english topics

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Traveling.
Here is a story of a man who had an terrible holiday: The first thing that went wrong was that the country we were going to decided to have a war a few days before we were going there. So that was the end of that. But the plane we were going on was stopping off at Rome. So rather than not having a holiday at all, we thought we’d go to Italy. Very nice. See the sights. Go to thhe beaches and get fat with pasta. We were at the airport waiting for the plane and a friend of mine who lived near the airport had come to see us off. So we were having a few drinks in the bar and joking with this friend of mine, Peter, saying ‘Poor old you in cold rainy England. This time tomorrow we’ll be in Italy on the beach.’ And I went down to see if the flight had been called annd discovered it had gone. It was a terribly stupid mistake. We hadn’t checked the time of departure. I was sure it was going 9 something but it was going at 19 something which of course is 7 o’clock. So we were actually th

here in the bar when it went without us. We were determined to have our holiday. The irony was that Peter was now going back to his comfortable home and we were stuck in the cold and the rain at 10 o’clock at night. You see, it was a charter flight so we couldn’t book another one. We lost our money and all the other flights were booked up. Well, we got a train to the South Coast and caught the midnight boat across the Channel, froze to death all night, it was a terrible crossing with people being sick everywhere. And eventually we got to I think it was Dieppe and then a train to Paris. We got to Paris veery early in the morning and I thought we’d be all right. You see, we now had to hitch hike because a lot of our money had gone on the boat and the train, but I thought ‘Well, it’s very early in the morning, we’ll get a good place to start hitching and we’ll soon be well on our way.’ We got to the start of the motorway and I just couldn’t believe it. I’ve never seen so many people tr
rying to hitch a lift in all my life. Well, it was then it suddenly dawned on me. It was August the first wasn’t it? and on August the first in France the whole population goes on holiday and there were hundreds of people, stopping the traffic, banging on drivers’ windows trying to persuade them to stop and give them a lift. It was chaos, disastrous. Well, we got moving eventually. A lorry driver gave us a lift. And then things started to get better, as we got further south and it got warmer, you know, and we thought ‘At last, the holiday’s beginning.’ Well, we camped that night and we then set off again the next day. We got some lifts, and met a great chap who owned a vineyard. He took us back to his farm and we tasted all this wine -Burgundy, my favorite – and we had a great time. Now the holiday really was starting. Well, he took us back to the motorway, and there we were by the side of the road, the sun was shining, we were a bit merry, sang a few songs – you know, life was great. And we got another lift fr
rom . well he was a maniac, complete maniac. He seemed nice enough, but within a few minutes he was driving at about a hundred miles an hour, overtaking on the inside on the motorway, with his stereo at full volume, one hand on the wheel and well the other hand on various parts of Susan’s body. What! So what did you do? I don’t know why I’m laughing I’ve never been so frightened in all my life. We were absolutely -helpless. Susan tried to say that she had to go to the toilet, but he wouldn’t stop then she pretended to be sick in his car, and he stopped in seconds. He had this really flash expensive car, and as soon as he stopped we just jumped out and ran. The worst thing was this tremendous drop from feeling so good to thinking that we were going to get killed. We eventually got down to the south of France and began to have a good time, and then down to Italy. We ran out of money, of course, but apart from that, it was good. I’ve never had such a tiring holiday. When we got back, I was exhausted. At th
