Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Show 489 Tuesday 4 September

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

This week is a special week. It’s our last week in Nelson.
And today we have another guest: Steve from the White House.
The White House is a backpackers hostel in Nelson. I’ve never stayed there because we’ve been wwoofing since we came here.
But I went there once to visit someone. And then I went there again for Artwalk ... and that’s when I met Steve and I thought hmm he’d be a good person to interview.
So I went and interviewed him today. And it was great talking to him. One of the things I asked him was:

Why did you call it the White House?

The White House. We went through a lot of different names.
We weren’t too sure.
We kept changing our mind.
We registered many different names on the web.
And we registered a couple of different names with um ... government agencies.
None of them felt right.
We ... the name the White House. It, it kept ... ahh, many of the locals here referred to the house as the White House. When I described where to get building materials delivered. When, when, ah, when we were renovating. People ... I’d describe where it was and they said, “Oh, you mean the White House”.
And my wife she was quite keen on the name and at first I thought, “Ohh, I don’t know, it sounds a bit American.”
But we thought, maybe we can play with that. And so, um, yeah, we see it as a bit of an alternative to the other White House.
It’s a name that sticks in people’s minds. And we get free advertising from the other one.


Kia Ora, in Stick News today, plans have been made to build Japan’s first artificial surf reef.

Surfing is the sport of riding on waves while standing on a narrow board called a surfboard.
To ride on a wave, first you need to find one. And finding a nice wave can be tricky.
Two governments in Wakayama prefecture in Japan are planning to make the wave finding mission a little easier.
Wakayama Prefecture and a town in Wakayama called Nachikatsuura are planning to build an artificial surf reef. Kyodo news reported they want to attract surfers from across the nation and revitalize the regional economy.

And that was Stick News for Tuesday the 4th of September.
Kia Ora.

conversations with sarah
#302 How long has this place been open?

Step 1: Repeat Sarah’s lines.
Step 2: Read Sarah’s lines and talk to Steve.

Sarah How long has this place been open?

Steve We opened last October. Ah, middle of October. We opened the doors and then waited two days for our first guest. Wondering whether we’d, we’d made a terrible mistake or, or not.

Sarah Where was your first guest from?

Steve First guest was from the UK. He was a mountain biker named Russ. Lovely fellow. He, he, um, um, phoned and asked if there was any space at all. Came up from the bus depot. And he was quite thrilled to be guest number one.

Sarah Why did you decide to open a backpackers?

Steve I wanted to move back to Nelson. I grew up here as a, ah, as a child and was living in Australia. I knew that there weren’t a lot of jobs in Nelson, but it was a great place to live. Um, and the opportunity came up for it. Well, the house came up for sale. Um, I had no, no intention of starting a backpackers. But we just looked at the house and it was too big to live in and it was just such a cool house and we just thought, “What could we do with it? Ah, it would make a great hostel”.

Sarah What was this building used for before? Was it a house?

Steve It was a house up until the 1960s and then it was converted into commercial offices. So it was various government offices. Um, the most recent was an employment center. Um, up until about three years ago. Then it was just closed down and sat empty for several years, becoming more and more derelict. And it was just looking for a new owner. Looking for someone who could, ah, put some love and care into it.

Sarah What do you think is important for a backpackers?

Steve Well, I did some research. Besides my ... I had my own thoughts. But I thought I won’t rely completely on them. I did some research, some web-based research. Some surveys and what not. And the number one factor that most people raised was cleanliness. Slightly ahead of, of, um a place with that special feeling. No particular word for it but just a place where people feel comfortable.
Other than that, good showers. Comfortable beds. A well-equipt kitchen. Um, a place to ah ... that’s comfortable to sit outside too. We’ve got a beautiful veranda here where, where ... it’s very popular in the summer. On a warm night. Um, Many little things as well, storage and a place that has free internet, people like that. Yeah, many little things, but number one was cleanliness.

Sarah Where are most of the guests from?

Steve It’s an assortment. A little while ago we had ... I went down the list when we were booked out completely. And out of ... twenty six people and we only had one Canadian. But ah everywhere. We get quite a few Americans because we’re fairly close to the border.
A lot of Europeans, a lot of kiwis, um, more kiwis than Australians which is surprising. Um, probably, I would probably say kiwis are our number three after Canadians American and kiwis. Lots of Swiss, Germans, especially in winter. Everywhere. A few Japanese, a few Chinese, a few Koreans. A few countries where we haven’t had a guest yet. But I’m sure we’ll tick them all off before we’re done.


today's news
today's STICK NEWS photos

The White House


show start, cws start, qa start
artist: Matthew Tyas
album: Music for the movies vol1
tracks: Superheros, Intellectuel, Three ways to run away
from: Oloron Sainte-Marie, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

qa bgm
artist: San Sebastian
track: mellow
artist site

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