Travelling and means of transport
Millions of people all over the world travel to see other countries and con¬tinents, modern cities and the ruins of an¬cient towns, they travel to enjoy pictur¬esque places, or just for a change of scene. It is always interesting to discover new things, different ways of life, to meet dif¬ferent people, to try different food, to lis¬ten to different musical rhythms.
Those who live in the country like to go to a big city and spend their tiime visiting museums and art galleries, look¬ing at shop windows and dining at erotic restaurants. City dwellers usually like a quiet holiday by the sea or in the mountains, with nothing to do but walk, bathe and laze in the sun.
Most travellers and holiday-makers take a camera with them and take pictures of everything that interest them – the sights of a city, old churches and castles, views of mountains, lakes, valleys, plains, waterfalls, forests; different kinds of trees, flowers and pllants; animals and birds. Everybody can go to the place of destination by sea, by air and by train. Travelling by air has some advantages of course. It is convenient and much quicker. It is better to book tickets in ad
Hiking is becoming very popular. People like to spend their days off in the country. There are picturesque places with forests, lakes and rivers near every town. It is pleasant to spend a day chatting, joking and singing with friends on a river bank, a lakeshore or round a campfire in a forest, having a good time and a good rest. Happy they return home to plan new hikes for coming weekend.
If you are an adventurer you can travel by bicycles or on horseback.
Coach tours are not expensive and I like them very much. They are planned as holidays and there is a chance to do a lot of sightseeing and have a good rest at the same time. Sightseeing is combined with rest. For a few days you can stay in the hotel and you have no trouble with the luggage because the care is taken at every night stop. Moreover hotels are carefully selected and booked in advance.
All means of travel have their advantages and disadvan¬tage. And people choose one according to their plans and desti¬nations.
About two hundred years ago man lived in harmony with nature, be¬cause, industry was not much developed. Today, however, the contradictions be¬tween man and nature are dramatic. Every year world industry throws out into atmosphere about 1.000 million tons of dust and other harmful sub¬stances. People of many cities suffer from smog. Forests are disappearing. The pollution of the air, oceans, seas, rivers and lakes, and the destruction of the ozone layer could lead our planet to a global catastrophe. The Earth is our home, that is why we must take care of it, for ourselves and for the next generations. We must keep our environment clean.
I live in the he-use of blocks in a big city. The surround¬ing of my house is not very fine. Usually it is full of papers, leaves and other waste. The problem of littering is very actual in our country. It deals not only with us but also with all mankind.
More than twenty years ago a pulp-and-paper factory was built on the shore of Lake Baikal. As a result, because of the water pollution, more than 50 percent of the world’s purest water have been ruined. The whole ecological system of the lake has ch
Pollution of water, especially that of rivers, remains the
most acute ecological problem not only all over the world but in Lithuania also. This is witnessed by the fact that the city of Kaunas, with a population of over half a million, still has no wastewater treatment plant. Due to the recent decline of indus¬try and the reduced use of chemicals in agriculture, water pollu¬tion has decreased considerably, however, the situation of most of Lithuanian rivers, including that of the Kursiai Lagoon, re¬mains critical. It has been calculated that after the construction of at least the mechanical facilities of the waste water treatment plant in Kaunas and of the, biological waste water treatment fa¬cilities in Vilnius, Siauliai and Klaipeda, the organic pollution in Lithuania would be reduced by 70% and the situation would essentially improve. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. High quality ground water is mainly used for everyday use in Lithuania, however in the countryside, shallow-well wa¬ter is mainly used which’s often polluted with nitrates way be¬yond standard levels. Though with the diminished use of min¬eral fertilizers the leaching of mineral substances into surface and ground water has significantly decreased, the quality of water has not essentially improved due to secondary pollution pro¬cesses.
Each of us must do everything possible to keep the land, air and water clean. How we can protect nature? Everybody must plant trees, flowers, take care of animals. Schoolchildren must not break trees, must not pick flowers in the forest or in the field, must not throw waste paper or other things into rivers or lakes.
