Love and Chaos Part 7(G) Richard 1

7th June 2021

Part Seven. Berlin. June 1995

At some point between the end of May and the beginning of June, Richard Marshall was struck by a severe case of the Berlin paranoia, and apart from the journey to and from work, he was practically unable to leave his flat.

The causes were easy to ascertain; one was not speaking German. This meant that all but the most basic transactions required a translator or he would be, and feel, utterly helpless.

He shopped in the small Spar store, being able to pick up items and see the price on the till display, but he couldn’t open a bank account, pay a bill, understand why a train had stopped in a tunnel, why a street was closed, read any official letters or get a proper job.

Biberkopf was now a painful, humiliating ordeal, more and more work from the lazy chef, and being all but ignored by all other members of staff. He was certain that Walter, the owner, looked right through him as if he wasn’t even there. Jolande, the cute waitress, had recently started seeing a customer who drove an expensive car, and now she barely acknowledged his presence. He responded in the only way he knew how; by being completely silent and refusing to speak to anyone, creating an impenetrable wall that kept everyone out. He was good at keeping things in.

There were also sleepless nights worrying about his interrupted studies, and it now being too late to get onto a course when term started in September. He would have to wait another year.

There was also the certainty that he would never meet a woman, that he would go to bed alone and wake up alone every day for the rest of his life.

He didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything, or rather, felt that he simply couldn’t.

After about three weeks he knew he had to snap out of it, or leave Berlin. He also knew that the life he had here was far better than one he could expect back in London, but washing up for a living was hardly living. The Orwellian honeymoon period was well over.

He was thinking about this, standing by a giant, industrial pot of potatoes that he had to peel, when he put his mind to a problem posed by Chris and Daniel; what to name the band.

He thought of some tag lines, based around the fact that three of them were from Russia, coming up with things like ‘Country & Eastern’ and such like. Then he threw the potato he was peeling into the sink of greasy water and smiled. He ordered a beer from the first waitress who came into the kitchen and though it took an eternity to arrive, he didn’t mind. He had the band’s name. It gave him a reason to go to the Czar Bar where, even if Chris wasn’t working, he’d be drinking. That had become a certainty.

Chris knew all about the paranoia, having experienced it himself.

He’d spoken to others and it was quite common, a sense of homelessness mixed with a feeling of having no home, being unwanted and uncared for. A realisation that he would never understand the language and would be cheated and laughed at and insulted. Most of the time, Chris had been with Marina or Claudia, then his own Ute, and then Monika, who would help him.

But he had his own freakouts. He had once turned a plastic bag inside out, because it had English writing on it and he felt it marked him out as a target for fascists and skinheads.

His answer to Richard was to drink. Richard had noticed that Chris’ answer to everything now seemed to be to drink.

As expected, Chris was holding court, on his favoured end stool, Andrei listening to him while Olga was busy with customers.

“Richard !” cried Chris, immediately ordering him a beer and vodka. Richard welcomed them, knowing that there would be many more before he staggered home.

After the initial moments of hysteria, when Chris filled him in on what he had missed over the last weeks, Richard made an announcement concerning the band. Chris called Andrei back, as it affected him directly.

“The name of the band is,” said Richard, copying Chris’ talent for building excitement, “Sawhead The Bear.”

“YES!” screamed Chris, eyes lighting up. Andrei looked puzzled,

“What is ‘Sawhead’ ?” Chris had a reply ready,

“Nothing ! Everything ! Doesn’t matter. What a great name, what a perfect name, it is the only name for the band. Well, drinks all round, vodka ! Hey, Jake, just in time, you must be able to smell vodka.”

Jake swayed over to them,

“Yeah, I can smell something!”

Andrei was busy translating, as best he could, the nonsensical ‘Sawhead’ into Russian. Olga looked even more puzzled and turned to Richard, going up close to him and asking him something in German, but he didn’t listen, he just wanted to grab her, but Andrei, being built like the Kremlin, probably would have raised an objection.

Chris meanwhile told him what Olga had wanted, namely, how on earth he came up with such a peculiar name ?

“I was at work,” was all he said, and Chris understood,

“Making the Camembert ?” he asked, referring to one of the nightly duties, covering the half blocks of cheese in egg and breadcrumbs, ready for deep-frying.

“Potatoes.”

