Ex. 1. Read the text and check your understanding by answering the questions that follow.
A journey to a foreign country is always a voyage of discovery in which the human elements are art, history, culture and human contact. Everyone who goes abroad either for pleasure or on business faces with the dilemma of how to make the best use of time. They want to combine business with pleasure. It is particularly difficult for a businessman for whom business should come before pleasure as the English saying goes. So before going on a trip you should read up on the country you are going to and think of the things and places you are interested in.
Every third world country has something to be particularly proud of. Ancient temples, monuments, architectural masterpieces and other attractions make a list of sights not to be missed by visitors. In the USA it maybe the Statue of Liberty, in London – Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, in Paris – Eiffel Tower. In India these will include Agra's Taj Mahal, in Iraq visitors are sure to be taken to Babylon, in Egypt – to the famous pyramids, etc.
There are all kinds of things to do abroad. A lot depends on your taste, of course. You may, for instance, be keen on art galleries and museums, or prefer to see buildings and monuments, exhibitions and displays. You can go sightseeing, either on your own or in a group. You can take an open bus or go on organized walks, which could include sightseeing too. You may simply find a seat outdoor and watch people hurrying past.
Some people prefer to go to art centers including exhibitions, cinema, theater, music, etc. You can see what is on at the cinema or theatre by looking in local newspapers. National papers usually carry all details of theatre performances.
If you feel like spending a night having a drink, a meal, a dance, seeing a show, or a combination of some of these things you can go to different entertainment centers, such as discos, pubs, restaurants, bars, clubs. You can meet your friends there and have a nice time together. This way of socializing helps understand each other better, make friends, get better informed about different styles of life and behaviour.
Discos are very popular among young people. They are usually clubs. Like the other places mentioned here, they are mostly for people aged 18 or over, though some discos open at special times for younger age-groups. Discos go on till late at night and there are plenty of them – some playing all kinds of pop and rock music, and others playing only a particular kind.
Some people like shopping abroad buy souvenirs, presents for friends and themselves. We can understand them too because every country has its own very special articles of commerce that are not sold in your country. So, there is a great variety of opportunities.
If you haven't got much money to spend on entertainment, you can do much of what is cheep or even coasts nothing. To begin with, lots of events that are organized outside or in the street are free. There are street festivities and public processions. Some people play modern music and instruments on the streets and you can see modern theatre and dancing too.
Parks are another place where you'll often find things going on. You may simply relax on the grass, listening to a band perhaps. You can visit many museums and art galleries without having to pay, and some also show films. Some churches have free concerts, particularly at lunch-times. Everywhere you have the possibility to communicate with native speakers.
1) Is it true to say that a journey to a foreign country is always a voyage of discovery?
2) What are the human elements of such a journey?
3) What are people’s preferences for the weekend may be? What can they depend on?
4) Is it easy to choose a place to go?
5) Does the possibility of social contacts matter in planning the weekend? In what way?
At the weekend our group decides how to spend the days off. All students want to see the sights of London and have a good cultural programme. But they have different ideas of what it should be. David and Paul want to go to a football match, while Denis and Veronica would rather spend the day in the city buying souvenirs. Peter and Kate dream of going to the pub. They can’t agree. In the end they split up and decide to go separately.
The receiving party try to make their guests’ stay pleasant and entertaining. They offer an interesting cultural programme which includes sight-seeing, cultural outing and some special things to do. Supposingly the programme will give the visitors an idea of the country’s history, culture, customs and traditions. At the same time they want our students to give the chance to listen and speak English as much as possible. They want to make personal contact with them which is not less important than business contacts. So, both parties met together to discuss the plan for the weekend.
Plans for the weekend (H – British hosts; G – guests)
We appreciate your desire to make better use of your time in London. We understand your personal interests and try to reconcile your opinions by offering a special programme.
That’s very nice of you. What can you suggest doing first?
On Saturday we’d be happy to take you on an organized sightseeing tour. It will take us about four hours to see the sights of London.
That’s a splendid idea. To be honest we have been looking forward to this invitation. An organized tour around the city will save our time and efforts.
During the tour you’ll have an opportunity to buy souvenirs and small presents to your friends and families.
Wonderful! And what about the evening? We have different plans for the weekend.
Right. In the evening we can suggest you going to different entertainment centres: discos, pubs, restaurants, etc. You can join your colleagues from India, America and other English-speaking countries so that you could communicate and practice English in informal everyday situations.
Are they ready to go?
Yes, they are interested in maintaining personal contacts and knowing more about the life of young people in Belarus.
All this sounds very exciting. That will be really a happy day off.
By the way, on Sunday we can suggest you going to the National Picture gallery or the British Museum. The entry is free for you. You’ll learn much new about the culture and history of Britain. Then we can arrange eating out together at a restaurant or a pub. You can try some national dishes there – Indian, Chinese, Italian. Most of them are reasonably priced.
I think we’ll get tired after such an intensive programme.
