Intermediate Listening Practice

Getting Away From It All - Transcript

Four people talk about problems they had on vacation.

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Well, we had planned everything down to the last detail. I had read every book about Paris that I could find in the local library. We had bought tickets online for the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and ten other places besides. It was going to be a dream vacation for us, a second honeymoon really, with the kids all grown up, there were just the two of us. And then the morning of departure, in the cab on the way to the airport actually, Steve, my husband, had these very sharp pains. We had to go straight to the hospital, it was appendicitis! After we had spent so much time thinking and saving for that vacation too - so disappointing!


We were in Venice, what a beautiful city! It was our last night, we had made a reservation at a very expensive restaurant on the Grand Canal, very exclusive place, called The Moon Over Venice, we had found out about on a website back home. Well, there was just my wife and myself, at this table with a superb position right by the window overlooking the canal and the city - it was just breathtaking. We ate delicious seafood and pasta, a bottle of Italian white wine which was $70, we were enjoying our last night, spending the last of our vacation money to be honest! And then the bill came, and it was a big bill -- well I couldn't find my wallet and my wife never has money on her. Well it was so embarrassing to say the least! I'd left my money in the hotel and after a phone call or two, it was all resolved. I went back the next day to pay the bill. I left a very hefty tip too because they had been very nice about everything.


My husband will never let me forget it. It was three years ago in the south of Italy. I had studied Italian at university and so when I had to write an e-mail to a small car rental company, I did it in Italian. I was very proud of myself. My husband told me, "just get our hotel to sort it out," but I had spent $15 on a new English/Italian dictionary and didn't want to waste that money. The Italians really appreciated me trying to speak their language. I'm sure I made some horrific mistakes! We got to Italy and went to pick up our car. Now, I asked for a car with a sunroof. I wanted to drive around sun-kissed olive groves and wave my arms out of the top like a modern day Sophia Loren. Well, I'd made a horrible mistake and they had an open Cabriolet car, no top at all, all open to the weather. And there was a lot of weather that week -- some of it rainy, some of it windy, none of it sunny! My husband says we'll go to Japan next year and I have to start practicing my Japanese!


It was a total disaster from start to finish. I hadn't wanted to go in the first place. It was my parents who made me. I said to them, "I'm too old for family vacations!" But I was wasting my breath. I'd read that London was an exciting city - I don't know who for! It rained all week, I got sick because of something I'd eaten and my parents wouldn't stop reminiscing about their honeymoon there in the 18th century when it was all horses and fields, I imagine. Oh, and then, when we went back, I found out my boyfriend had broken up with me. He'd sent me a text that I never received until we were at the airport in the US.

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