he end of the holiday, I needed a holiday! And this is a story of an old woman. She has traveled all over the world in her tiny van. It’s a nice way of having holiday. Now at this moment, somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic, Olive Gibbs is probably chugging along the road, in the early morning in her tiny camping van. The travel bug came to Mrs. Gibbs rather late in life. About 14 years ago, to help her get over the death of her husband she went on an overland bus trip to Katmandu. This fired her with the enthusiasm to travel more, but as she couldn’t afford to go on extensive organized tours, she bought a camper and took to the road alone. Now at the age of 72, she’s clocked up about 75,000 miles on trips that have taken her to America, Australia and South Africa. Ann Catchpole met her at her home on the Sussex coast just before she was setting out on her current venture another wander around America, Canada and Mexico, that’ll take about a year, and she’d been very busy that afternoon packing up the van, mainly, as she told Ann, with stocks of food. Of all the meals that I have during the day, my breakfast is the one that I like. It’s not that I have a large breakfast but I do like my toast and marmalade. I’ve got quite a few pounds of marmalade in my van at the moment, I should think I have about 10 pounds, and when that run out and if I’m down in California by then I shall make some marmalade. I take English things like Marmite which not many other countries of the world seem to appreciate. I’m also taking crisp breads to the United States because I don’t care for their bread very much. And I take biscuits because I don’t care for their biscuits very much. But otherwise I can buy everything I need in the United States. But I don’t like wasting my time shopping, so I carry as much as I can and visit a supermarket only when I’m forced to. Well, I know vaguely which way I’m going to go, but I do change my direction if there’s something I hear about which I think I would like to see, or I don’t like the road I’ll go a completely different way. And at the beginning of the day I don’t know quite where I’m going to sleep at night. I wait until I feel tired or I wait until I see somewhere that attracts me and then I stop. The first thing I do, and I do this deliberately, I make myself a cup of tea, and I sit outside my van because I think it, it pleases the Americans to see an English lady having afternoon tea. But as soon as I really . as soon as I arrive, especially in the United States or Canada, the men all want to talk to me about places they’ve been to when they were in the army during the war over here. Other people want to know and tell me about where their ancestors came from, and nearly always I have been to the places, or at least know something about them, because I do travel quite a bit in my own country as well as going abroad. In fact when I’m trying to unpack at the end of a day’s journey and get a meal in the evening, life becomes very difficult because people gather round and want to know all about me and it’s almost dark before I can get on with my unpacking and getting a meal ready. But I do try to get my cup of tea in first. In Zimbabwe, at that time called Rhodesia, and I was actually camping in Zimbabwe by the Zimbabwe ruins. And during the night someone went by with a torch. It woke me up, and I just thought it was somebody going to a toilet, and I took no notice. But when I woke up in the morning I found that a lot of my papers had been taken, and the wallet in which I kept them. And of course I didn’t realize at the time what was going on. It must have been the noise of the door closing which woke me up. I suppose I’m very foolish but often I don’t lock myself in my van at night. Sometimes I do if I feel at all nervous or if I’m in a camp site on my own, then I do lock myself in. Each country has something special about it. But I think the beauty of South Africa is something that I shall never forget. I used to stand sometimes when I was there and say to myself, ‘Just look and look as much as you can in case you don’t come this way again.