Chris winced.

The remainder of the night was spent toasting the new band name, with Andrei greeting each new customer with,

“Yes, Sawhead ?”

Needless to say, both Richard and Chris awoke with very sore heads. Chris suddenly understood the band name. As he was getting dressed, he looked out of the window and saw Johan’s girlfriend, Veronica, walk across the Hof and enter the door of her boyfriend’s block.

He suddenly understood something else, as well. Even with a thumping sore head, Veronica was a sight for sore eyes.

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Holiday project – Munich, Germany

9th June 2020

Sheet 4 of the holiday project

DISCOVER DEUSTCHLAND !

COME TO GERMANY TODAY !!!

Get a taste of Germany

Pretzels, sausage, sauerkraut and BEER !!!!!!

Book now for 2017 October Beer Festival in Germany’s historic and beautiful city of Munich

Sensational atmosphere – make friends for life

Direct return flight from TP HCM. Hotel transfer. 

Half-day city tour: Museum, parks and souvenirs

3-day festival pass – drink ALL you want !

Interpreter services available

Mr Paul tours – visit our website mrpaultours@ukonline.co.vn

Adult Speaking Class, level 3. Theme: Germany

26th February 2020

Germany – what do you know about the country ?

Image result for germany

What do you associate with it ?

(I associate Viet Nam with rice, motorbikes, Uncle Ho etc)

Image result for germany
Image result for german beer and football

This is a travel guide (‘Lonely Planet’ are guides for independent travellers):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7e8sv7lFeY

Which of the ‘Top 5’ appeals to you the most ?

How much do they recommend you need per day ?

Is the train network good ?

Image result for german attractions

There is a lot of new vocabulary, so write down any new or interesting words.

Did you notice how many adjectives are employed (used) ? This is very common in travel writing and guides.

WHY ?

Why do you think travel guides use so many powerful adjectives ?

Listening-skills-practice: Germany

Top ten facts about Germany: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEYvi4kl-f4

while you watch, try to write your own question(s)

How many kinds of bread are there ?

Name the top three beer-drinking countries – what is interesting here ?

What do the Germans call a motorway (UK) / freeway (US). Why is it different ?

Image result for german autobahn

What was the first printed book ?

Historical note – this was in 1455. How do you think books were made before printing ?

Where is German spoken ? Would you considerGerman a global language ?

How long did Cologne (Köln) Cathedral take to build ?

Listening-skills-practice: German Music

Image result for german krautrock

Krautrock– what is krautrock ? Listening – a non-native speaker. (0 – 4.34): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNouEqTBPtw

Notice all the discourse markers– expressions that don’t add any information, but allow him to think while he keeps talking (examples: all right, yeah,) and expressions (it hit the $300 mark – means the price was $300).

Dialogue

Present perfect, past continuous and questions. Listen for adverbs

Mark: Have you been to Germany ?

Amy: No, not yet. Have you ?

Mary: Yes, twice. I have (I’ve) visited Berlin and Munich.

Amy: Which did you like best ?

Mary:Well, Munich is very clean, elegant and stylish, but quite expensive.

Amy: And Berlin, the capital ?

Mary: I was working there for six months. It was really cool.

They continue after eating a big piece of pie.

Amy: Sounds like you had lots of fun !

Mary: Oh, yes ! The food was cheap and the people were incredibly friendly.

Amy: How about the weather ? I have heard it can be cold.

Mary: It was terrible ! Every day it rained cats and dogs.

Amy: You must have been so glad to get back to Vietnam. (glad = happy)

Mary: Yes, but I miss the German trains and buses; they were so reliable.

How different is England to Germany ?

This is an interesting question because, despite both being Northern European countries with similar climates and a shared language root, both nations have very strong national identities. 

Historically, there is an obvious difference; the two World Wars. This originated from economic conflicts to actual conflicts which consequently altered the map of Europe.

There are many cultural differences, the English see the Germans as very efficient, hard-working, punctual albeit lacking any sense of humour.

Putting myself in their shoes, and based on my experiences of Germany, we Brits are seen as aloof and isolated, preferring tea-breaks to solid work.

These factors notwithstanding, the two countries have a lot in common; protestant religion, not Catholic (mostly), a love of both football and beer. Even our Royal Family has German blood.

