Picture an apartment in the middle of Beijing...
Dear Coffee Addict
Finally you have realized I exist Yanko. Hurrah!
I write to you from a home with all its windows and doors sealed. The reason is that today there is a sand storm and the dust is flying everywhere outside. On days like this I really wish I was living in a country with a better environment, everyone is complaining and trying not to go outside unless absolutely necessary. I had to go to work this morning at the British Council so I had to venture out unfortunately but I rushed home after I finished and will not go out again until the air quality gets better.
So, I’m home now and thought I’d tell you about and show you a picture of exactly where I live in Beijing. The building you see in the picture below is where I am, on the fifth floor. However, due to superstition in China, it’s not really the fifth floor but the fourth. Why? Well, the Chinese pronunciation for the word ‘four’ sounds like the pronunciation for the word ‘death’ and therefore number four is considered unlucky. As a result some buildings have first, second, third and then fifth floor. In the UK, the number 13 is considered unlucky, what about in your country Yanko?
In the picture, you can see Teah running towards the children’s playground which is directly in front of our building. Of course, the play area is her favourite place but mine is the lake that lies in the middle of the eight buildings. It’s man-made with a small pagoda and the water gets green pretty quickly especially in the summer but it’s still very pretty and calming. The water is drained and refilled every few days so that it doesn’t get stinky and attract too many mosquitoes. No one is allowed to swim or play in the water because of safety however at weekends some Dads and their kids play with remote-controlled boats in the lake (and the Dads compete between themselves who has got the fastest, biggest and best boat!)
The apartments in our compound are all different layouts and sizes. We have a three bedroomed place but one bedroom has been converted into an office/study and my husband and I share the space,we both have our own computer desks and computers. I would really like a four-bedroomed place so that I could have my own office/study but due to the high rental prices in Beijing we have to make do with three-bedrooms! I’d also like to live in a duplex (two-floor apartment) but again that’s out of our price range. Ah well! We've lived here since last May and it's located opposite the east gate of Chaoyang park in the eastern district of Beijing where many foreigners live, work and play.It's called 'Greenlake Garden'
Even though I have lived in apartments for the last 10 years it doesn’t ever feel completely comfortable to me as I was brought up living in houses. It depends what you are used to, for example my husband has never lived in a house but personally, I like living in houses with gardens much better than in apartments. In the UK most people have houses and here most people live in apartments. What is the situation in Brazil, Yanko?
Here are the answers to the exercise I set on the passive (well done to Yanko, Pary, Laila and Jack for their attempts but some of you look at your mistakes)
1) Bodyguards protect the rich and famous The rich and famous are protected by bodyguards.
2) Bad weather delayed our flight to Rome. Our flight to Rome was delayed by bad weather.
3) The cat chased the mouse The mouse was chased by the cat.
4) My brother organised the football game The football game was organised by my brother.
5) The doctor examined my chest. My chest was examined by the doctor.
6) The gardener cut the lawn and trimmed the bushes. The lawn was cut and the bushes were trimmed by the gardener.
7) Gloves protect your hands from the cold. Hands are protected from the cold by gloves.8) The child broke a glass vase. A glass vase was broken by the child.
On to a few grammar corrections from Yanko’s’ ‘coffee blog’ (I was horrified to read how much coffee you were drinking in the past, no wonder you were an insomniac!)
'Nowadays I Take only three small cup of coffee per day. In the past I’ve usually took from 10 to 15 per day in the morning.'
Nowadays, I only drink three small cups of coffee a (per) day. In the past, I had between 10 to 15 cups every morning
It’s more common to use the verbs ‘have’ or ‘drink’ coffee.In the second sentence, you have mixed the tenses, this sentence (because it’s finished in the past) should be in past simple tense. Please look at your use of perfect tenses Yanko, especially present perfect as you often use it in the wrong places. Perhaps you could explain to me when this tense is used in your next blog and how it is formed.
'A lot of coffee makes me feel very exited and some time makes me impatient and nervous and this affected my professional relation with other members. I’ve argued with all members. I friend of mine told me to avoid coffee and find out other way to keep attention.'
A lot of coffee makes me feel very excited and sometimes makes me impatient and nervous and this has affected my professional relationship with other team members. I’ve argued with all my colleagues. A friend of mine told me to avoid coffee and find another way to keep focused.
Yanko, learn the word ‘colleague’ as it’s useful to use this word when talking about the people you work with. Look at the sentences about that use present perfect tense-do you know why they are appropriate here?
That's all for today, fingers crossed for an improvement in the weather tomorrow
venture out to go outside and face risk or danger
superstition (n) an irrational belief
pagoda (n) A structure, such as a garden pavilion, built in imitation of a Buddhist tower
compound (n) a residential enclosed area consisting of many buildings
layout (n) arrangement or plan
converted (v) changed
to make do with something to come to terms with, cope with, accept
fingers crossed hopefully it will come true
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