1. My last day off.

Yesterday it was Sunday, that’s why my last day off was not long ago and I remember it quite well. I always try to do my best to make my holidays really exciting, because we have only few days in a week for relaxation and rest.

Yesterday my friends and I agreed to meet at my place. First we watched a very interesting TV show «What? Where? When?». Then we went took a videocassette and watched an outstanding movie «The Independence Day». This is a story about strangers from the other planets that were trying to conquer the whole Earth and about the struggle against them. The movie is full of visual effects and computer graphics that takes your breath and makes you admire the modern technologies in the cinema. I wish our studios and directors made such movies. «The Independence Day» can be added to the genius pieces of modern art – that is my opinion.

Having watched the film, we decided that it was a time to go outside. The first place we went to was the sports ground. Though it was rather cold, we put on warm clothes and had fun. Almost all day long we played soccer and basketball.

As for me, I like weekends and holidays, as the majority of other people. And I like telling about my holidays. It’s dull to listen about the ordinary working day, how do you think? Every working day looks like another, but every weekend is different from the other. During the weekend we have an opportunity of enjoying the life and having rest.

2. The library of our institute.

«Library is a temple of books», — somebody said. And I fully agree with these wise words. Every person in our country elder than 14 years old, I’m sure, was at least one time in the library. The majority of young people has subscriptions to the libraries they like. The libraries not only give us a vast choice of books, but also offers excellent opportunities of having rest.

As you know, I study at the Far-Eastern State University, and I’m very proud that its library is thought to be the one of the largest in Primorye and even the whole Far-East.
Soon after our studies began, we had heard for a course of lectures about the university library. We were told about the rules of using books we take from the library and about its catalogues. Having listened to this course, we passed an examination that showed everything we had learnt.

Soon I had to visit our library the first time as I needed a text book on economics. I went downstairs (as library is situated in the ground floor) and found a room I was searching for. But I didn’t get the immediately as it was many students. So I waited for my turn. I asked to a librarian if I could get the book on economical theory. She answered affirmatively and soon brought me a book which name was «Modern economics». Than the librarian asked me if it was for the first time I used the library’s services. I answered that it was true, and she suggest me to receive reader’s ticket. I was interested to know what documents I had to provide for this. She told that she needed only my photo 3×4 cm and some money. Fortunately, I had picture with myself and two minutes later I was the owner of reader’s ticket, which proves that I am a real member of the university library.

So, that is my story about our library. By the way, I want to say you that I was greatly surprised the level of service in it. It was very pleasant to meet kind librarian that was eager to help in everything you ask.

3. A visit to a sick friend.

Everybody can fall ill with any disease. Fortunately, only cold and flu are quite frequent in our city among infectious illnesses. They are rather easy for the modern medicine and various pills can help you a lot in overcoming this trouble. But, of course, being sick isn’t a pleasant way of spending your time. In such situation friend’s participation in this trouble can encourage you, give you moral support and even can make yourself feel better. That’s why you always should visit your sick friends. You must remember that tomorrow this illness may happen with you.

I always try to follow this rule. Fortunately, my friends don’t fall ill frequent. But I remember such case that happened about 12 months ago. One of my best school friends had fallen ill with hard form of flu. Soon I went to his place to see him. I took some things that, as I was expecting, were interesting for him. Among them I brought a videocassette with best game moments of National Basketball Association. He was very glad for this present and soon we both were enjoying the outstanding games of the strongest basketball league in the world. Then I told him all last school news and everything about the material we had passed when he was absent. Then we tried to entertain ourselves and started to solve crosswords in the newspapers, to watch TV set, so we began to do all that everybody makes when he doesn’t know what to do. To my surprise, I lost the feeling of time and there was deep evening, when I understood, that it was a time to go to the home. When I was leaving for the home, my friend promised that he would be all right soon and he kept his word. In a two days he came to school and started to study various subjects with new energy. Sometimes a little interval is useful for a person.

Modern medicine helps us a lot in a illness treatment. It also gives us many advises of how not to fall ill. Please follow these recommendations, and don’t be sick.

4. My family.

We are 4 at our family: my mother, father, my elder brother and I. I think, our family is friendly, united. We spend much time together, go for a walk in the woods, visit theaters, museums, go to the cinema. My mother’s name is Luidmila Mikhailovna. She is an engineer, she works in an office. She is a kind, nice woman. She can cook very well. She is fond of reading. My father’s name is Konstantin Alexeevich. He is a sailor. He is a strong, clever man. He often tells me interesting stories about different countries. Father can do a lot of things. He teaches me to repair furniture, to drive a car. My brother’s name is Alexei. He is 22 years old. He have been studied in Far- Eastern State Marine Academy for 5 years. Now it is a very difficult period for him: he is passing through state exams.

I have my duties about the house. I must go shopping, clean the rooms. It’s not difficult for me. I like our home to be clean and tidy. I think home is the nicest place. As proverb says, «East or West, home is best». There is no place more delightful than home and there are no people more dear than your relatives.

