Hello Xuan and readers,
How are you doing Xuan and how is your revision going? It's just over one week until your next exam. I hope you are not feeling too nervous. Everyone else, thank you for all of your recent posts. Before I reply to you all, I wanted to tell you a little bit more about some of the unusual things I see on the way to work. I mean unusual compared to my walk to work in the UK, because now I am totally used to the ‘unusual’ things here. OK, let me get to the point and tell you what I want to tell you.
You all know I get the Skytain to work. I get off and walk along an overhead walkway then down a long flight of steps to get to street level. I pass a few shops, motorbike riders and fruit sellers, and then I get to the flower stalls. The flower stalls are always a hive of activity and they really brighten up my walk to work. Outside a small supermarket, some people have set up a few stalls selling flowers by the side of the road.
You can buy almost anything you want from roses, tulips and orchids, to lilies, marigolds and jasmine flowers. You can buy flowers arranged into bouquets like in the next picture….
or in garlands, as in the picture below. These garlands cost around 10 baht each (that’s $0.33 or £0.15) and people buy them to put on spirit houses, to take to temples to leave as offerings or maybe to put on any other kind of shrine at work.
It is long summer school holidays now in Thailand so the kids of the flower vendors come and sit with them at the stall to help out their parents.
So you can see, I have a very colourful and varied trip to work. Actually, I got into the lift at work this morning with a courier who had a large bunch of roses in his arms. I was very curious who they might be for. The lift went up higher and higher, more and more people got off but the courier and I remained together in the elevator. I became really hopeful that they might be for me!!!! But no. When I got off at floor 17, he stayed in the lift. But I wonder who they WERE for? Steve always buys me flowers and I’ve got 2 beautiful bunches in the kitchen right now. I’m lucky.
So here’s a question for you. When was the last time you bought anyone flowers? When was the last time you received any flowers? What is your favourite flower? There is a really nice entry on the BBC staff blog about English bluebells. If you have time, have a read, as there are some lovely pictures as well.
Finally, here is my own little flower, my little rosebud Rachel, taken tonight in the kitchen.
Ok everyone, over to you! Thank you so much for all the comments and here are replies to everyone who posted a comment to my ‘Congratulations Xuan’ post.
Pary – please don’t be embarassed about what you see as minor mistakes, or major mistakes for that matter. If you don’t make mistake then you won’t improve. Thank you for doing the ‘time’ homework and I hope you are not too busy now. Tell me, when you are really busy, what do you like to do if you have a spare moment (this mean, when you have a little free time)?
Naweed – it is my pleasure to guide you and I always try to be professional (not *profistional). Best wishes to you.
Merce – I LOVE ABBA and especially the song Dancing Queen!!!! Thanks for making me listen to it again. When I was at university, one of my favourite nights out was to go to the student union every Thursday night for the 70s disco and dance my heart away classic songs of the 1970s. ABBA was played every week. I think using song lyrics to understand English is a really good way to learn.
Hyoshil – I am glad that you are enjoying the grammar lessons. I have to thank you for asking questions. Sometimes I feel very frustrated as a teacher if my students don’t ask me any questions. You have to be curious about language in order to learn effectively, I think. So, you asked me what the difference is between ‘commanding’ and ‘demanding’. If something is commanding’, it exerts control or it can be seen as ‘magnificent’. If something is ‘demanding’, it is hard work. Let me give you a couple of sentences – which word should you put in each phrase?
• The great opera singer gave a very ____________ performance last night.
• He sung for 3 hours, which was very _____________.
Another example. Imagine that you work in the army. You would have commanding officer. This is the man or woman in charge of your military unit. If this person makes a lot of requests of you, makes you do a lot of work and is always telling you to do things, they are a demanding commanding officer
Marianna – Xuan and I are lucky to share experience about Hanoi, aren’t we (not *don’t). Marianna might have a different meaning, as a whole name, than Anne. I am sure that if you look on the web, you can find the meaning of ‘Mari’.
Naheed – you raised a question about the differences between ‘in the end’ and ‘on the end’. Let me give you some example phrases,
• We couldn’t decide what to do at the weekend. In the end, we decided to go to the cinema.
• The mouse was hiding in the end of the pipe
• The mouse was sitting on the end if the pipe
Can you work out the different meaning of each phrase in each sentence? Two meanings are about physical location and one is a reference to time.
Gianna – well done for trying to very homework. Tell us, where do you live in Italy and what do you do for a living? Are you a student, or do you work?
Cris –Did you really learn French at high school FOR 5 years? I did French at university and have lived in France for about 3 years. I also learnt German, but found it much more difficult than French. I also speak very bad Italian and Spanish – I am very proud of the fact that I can order coffee on the phone in Spanish. Very useful when you are staying in a hotel and need coffee on room service! And of course now I am trying to learn Thai, but that is very, very difficult.
Habooba – how interesting to hear about nicknames in Iran. You still seem to have a lot of variations in names and lots of ways in which you can change them. I know you live in Ahwaz in Iran. Can you tell us a little bit about your town? How far is it from Tehran? What is it like to live there? I am very interested to hear more, as I know very little about Iran.
Danijel – you are right to be proud of your name. It is your identity, to an extent. I think this is the first time that I have read a comment from you on the blog, so welcome from me. Please keep posting your comments.
Filippo – so, you like rain too? We have affair amount of stuff to pack, but not too much. Mostly furniture and big things, like fridges, rather than small things, like ornaments and clothes. So we will need a removal company to help us when we do eventually move. Steve is looking at flats again at the weekend.
Hello as well to Purplerose, Marianna, Simone, Jospephine, Miche, Marcel, Beatriz, Paula, Anwar, Celina, Ana Paula, Bahar, Leila, Maryam, Jermaine, Maione and Praveen Raj. Thank you for all your comments on my Time post. Please keep blogging.
I will reply to all your comments on my Rain, Rain and More Rain post at the weekend.
Best Wishes from,
a hive of activity – very busy
courier – person who delivers letters and packages
have a read - why don't you read it?
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