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Alex: Personally 1 hate seeing people off. I prefer being seen off myself. I'm extremely fond of travelling and feel terri­bly envious of any friend who is going anywhere. I can't help feeling I should so much like to be in his place.

Bert: But what method of travelling do you prefer?

A.: For me there is nothing like travel by air; it is more comfortable, more convenient and of course far quicker than any other method. There is none of the dust and dirt of a rail­way or car journey, none of the trouble of changing from train to steamer and then to another train. Besides, flying is a thrill­ing thing. Don't you agree?

В.: I think I should like to say a word or two for trains. With a train you have speed, comfort and pleasure com­bined. From the comfortable corner seat of a railway car­riage you have a splendid view of the whole countryside. If you are hungry, you can have a meal in the dining-car; and if the journey is a long one you can have a wonderful bed in a sleeper. Besides, do you know any place that's more inter­esting than a big railway-station? There is the movement, the excitement, the gaiety of people going away or waiting to meet friends. There are the shouts of the porters as they pull luggage along the platforms to the waiting trains, the crowd at the booking-office getting tickets, the hungry and thirsty ones hurrying to the refreshment rooms before the train starts. No, really! Do you know a more exciting place than a big railway-station?

Сесil: I do.

A.: And that is?

C: A big sea port, For me there is no travel so fine as by boat. I love to feel the deck of the boat under my feet, to see the rise and fall of the waves, to feel the fresh sea wind blowing in my face and hear the cry of the sea-gulls. And what excitement, too, there is in coming into the harbour and seeing round us all the ships, steamers, cargo-ships, sail­ing ships, rowing boats.

A.: Well, I suppose that's all right for those that like it, but not for me. I'm always seasick, especially when the sea is a little bit rough.

В.: I've heard that a good cure for seasickness is a small piece of dry bread.

A.: Maybe; but I think a better cure is a large piece of dry land.

D a v i d : Well, you may say what you like about aeroplane flights, sea voyages, railway journeys or tours by car, but give me a walking tour any time. What does the motorist see of the country? But the walker leaves the dull broad highway and goes along little winding lanes where cars can't go. He takes mountain paths through the heather, he wanders by the side of quiet lakes and through the shade of woods. He sees the real country, the wild flowers, the young birds in their nests, the deer in the forest; he feels the quietness and calm of nature.

And besides, you are saving your railway fare travelling on foot No one can deny that walking is the cheapest meth­od of travelling,

So I say: a walking tour for me.

(From "Essential English for Foreign Students" by С. E. Eckersley, Book 4, Lnd., 1955)


F.: Well, here we are at last! When I get into the boat-train,[71] I feel that holidays have already begun. Have you got the tickets, Jan?

J.: Yes, here they are. I booked seats for you and me; trains are usually crowded at this time. We have numbers A 26 and A 30; two corner-seats in a non-smoker, one seat facing the engine, one back to the engine. Is that all right?

F.: That's very good, Jan. I don't like going a long jour­ney in a smoker. May I sit facing the engine?

J.: Of course! You can take whichever seat you like. As a matter of fact, I really prefer sitting with my back to the en­gine. Here's our carriage, A, and here's our compartment. You can get into the train now.

F.: Lucy, won't you come into the carriage with me? You will be wanner inside.

L: Thanks, I will.

J.: I'll go and see that our luggage has been put into the guard's van, and I'll book two seats in the restaurant car for lunch. I'll get some newspapers at the bookstall and some chocholate on my way back. (He goes away.)

L.: Jan is a good fellow for getting things done, isn't he?

F.: He is. I don't know anyone better. I'm very glad he is coming with me. I know that I shall have a very comfortable journey. Jan will see to everything — find the seats on the train, see that my luggage is all right, and get it through the customs. I shan't have to do anything at all except sit back and enjoy the journey.

(from "Essential English for Foreign Students" by С. Е. Eckersley, Book 2. Lnd., 1977)

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