Foreign languages in the life of a modern man
The great German poet Goethe once said, “He, who knows no foreign lan¬guage, does not know his own one”. Learning for¬eign languages is especially important in nowadays. Some people learn lan¬guages because they need them in their work, others travel abroad, for the third studying language is hobby. Every year thou¬sands of people from
Lithuania goes to different countries as tourists or to work. They can’t go without knowing the language of the country they are going to. A modern engineer or even a worker cannot work with an imported instrument or a machine if he is not able to read the instruction how to do that. Scientists, historians, diplomats are, as a rule, polyglots, because they need foreign languages in their work. If you want to be a flight attendant, a pilot or an air traffic control officer you must learn English, the language of international communication. And how can a shopgirl or a cash¬ier in a big department store understand a foreigner, if she does not know a foreign language? So, a modern and a cultured per¬son must learn foreign languages. They are socially demanded especially at the present time when the progress in science and technology has led to an explosion of knowledge and has con¬tributed to an overflow of information. The total knowledge of mankind is known to double every seven year. Foreign languages are needed as the main and most efficient means of informa¬tion exchange of the people of our planet. Today English is the language of the world English is not only the national or official language of some thirty states that represent different cul¬tures, but it is also the major international language of commu¬nication in such areas as science, technology, business and mass entertainment. It is also the major language of diplomacy, one of official languages of the United Nations Organization, other political organizations and the universal language of Interna¬tional aviation, shipping and sports. Hundreds and hundreds of books, magazines and newspapers are printed in English and read all over the world. 75% of the world’s mail and 60% of the world’s telephone calls are in English. Over 350 million people speak it as a mother tongue>e. geographically, it is the most wide¬spread language on earth, second only to Chinese in the num¬ber of people who speak it. The native speakers of English live in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America. English is one of the official languages in the Irish Republic, Canada and the South African Republic. As a second language it is used in the former British and US colonies. The number of second-language speakers may soon exceed the num¬ber of native speakers. Half of the world’s scientific literature is written in English. It is the language of literature, education, modern music, international tourism.
Lithuania is integrating into the world community and the problem of learning English for the purpose of communica¬tion is especially urgent today. So far there is no universal or ideal method of learning languages. Everybody has its own way. Sometimes it is boring to study grammars or to learn the new words. But it is well known that reading books in the original, listening to the BBC news, communicating with the English speaking people will help a lot. When learning a foreign lan¬guage you learn the culture and history of the native speakers. One must work hard to learn any foreign language. English to¬day is absolutely necessary for every educated person.
There are Jour seasons in a year:
spring, summer, autumn and winter. Every Season is beautiful in its own way.
When spring comes nature awakens from its long winter sleep. The days become longer and the nights – shorter. The ground is cov¬ered with emerald-green grass and the
first flowers. How lovely the white snowdrops are! I The air is fresh, the sky is blue and cloudless, and the sun shines brightly. The trees are in full blossom. The birds begin to sing and built their nests.! The nightingale begins to sing its lovely songs, and sweet melodies may be heard from every wood and thickets The days are warm, everything is full of life and joy.
Spring is followed by summer. The weather is usually fine in summer, but it can be very hot, especially in July. Some¬times there are storms with thunder and lightning. In summer people try to get away from the city noise and spend more time in the open air. They pick mushrooms and berries in the forest, swim in the rivers and lakes, go fishing and boating. I usually spend my holidays near a river or a lake in the country where I can go swimming and boating. I am fond of lying in the sun and getting sunburn.
Autumn begins in September. The days become shorter and the nights become longer. It is still warm in September but. the weather often changes and it gets colder and colder. The sun shines bright, but it isn’t hot. The leaves turn yellow, red and brown and fall to the ground. Most birds fly away to warm countries.! There is a short spell of dry sunny weather in Sep¬tember which is called Indian Summer. It is beautiful time when sky is cloudless, the trees around are golden, the air is transpar¬ent and it is still warm. but gradually it gets colder and colder. It often rains in October and November what makes autumn an unpleasant season, but autumn is harvesting time, the time when grain, fruit and vegetables become ripe.
‘ In winter the sun sets early and rises late. The rivers and lakes are frozen over. Ice on the lakes and rivers is thick, but sometimes it is thin. Everything is covered with snow: the houses and streets, the fields and forests. It is very slippery. The days are short and the nights are long, the sun is seldom in the sky. The strong wind blows. Sometimes it is very cold, about 25 – 30 degrees below zero. Going out in such weather isn’t very pleas¬ant. Winter is a good time for sports. Little children are fond of playing snowballs and making snowmen, older ones go in for skating and skiing. Tobogganing is also popular, not as a kind of sports, but rather as fun. I like winter with its frosty sunny days. It is a pleasure to go for a walk then. The animals need food and people help them. The birds do not sing and some animals sleep during the winter time.
