Another Hard Day at 4900 Metres
Many thanks for your blog. It came just as I was about to go out for the first of what I hope will be many pre-Christmas drinks with friends. So this is a bit later than usual. By the way, I’ve just heard another joke, on the radio (so you can blame the BBC because I never listen to anything else): A man walks into a bar. He orders a beer and asks if they have any crisps (potato chips) – helicopter flavour. “Helicopter flavour?” asks the barman. “No, I’m sorry, we just have plain.” [Think about another way of spelling ‘plain’; with the same pronunciation but completely different meaning.] OK, I’m sorry, I won’t do any more jokes. That’s a promise.
From your brief reference to football I guess you’re not so interested. The match wasn’t very good last night, anyway, but the result was fine. You know, Federico, this feels like a ‘normal’ conversation. It’s the kind of thing I would ask a couple of friends: “Did you see the match last night? Wasn’t very good, was it? Still, we won the group. Now we can win the Champions League.” I’m glad we don’t have to play at 4,900 metres above sea-level, though!
I was delighted to see that some of our readers are Arsenal fans. I noticed, too, that you have quite a lot of comments on your blog. What’s it like to have a fan club, Federico?
Well, it seems like you had another hard day. But thanks for all the information about your job. I like the way that you start your blogs with ‘Hello my dear friends’. It feels like we’ve been friends – all of us – for a long time.
I can’t imagine how noisy it is in the mines: pneumatic drills, blasting and the extractor fans. Then there is the claustrophobia and the dark. I guess you prefer working on the surface.
Thanks for doing a bit more research into altitude sickness for me. I guess the guys playing football are used to the altitude. I don’t think I can get coca leaf in Tanzania, but I don’t smoke so maybe that’s an advantage. The people advising us have told us that it is essential that we drink as much water as possible, all the time. Do you think that will help?
You must be looking forward to getting back to Lima, your ‘home sweet home’, as you said. You said, too, that you can cycle safely in a large park in Lima. That reminds me of Central Park in New York. I spent the summer there and rented a bike in Central Park where the only traffic was those big yellow taxis. Most days it was too hot to cycle (I was there in July and August) but it was good just to be in the park with so many people all walking, jogging, cycling or taking carriage rides.
OK. I guess it’s time for bed (for me). It’s 00.55 as I’m typing this. Tomorrow I will do some Christmas shopping and spend the afternoon with friends. It would be good for us to hear a little about where you live and what you do in your spare time. I have never been to Lima but I would love to hear about it from you.
Have a safe journey back home and make sure you get enough rest.
Looking forward to hearing from you again very soon.
SOME USEFUL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
if you are about to do something it means that you will do it very soon
If you blame someone for something (like my bad joke), you believe or say that they are responsible for it
In Britain we say ‘crisps’ for what the rest of the world calls (potato) chips. In British English ‘chips’ are what the rest of the world calls fries, French fries or pommes frites. Confusing, isn’t it? Basically just remember that if you go into a pub you shouldn’t ask for a packet of chips.
If you promise something, you say that you will definitely do it
very pleased, very happy
Fans are people who like something or someone very much. A fan club, therefore, is an organised group of fans. Rock bands and movie stars have fan clubs. In football, you can say that someone is an Arsenal fan, or (difficult to believe, I know) a Sunderland fan, but we normally talk about supporters’ clubs, not fan clubs.
check the pronunciation in a dictionary: remember that the ‘p’ is not pronounced
Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.