Not at all. Places of entertainment require no effort. But even if you feel tired don’t miss the chance to sit in the park and watch other people going around. Sometimes it’s a fun.
Thank you, Mr. Brown. You are very helpful, thank you very much.
Have a good time. See you later.
Ex. 3. Role play.
Phone your friend and ask him how he/she is. Invite your friend for an outing. Ask him/her about the weather forecast. Cheer him/her up. Express your hope that it well clear up and you will have a lot of sunshine. Agree upon the date for your outing.
Ex. 4. Read the following dialogues and say whether the students like their tour around the city. Say what they are mostly impressed by.
- It’s a nice day today, isn’t it?
- Oh, that's the first surprise of mine. We used to think that there are fogs or rains in London nearly every day of the year. But the weather is perfectly well today. A slight wind is blowing and the air is full of spring smells.
- We'll see more of the city from the top of the bus. We start from the West End and see such historical buildings and monuments as Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and the National Gallery.
- Yes, I recognize them from the pictures. These are all magnificent buildings.
- And can you recognize Westminster Abbey?
- Oh, here it is, on the left. I know, the greatest English poets are buried there. I'd like to come to this place once again. And is this place Piccadilly Circus?
- No, this is Trafalgar Square. There's a bus stop over there. We'll get off and see the National Gallery. And then we'll spend the rest of the day in some of the parks nearby.
- Now we are moving along Oxford street. You can see numerous shops, banks and restaurants on both sides of the street. The pavements are crowded with people. In the roadway there is a constant stream of cars, taxis and buses.
- The unusual thing is that your drivers keep to the left.
- Oh, yes. It's very important. We have left-hand traffic here and if you are driving along the street, first look right, and when you reach the middle of the road, look to your left.
- Your buses differ greatly from our buses. They are all red and double-decked.
- Yes. In some parts of London we have trolleybuses and trams as well.
- Don't you find that it's too noisy in the streets?
- Oh, yes. The noise is deafening. It lasts till midnight. But people get used to it very soon.
(Bel – Belarussian student, Br – British student, Am – American student)
We are in Hyde Park, aren't we? It's splendid here! I'm delighted. Everything around is green and fresh. It's a good place to have a rest. The ducks are swimming in the pools. Children are playing in playgrounds. People in light spring clothes are walking not only along the paths but also across the grass.
Yes, people are allowed to sit on the grass. You can sing, or dance, or cry, or preach and nobody will make you a remark.
I've heard a lot about the Speakers' Corner. It's a big open place where a man can stand on a chair, or on a platform, or on the ground and speak everything he likes. You can listen to him, ask questions or you may pass him by without any reaction.
We are sure to see the place. It's worth seeing it.
By the way, are there many such parks in London?
Quite a lot. Except Hyde Park which is one of the best there is Green Park, Kensington Gardens, St. James Park and others. People call them “lungs of London”.
As far as I know Americans also like spending time in parks. Besides they are fond of seeing nation’s most impressive natural wonders such as Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.
Yes, each year over 200 million visit 42 national parks. In addition, there are nearly 32,000 state parks and recreation areas.
I'm got sure it's a wonderful place to spend time in. But it's getting dark, and I dream of seeing the city at night.
At night all the streets are lit by electricity, or in some districts by the brilliant shop-windows and the illuminated signs and advertisements, so that after dark everything looks as bright as in broad daylight.
I see. The picture is breathtaking when you first see it. I thought I knew London in a way but it turned out to be a new world for me today. So many impressions!
That's really more than enough for one day. I'm glad you liked it.
Thank you ever so much. It was so kind of you to accompany me. Buy.
(S – student, H – hosts)
It’s been a fascinating tour. Thank you so much.
I’m glad you like it. Is there anything you’d like to do? To buy a book perhaps? Souvenirs?
Ah, yes. I want to buy a few small, inexpensive gifts that represent British culture to share with my friends.
Oh, we have hundreds of these things in souvenir shops and other departments. Look at these soldier guides, trays with the sights of London, different cups, beautiful scarves, maps, postcards and what not!
Yes, I like all of it, I can’t choose.
You can also buy some other things that are probably not sold in other countries.
That’s a good idea. I’ll have a look around.
Ex. 5. Skim the text and say in what cases eating out is preferable to having meal at home or at the hotel. Were would you go for lunch in Great Britain?
In most countries East or West eating out has become a very popular pastime. A lot of eating places ranging from high-class restaurants to factory canteens cater for all tastes at various prices. Small, often self-service restaurants, cafes or snack-bars serve quite cheap food and you don’t have to prepare it yourself. Traditional restaurants are famous for high quality and expensive cooking.
Every country has its own popular places which traditionally specialize in certain dishes. For example, kebab grills, “guss”, fried chicken are quite common in the Arab world. Fish and chip shops have been and are still very popular in Britain. Dishes made of potato are popular in Belarus. A fairly recent development is the growth of take-away restaurants. Here you can buy cooked meals which are packed in special containers or plastic bags for you to take away. Very popular are Chinese and Indian take-away restaurants.