5. The working day of an engineer.

One of my friend, Dmity Shevelev, lives in Vladivostok now though he was born in Nakhodka. Some years ago he graduated from the one of our institutions and became an engineer. Now he lives near his office. He usually walks there. He works on weekdays. I can’t say that he work hard, but all his mates like him because he is a good mixer or, as you may say, he is very communicable person. He doesn’t work on Saturday or Sunday. His working day usually lasts for eight hours. His duties are to answer all incoming letters and calls, to meet with different specialists, to help young engineers. He often tells me that he likes his job. I usually meet him after the work and we speak about life. He is very glad that he found such work where he can show all his talents. Though there is a difference between our ages, we have much in common. He is among my best friends.

By the way, my friend knows English rather well (he finished school #13). It helps him a lot as every year various foreign delegations come to their office. These delegations change different technologies with our specialists and discuss many problems. All foreigners thought Shevelev to be the best translator in their institute.

6. My working day.

I usually start my day with getting up and doing all things that everybody does in the morning: washing, having breakfast, etc. Also, I got used to gather my learning tools: pencils, exercise-books, text-books in the morning. Then I usually go to the university. Fortunately, father takes a car every morning and he often picks me up and drives me to the doors of our university building.

And soon the lectures and lessons begin. We have from 2 to 4 lectures every time, depending on day. I like studying in the university more than in the school because in university it is mostly allowed to miss some lectures (of course, later you should take a summary from your mate and copy it). So, a student is much more free, than pupil is.

After the lessons I usually return home where I have dinner and start thinking about my ways of spending the rest of the day. Very often I go to my friend’s places. During the early autumn and summer I often go to the sports ground or on the beach. I also like visiting different sports events, for example, soccer matches of «Luch» in Russian championship. So, the world is full of enjoyable things to do.

On returning home I usually start doing my homework (perhaps, it is the most dull part of the day). Having finished it, I open a book and read it or watch TV. At last, I go to the bed.

Of course, I would like to tell you more about myself and my working day, but, unfortunately, my time is rather limited and I have got a lot of homework to do. Generally, now you know about my working day enough.
7. My grandmother country house.

You are lucky if you have grandmother in the country to go to. Visiting our old relatives gives us excellent chance to become children again. Every time you are at your grannies they start to take care of you. That’s why everybody loves his grannies very much. Countryside is always the nicest place for everybody as its fresh air cheers you up and the low level of noise helps you to have real rest.

My grandmother lives at Oceanskaya station. Every summer I got used to spent my summer vocations at her place. It is the nicest place for me. There is sand beach and deep forest – it is all I need for the rest. Every day is full of adventures – you may investigate woods, get sunburn or swim in the sea. And if you also find good friends to spend time with – you may call this place real paradise. And all this pleasures one can get only in 25 kilometers of the city!

My grandmother is kind old woman. Her name is Lidia Federovna. All her life she worked hard and now she is still very industrious and tender-hearted. I love her very much. All best moments in my life I spent at her place at Okeanskaya station. I will never forgot my grandmother’s house and I am sure the impressions I got there will be among the brightest in my life.

8. The lesson of English.

As you know, our group has two English lesson a week: on Tuesday and Friday. When the teacher come and opens the door, we come in and sit down at the tables. Then we open our bags and take our exercise-books and Bonk’s text-books.

And soon the lesson begins. We usually start it by pronouncing different words and sounds. Then we are usually invited to the blackboard by the teacher and Oksana Victorovna asks us the words we were to teach by heart. After that we usually do some exercises from the text-book. These exercises teach us to ask questions, or how to make negative sentences and so on. Then, having got our exercise-books for tests, we usually write spelling, two tests and a quiz. During the lesson we speak mostly English, but sometimes, when the students don’t understand the teacher or the task in the text-book, we start speaking Russian.

What I like best of all in our English lessons is the gay, friendly atmosphere in the class. The funny joke is always greeted.

