Tourists in our own town
Hello Xuan and Everyone,
Great to hear from you Xuan! You said that you have been busy for the past 3 days (not *I was busy on 3 days). I bet you have spent most of the time revising for your next exam. Only one more week to go (not *one more week pass) until the exam. Good luck to you! (not * good luck for me). Or you can say, 'wish me luck'. The pictures of the flowers are beautiful – thanks for posting them.
You talked a little bit about the weather in Vietnam. I also like it when it rains at night. I love being in bed and hearing the rain hammering at the window. Thailand is a tropical country as well. Like you, when its hot, we tend to stay at home too. Or we go to places that have air conditioning. It’s really difficult to get around town with the kids when its really, really hot. We live about a 10 minute walk from the nearest metro stop, which is a long walk when you are 3 years old. I took the kids out to play this morning and we walked back home from the metro. Poor Josh was exhausted when we got back. However, we are very lucky in that we do have a tuk-tuk service to take us from our building to the end of the road. Here is a picture of me and my friend Maria, who lives in my building, at the end of our road in the tuk-tuk. Can you see what a tuk tuk is, now?
Normally I use the tuk-tuk (Josh likes to sit on the front seat and help the driver drive). You can phone the driver when you get off the metro, and he will come and pick you up, but today I wanted to buy some spring rolls from a particular lady who has a stall on my street. This meant that we had to walk home. Do you like spring rolls, Xuan? I especially love Vietnamese spring rolls, either the ones that you deep fry, or the ones made out of rice paper that is so fine. Do you know the ones I mean?
Anyway, talking of electricity, we had a big power cut a few weeks ago. One of the cranes on one of the building sites on my street (there are 2!) collapsed. It literally fell over. Fortunately, no one was hurt but it took all the electricity pylons down (they fell like dominoes) so we had no power for 2 days. They are finally getting round to completely fixing it this weekend, so the power is going to be off for 2 days again. As this is difficult to manage with the kids (don’t really want to have candles in the kids’ bedroom…) we have decided to check into a hotel. We have a voucher to exchange for a free stay in a hotel 2 streets away from our house, so we have decided to use it. We are going to be tourists in our own town! Monday is a bank holiday, so we can make a nice long weekend of it. I’ll tell you all about it in my next blog.
(Image from www.bluepeak.net)
Well done for having a go at answering the quiz questions, Xuan. You got all 3 questions correct.
• An umbrella keeps the rain off you. What is the name of the object, that looks like an umbrella, that keeps sunshine off you? A sunshade or a parasol.
• Rearrange the letters to form name of the illness you get if you spend too long in the sun. (ROTESHATEK) Heatstroke. Cris also suggested sunstroke, which is correct as well.
• What is the illness you can get if you spend too long outdoors in the cold and your body temperature drops to a very, very low level? It starts with the letter ‘h’. The answer is hypothermia.
• How many expressions can you think of in English to mean ‘it is raining heavily’? You all had lots of ideas. Here is a summary: it’s raining cats and dogs; its pouring (down); it’s bucketing down; it’s tipping it down; it’s chucking it down; the heavens have opened.
• What are wellies (this is a slang word)? They are waterproof boots that you wear when it is raining. These can also be called gumboots, as Silwal Kishor points out. Leila – I had no idea that NOKIA started out by making wellies. How incredible!
• What is a sou’wester? Do you know the history of this word? A sou’wester is a type of rain hat. According to wikepedia, a sou’wester, “was traditionally worn by sailors off the Noth coast of the USA and Canada and is distinguished by a wide brim that becomes especially long in the back for to protect your neck from the elements. The name derives from nor'easter which is generally considered the worst storm pattern in the area. A sou'wester protects one from the elements and is thus named opposite the storm.” (taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sou'wester)
Now, on to the challenge I set you to write a story about the black and white photo of the man standing in the rain with the cello. Well done to Vladimir and Maione for attempting the task. I have corrected what you wrote and posted it below. Can you compare my version with yours and identify what changes I have made? You can ask me any questions to clarify what I have changed, if you need to. And Vladimir, welcome back from your trip. Did you have a good time?
VLADIMIR. Frankly speaking, it’s a bit of a sad story. I suppose, the man certainly had colourful aspirations when he started to play the violoncello forty-five years ago. There is no doubt, there were a lot of ups and downs in his career as a cello player. Probably, one of the most significant events was the day he successfully passed all his exams and his mother shed a tear of joy. There were many other stepping stones in his life and all of them came to mind as he was standing on the pavement, when a second later he recognized his first love amongst some women who were passing by. That’s why he is lost for words and still standing in the rain on the pavement.
I really enjoyed this story. I was not exactly sure about the sequence of events here. Was he thinking about the other stepping stones in his life WHEN AT THE SAME TIME he saw the woman, or did one event first followed by the other? I hope I haven’t changed what you wanted to say.
MAIONE. The man in the rain is a famous musician who, after many misadventures, is living in poverty. The only thing he still has is his cello that he keeps playing on the road to survive. After the death of his wife he refused the success and the company of his old friends. Now, he is alone and is obliged to go out even in the rain to collect some money. At the moment the umbrella is protecting the instrument rather than him and he is dreaming of a blazing fire, because it's raining cats and dogs. Let's hope he doesn't get hypothermia.
You were right, this is a sad tale but it is well written. I liked the way you used some of the ‘rain’ vocabulary from the quiz. Well done!
Thank you to everyone else for your comments. I am really sorry but I have to fly off now, so we can get the kids to the hotel in time for their tea.
Image from http://z.about.com/d/goflorida/1/0/e/8/sunset4.jpg
Take care, have a good weekend and speak to you all soon,
PS – can you guess the meaning of today's vocabulary? Use the context to help you, as always.
hammering at the window
fell like dominoes
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