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Part 1 Getting to know each other (ДЛЯ СТУДЕНТО...doc
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3 Did you discover anything that surprised you? Make the list of safe and unsafe subjects for small talk. Use the information from the text and add some ideas of your own. Reason your choice.

Safe subjects

Unsafe subjects

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Suggesting ideas what friendship is and verifying them

1 It’s good to have friends everywhere. Share your opinion with the others on your understanding of friendship.

  • Do you think that friendship is understood in the same way in different countries of the world?

  • Is it connected with life style and values accepted in the countries?

2 The text below introduces you into the concept of friendship in the usa. Read the text and write out all the peculiarities you will manage to find. Text 3. Friends in the usa

In many countries, most friends date from schooldays, and it is hard to make new ones thereafter. For Americans it is the exception rather than the rule to remain in one place, and the school friends are usually left behind. New friends rise up to fill new stages of life. Even when the locale remains the same, new friends step in to match life changes: college friends, work friends, club friends, neighbors, new-hobby friends, sports friends, friends-with-same-age-children.

Frequently, each friend fills a particular niche. There’s the friend with whom I discuss certain problems, the one with whom I play tennis, the one with whom I work. When anything changes – my problems go away, I quit tennis, I get a new job – I may stop seeing those particular friends. If I am lucky, I will have a few lifelong friends, but these could be scattered about the world.

I will be very hesitant to ask friends for favors – one of my attractions as a friend is that I am not demanding. If I were, my prospective friends would be likely to back off. Neediness scares people. Rather than having to refuse a request, we prefer to have friends we can trust to make their requests rare and reasonable.

We do not wish to be indebted to anybody else. We like reciprocal arrangements because they keep the scales balanced. This week I drive my friend to the airport; next week she drives me.

Eventually in a friendship one can begin to take small services for granted – the loan of a dress, a phone call to find out vital information – but no one expects a real sacrifice. No matter how desperately my friend might need a babysitter, she would never ask me to miss a day’s work to take care of her child. I have sometimes been very confused when foreign friends did remarkable things for me – drove me great distances or took the subway to the airport to meet me. Such things are not in our vocabulary, and I find it difficult to respond.

For the average American, the feeling of being indebted is practically a physical pain. When a neighbor had to store some things in my freezer (which was no trouble for me), she could not rest until she had made me a special dinner. I rescued another neighbor’s runaway dog, and she bought me a cake. In point of fact, most of us are human and like to be helpful and would not mind receiving only thanks for a good deed.

Americans prefer not to borrow things from neighbors. We would rather buy our own, even if it means spending a lot for something we use once a year.

Attitudes are different in small towns where people know each other well. In rural areas most people do not have the money to buy tools they will use once a year, and a great deal of socializing goes on in the name of borrowing and returning things. In the cities, affluence has afforded independence, but it is significant that Americans would rather put their money into independence than into other luxuries.

In the special category of lifelong friends, the favor scorecard is not so carefully kept. But here the potential for favor-giving must be more or less equal. This is one reason it is difficult to have good friends across economic gaps. If you fly me to your villa in Spain, how can I possibly repay you?

If we are having a party, I am not going to arrive in the morning to help out. Otherwise, I would be infringing on the party-givers’ privacy. They are not obligated to have anyone outside the family in their house until the first guest arrives, and they don’t want me looking inside their cupboards and listening to them bicker about how many bottles of wine to buy.

Furthermore, if I insist on helping, I would seem to be suggesting that they are unable to manage alone. Even when I have a very close friend in need, I will go to lengths to appear not to be inconveniencing myself by helping. Part of my kindness to my friend is to act as if I think she can manage perfectly well without me.

Perhaps she is sick. I will make a casserole dish for her and take it to her house, which is some distance away. I may tell her that the dish was something left over after feeding my family and that I happened to be in her area anyhow. She may suspect the truth but will appreciate my consideration of her feelings.

I really do not want to say you will find no helpful friends in America. Many people in America do not live by the “rules” outlined here, and the country is full of good souls who exist to be of use to others.

(Culture Shock! USA. A Guide to Customs and Etiquette. Esther Wanning)

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