Hi, Josh! What have you been up to these days? Today, I’ve got a very funny question for you, and you know, maybe this last Ask 树华 of this season in 2018. Thanks for your whole year’s instruction and sharing!
OK! Are you ready? Let’s go!
Well, suppose we were here in an American restaurant – a fast food restaurant, more specifically - and the waiter or waitress provides you with the following three: burger, sandwich, and hoagie. So, what’s the difference between these three, and which one is your favorite? Thank you!
Ok, first of all, what kind of restaurant is this? What a ridiculous menu! Burger, sandwich, and hoagie. That’s it? How have you not closed already?
OK. Well, first of all, the difference between burgers, sandwiches, and hoagies. Let’s start with sandwiches. Any food that is between two pieces of bread is a sandwich. Period. Burgers are sandwiches. Hoagies are sandwiches. Paninis are sandwiches. Cubanos are sandwiches. BLTs are sandwiches. There are lots of different kinds of sandwiches.
Burgers are round sandwiches with a big patty of ground beef. That’s a hamburger. If someone tells you, “This is a chicken hamburger!” that person is an idiot. I don’t care if Chinese KFC says it has 鸡肉汉堡. In English, if it’s not a sandwich with a big patty of ground beef on it’s not a hamburger. End of story.
Hoagies are long sandwiches. The bread is long and round, like a tube. That’s the only difference between a hoagie and another kind of sandwich – it’s long and round. Some people call them hoagies, some people call them subways or subs, some people call them other things. In fact, the restaurant Subway赛百味is called that because all of their sandwiches are sub sandwiches.
So if a waiter or waitress said, “Would you like a burger, a sandwich, or a hoagie?” I would say, “Shut up. Why are you a waiter if you don’t know anything about sandwiches? Anyway, I’m trying to lose weight, so just give me a salad.”
Hi, Josh! I have a question. Um, do American people talk about politics every day?
Hi, Agoda! Yeah, lately, lots of Americans talk about politics almost every day. Ever since about 2004, Americans have been talking about politics more and more. Since 2016, Americans have been talking about politics a lot. I just checked online, and a lot of websites say that many Americans are finding ways to keep from talking to people outside of their home or their job, just because they feel that they will have to talk about politics, and people might become impolite.
To Americans, talking about politics often feels like talking about our deepest beliefs. Gay marriage, immigration, education, charity, economic fairness; all of these are political issues. For some people, like immigrants or gays, these issues can be very, very, very personal. That’s why it’s so easy for people to get angry or upset when talking about politics. A lot of families have rules like, “No talking about politics during dinner!” or “No talking about politics at Thanksgiving!” because that’s the only way to keep things peaceful.
I’m really worried about this, to be honest. People need to be able to get along with each other in order for society to be peaceful. Right now, too many news stations and newspapers can make a lot of money by making people excited about politics, so they keep trying to make Americans more and more passionate about their own politics. I firmly believe that’s bad for society. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t talk about politics here on my show. I want to keep it chill, comfortable, and peaceful for everybody.
Another question: what do you think of organic food? It’s a hot topic in America. Thank you!
That’s a good question, but the answer is that I don’t often think about organic food. The last time I was living in the USA, I was in graduate school, so I didn’t have the money to buy expensive, fancy things like organic food. I always just bought rice and frozen vegetables, then boiled the rice and steamed the vegetables at the same time. I also drank really cheap Chilean wine... and sometimes I got cheap chicken sandwiches from KFC, because that was almost cheaper than buying chicken at the grocery store. Come to think of it, that was a terrible time!
The thing about organic food is that it’s expensive, and it isn’t necessarily much healthier for you than other food. In the USA, poor people are fatter than rich people because healthy food is expensive. That’s just really, really weird to me, and it’s very unfortunate. Also, lots of food that is sold as “organic” isn’t necessarily organic at all. Some grocery stores just label food “organic” because then they can sell it for more money. It’s ridiculous!
But the truth is, it’s just hard to keep this many human beings alive on the planet. Our cities are so big that it’s hard to get good, clean, healthy food to all the people living inside. To be honest, I’m not sure that we’re ever going to solve this problem. I’m not sure there will ever be a way to keep so much food so fresh for so many people without using pesticides or other chemicals.
So, uh, welcome to the world we live in, I guess! It’s big and it’s loud and it’s often very dirty, but I guess it’s not ALL bad. After all, it gave me the opportunity to meet you here on Himalaya. Hi! It’s nice to meet you!
Joshua Ogden-Davis 周树华，“不看脸不知道是外国人”的中国通，来自美国得克赛斯州。●畅销书《与老外交朋友》联合作者●曾北京知名公关公司高级总监●曾李阳疯狂英语全国外教总监●曾疯狂英语杂志外箱编辑●线上娱乐教育英语交流名师●双语主持人●跨文化交流专家2010年搬到中国的时候，一句汉语都不会说。通过自学，3年以内已经进入了全中文的工作和生活环境。现在，树华用最流利的中文和英文带你搞定跨文化交流能力和深入了解中西文化差异！