This episode's vocabulary
- Trinket (noun) - a small decorative object, or a piece of jewelry that is cheap or of low quality.
- Souvenir (noun) - something you buy or keep to help you remember a holiday or special event.
- To hand - near and able to be used.
- To wander (verb) - to walk around slowly in a relaxed way or without any clear purpose or direction.
- Ramshackle (adj.) - badly or untidily made and likely to break or fall down easily.
- Chaotic (adj.) - confused, with no order.
- To signpost (verb) - to show the direction of something on a signpost.
- Come in handy - to be useful.
- Layout (noun) - the way that something is arranged.
- To hunt (verb) - a search for something or someone.
- Ongoing (adj.) - continuing to exist or develop, or happening at the present moment.
- Window shopping - the activity of spending time looking at the goods on sale in shop windows without intending to buy any of them.
- To sidetrack (verb) - to direct a person's attention away from an activity or subject towards another one that is less important.
Questions and Answers
M: Roro, Ruru, do you like to go to street markets?
R: I like it when I go on holiday like to pick up some trinkets or souvenirs for people back home. Otherwise, like a more targeted shopping experience in online stores or shops is what I prefer.
M: How often do you go to markets?z
R: Whenever I'm on holiday, and there's one to hand it's fun to go with whoever I'm with. You can find and see and even experience lots of different things.
M: Tell me about an outdoor market you've been to?
R: Well, there's one based around the high street in Wa, which is a town in the Upper West Region of Ghana. You can find just about anything there. From phones to spare parts for scooters and motorbikes. I can remember wandering around this sort of ramshackle stores in this sort of chaotic grid pattern looking for a fan and a kettle. I needed them for when I lived at the school nearby. And we found them eventually, but it took ages because nothing is well signposted there.
M: Which do you prefer markets or shopping malls?
R: Shopping malls without question. Especially now in the summer when the air conditioning comes in handy. That aside the layout, it's more logical, and it's easier to follow than the mess that usually characterizes even small markets. You really have to hunt around in them to find what you want, especially if you don't live there. And that can be a huge waste of time.
M: Do many people go to markets in your country?
R: I imagine they don't as much as they used to since there are ongoing restrictions. But under normal circumstances, it's quite common, especially if you live in or near the countryside. And sometimes they get set up in towns or cities for the people there.
M: Have your shopping habits changed over the years?
R: Well, I've always been pretty frugal, but there has been a bit more of a shift from just direct into the point shopping to enjoying the experience of window shopping. And I've turned it into more of a social experience. And I probably get sidetracked more easily as well. That's probably because I have a bit more time in my hands these days.
M: Rory, thank you very much for your answers.
R: Shall we go shopping for the vocabulary?
M: Let's hunt around. Hunt around by the way. You said like markets are difficult to hunt around.
R: Yeah, well, if you're hunting around, it means just like you're looking for something very specific. It's like you're hunting for the thing. And instead of an animal, it's a, well, in my case, it was a fan and a kettle.
M: Yeah, so it's difficult to hunt around in markets. And it's more straightforward in shopping malls because everything is signposted. Trinkets. You usually buy trinkets or souvenirs at the markets. Trinkets?
R: A trinket is like a small gift that you pick up for people.
M: Yes, so like magnets or bracelets. Yeah. You said that "Whenever I'm on holiday, and there is one to hand".
R: Yeah, so if something is to hand, it doesn't mean like it's in your hand, it means it's close by and you can get to it easily.
M: So do you ever go to markets? Yeah. If there is one to hand. Nice. You wander around the market?
R: Yeah. So if you wander around and it's like there's no specific plan. You just sort of go around this area without any specific purpose.
M: Yeah, I enjoy wandering around the street market or an open-air market. You said ramshackle stores.
R: Well, the ramshackle stores just means like they're not very well-maintained.
M: Kind of like... Are they in poor condition? Messy?
M: Messy. Yeah. Are there any ramshackle stores in Moscow? Have you seen any?
R: I haven't seen any. There's probably more around the outskirts.
