Thursday, March 19, 2009
A: Have you heard about Veronica’s new job?
B: No, I haven’t. Tell me about it.
A: To make a long story short, her Aunt Carmen got it for her.
B: I hope she can keep this one. She lost the last one because she was too nervous.
A: She’ll do much better this time around, I’m positive.
B: Maybe this time she’ll be able to keep cool.
A: I heard Nina has broken off her engagement to Tom.
B: No kidding? That’s a surprise. I thought those two were inseparable.
A: She found out through the grapevine he kissed another woman at a party.
B: And when she confronted him, did he admit it?
A: He beat around the bush for a while, then he lied about it.
B: He shouldn’t have told a lie to Nina.
A: He really pushed her buttons. She flew off the handle and screamed at him.
B: I’m glad she gave him a piece of her mind. So is it a done deal? Are they finished with each other?
A: Not completely. They agreed to remain friends. But their marriage plans are down the drain.
B: That’s not a problem for Nina. She’s a real sharp cookie. She’ll find another boyfriend.
A: Guess what? Tom has already found another girlfriend.
B: He has? Boy, he doesn’t waste any time.
A: Did you pass your final exams?
B: Yes, just barely. I was sure I’d failed at least two of them.
A: You stayed up too late studying. You shouldn’t burn the candle at both ends.
B: Unfortunately, I didn’t stay up late studying. I was
hanging out at a party.
A: At a party? The night before finals? Not too wise.
B: Yes, If I had failed, I would have deserved it.
A: Have you ever seen a house as clean as this one?
B: No, I haven’t. Everything is as neat as a pin.
A: Sonia doesn’t cut any corners when she cleans.
B: Her husband David is good with his hands. He fixes things around the house.
A: Sonia is an excellent cook. Her meals are delicious.
A: Sorry, I’m late. I was at the dentist’s. Have you two been waiting long?
B: Not really. Actually, we’ve been having fun chewing the fat.
A: I’m getting hungry. As a matter of fact, I’m starved.
B: There’s a pretty good restaurant around the corner. We could grab a bite to eat there.
A: That’s sounds fantastic. I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I need to take it easy.
B: Yes, you need to relax or pretty soon you’ll burn out.
A: I have to get up early tomorrow. I’ve got to catch the train to Sacramento.
B: Are you going there on business or just for pleasure?
A: Who goes to Sacramento for pleasure? No, I have to drop in on our branch office.
B: What’s up?
A: The new manager is something of a flake. I might have to straighten him out.
B: What a drag. I hope everything works out okay.
A: Have you seen the Wallace’s new car? What a peach!
B: Yes, I have. It must have cost an arm and a leg.
A: Well, put it this way. It wasn’t exactly dirt cheap.
B: Does Jim Wallace have that kind of money to spend?
I didn’t think he made so much on his job.
A: Didn’t you know? His wife’s father is a millionaire.
B: Wow. That’s lucky. Jim certainly played his cards right.
A: Why don’t you join our poker club? It’s really a lot of fun.
B: Thanks, but I’m not much of a card player. I prefer outdoor sports.
A: You don’t have to join the club or anything, just drop by and check it out.
B: I’d like to, but unfortunately, I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. My office is swamped with orders.
A: You don’t do anything but work. You’re getting into a rut. If you not careful, you’ll get burned out.
B: Yes, but if I don’t keep my nose to the grindstone, I’m afraid I might blow it.
A: Why did you come to The United States?
B: I came here in order to get a good education.
A: What classes are you taking at Mission Campus?
B: I’m in the G.E.D. program and I’ve almost completed it. I’ll be taking the test next Friday.
A: I’m also interested in the G.E.D. program. I haven’t enrolled in it yet, but I want to.
B: They prepare you for the examination. If you pass it, you receive a high school diploma.
A: What would you like to do when you finish G.E.D.?
B: I want enroll in City College for two years and get an AA degree.
A: Will you be continuing your education beyond the AA?
B: Yes. I’m hoping to attend UC Berkeley for my Junior and Senior years.
A: Will you eventually return to your country or will you make this your home?
B: That depends on a lot of factors. I really haven’t decided yet.
A: If you visit Yellow Mountain, you won’t be interested in visiting another mountain.
B: In China, that’s what you often hear people say.
A: It is the most beautiful mountain in China. My husband and I went there when we retired.
B: Why are the pine trees called “iron pines?”
A: The roots grow deeply into the rocks. Therefore,
the trees can withstand strong winds.
B: What was the hardest part of your journey?
A: Climbing 700 stairs to reach the top. When we got there, I felt ecstatic.
A: China means “Middle Country” in Chinese. Why is it called this name?
