Joel: What part of Canada?
Michele: I lived in Ontario in a small town called Beaverton.
Joel: Beaverton. And so how big is the town?
Michele: It was pretty small, about seven or eight thousand people I think.
Joel: Wow, that's pretty small.
Joel: Did you like that?
Michele: I think when I was really little I liked it. It was nice to play outside with your friends and we always felt really safe. When I got older as a teenager, sometimes I thought it was pretty boring being in such a small town, but I think overall it was good to live in a small town.
Joel: What would you do for fun when you were a teenager?
Michele: Well, there was actually a movie theater in our small town so sometimes we'd go to the theater but it wasn't a great one. We usually went outside of the town into the city to go shopping or see a movie.
Joel: And so since then have you lived in any big cities?
Michele: I've lived near Tokyo in Japan, so that's a pretty big city. Yeah.
Joel: So I guess you prefer that then... to your hometown?
Michele: Well, actually I felt that Tokyo was too big of a city.
Michele: Yeah, so..
Joel: It's the opposite extreme.
Michele: Yeah, it's so crowded and the people aren't as friendly so...
Joel: That's probably a big difference between a small town and a big town, huh? Like you know practically everyone.
Joel: So, you walk into a store. You walk down the street, you can say 'hi' to almost everyone.
Michele: Yeah, well, actually, I've also lived in a really small town in Japan too and I prefered the small town in Japan to the big city like Tokyo. The people in the small town knew my name and were very friendly. If I needed any help then because it's a small town, everybody knows everything about the things in the town so if I needed to find a place or if I wanted to join a club I could easily get the information in a small town, whereas in a big city people don't know the things as well, so.
Joel: You also have to be careful what you do because everyone will talk.
Michele: That's true.
Joel: You can't hide.
Michele: In a small town, you don't have as much privacy but I think the friendliness outweighs the privacy issues.
Joel: OK, thanks Michele.
Michele: You're welcome.
Overall it was good to live in a small town.
The term 'overall' is similar in meaning to 'generally speaking'. Notice the following:
- Somethings I didn't know, but overall the test was easy.
- Overall, they had no complaints.
There was actually a movie theater.
Here, the phrase 'there was actually' is used to show surprise at finding something unusual. Notice the following:
- There was actually a McDonald's restaurant on the island.
- I couldn't believe there was nobody home.
Tokyo is the opposite extreme.
We use the term 'opposite extreme' to describe something that is very different from something else. Notice the following:
- The weather in Singapore is the opposite extreme to Vancouver.
- Sometimes I need to experience the opposite extreme.
I could get information, whereas in a big town it's different.
Here, the word 'whereas' is similar in meaning to 'but'. Notice the following:
- It's cool in the north, whereas in the south it's really hot.
- He likes to sleep late, whereas I usually get up early.
The friendliness outweighs the privacy issues.
When one thing 'outweighs' another, it is more important. Notice the following:
- The fun outweighs the danger.
- The convenience outweighs the cost.