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Part 2. Thomas

Ex.1. Read the text and pick up the terms referring to the topic.

The area where I live now is Kobanya. This is quite a poor district of Budapest. Not so well-off. It has a fairly friendly atmosphere. Most of the streets are quite noisy and smelly, with lots of cars and pollution, we are lucky because our street is a little bit away from the big roads. As I said before, it’s quite pleasantly peaceful in our flat.

There are a couple of little drinking places near us, small bars, so there are often quite drunk people on the streets. However, most of the people that we see are elderly people, who are not so well-off, but still able to survive, living in little flats often on their own, or with a spouse. There don’t seem to be many people of our age living close by. A few families live in our building as well.

Five minutes’ walk away from the flat is a very small park, which has three statues, or monuments, in it, and a pathway going all the way round. So if I’m working or practicing inside for a long time, I go and sit and watch the birds drinking, or walk around the park in circles until I want to go home again. There is a very beautiful big church close by called Saint Laszlo’s, which has a beautiful Gothic architecture, and many figures set into the facade of the building. I would like it if there were more parks and trees nearby, really, but we can’t have everything. When it snows, it’s very nice because we can look down on the tops of the houses covered in pure, untouched snow, which is quite a beautiful sight.

There’s a small shop very close to us. Five minutes’ walk away is a shopping center, which contains many types of shops. There is a shop for stationery goods, a couple of big supermarkets, a pharmacy, there are people selling fruit and vegetables outside on open stalls, there are little shops selling novelties for children, and small gift shops. So there is no shortage of places nearby to find food or things that we need for the flat. There’s not a lot of entertainment close by. There is a cinema, and I have heard that maybe there is a sports center, but, anyway, we spend most of our time, when at home, inside and playing music or reading together, so these things aren’t too important for us. If we want to go to the cinema or to a concert, we generally take the tram into the city.

I think the air is not so clean. It’s quite polluted, and I really do miss the fresh country air, or a good sea breeze, but there are some advantages of living in the city as well. Budapest is a big city and has lots of cultural influences. For me, it’s quite good in that there are many musicians here. The standard of musicianship is very high generally. There are lots of people playing different types of folk music from all over the world. I play Irish music, and so it’s quite convenient for me that there is quite an active Irish music scene in Budapest. There are lots of places to play, and also lots of places to go and see other musicians playing. There are lots of musicians to play with.

It seems to be one advantage of the city that there are many people there, but I also see it as a disadvantage. In some ways, everything just seems too crowded, every street so full of things. The earth that was created with the trees, the plants and the flowers seems to have been completely stamped over, with con­crete laid everywhere. Car noise is everywhere, and there are so many people, and yet so little communication. The water in our area seems quite good, but somehow I’m not convinced that the city water is all that healthy. Certainly, it’s not as revitalizing as drink­ing from a fresh water stream every day.

In the past, I’ve lived in many different areas, especially over the last few years. As I said, when I was a child and living at home with my parents, I lived in a village which was on the edge of the suburbs of the city, and on other side bordered onto the coun­tryside. There were many shops and facilities near by, but we could also take nice walks in the countryside less than 10 minutes away from our house.

When I left home for the first time, I lived in a very big city called Sheffield, which was really too hectic for my liking. So I left, and moved to a small town of around 8 or 9 thousand inhabitants, called Glastonbury, in the south-west of England. This was really a very balanced environment for me. It was surrounded by fields, very, very flat fields, and orchards.

Glastonbury is a very creative, artistic town. There are many musicians and artists there, and many small theatre performances take place. Most of the events which are organized in Glastonbury are mainly for the people of the town. Everybody seems to know each other there. It’s like a large community, with a very friendly atmosphere and a very good social life. There are a few pubs in the town, and my favorite is called “The Rifleman’s Arms”, where I used to go sometimes to meet friends and to drink the local cider, called “Scrumpy”, which is made from all of the apples you can’t eat. Also, something that I love about that town is that in the center there is a very large green area with an ancient ruined abbey inside it, which is now a tourist attraction, but which in its time was one of the biggest abbeys in England.

One disadvantage of Glastonbury, though, is that because of all of these features, it has in recent times become quite touristy, and a lot of shops and businesses are now aimed at people who just come to visit the town and don’t really to take part in what’s hap­pening there.

Ex.2. Suggest the Russian equivalents to the English ones.