B: Because the Chinese thought their country was the only one that had four seasons.
A: That’s right. They thought that the East was the season of spring only.
B: And the West was the season of autumn. The North was winter, and the South was summer.
A: Only China had all four. So, China must be in the middle.
A: My home town is the capital of Iran which is Tehran.
B: Iran is a country very rich in natural resources, yet many of its people are poor. Why is that?
A: In its history, Iran has been attacked by its neighbors many times.
B: Also, Iran has suffered under several dictatorships.
A: The most recent dictator was the Shah. Unfortunately, he was supported by the U.S. and by oil companies.
B: You can understand why Iranians were angry at the U.S. and the C.I.A.
A: During the Cultural Revolution, I was forced to labor in the countryside.
B: That was very difficult for you. You had two sons, aged four and two years old.
A: I was allowed to visit them only once a month. Of course, I was worried about them.
B: After that, you moved to Hong Kong. You waited three and a half years for a visa from the U.S.
A: Yes. Living in the U.S. wasn’t easy at first. My husband didn’t get as good a job as he wanted.
B: Now, your two sons are grown up. They’re both computer scientists, and they’re doing very well.
A: Even though I am getting older, my life is much happier now.
A: When I became a grandmother, it was the best day of my life.
B: Your grandson was the biggest baby in the nursery.
A: While he was growing up, he did something new every day that amazed us.
B: He is very amazing. At three years old, he is very intelligent, and he speaks clearly.
A: When I take him to the park to play, I feel like a young girl again.
B: He’s a big, handsome boy with lots of charisma.
A: Chinese people aren’t used to eating hamburgers.
B: They don’t like to freeze meat, do they?
A: They don’t think frozen meat can be cooked into delicious food.
B: Besides, they can go to the market and buy fresh meat all the time.
A: What does Sylvia want to do?
B: She’s interested in getting a better job, but she needs to learn more English.
A: What kind of work is she interested in?
B: She’s tired of being a housekeeper. She would like to be a secretary.
A: She’ll need to take word processing. Mission Campus has a good clerical training program.
B: Yes. She hopes to enroll in a computer class.
A: Maria has had a difficult time since she moved here.
B: Why has her life been so difficult?
A: She has three children. She brought them with her when she came here.
B: What about her husband? Did he come too?
A: Maria is a widow. She has been raising the children herself.
B: That’s hard. She has had to support herself and her three children, and take care of them.
A: I don’t know how we were able to manage, but everything turned out okay.
B: You must have worked very hard to support your children.
A: Yes, I did. But that’s water under the bridge
B: Are your children all grown up now?
A: Yes, they are. Two of them are married with children of their own..
B: That’s wonderful. How long have you been a grandmother?
A: Six years. My oldest grandchild is six.
A: It’s difficult to move to another country.
B: What, in your opinion, is the most difficult thing?
A: By far, the hardest thing is the language.
B: You’re right. I feel the same way. It’s a real stumbling block.
A: If you don’t speak English, people sometimes take advantage of you.
B: After I studied English a while, things got much better for me.
A: My first job wasn’t bad. It could’ve been a lot worse. I was a baby sitter.
B: Did you work full time or part time?
A: I was a full time baby sitter. I had a lot responsibilities.
B: Tell me about your employer. Was she nice?
A: She was very nice. She helped me a lot. She gave me a lot of advice.
B: I’m glad your first job was a good experience.
A: I have a good friend at the restaurant, Erik. He’s been very supportive.
B: It helps to have a good friend at work.
A: He explains how to make special foods.
B: How long have you known Erik?
A: I’ve known him for three years. We like to talk.
B: I ate at your restaurant last week. It was great.
A: I try to put my paycheck in my savings account.
B: That’s a good idea. If you can save money, you have more options.
A: But, I always have a lot of bills to pay, and it isn’t always possible to save.
B: I try to save at least ten percent of my paycheck every month.
A: I’ve only been in this country for one year.
B: After you work for a while, you’ll be able to save to save more.
A: Has it been a long time since you left Nicaragua?
B: No, I haven’t been in this country too long. Only a couple of years.
A: Tell me how you felt when you started living here.
B: I was sad for the first three months because I had never been away from my country before.
A: But you probably adjusted to your new country quickly.
B: Yes, but I’ve always missed my family and friends.
A: How do you like San Francisco?
B: I’m beginning to enjoy being here. It’s a nice place.
A: Really? Don’t you think it’s gets too cold in winter?
B: I don’t complain about the weather as much as I used to.
A: What about public transportation?
B: The bus system isn’t bad. It’s convenient sometimes. And sometimes it’s not.