As for me, I like all the seasons, but I think there is noth¬ing like late spring.
Spending my free time
Hobby is a favourite oc¬cupation of a person in his free time. They differ like tastes. If you have chosen a hobby according to your character and taste you are lucky because your life be¬comes more interesting. Hobbies are divided into four large classes: doing things, making things, col¬lecting things and learning things. The most popular
of all hobby groups is doing things. It includes a wide variety of activities, everything from gardening to traveling and from chess to volleyball. Gardening is one of oldest of man’s hobbies. It is a well-known fact that Lithuanian are very fond of gardening and growing flowers, especially roses.
Both grown-ups and children are fond of playing differ¬ent computer games. This is a relatively new hobby but it is be¬coming more and more popular.
Making things includes drawing, painting, making sculp¬ture, designing costumes, handicrafts. Two of the most famous hobby painters were President Elsenhower and Sir Winston Churchill. Some hobbyists write music or play musical instru¬ments. President Bill Clinton, for example, plays the saxophone.
Almost everyone collects something at some period in his life: stamps, coins, matchboxes, books, records, post-cards, toys, watches. Some collections have no real value. Others be¬come so large and so valuable that they are housed in museums and galleries. Many world-famous collections started in a small way with one or two items.
People with a good deal of money often collect paintings, rare books and other art objects. Often such private collections are given to museums, libraries and public galleries so that others might take pleasure in seeing them.
No matter what kind of hobby a person has, he always has the opportunity of learning from it. By reading about the things he is interested in, he is adding to what he knows. Learn¬ing things can be the most exciting aspect of a hobby.
I have many friends. They have different kinds of hob¬bies. One of my girlfriends, for example, likes to knit very much. In the evening she sits on he sofa and knits a beautiful pullover or a sweater. She also knees for her little sister, her mother and her girlfriends. Another girlfriend of mine spends all her time sewing things: skirts, blouses, dresses. She makes it nicely and everything looks good. One of my friends likes to make every¬thing with his own hands. He can repair an iron, a radio-set or tape-recorder. I think it’s a very good hobby.
As for me, my hobby is collecting stamps. Now I have 5 albums full of stamps, it is more than one thousand of them. I like to sit at a table in the evening and arrange new stamps in the albums, or write in the names of the countries, or just look through the stamps. Each stamp has a story to tell about distant countries and strange people. I see pictures of men and women, birds and animals which I have never seen. Kings and presidents pass before my eyes and I can follow the history of whole na¬tions. My hobby is not wonderful but very useful.
I’m fond of music and whenever I have some free time I go to the Concert Hall. There are a lot of concert halls in our country. Our people are very keen on music. That is why when¬ever I go to the concert, the hall is always full of people. But sometimes I go to the cinema. I am not a film-fan and don’t like serial films or screen versions, I only go there only when the film is worth seeing.
Lithuania is an attractive country
Lithuania is a small piece of land at the Baltic Sea in the geographical center of Europe. The amber coastline with beautiful whitish beaches stretches for 99 km of the country’s West boarder.
The nature is very beautiful in Lithuania. One must show the foreign visitors its wonderful nature and traditions. Usually I don’t like to speak about poor economical situation, because it’s not very interest¬ing Especially for the rich foreigners. To my mind, they must see everything what is rice.
There are many national parks in Lithuania. Usually I take my quests to them.
The Trakai national Park was designated in 1992 to em¬brace the historical city of Trakai, the forests, lakes and villages. The total area of the park is 8 thousand kilometers. The most significant historic monument is the Ancient Castle, erected on one of the island of lake Galve. Today it houses the Museum of Ethnography.
Zemaitija National Park was founded in 1991. It is in the north western part of Lithuania, about 45 km to east from the Baltic sea. The are? makes up 20 thousand of hectares: for¬ests cover 9800 hectares, waters -1860 ha. Valleys, bushes, culti¬vated soil make up the rest of the area. The main aims of the park are to preserve the lake Plateliai system and the nature, to take care of cultural values in Zemaiciu Kalvarija, Plateliai and other places, to restore the destroyed ones, to make better con¬ditions for endangered species of flora and fauna, to develop tourism.