Now with Brexit, it will be interesting to see what develops over the next generation. We can only speculate whether the nations move closer together or further apart.

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3, Part 5

4th February 2020

Contents

Conversation practice.

Free speaking exercise: organise food for a work or university party.

Grammar: as ……. as // comparatives & superlatives // reported speech // similes //

Grammar ‘as ….. as’

Structure: as + adjective + as

Bangkok isn’t as cheap as HCM

He feels German beer is as good as Belgian beer, if not better.

Image result for man drinking 2 beers"

At 27% alcohol, Samuel Adams Utopias isn’t as strong as Nuclear Penguin which comes in at 32%.

comparative & superlative

bigger // biggest

more confusing // the most confusing

Example: 

Ha Noi is not as big as HCM but is bigger than Hue.

For me, learning German is not as confusing as learning Korean, but Mandarin is the most confusing language to learn.

We use animal similes a lot in English:

Image result for animal similes"

Example

He’s as busy as a bee

Try these: lamb // lion // mouse // dodo // bird // skunk

As drunk as a ….. // As dead as a ….. // As brave as a ……

As free as a ….. // As gentle as a …… // As quiet as a ……

Image result for drunk as a skunk meme"
If you need some help with the ‘drunk as a ……’ question.

Conversation Practice

Make sentences with these words or expressions:

In a class, write out the words on paper and distribute to the students, either individually or in groups. Give them a time limit and award points for each word used, plus bonuses for interesting or creative sentences.

spectacular / visually stunning / you get what you pay for / mouth-watering / a waste of money / significantly / according to / how can I put it ? / Somewhat / incredibly / as good as gold / as drunk as a skunk /

Reported Speech

Also known as ‘indirect speech’, reported speech is used to tell what someone has said.

Example:

Three Japanese students, Keiko, Rina & Mei are looking at their new university. Keiko, in the black cardigan says:

Keiko: Now I feel as wise as an owl.

However, with all the street noise, Mei didn’t hear so she asks Rina (who wears a pink and white striped top).

Mei: The building is stunning, but what did Keiko say ?

Rina: She said that she felt as wise as an owl.

Image result for three japanse students"

Rina uses the past tense to tell Mei what Keiko said – she said she felt as wise as an owl.

Look at these:

Susan: “Mary works in an office.” This is Susan speaking directly.

Susan said (that) Mary worked in an office. This is someone telling what Susan said.

Notice how the verb changes from present to past tense (‘works’ to ‘worked’).

Susan: “I work in an office.” 

Susan said (that) she worked in an office.

Notice how the pronoun changes from first to third person (‘I’ to ‘she’).

Exercises:

Rewrite the sentences using reported speech

1 ‘Ellie can use my phone,’ said my brother.

1 My brother said that Ellie could use his phone.

2 Benjamin: “I often have a big hamburger.”

2 Benjamin said (that) he often has a big hamburger.

(Pronoun changes from ‘I’ to ‘he’). Here Benjamin is talking about an event that happens frequently, so we keep the present tense ‘have’ but change it to the third-person form ‘has’.

Image result for african eats giant hamburger"
Benjamin frequently eats big hamburgers. Because this is a repeated action, we always use present tense, even in reported speech.

3 ‘I don’t want to sit next to Sam,’ said Jenny.

4 Hannah: “They live in Boston.” Again, this is a present tense situation.

5 Tyler: “Ian doesn’t invite girls to his parties.”

6 Linda: “Did Max fly to London two weeks ago?”

7 Robert: “Dennis often downloads the latest tunes.”

Free speaking exercise

There is a work party and the managers want to know which food to serve.

Image result for work party food"

The options are:

vegetarian / Korean / sea-food / western fast-food / traditional German cuisine

Image result for korean food"
Korean food
Image result for fast food party"
Burgers, french fries, fried chicken
Image result for traditional German food"
Traditional German food … and beer.

Discuss which food to choose. Run through the pros and cons of each one. Also think about entertainment. Use recently acquired vocabulary:

Expressions:

I adore / I really enjoy / I’m into

I don’t mind … I quite like …. I can take it or leave it

I’m not keen on …. It’s not my cup of tea (idiom, means I don’t like it)

I can’t stand (noun or pronoun) ……. (seafood) / I can’t stand it !

