping, go to the mall, and go to the shore.
John: Yes, that’s all about — we’re talking about the East vs. West here in the US. Both of us growing up in the Eastern US. And David, now living in the Colorado, I live in Japan. So, you think the pace is different. You said shopping, pace of life, and all those things. So, how’s Colorado vs. the New Jersey, Pennsylvania area?
David: The pace of life seems to be different. There seems to be a different emphasis in getting in a car, driving, and going. And I don’t want to be disparaging. It’s just not quite my style. There’s no lack of ambition out in the West coast. It’s just it’s a different mind set where the ambition is definitely work-related. But then, on the weekends, the ambition might be to scale a mountain, climb a peak, or do alone bike ride rather than go shopping or go to a super fine restaurant and stuff. I’m not saying we don’t do that. It’s just a different emphasis on the outdoor, where the ambitions are redirected on weekends and after hours.
John: Culturally? Anything — I guess that’s kind of culture in the way people spend their time. Culture food, any things like that feel different out West? You’ve been out there so long.
David: Yeah, it depends. Colorado is very different than California, in a way. But culturally, a lot more emphasis on the outdoors. Food-wise, I don’t know if it’s that different. It seems to be just my guess but seems like less junk food out in Colorado than Philadelphia, which I think is the king of junk food and really good food. But just a different emphasis.
You know, over the last, since we grew up, it seems like travel and cars and everything made, there are so many people, like in Colorado, very few people actually grew up in Colorado. And they are all transplants from California and back in Eastern Chicago. So, there’s a lot of spreading of cultures. And so I think that’s being reduced so. But, you know, a big difference to me is having all that space, having really clear weather, low humidity which really fosters people being outside. I mean, let’s face it. It’s been 100% of humidity in the last few days and we prefer the airconditioning. So, we’re kind of guilty ourselves.
John: And general climate? Like you’ve got four seasons and the East here, Pennsylvania and New Jersey got four seasons. Any real differences? The length of winter or snow fall, that kind of stuff?
David: I think we definitely get more snow fall, but, you know, we –
John: Some of the countries best skiing out by you? David: Yeah, also the best skiing in the country and also less humidity by far. And we have over 300 days of sunshine a year in Colorado. So, that’s in Boulder, anyway. And that’s a beautiful thing. And have a lot more rain out in the East. But, yes, it’s just a great climb from what I like. A lot of people that move or maybe visit out there say it’s nice to visit but my preferences. I prefer out West.
John: And finally, do you see yourself visiting the strongest, best-looking brother out in Japan? Do you have any plans to go to Japan and visit the English Teacher John Studios and the English Teacher John family?
David: Well, that was a complicated question.
David: Because you said the strongest, best-looking brother, and obviously, he lives in Colorado. And then, you’re now putting a beauty pageant for second place between you and Frank, and that’s –
John: And little Nathalie, who has just walked by.
David: Yeah, little Nathalie just walked by and that’s my 21-month old daughter. And there’s plans. The whole family would love to go visit English Teacher John in Japan and have him help us out with our English. I’m still struggling with the language but –
John: I see that.
David: Yes. And so we’d love to go to Japan and check it out and get tours and meet as many of your prodigy students or followers and admirers or detractors that we can.
John: Alright, well. Right here, live, with all of you listening, my brother, David, and his family have an open invitation to visit us in Matsumoto, Japan. Dave, thank you very much for talking to us here at English Teacher John Show.
David: Thank you very much. It’s been my pleasure.
Alright, well, we’re going to keep it short here. First, podcast back in a while. I hope you enjoy that out. Don’t forget, we’ve got transcripts for some of our podcasts. I will put the transcript up for this episode soon. Just soon. I don’t have a promise date on that, but check the website. By the time you listen to this, it’s probably already there, englishteacherjohn.com/podcast. Anyway, our email address is p o d c a s t -AT- english teacher john -dot- com. I get a lot of spam in that address, in that email account. So, I apologize in advance if you don’t get a response or a quick response.
Alright, everybody, thanks for listening. I’m happy to be back and working with everyone and be a part of the English Teaching community, the podcasting community. It feels good. Thanks for your support. Thanks for listening. And we’ll catch you soon on the English Teacher John Show. Bye-bye.
And a big thank you to my brother David, for meeting us at the Overseas English Teacher John Studios. And our music man, Martin Chenhall. Thanks to you guys.