In the park the visitors can have a good rest and spend the holidays or weekend in the fresh air, in picturesque places (campings, youth hostels, summer hotel), play sports and games, ride a horse, go by water bikes, windsurfings and yachts, hike and take part in tourist trips by cars, bicycles and riding the horses, fish (after getting the permission in administrative cen¬ter), hunt (after paying the tax and getting the permission from the hunting center), visit museums of traditional woodcarved sculptures in Godeliai, Babrungenai, historical sites in Plateliai, Zemaiciu Kalvarija.
For the foreigners it is very interesting to take part at the festivals. The festival of Rasa is held on the 22-23 of June There is a Church festival in 2emaiciu Kalvarija at the beginning of July. thousands of people come there and pray, sing ancient Church songs and visit chapels, which were built 350 years ago. The relief of the national park was formed by the glaciers some 10-12 thousand year ago. There you can find a great variety of hills, valleys and lowlands of different origin. Several hills rise over 150-200 m above sea level, and they cover the greatest part of the national park.
The Zemaitija National Park contains many agricultural territories with a great amount of unique monuments, reflect¬ing etnocultural heritage of the very early population up to our days. There live Zemaiciai, making a separate ethnic and cul¬tural group of Lithuanian nation, with peculiar dialect, tradi¬tions, characteristic features, original architecture.
Information about myself
If you are going to look for a job, you must know, how to say all the infor¬mation about yourself. At first you must be very po¬lite and express yourself clearly. Just try to say:
Let me introduce myself. My full name is Kostia Solodkov. I am origi¬nally from Klaipeda. I was born on the second of April
in 1985. I just have graduated the secondary school. I am 18
years old. I am searching for a ....job.
You may want to be:
A baker – kepejas
business-man/woman – verslininkas
butcher – mesininkas
nurse – aukle
saleswoman – pardaveja
soldier – kareivis
teacher – mokytojas
office worker – biuro darbuotojas
Tell some words about marital status, your children.
Then you must speak about your skills. What can you do? What are your hobbies, what foreign languages do you know. How do you know them. You may speak and read fluently, with a dictionary, or can’t speak, but only read and understand.
Can you work with a computer?
Say where do you live. Mention your telephone number At last you can ask about your working schedule, lunch brake and salary. If your family name is very complicated (what is usually with all Lithuanian family names), please spell it. At first you must say all the word (for example Solodkov), and then spell S-0-L-O-D-K-O-V. For this reason you must know the alpha¬bet properly. Telling the number of telephone you must know, that each number must be told, (for example “270400” you say: Two – seven – zero – four – zero – zero). You may also say double zero.
Choosing a friend
Nobody lives alone. Everybody must have a friend. But one thing is to have a friend, and another -to choose the friend for all the life.
Let us think a bit. One must know, that being in love is a risky thing. Beauty fades. People change. At any moment you could lose the loved one through death or any number of things. The greater our love the greater the pain we are in danger of suffering. Our secret wishes seem so beyond that we do not want to think about them, yet still they remain, like a dull pain that will not go away. You wish the person you love must always and fully understand you. His mind, strength and beauty will not fade as the years go by. You need someone who meets your needs so exactly that it seems you were made for each other. You would like that he/she will help you to reach the highest you are capable of. He must know your darkest se¬cret, your every thought, can always be with you, no matter where you are. He/she will forever love you with a love so great and that it always thrills and satisfies. You want someone who al¬ways helps you, yet never stops your growth as a person, some¬one you will never get tired of, and someone who will never change.
This is almost everything you want. But how to fulfill this? There are a lot of different services of helping people to find each other. But I don’t believe in them. How can they help you if even you can’t help yourself. If I try to put the announce¬ment in the newspaper, so to my mind it will look trite. But may be it helps somebody. I have read a lot of stories about happy marriages according the newspaper advertisement. But this is not for me. I can’t look at myself critically. I don’t know my worst features (may be don’t want to know them). Also I can’t let my parents choose me the right person. Our looks differ too much and you can never be forced to love someone. Their views are quite opposite to mine. May be they are right, but I don’t want their rightness. I must have personal experience. I believe in fate. I think that one day somebody will fell in love and this will be the right thing. This will happen like in a fairy-tale. She will be a princess with a white “Mercedes” and I will be a shepherd. She will give me all her wealth and I will give her my heart. We will have many children and live hap¬pily for the long time.
