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Unit 6. Accommodation Part 1. Vivien

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

I live in Budapest, in a flat in the center of town, on the third storey, the third floor, of a building. It’s a typical Hungarian building with a courtyard and a big stairwell. There’s no lift, unfortunately, which means I have to stagger up three flights of stairs every day, a couple of times a day. It’s quite a small flat − I don’t remember how many square metros it is but it’s pretty small.

There’s a living room, where we sleep, which I share with my flat-mate, who is a Hungarian student. It’s her flat, so that’s quite good. I pay her rent, but fortunately I don’t have to pay any of the electricity or gas bills, although I pay the phone bill because I’m always calling England, which makes it very expensive. So, in the main room there’s a huge old brick stove, which keeps us good and warm and is very efficient, and as the flat’s quite small it’s not expen­sive to keep it well heated in winter. This makes a big change from some other flats I’ve lived in, like in London where I was freezing cold in the winter with no fires or heating of any sort. Then there is a bed and also a sofa-bed, where I sleep, which you can pull out and change from a sofa into a double-size bed. There’re two huge cupboards. One of them is quite modern, and the other one is an old-style white cupboard with a large oval mirror built into it. We also have a desk, where I work. I have a typewriter on it, which I bor­rowed from a friend who I used to work with at the newspaper offices, so now I can work from home. We’ve got a color TV, which is nice, with about 29 or 30 different channels. Then we’ve got about four blocks of shelves, which are mainly full of language books and books on Hungarian literature. We’ve got a telephone as well, which is something, I think that people in England take for granted, but I realize that in Hungary it can be quite difficult to get one as you can be on the waiting list for a long time, so we're lucky to have that.

The other room used to be a kitchen, but my flat-mate’s dad has converted it into a kind of study room. There’s a big table in there where we usu­ally eat breakfast and supper. There’s quite a strange setup in the room really, because it has tiles on the floor, so it looks like a cross between a bathroom, a kitchen and a living room. It’s also got a lot of shelves with books on them, and some plants which I brought from the last flat that I lived in. Oh, and there are also quite a lot of plants in the living room as well. Then we’ve got a kind of kitchen, well, it’s a little cupboard really − which has a stove, a washing up basin, a couple of little cupboards and some shelves.

Then we’ve got a bathroom, which is also quite small, with rather lurid pink tiles in it, which has a bath, a toilet and a washbasin, and also a Hungarian washing machine, which leaps around all over the bathroom and gets very violent, so we have to watch it when it’s on. There is a big boiler to heat up the water, too. We also have a vacuum cleaner, (which we usually call a “Hoover” in England), and there is a large metal stepladder (but I’m not sure why it is there), and there are a lot of cupboards as well, full of shoes and old newspapers and saucepans and all kinds of rubbish.

We’ve also got a very narrow balcony, which you could sit on but you can’t do much else with, and we’ve got big French windows that lead out onto the balcony. The view is of a hotel opposite, so it’s not really the most beautiful view, and you can almost see into the hotel rooms, and unfortunately they can see back into ours so we’ve put net curtains up to keep out visitors, as we’ve had incidences of people, tourists, taking pictures. I don’t know what they’re interested in, maybe they think they’re taking pictures of Hungarians eating breakfast or something like that.

As our flat is so small, it’s cheap and easy to keep warm, and also quite easy to keep clean. However, on the other hand, there’s not much space, as there’s only one room really to speak of. It’s right in the middle of the city, so it’s very quick to get to from anywhere, and is near to different metro lines, the red line and the blue line, so you can get to any part of the city.

My ideal flat or house would be, I suppose, somewhere not quite so central, but then I would like to have a car so that I could get in and out of town quickly. I would like to have a house, ideally with a garden so that I could have pets, maybe dogs and cats, and do gardening and grow plants. I’d like quite a few rooms in the house so that I could use one room as an office, which would be nice as I find it difficult to work in the same room as I normally live in, because there’s always a temptation to switch on the TV or to go and make a cup of coffee. So, I have to be very disciplined, or else have a separate room for working where I wouldn’t be distracted by outside interference or by my own laziness.

I’d also like to have a nice view, maybe a view of the river, and fresh air, so maybe to be up in the hills. I’ve always been used to living by water, and in Hungary I really miss being near the sea. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something I like about living on an island. It’s just so nice to be able to go out to the seaside and get some fresh air.

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

To stagger up three flights of stairs, to pay a rent (electricity or gas bills), to change from a sofa into a double-size bed, to take for granted, a strange setup, to be on the waiting list, to convert a kitchen into a kind of study room, to heat up the water, to put net curtains up to keep out visitors, to take pictures, to do gardening, a temptation to switch on the TV, to be distracted by outside interference or by one’s own laziness, pretty small, to miss being near the sea.

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

Диван-кровать, этаж, подниматься вверх, лестничный марш, делить, платить за квартиру, оплатить телефон, огромный, плита, отличие, замерзать, отопление, разложить диван, двуспальная кровать, несовременный, одолжить, канал, быть полным чего-либо, обстановка, смесь, раковина для мытья посуды, насыщенный, сильный (резкий), стремянка, всякий мусор, смотреть на балкон, повесть занавески, содержать в чистоте, выехать из города, заниматься садоводством, отдельная комната, отвлекать, вмешательство, вид на реку, привыкнуть жить у воды, дышать свежим воздухом.