Spicy / bland / hard to eat / unhealthy / fatty 

not used to it / doesn’t appeal

you can’t please everyone / each to their own / fussy eater 

it’s free food – who cares ?

Image result for quotes on food"

Adult Speaking Class, Level 2. Theme: food

23rd January 2020

Contents

Free speaking

Idioms and expressions

Planning a party

Traditional British food

Vocabulary

Image result for world food

Idioms and expressions

tea / cherries /nutshell / cucumber / carrot

Idioms and collocations 

Growing up is hard, life isn’t always a bowl of _________ . 

He walked in, as cool as a _________ , and told the boss he wanted a pay rise.

We’re going to try using a _________ and stick approach 

I’m not a fan of karaoke, it’s not my cup of _________ at all. 

To put it in a _________ , driving motorbikes is very dangerous.

Image result for life is a bowl of cherries

Vocabulary

prefer / would rather have

When you like many things BUT one more than the others.

I like tea but I prefer coffee. He loves reading but prefers painting.

She would rather have the red dress. I’d rather be in Sai Gon than Ha Noi.

I prefer Indian food to English food. I’d rather have a good spicy curry than plain meat and vegetables.

Image result for Indian food
Indian food

Traditional British

What do you think of this food ?

Roast turkey with stuffing, baked vegetables, sprouts, carrots, potatoes baked ham

Christmas pudding with brandy cream / mince pies / gingerbread men

Image result for uk christmas food
Image result for uk christmas mince pies
Image result for uk christmas gingerbread men
gingerbread men

Planning a party

There is a party and the managers want to know which food to serve.

The options are:

vegetarian

Korean

sea-food

western fast-food

traditional German cuisine

Image result for korean food
Korean food
Image result for western fast food
western fast food
Image result for german food
German food

Discuss which food to choose. Run through the pros and cons of each one.

Expressions: I adore I really enjoy

I don’t mind … I quite like …. I can take it or leave it

I’m not keen on …. It’s not my cup of tea

I can’t stand (noun or pronoun) I can’t stand it !

Spicy bland hard to eat unhealthy fatty not used to it doesn’t appeal

you can’t please everyone each to their own fussy eater 

it’s free food – who cares ?

If music be the food of love, play on;

Hygiene (noun)– hygienic (adj)

I have concerns over the hygiene of street food.

Be wary of street hawkers and scam artists.

If you could recommend …

A Vietnamese party:

Image result for vietnamese food party
Vietnamese party food

My friends are coming to visit so I want to give them a real Viet culinary experience. What food and drink should I serve ?

First – what questions do you need to ask about my friends’ dietary habits ? 

Explain everything we need to do – where to buy, how to cook, how to eat.

Free Speaking

Questions:

What is the most unusual food you have tried ?

Dialogues

Speaking practice:

Pat Well, I’m exhausted. I need a damn fine cup of coffee and a big piece of pie.

Sam There’s a Highlands over the road, or we can go to Coffee Bean or Milano.

Pat I’d prefer Starbucks but it costs an arm and a leg. Highlands is also expensive.

Sam But great quality and superb cakes. Come on, I’m starving, I need coffee now !

Pat OK,hold your horseshahaha. After we can meet up with Niall.

Sam Sounds good. Now … shall I have chocolate cake or fruit cake … ?

Inside Highlands

Sam Hi, I’ll have a large cappuccino, please. What do you fancy ?

Pat Tough decision. I’m going for the caramel freeze and a slice of blueberry pie.

Sam Oh, me too. Big slice, no, only joking, I have to watch my weight.

Pat You ? I think you look great. Lets also get some chocolate cake and we can share.

Sam Brilliant. Oh, did I show you my recent photos ? Here, on my phone.

Pat Let me see … oh, so funny. Who’s that ? The man next to Niall ?

Sam That’s Jimmy, he’s Pete’s friend. He plays drums, and drinks like a fish !

Pat And that’s you, a selfie. You look adorable. Butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth.

Image result for butter wouldn't melt
Meaning someone looks so sweet, they would NEVER do anything wrong.

Student project

One of my adult students prepared this presentation. For my Asian students, canyou tell me the story of:

Black Glutinous Rice Cake

(Bánh ít lá gai)

1. A story.

2. Flavour

3. How to make it?

Mung bean

Boehmeria nivea

Rice flour

4. Useful.