All the people over the world strive for knowledge, but the ways for it are very different. Now it is very popular to com¬pare the life in Lithuania with the Ameri¬can style of life, so we will try to compare educational system in Lithuania with the one in America.
The American system of school educa¬tion differs from the system in other coun¬tries. There are state public schools, pri¬vate elementary schools and private sec¬ondary schools in the USA. Public schools are free and private schools are fee-pay¬ing. Each state has its own system of pub¬lic schools. The federal government pays little attention to schools. Elementary education begins at the age of six, when a child goes to the first grade (form). At the age of sixteen school-children leave the elementary school and may continue educa¬tion at one of the secondary schools or high schools, as they call them. The program of studies in the elementary school includes English, Arithmetic, Geography, History of the USA, Natural sciences and, besides, Physical Training, Singing, Drawing, wood or metal work etc. Sometimes they learn a foreign language and general history. Besides giving general education some high schools teach subjects useful to those who hope to find jobs in industry and agriculture or want to enter colleges or universi¬ties. One percent of American citizens from age of 14 and older can neither read or write. Over 2 million American children do not go to school, and six million attend only first grade. More that 50 percent of school students do not finish high school.
In Lithuania everyone has the right to education accord¬ing to the Constitution. It is not the right, but a duty too. Every¬one must go to school and get education. But not everybody does. Our economical situation does not allow everybody to enter the school. Many small children try somehow to earn the money for living. But usually the children of 6 or 7 years begin to go to school. Almost all schools in Lithuania are free. Most of chil¬dren have learnt letters in kindergarten which is now part of primary school. Primary and secondary schools together com¬prise twelve years of study. Every school has a “core curricu¬lum” of Lithuanian, mathematics, science, physical training. A variety of elective subjects are taught at lyceums and gymnasi¬ums. After finishing secondary school, lyceum or gymnasium one can go on to higher education. The system of higher educa¬tion in Lithuania is going through a transitional period. The main objectives of the reform are: decentralization of the higher edu¬cation system, development of the autonomy of higher educa¬tional institutions, expansion of academic freedoms of faculties and students, development of new financial mechanism. Insti¬tutions of higher education include: technical schools, teachers training colleges, universities which offer master’s and doctoral degree programs. The peculiar feature of American education is the ab¬sence of national administration. Each of the 50 states controls and directs its own schools. There is no uniform school organi¬zation of curriculum through the nation. But certain common-features exist. Preschool education is part of the elementary schools. Elementary and secondary schools consist of twelve years of classes which meet for about ten months a year, five days a week and five hours a day. After graduated from second¬ary schools a growing number of Americans go on to higher education. American institutions of higher education include: technical training schools, community colleges, colleges offer¬ing four-year bachelors degree programs and universities offer¬ing master’s or doctoral degree programs.
Now there are lots of different shops in our country. In order to evaluate them I had to make a trip to the center of the city. I needed some clothes badly . So I took my father’s salary and with my friend went shop¬ping. There were a lot of shops, supermarkets and departments stores.
The first shop on our way was a large grocery shop. The choice of goods was very impressive. It seemed to us that on the counters and shelves there was everything one could want. We could see sausages of different kinds, fish, meat, poultry. There was bread, rolls, biscuits at the bakery. There was milk, cream, cheese, butter at the dairy department. Everything was nicely packed and when we came to the cashier our baskets were full of groceries. There we couldn’t say, was it a private or state shop, because we needed no help of a salesperson. To my mind they usually show the dependence of the shops.
Then we went lo the department store that was right across the street. My friend and I are fond of computers, video and hi-fi equipment, so we couldn’t go past the electric appli¬ances department (frankly speaking, it was the first department we saw). There were a lot of computers, video cassette record¬ers, TV sets, hi-fi centers and tape recorders. We had every¬thing we needed at home, so we just had a look at the last mod¬els. But we needed some presents. It was mother’s birthday in a week. I decided to buy a food processor and my friend chose an electric razor. This store to my mind was really private. While we were looking at, the shop assistant came to us and showed the newest things. We were surprised greatly and thanked him for the kindness.