M: Maybe somewhere in the villages.
M: Okay. Chaotic grid pattern.
R: Oh, there's one. Sorry. I just realized there's one that's in Vladimir Oblast. Which is just outside the Moscow region, and it's got the word "Продукты", which is like a place where you buy, like groceries. But it's upside down. So I was looking at this sign upside down, like, why are all these Russian letters in such a strange pattern? And I was like, oh, it says "Продукты", but it's upside down. So that's a bit ramshackle.
M: Yeah. So we can have old messy, like, not organized.
R: Yeah, it was a bit of mess. But I found what I wanted once I understood what kind of shop it was.
M: And also markets could have a chaotic, chaotic grid pattern.
R: So usually a grid pattern is quite well organized and easy to understand. This had a grid pattern, which was like, completely without logic, but you could tell it was supposed to be a grid. It's just not in an orderly manner. Nothing like the grid patterns you see in America, for example.
M: Rory chooses shopping malls because he enjoys air conditioning. Air Conditioning comes in handy.
R: Yeah, just means it's useful.
M: Yes, it's useful to have air conditioning in summer. Especially if it's boiling hot, +35 degrees. Rory has always been pretty frugal.
R: Yes. Which just means that you're don't spend lots and lots of money on things.
M: Yeah, frugal, and Rory enjoys experience of window shopping.
R: So window shopping is just when you, well, it doesn't have to be looking at the things in the window, it usually means you're looking at things in the window just to see what's there and maybe think about what you want for future but you're not going to buy it now.
M: Rory, I know what you're going to be doing this weekend. So because you're leaving Russia, right? So you're going to get some souvenirs for your friends and your parents, your family. So you're gonna go to a market somewhere in Moscow and, Rory, you need to buy five souvenirs. So I'm gonna tell you what you can buy. And then you're gonna tell me which like, five things, no, three things that you're going to buy. Okay, Rory? It's not an option, so you just have to choose. Okay, ready? So "Matryoshka doll". So it's like the famous Russian doll. Amber. It's the fossilized tree things. Amber stone. You gonna buy "Hohloma".
R: You just made that word up.
M: "Hohloma" is a traditional Russian craft originated in the 17th century. "Hohloma" -painting. You're going to buy "valenki". "Valenki" are Russian boots. Russian boots. You can get some designer "Valenki". So like the warmest footwear. You're gonna get wooden toys. Carved figures of animals, like carved bears. You would go for Russian chocolate. Like "Alenka". Russian chocolate is traditional and epic. You would go for Russian vodka.
R: You said five but you're actually on seven though.
M: Yeah, but you need to choose from them.
R: Oh, I see.
M: Yeah, you're gonna get "ushanka". "Ushanka" is a traditional Russian winter hat. So it goes something like that. So "ushanka". Alright. Winter hat. Fur hat. You're gonna go with Faberge eggs. Which are supposed traditionally Russian. Okay, Faberge eggs. One or two maybe, three. Zhostovo trays. So beautiful metal trays to put next to your carpets...
R: How many items are on this list?
M: Or "samovar". You gonna go with this traditional Russian metal container traditionally used for heating water during the tea ceremony. So, Rory, what are they, these five souvenirs?
R: Vodka, vodka, vodka, and vodka, and more vodka.
R: I have friends that are really into and like one of them is like a real connoisseur of this kind of thing. So I need to buy different kinds.
M: Oh, would you go for "Beluga"? "Beluga" is supposed to be the most expensive and the purest vodka.
R: "Beluga" yes, but also also "Putinka" for obvious reasons. We can't find it anywhere. Do they still make it?
M: I have no idea.
R: I haven't seen a bottle of "Putinka" in like three years. I hope they're still making it because I just find the whole idea hilarious.
M: Wow. Wow, dear listener, well now you know what traditional souvenirs we have in Russia that you can get some at the market or in different shops. And Rory is being really Scottish bringing alcohol to his Scottish mates.
R: But hopefully you enjoy the gifts of our vocabulary. Bye!
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