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

  1. There’s no lift, unfortunately… every day.

  2. Vivien pays … she is always calling England.

  3. In the main room … and is very efficient.

  4. This makes … Vivien has lived in, like in London where … with no fires or heating of any sort.

  5. She has a typewriter on it … who I used to work…

  6. The girls got about four blocks of shelves, which … on Hungarian literature.

  7. Vivien would like to have … where…

  8. There is … to heat up the water.

  9. The view … and you can almost see into the hotel rooms.

  10. Vivien’s ideal flat or house would be … but then she would like to have a car.

Ex.5. Complete the sentences.

  1. There’s no lift, unfortunately, which means…

  2. There’s a living room, where the students sleep, which Vivien…

  3. Vivien pays a rent, but fortunately she doesn’t have to pay…

  4. There’s a huge old brick stove which…

  5. As the flat’s quite small it’s not expen­sive to keep…

  6. There is a bed and also a sofa-bed, where she sleeps, which…

  7. Vivien thinks that people in England…

  8. It can be quite difficult to get a telephone in Hungary as you…

  9. There’s quite a strange setup in the room really, because…

  10. The other room used to be a kitchen, but her flatmate’s dad…

  11. The girls have put net curtains up…

  12. As their flat is so small, it’s cheap and easy…

  13. She would like to have a car so that…

  14. She finds it difficult to work in the same room as she normally lives in, because…

  15. Vivien would like to have a nice view, maybe…

  16. She has always been used to…

  17. The students have got big French windows that…

  18. As their flat is so small, there’s not much space, as there’s…

Ex.6. Are these statements true or false?

  1. Vivien lives on the ground flour and she doesn’t have to climb stairs.

  2. Vivien lives on her own flat.

  3. The flat is spacious and it costs a lot of money to heat it in winter.

  4. Vivien has to go to her office to type.

  5. As her flat is rather huge it is difficult to keep warm and clean.

  6. The flat is in the suburbs and it is a long way to get to from anywhere.

  7. Vivien dreams of her own house with a view of a park.

Ex.7. Answer the questions.

  1. Where does Vivien live?

  2. What kind of building is it?

  3. She has to go by lift, doesn’t she?

  4. What does Vivien have to do a couple of times a day?

  5. She lives alone in her flat, doesn’t she?

  6. Whose flat is it?

  7. What conditions does Vivien rent a flat?

  8. Where and why is Vivien always calling?

  9. What makes a big change from some other flats Vivien has lived in?

  10. Why isn’t it expensive to keep the flat well heated in winter?

  11. Why was Vivien freezing cold when she lived in London?

  12. What is there in her room?

  13. Where did Vivien take a typewriter?

  14. What are blocks of shelves full of?

  15. Why does Vivien have a possibility to work from home?

  16. How do people in England take a phone?

  17. Why is it difficult to get a telephone in Hungary?

  18. What has her flat-mate’s dad done with the room?

  19. How can you prove that the kitchen has a strange setup?

  20. What is there in the kitchen?

  21. How do they have the water warm?

  22. Why do the students watch the washing machine when it is on?

  23. Do they have a balcony?

  24. What leads out onto the balcony?

  25. What useless thing in Vivien’s opinion is there in the flat?

  26. What kind of view does the flat have?

  27. What have they done to keep out visitors?

  28. What are the disadvantages of the flat?

  29. Why is this flat easy to keep clean?

  30. What are the advantages of living in the middle of the city?

  31. What ideal house would be in Vivien’s opinion?

  32. Why does Vivien want to have a separate room for working?

  33. Where has she always been used to living?

  34. What does she think of a view?

  35. What does Vivien really miss?

Ex.8. Translate the sentences into English.

  1. Каждый день мне приходится тащиться на третий этаж пешком.

  2. Я живу в квартире вместе с моим братом.

  3. Я снимаю квартиру.

  4. Мои родители оплачивают газ, электричество и телефон.

  5. У нас центральное отопление, и оно хорошо обогревает квартиру.

  6. Квартира небольшая и отопление обходится недорого.

  7. Зимой я всегда мерзну от холода.

  8. Это не его журналы. Он позаимствовал их у друга.

  9. Моя соседка очень заботится о своем муже, а он воспринимает это как должное.

  10. Муж переоборудовал детскую комнату в свой кабинет.

  11. В квартире очень интересная отделка.

  12. В ванной находится бойлер, и он подогревает воду.

  13. Наша квартира маленькая, обогревать ее и содержать в чистоте обходится дешево.

  14. Квартира находится в центре города, и добираться до нее очень быстро отовсюду.

  15. Трудно готовиться к занятиям в комнате, где есть телевизор. Всегда поддаешься соблазну включить его.

  16. Он постоянно отвлекался во время работы.

Ex.9. Give a summary of the text.

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