And then, at last, we found the men’s clothing depart¬ment. There were a lot of suits, trousers, jackets, shirts and many other things. I needed a suit because I was going to the theater with my girlfriend. The shop assistant asked my size and offered a nice suit. But when I tried it on my friend couldn’t help laugh¬ing. The jacket was too big for me and trousers were too short. I looked so funny. The shop assistant thought for a moment and then suggested to try on some jackets and some trousers sepa¬rately. An hour later I looked like a real gentleman. The pin¬striped jacket matched the black trousers perfectly. The shop assistant also showed me a wonderful tie and I immediately agreed to buy it.
Going home we were speaking about the difference be¬tween private and state shops. We came to the conclusion, that the best thing is when we have a lot of various shops and they are full of goods. Then there is a competition between them and the winner is the customer. What concerns the prices, so they are lower in the big supermarkets and department stores.
The house of dreams
I usually like to dream about the castle on the bank of the sea. These dreams come to me frequently, as I live in a five storied building with other buildings in front of it Our flat is on the third floor. It has three rooms, a hall kitchen and a bathroom. The flat has all modern conveniences. but is not very large.
I would like to have a house as Bill Gates has. It must be
situated in a very picturesque place and must have a pool (no matter it stands on the bank of the sea), cinema hall. Golf field and the place for my personal plain to land on. It must very comfortable, well planned, with lots of balconies where I can enjoy a lovely view. There must be many rooms. I even will not know how many bedrooms there are. because I would like to have a lot of friends visiting me every day. The kitchen must be large, light and have all modern equipment, such as huge fridge, microwave, modern oven, vacuum saucepans, dishwasher and some other things, whose names I even don’t know. It’s not my business to stay and work there. For this purpose I will have a housekeeper There must be a hearth in the largest living room. I would like to sit there and look at the fire. I don’t speak about the furniture, because they will be designed by the designer and will be marvelous. I only Know that there will be no sideboards as there is no need look at various dishes. They must be hidden in the room near the living one. The pictures of famous painters will hang on the wall. Big library will be on the second floor. There will be many bathrooms and toilets, as they will be near every bedroom. The floors will be covered with carpets. There will be nor curtains nor blinds, because the area round my house will be so big, that nobody will see what my quests and I are doing in the house. I don’t like the artificial light, so in the evenings I will light many candles. It is very difficult to realize everything because now I live together with my parents and have only my pocket money. If I will have a job and the salary like my parents, so I will built only a tent. And not 6^’e very good one. They are also very expensive.
Life was good until my mother, returning from a shopping in the city center found our house had been burgled. The windows in the rear of the house had been open and all the cash in the kitchen drawer stolen. A booted foot had shattered the television screen, leaving smashed glass, dangling wires and a jumble of crushed minia¬ture valves. The three piece suite had been upended at the fabric slashed possibly with the hope that money had been hidden inside. Houseplants were torn from their pots and hurled against the walls. There was a honor in the kitchen Three fish were dead on the floor, their heads stamped and crushed; they were from the family’s small aquarium. The actual fish tank was not bro¬ken-it was constructed of tough plastic – but it had been knocked from its stand and the water had soaked the carpet. Kitchen drawers had been yanked out and the contents strewn over the floor. It was the same story in each room: devastation. After that mother could not sleep. The extra pill did not work. The doctor prescribed tranquilizers.
There are lots of such families. It is very difficult to pro¬tect against theft and burglary. The vast majority of burglars work during the day. It happens all the time and everywhere. How many times do we hear the people calling the police of¬ficer. Prisons are full of thieves. But a lot of them are in free¬dom. So the most common crime (not only in Lithuania) is bur¬glary. Lots of purses are stolen in the busses, many people have been robbed. Burglary has become a massive industry. Why? Thieves aren’t afraid. Most people don’t even call the police. They don’t believe in justice. They know that there will be no punishment for thieves. Just the same situation with those who steel the cars. They commit crimes against people.
If I were the Minister of justice I would make the pun¬ishment to thieves public. Hope that the best way to teach them would be to beat as in old times slaves were beaten.
There are a lot of murders. I would kill the murders themselves. If they had courage to kill the person, so I will have enough strength to punish them also. And I think that after some time the life will become more safe.