To the end of the lesson the teacher always gives us a huge homework. It usually consists of learning new words or a text by heart and making several exercises in a writing form. Then we all say good-bye to our teacher and begin preparing to the new lesson.

Here I want to end my small composition about the English lessons in the university, where I study. And I want to say you that all English lessons are among the most interesting and the most exciting lessons; that’s why I like them very much.

9. What will be there in my new flat.

Every young man wants to live independently. And I’m not an exception. Of course, the time will come, when I will alone in my flat. I wait for this moment and imagine, that my new flat will be at least three roomed. There will be a study, a bed-room, a dinning-room. Of course, there also will be a kitchen and a bathroom. The dinning- room will be big comfortable room with big table in the center. There also will be several armchairs, and a big TV set in it. In this room I shall receive guests. I also shall put a piano in the one of corners of the room and shall start taking piano lessons cause I like this musical instrument very much.

The bed-room will become my favorite one because it is a room of rest where everybody can spend several hours without noise and fuss. There I shall put my PC that helps me very much.

Another room – study will be the place where I shall do all my work. There will be a large table full of papers and several shelves. I am going to gather big collection of books, so they won’t stay empty.

That’s how I imagine my future flat. I hope that these dreams will become true.
10. How did I spend last summer?

I think summer is the best season for rest because it is warm, the nature is beautiful and we have great opportunities for rest. Summer is a time of holidays. We can go for a walk all day long, watch the clouds, swim, sit down by a river or a lake on fresh, green grass, climb high hills, play different games, ride a bicycle and so on.

I spend my summer holidays at my granny. There were many things there to enjoy. I swam in the sea, laid in the sun and did many other things. Sometimes I made a fire with my friends at the seaside and cooked potatoes there. It was wonderful. We told anecdotes to each other, and did everything we wanted. I also got used to walk alone in the forest.

When the August was coming to the end, I went on a small voyage by ship. The ship name was «Olga Sadovskaya».

But the last summer wasn’t for me only sugar and honey. I have passed through the graduating exams in school and entering exams in the university and technical university. So the bigger part of my summer vocations I spent at the books. Of course, it was not interesting, but I’m glad that I did it because now I’m a student of the best university in Primorye and the whole Far-East.

11.My first journey.

For some people there is nothing so exciting as traveling, and I’m not an exception. And I’m happy that I have traveled a lot and I hope that my first journey wasn’t the last one.

First I bought a ticket for plane. Many people think, that nothing can be compared with traveling by air, because it is the most comfortable, and, of course, the quickest way of moving. There is none of the dust and dirt of a railway or car journey, none of the trouble of changing from train of another to streamer and then to another train. But booking tickets in summer is a problem. The air-fare is quite expensive and not all people can afford it.

Then I continued my way by the train. This kind of transport has also many advantages. With a train you have a comfort and speed combined. From a comfortable corner seat of a railway carriage you have a splendid view of a countryside. If you are hungry you can have a meal in the dinning-car and if the journey is long one can have a bed in a sleeper.

But I believe that there is no travel so fine as by ship. It’s wonderful to feel the deck of the ship under the feet, to see the rise and fall of the waves, to feel the fresh sea wind blowing in the face, hear the cry of the sea-gulls. Of course, the voyage isn’t exciting for those who are sea-sick when the sea is a little bit rough.

Many people say: «Give me a walking tour any time». And it is not surprising. The walker leaves the dull, broad highway and goes along little winding lanes where cars can’t go. He takes mountain paths through the heather, he wonders by the side of quiet lakes and through the shades of woods.

He sees the real country, the wild flowers, the young birds in their nests, the deer in the forest, he feels the quietness and calm of nature. And besides, you are saving a lot of money by traveling on foot. No one can deny that walking is the cheapest method of traveling.

12.My work at the foreign trade company.