Well-off, to be a little bit away from something, a pathway going all the way round, figures set into façade of the building, a shop for stationary goods, to stamp over, to be convinced, to revitalize, hectic, on the edge of the suburbs of the city, for one’s liking, to take nice walks in the countryside, a balanced environment, a tourist attraction, a spouse.

Ex.3. Suggest the English equivalents to the Russian ones.

Магазин подарков, музыкальность, вытаптывать газон, фруктовый сад, стрелок, крепкий сухой сидр, мелкие дешёвые товары, дружелюбная атмосфера, спокойный, пожилые люди, описывать круги, покрытый снегом, недостаток, развлечение, на окраине города, происходить, место паломничества туристов, в последнее время.

Ex.4. Fill in the gaps in the sentences.

  1. There are a couple of … near us.

  2. So there is … to find food or things that Thomas and Mary need for the flat.

  3. There’s not … close by.

  4. There is no shortage of … that they need for the flat.

  5. It seems to be … that there are many people there.

  6. The … is very high generally.

  7. There are lots of people … from all over the world.

  8. The earth seems … with con­crete laid everywhere.

  9. Thomas’s family could also … their house.

  10. Glastonbury has become …, and a lot of shops and businesses … who just come to visit the town.

Ex.5. Complete the sentences.

  1. Thomas and Mary are lucky because…

  2. Most of the streets are …

  3. The church has a beautiful Gothic architecture, and many figures…

  4. He would like if …

  5. When it snows, it’s very nice because…

  6. Five minutes’ walk away is a shopping center, which…

  7. It’s quite convenient for him that…

  8. Thomas lived in a village which …

  9. In the past, Thomas has lived in many different areas, especially…

  10. One disadvantage of Glastonbury, though, is that because…

Ex.6. Are these statements true or false?

  1. Thomas lives in a well-off area.

  2. His area is not good from the point of view of noise as he lives next to main road.

  3. Lot of traffic goes down outside his house, so he gets fumes and smoke from cars, it’s very smelly and polluted.

  4. The park is a long way from his house.

  5. Area where Thomas lives isn’t convenient for shopping.

  6. There is no shortage of places nearly to find food, things they need for flat.

  7. There are no places to go out.

  8. He likes the air in the city.

  9. Thomas doesn’t see advantages of living in the city.

  10. He sees a lot of advantages of living in the city.

  11. When Thomas left home for the first time he lived in a big city called Sheffield, which was very calm for his liking and he stayed there.

  12. Glastonbury is a very boring city with a dull town atmosphere.

  13. There are no historical places at all.

Ex.7. Answer the questions.

  1. What is the area of Thomas’s living?

  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the place?

  3. What is there five minutes’ walk away from the flat?

  4. How does Thomas spend his spare time in the park?

  5. What types of shops and establishments are close to them?

  6. Is there any shortage of offices?

  7. Is the area much polluted?

  8. What music scene is there in Budapest?

  9. Where did Thomas live in his growing years?

  10. Where did Thomas live when he left home for the first time?

  11. Why did he move to Glastonbury?

Ex.8. Translate the sentences into English.

    1. Район, в котором я живу, довольно бедный (незажиточный), но спокойный.

    2. Большинство улиц шумные и грязные, но нам повезло, потому что наша улица несколько удалена от больших дорог.

    3. Наша квартира спокойная и тихая.

    4. В пяти минутах ходьбы от квартиры есть очень маленький парк, в нем три статуи, а вокруг них дорожки.

    5. Рядом есть небольшой продуктовый магазин. В пяти минутах ходьбы − торговый центр, в котором множество различных магазинов.

    6. Нам вполне хватает мест, где можно купить продукты и товары для квартиры.

    7. А вот развлечений поблизости нет.

    8. Если мы хотим пойти в кино или на концерт, то едем на трамвае в город.

    9. Кажется преимуществом то, что в городе много людей, но я смотрю на это и как на недостаток.

    10. Земля, которая была раньше покрыта деревьями, травой и цветами, теперь вся затоптана и закована в бетон.

    11. Я не убежден, что вода в городе такая уж здоровая.

    12. Вода в городе не такая освежающая, как водичка из чистого ручья.

    13. Я жил в большом городе, который был для меня слишком утомительным.

    14. Эта часть города стала туристической достопримечательностью.

    15. Одним из недостатков Гластонбери стало как раз то обстоятельство, что он превратился в последнее время в туристический центр, и теперь там много магазинов и предприятий, которые предназначены исключительно для обслуживания приезжих.

Ex.9. Give a summary of the text.

Ex.10. Compose a topic about the area where you live using the expressions from the texts.

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