368 Glasses


Marion has a problem with her glasses. She explains what the problem.

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Joel
Marion

When I was living in Pisa, a few friends and I decided to go to Venice for the carnival, so the carnival in Venice, it's usually, usually about February or March, depending on when Easter is that year cause Easter can change every year, it's a different day, so this time it was, I think about, it was about the middle of February, that's right, so we went there about the 11th or 12th of February, and it was so cold. I remember just being bitterly, bitterly cold. I remember a few of us had to buy extra scarves and gloves and jumpers cause it was just so, so cold, especially at night. During the day wasn't so bad, it was still cold but it was really awful at night if you were walking around, but it was an awful lot of fun to be in Venice for carnival because, em, lots of people dress up in really, really elaborate costumes and masks. One of my friends there, she goes almost every year to the carnival and she does face-painting on the streets so I met up with her, kind of by chance. We knew that we were both going to be there but it's such a busy time we weren't sure if we were going to meet or not, so it was really good that we met up in the huge piazza, Piazza San Marco. She told me roughly which side of the piazza she would be and I found her, so that was really great to see her after such a long time and then the other amazing thing we did that weekend or that few days was that my friends and I went on a gondola. So, a gondola, you've probably seen on television or in a book or something, a gondola is the long, kind of, boat that they have in Venice and there's a man who stands at the back with a big, long pole that he steers the boat with so he drives the boat along by pushing this long stick into the mud on the bottom of the canal, I suppose. It was really amazing because that's one of the, I suppose, the most stereotypical things when you think of Venice and when I'd been there the first time I hadn't gone on a gondola because I thought aw, it's too touristy, I'm not going to do that, but my friends this time, they really wanted to go on one, so we went and we asked some of the guys, the gondoliere as they're called, by piazza san Marco and asked them how much it would cost but we'd forgotten that that day it was the 14th of February so it was Valentine's Day and, as you can imagine, going out in a gondola is, is usually a very romantic occasion for a couple and whatever, to go off and be maybe serenaded by, by another gondoliere, so they sing all sorts of, of songs like you've probably seen on TV or heard in television adverts so they wanted an awful lot of money, I remember, just because it was Valentine's Day, so there were a few of us trying to argue with them in Italian and you know, we were saying that it wasn't fair because it was just a group of us and we just wanted the experience so I think eventually they kind of gave us a more reasonable price so we set off in the gondola and went along the canals, the little canals around Piazza San Marco so it was really, really, really nice. We got to see a lot of the, the backstreets, like I say, and lovely old bridges crossing, crossing the canals. It's a really unique experience as Venice is a pretty unique city really. There was, em, our gondoliere was pretty funny in the end as it turned out. He was very nice, and so there was a few of us from Ireland in the gondola he was asking us all where we were from and so as soon as we told him Ireland he started singing us a song by U2 which is a bit strange, not the usual song that you expect from a gondoliere but, em, it was quite funny, anyway. So, like I say, a really unique experience.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

bitter

I remember just being bitterly, bitterly cold.

In this case 'bitter' refers to something that gives an unpleasant sensation. We can also use 'bitter' to talk about something that has a sharp and unpleasant taste, like the peel of a lemon.

Notice the following:

  1. The apple was very bitter and tasted awful.
  2. The wind is bitter, make sure that you wear your coat today.

jumper

A few of us had to buy extra scarves and gloves and jumpers because it was just so, so cold.

A 'jumper' is a sweater that is pulled over the head instead of buttoned.

Notice the following:

  1. I would like a nice jumper for my birthday present.
  2. I think the jumper is dry clean only.

stereotypical

It was really amazing because that's one of the, I suppose, the most stereotypical things when you think of Venice.

When something is a 'stereotype' it means that it is an image that is commonly associated a place or idea. If something is 'stereotypical' it follows the idea of a stereotype.

Notice the following:

  1. She is a stereotypical cheerleader.
  2. I guess you could say that I am a stereotypical student as I do not have a lot of spare cash.

fair

We were saying that it wasn't fair because it was just a group of us.
When a situation or decision is 'fair' it means that each person involved receives equal treatment. 

Notice the following:

  1. Some people think that paying taxes is not fair.
  2. It is not fair that we were not invited to the party.

reasonable

We just wanted the experience so I think eventually they kind of gave us a more reasonable price.

When price is 'reasonable' it means that it is acceptable or moderate. It is not ridiculously high. 'Reasonable' can also refer to something that logical.

Notice the following:

  1. I think that it is very reasonable behaviour.
  2. He could have given us a more reasonable price.

 

Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Below are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
bitter • jumper • stereotypical
fair • reasonable
  1. My grandmother made this for me when I was about 10 years old.
  2. He is your American tourist, loud and whiny.
  3. I understand that you're angry, but you need to be about the situation.
  4. Teachers have to be to all the students in the class.
  5. The weather is so today that I don't even want to get out of bed.