Hello, my name is Maxim Sviridov. I work as a manager at the «Star tour» company. It is Russian company which works on the business travel market. Two weeks ago I was sent by the administration of our company to London where I studied the English travel companies, their traditions, their marketing and management. Now my business trip is coming to the end and I want to share with you my impressions of English business world. First of all English businessmen are well known all over the world for their honesty and decency. If an Englishman gives you his word he will keep it in any case. Besides that, nothing can prevent him from refusing the once taken decision. Of course, there are some exclusions, but they are so rare that nobody should put attention on them.

During the last two weeks my working day was approximately the same. Early in the morning I took a taxi to my hosts’ headquarters, which is situated in the City – the business heart of London. First of all I usually asked Ms. Lapital – my secretary if there were any letters or cables for me. Then she gave me my correspondence and fresh newspapers and I followed to my office-room. There I studied all documents that had come for my name and wrote a short report about previous business day and then faxed it to my native company in Vladivostok. After that I went to Mr. Forsberg’s office-room to get tasks for the new day and ask some questions about their company, its history, traditions, clients, and so on. After that I usually did what Mr. Forsberg asked. My usual job was meeting with potential clients, discussing their rest plans and offering the services of Mr. Forsberg’s company. I usually met with 10 or 12 people a day. They were representatives of different social groups and communicating with them increased my knowledge of England and Englishmen, their psychology greatly. This business trip was a great chance for me and I hope I used this chance fully. Now I know a lot about Western business world, about travel business and this knowledge will, of course, help my in my future career.

13.My breakfast.

It is not a secret that our meals influence much on our health and our mood. That’s why I consider breakfast to be the most important meal in the day as it is the first our meal and it can put us in good spirits or it can’t. Now I shall tell you about my breakfast.

In the morning I usually have porridge. I often start my breakfast with a cereal which is not cooked, it is something dry, ready to be eaten or muesly – some grain or porridge which is not cooked with dried fruit, nuts and so on.

I also like eggs (cooked in different ways). I don’t practically eat butter, I prefer soft margarine – made of vegetable fat, which is not heavy and creamy. I don’t eat jam at breakfast, I eat marmalade which is not sweet, there is slight bitterness; it’s rather pleasant.

I usually don’t have substantial breakfast on weekdays, I do it on weekends when I get up late. Very often I have just tea or coffee with sandwiches. Tea is usually taken by me with milk. I like very strong tea without sugar.

Sometimes when I am in hurry I don’t have time to have proper breakfast and I go to the university being hungry. In such case I usually buy something like «Snickers» or «Mars» on my way to the Alma Mater.

14.My district and my flat.

As you know, Vladivostok, the capital of the Primorsky region, occupies the peninsula of Murav’ev-Amursky which is washed by Amur and Ussuri gulfs. One part of this peninsula, called Egersheld (it was named after one of the explores of Russian Far-East), is my native district. Egersheld is known from the foundation of Vladivostok. More then one hundred years ago the first houses for the seamen appeared in it. Since that time Egersheld is known as the working center of the city. Now, for example, the territory of the commercial port is situated in this district. Egersheld is the most environmental friendly district in the city as it is open to strong sea winds which blow out all harmful substances in the air and clouds of dust. Of course, this has a negative side – the average temperature in the district in winter is lower than in the other parts of Vladivostok. As my native district occupies very special geographical position (in fact, Egersheld – is a small peninsula of Murav’ev-Amursky peninsula) so its citizens may admire beautiful sea scenes every evening when the sun is hiding for the horizon. These seascapes are really breathtaking and very often you may see dozens of artists trying to carry this wonderful sight to paper or canvas.

Now about my flat. I live in Sipyagina, 31. Our flat is not very large, its double-roomed. If you know the word «khrushovka», you may imagine what is our flat looks like. Besides these two rooms we also have a kitchen and a bathroom. I think there is no any outstanding thing in our flat that is worth describing. We have a TV set in one of the rooms, two wardrobes, two working tables, and small bookcase where our home library is kept.

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