Normally a meal in a restaurant takes time. Usually you tell the waiter what you want for the first two courses; he will take your order for dessert and coffee later. When paying the bill it is customary to tip waiters,however in most restaurants a service charge is nowadays added to avoid individual tipping. But if the waiter has been very helpful some people like to give a small tip. According to the restaurant etiquette you don’t shout “Waiter!” loudly across the room if you want to call him. You raise your hand and try to catch the waiter’s eyes without shouting or waving your arms. It’s not easy to get the waiter’s attention, but it’s much more polite than shouting which would make you very unpopular.
Staying at a hotel eases the matter considerably. At the hotel restaurant you are offered European cuisine along with specially prepared dishes, various hors d'oeuvres, wines and soft drinks. First-class five star hotels treat their guests to “Swedish Board” which gives you a quick and delicious meal. Other services such as Coffee Shops are also commonly available.
If you want to have a quick lunch you may decide on a snack-bar, a cafe or even your office vending machine where you can get sandwiches and other snacks. There are also hamburger restaurants specializing in cheap meals – especially hamburgers.
Good evening. Have you got a reservation?
No, I’m afraid not. Have you got a vacant table for two?
Yes, sir. Over there by the window. Would you like something to drink while examining the menu?
Yes, some sherry, please.
Are you ready to order?
Yes, I think so.
What would you like to have?
Would you advice me some national cuisine, please.
We have a prawn cocktail and mushrooms in cheese source.
And for the main course?
I think you would like a steak and kidney pie. We also have roast chicken with special stuffing. Would you like wine with your meal?
Kidney pie will be all right and I’ll have some red wine, too.
Will that be all?
That’s all for a while. Thank you. Can I have the bill, please?
Here it is.
Is service included?
Yes, it is.
Ex. 7. Scan the text and answer the questions that follow.
Pubs have become an important part of British social life. These are quiet, rather private places, large or small, new or old, in cities or in the countryside, with a friendly atmosphere where local people meet in the evening for company and conversation. They come to relax, talk, play games like darts or billiards and have their usual drink or a meal. You can buy many kinds of drinks in pubs, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The typical drink is beer. There are many different types of beer both draught and bottled, which is served in pints (0,57 of a litre) or half pints. You never ask for a pint of beer, but for a pint of lager, bitter, keg, mild, Guinness or other particular name of the beer. You can also buy spirits (e.g. whiskey, gin, vodka) and usually wine (by the glass, but not by the bottle). There are also a lot of soft drinks, e.g. coca-cola (coke), fruit juice or lemonade. A very refreshing drink on a hot day is a shandy (lemonade mixed with beer).
People come to pubs to meet their friends and get to know other “regulars”. They talk about the weather or how the English cricket team is doing in the Test Match against Australia. And although the regulars see each other almost every night for years, they never go into each others homes.
There are strict laws regulating opening time and who is allowed into pubs. The times vary in different parts of the country but most of them are open from 11 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays. Children under 14 are not allowed to get into a pub, and young people under the age of 18 are not allowed to buy alcoholic drinks.
Picnics are also popular, especially with women and children. Children are fond of picnics chiefly because there are no tables at picnics and consequently no table manners and they have an opportunity to eat things that don’t agree with them. Women are happy because they don’t have to trouble about thinking of a meal. There should be hard-boiled eggs and something from a paper bag. It is not food that matters. They are looking forward to start a fire, to play guitar, cards and to amuse themselves.
1. What is a pub?
2. Is it more popular than a restaurant?
3. Why do English people go to a pub?
4. What drinks do they normally have there?
5. Are there such places as pubs in our country?
Ex. 8. Act out the following dialogues.
In a Pub
(S – student, W – waiter)
Can I get you some more drink?
Yes, I’m going to buy this round.
What will it be?
Give us a pint of mild each, plus half a lager and lime and a glass of sherry.
Cheers everyone and good health!
(S – student)
We've done a good job. Let's have a break for a while.
I wouldn't say "no" to that. There's a snack-bar just round the corner. Shall we go in?
It's lunch time. The place may be a bit crowded.
We can get something from those vending machines. Shall I get you a drink or maybe soup?
I'll have a coke, please.
Fine. I'll go and get some sandwiches and a couple of cokes for us.
OK, go and see.
Discuss: Which do you prefer to do at the weekend: to have a picnic or to spend a quiet evening at home? Why?
Keep these Conversations Going
Ex. 1. Reply the waiter.
- You are being served, aren’t you?
- Do you like your tea strong?
- You have ordered some salad for two, haven't you?
- Do you still need the wine list?
- You don't seem to like the cutlet. Shall I change it?
- The steak is just to your taste, isn't it?
- Shall I lay another place, madam?
- Shall I add the bill to your hotel bill, sir?
- Will you have the strawberries with sugar, madam?
Ex. 2. Read the texts and say what new you have learnt about shops in Great Britain and in the USA.