Category Archives: conversation

Railway travel

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Railway travel

A ticket to London, please.

Paul Ryefield: — What time does the next train to London leave?
Railway Station Clerk: — At 16:35, from platform 8.
Paul Ryefield: — Is it a direct train to London?
Railway Station Clerk: — No, you have to change trains at Birmingham.
Paul Ryefield: — I see. One ticket to London, please.
Railway Station Clerk: — Single or return, sir?
Paul Ryefield: — Single, please.
Railway Station Clerk: — 64 pounds, please.
Paul Ryefield: — Here you are.
Railway Station Clerk: — Here´s your ticket and change, sir.

I am looking for a place to eat

I am looking for a…

Mark: Well. I am hungry. I am going to go outside and get something to eat.
One of the Locals: Hello. How long have you been here?
Mark: Hello. Hello.
The Local Guy: Hi there. Are you having a good time?
Mark: Hi. Who are you?
The Local Guy: My name is Alec.
Mark: Alec. Mark. How are you?
The Local Guy: Nice to meet you.
Mark: Nice to meet you too.
The Local Guy: Are you having a great time?
Mark: I am having a great time.
The Local Guy: It is a nice day, isn’t it?
Mark: You are one of the locals here, are you?
Alec: That is right. I am one of the locals.
Mark: Ok. Ok. Maybe you can help me.
The Local Guy: I will try.
Mark: I am hungry. I am looking for a place to go…like a restaurant.
Alec: Well, if you just turn around, behind you is a restaurant.
Mark: Right ok. Right.
The Local Guy: What do you want to eat though?
Mark: What is nice to eat around here?
The Mosquito City-ite: Traditional Mosquito cuisine. It is the best you can imagine. You want to try it. Check it out.
Mark: Ok. What kind of food?
The Local: Anything. You know. It is all delicious. Are you a vegetarian?
Mark: No, I eat anything.
The Local: You like to eat a bit of meat.
Mark: I eat anything. I like vegetarian.
The Local: For the vegetarian or meat-eater. They cater for everyone.
Mark: This place here?
The Local: That is the place.
Mark: I am going to go in. Thanks a lot.
Alec: Thanks a lot. Bye.

going to the cafeteria

John: Oh, hello, Hiroko. This is my friend, Miyako. Miyako, this is my girlfriend Hiroko.
Miyako: It’s nice to meet you, Hiroko.
Hiroko: It’s nice to meet you too. Where are you guys off to?
John: We’re going to eat. Do you want to come?
Hiroko: Yeah. Thanks a lot. Where are you going to go?
John: We’re just going to go to the cafeteria.
Hiroko: That sounds good.
John: Yeah. It’s not too expensive. In fact it’s quite cheap.
Hiroko: Let’s go.

Small Town Girl

Small Town Girl

Small Town Girl

Joel: So, Michele, you said you are from Canada.

Michele: Yeah.

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.

Michele: Yeah.

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 of a city.

Joel: OK.

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.

Michele: Yeah.

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.

New Year

    logoimage.jpg         New Year

Sales crowd

It is 2008. Happy New Year, everyone. What did you do during the Christmas and New Year holiday? How did you celebrate New Year?

Traditionally in England, Christmas was our big winter celebration. Scotland was different. In Scotland, New Year was the more important celebration. On New Year’s Eve, on 31 December, Scotsmen wore kilts, and had parties where they danced traditional Scottish dances and welcomed the New Year with bagpipes. And we English? What did we do? Well, we either watched television programmes about Scottish people having a great party on New Year’s Eve; or we went to bed early.

But it isn’t like that today. The Scots still party on New Year’s Eve, but so do we in England. The Scots still have a huge street party in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, with bands and singers and fireworks. But so do we in many cities in England. In London, for example, 700,000 people watched a great fireworks display on the river Thames. Of course, not everyone went to a New Year’s Eve party. But many of those who stayed at home watched other people having a party on television. Millions of people watched the London fireworks on television, for example. It is as if we all want to be part of a big national New Year’s Eve party.

Here are some other things which are typical of England at New Year. People visit friends and relatives. They go for walks in the country, or in the parks in towns. Some brave folk go for a swim in the sea or a river on New Year’s Day. People read books, or go to football matches, or write thank-you letters for the gifts they received at Christmas. Travelling at during the holiday is a particular adventure. There are traffic jams on the roads, and long queues at the airports, and our railway system is in chaos, because Christmas and New Year is the time when major engineering works take place. And we go shopping.

Traditionally, all the big stores had sales in January. They cut the prices of many of the things they sold, especially things like winter clothes or goods which they had not managed to sell for Christmas. There were lots of special offers, and people used to queue all night outside some of the stores, in order to get to the bargains first when the store opened. So what is different today? Only that the sales now begin immediately after Christmas. Indeed some stores begin their sales before Christmas Day. And now we can hunt for bargains on the internet as well as in the shops. The newspapers have reported that we British spent £84m buying things on the internet on Christmas Day.

But now it is January. The weather is dark and wet. The long Christmas and new Year holiday is over. It is time to go back to work. Time to lose some weight. Time to give up smoking. Time to pay our credit card bills. Happy New Year.