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CHAPTER 1 That’s Life

No Jobs in the Cupboard

Billy, a young man from London, had no job. He lived with his mother, Mrs Harris. One day he asked her, ‘How can I get a job?’

‘Look in the newspaper,’ she answered. so he bought a paper and looked for jobs.

There were a lot of jobs in London. He read the paper from front to back but most of them were not right for him. Suddenly he saw a good job in an office so he wrote a letter to the boss of the office and sent it. A week later he got a letter from the boss, Mr Davidson. He showed the letter to his mother: ‘Please come to my office next Monday. I Want to meet you and we can talk about the job.’ Mrs Harris was quite excited and Billy was happy but he was also very nervous.

On the Monday morning Billy got up early and had breakfast.

He left the house and went to Mr Davidson’s office. There were seven people there for one job. Mr Davidson asked him to come into his office and the other six people waited outside. He asked Billy a lot of questions — he was nervous and he answered the questions badly. When Mr Davidson finished he smiled at Billy and said, ‘Thank you, Mr Harris. Please wait Outside.’

Billy thought, ‘I didn’t answer all those questions very well.’

He stood up and walked to the door… but he made a mistake. It wasn’t the door out of the office — it was a cupboard!

‘What can I do now? DO I stay in the cupboard and wait or do I go back into the office?’ he thought. ‘Perhaps I’ll stay here and wait. When they’re all gone I can come Out again.’

Mr Davidson spoke to the other six people and one by one they went out. At five o’clock Mr Davidson went home. Billy didn’t know the time so he stayed in the cupboard. He was very tired and he went to sleep. He slept for a long time.

Next morning the cleaner came in. She opened the door of the cupboard and found Billy.

‘What are you doing here?’ she asked.

‘l came here for a job. Did I get it, do you know?’

The wrong Lover

A man from London, Mr Harvey, had a very beautiful young wife. He was much Older than his wife and he began to think she was in love with a younger man. For many weeks he thought about his wife and this Other man. Every day he went to work and he was more and more unhappy when he thought about them together.

‘What can I do? Am I too Old for her? Perhaps she doesn’t love me,’ he thought. He knew that his wife was at home all day.

‘What does she do? Is she happy? Does she meet other men ? ‘ One day Mr Harvey thought, ‘I’ll go home in the afternoon. I don’t usually arrive home at this time so perhaps I can catch my wife with her young man.’ He arrived at his house at 2.30 that afternoon and he was very angry because there was an expensive red car in front of his house.

That’s the young man’s’ car,’ he thought. He sat in his car and made a plan. ‘I know, I’ll break the windows of the car!’ He found a small heavy box in his car and he broke every window of the red car with it … and the lights.After that he sat and waited.

Five minutes later a young man came out of Mr Harvey’s house and said goodbye to the beautiful Mrs Harvey. Then this young man walked across to a big tree in the front garden, took an old bicycle and rode away down the street.

The Bigger, the Better?

A rich woman drove her big expensive new car to the supermarket. She arrived and thought, ‘There aren’t many places to park the car… where can I leave it?’ Suddenly she saw a parking place between a big blue car and a motorbike but it was very small. ‘It’s going to be very difficult to get this big Car in there, but I’ll try.’

At the same time two young women in a small Old car came to the supermarket. ‘Where can we put the Car?’ the driver asked her friend.

‘Look, there’s a good place… near that blue car over there,’ she said. It was the same parking place between the blue car and the motorbike.

‘Oh, yes,’ the driver said. can easily get in there.’

The rich woman started to turn her car into the parking place.

‘l hope I can get in there,’ she thought.

Suddenly the two young women drove into the parking place in front of her. The driver opened the window, looked at the rich woman and said, ‘When you learn to drive that big car, then you can do that, too!’

The rich woman was very angry but she said nothing. She turned her car and drove back as far as she could. Then she drove fast at the small car and hit it hard. She broke the lights and Other things on the small car. She opened her window and called to the two young women, ‘When you have money, then you can do that, too!’

Cheap and Easy

In a small town in the north of England there was a big library with a lot of interesting books in it. people in the town could take the books home for four weeks and read them. They could have as many as four books each time — different books about animals, boats, cooking and holidays or love stories, and then they had to take them back to the library.

Every year the library bought more and more books and soon the building was too small for all the books. One morning in early autumn the boss said, ‘November 28th is a big day for us — going to move to a new library building. It’s a much bigger and better building but there’s one difficult problem… it’s going to be very expensive to move all our books to the new building.

Where are We going to find the money and the time?’ the boss asked.

The people in the library thought about this problem. One evening five weeks before November 28th a young woman thought of a good plan. She went and talked to the boss about it.

He was very interested and together they planned it all carefully.

Two weeks later the boss told the people about the plan: ‘Between now and November 28th everybody can take six books home, not four books as usual and they can have the books for six weeks, not four.’

Everybody in the town was very happy and they took five or six books home. After two weeks most of the books were Out of the library. On November 28th the big day arrived and they moved to the new building. It was quite easy because they had only a small number ofbooks to move there. In the month after the move everybody took their books to the new library. The boss was very happy because it was quite cheap to move and it was quick and easy, too.

Watch the Water!

In an important game of golf Willie Fraser, one of the best players, had a bad day. First he hit the ball into the trees, then he made a mistake and his ball hit another player, after that he hit the ball badly every time. ‘This isn’t too good — I must be more careful,’ he thought. The first half of the game went badly. He lost five balls.

A friend watched him and said, ‘Perhaps you’ll have better luck in the second half.’

‘Wait and see,’ Willie answered. He wanted to play well for this important game but everything went wrong in the second half, too! He lost more balls, he hit more trees, and then he hit the ball near a river. He walked up to the ball and hit it again.

Everybody stopped to watch the ball. ‘Will it go into the water? Perhaps he’ll be lucky.’

But Willie wasn’t lucky — his ball Went into the water. He took his golf bag and threw it into the river after the ball.

‘Never again! That’s it! I’m finished with golf!’ And he walked away angrily to his car.

Suddenly he stopped, turned and walked back to the river. All the players stopped again and waited. Willie arrived at the river and walked very slowly into the water. He stopped and carefully put his head under the water.

‘Oh no,’ his friend thought. ‘This is dangerous — I must help him!’ The friend ran to the river and was ready to jump into the water after Willie, when suddenly Willie found his golf bag, opened it, pulled out the keys of his car, climbed out of the river walked away.

Hit and Hear

Charlie, a man about 75 years old, often went to a bar in London and met his friends for a drink. He liked a beer or two and he also liked to talk and laugh. In the bar he and his friends remembered the old days and told stories about when they were young.

Charlie had one big problem: he couldn’t hear anything in his left ear. When his friends spoke to him they had to sit on his right. He couldn’t hear anything because of an accident — he was quite young at the time. One day in 1930, when he was a small boy, he was on a bus in Liverpool with his mother. The bus hit a car and young Charlie hit his head On the floor. From that day he could Only hear in his right ear.

One evening Charlie was with his friends, Bert and Jack, in the London bar and Bert told a good Story about the old days.

Charlie liked the story very much and began to laugh. He laughed and laughed and fell off his chair. He hit his head on the table and something fell Out of his left ear, on to the table. Bert took a small white thing from the table and said, ‘What’s this? I think it came out of your ear.’

Jack looked at the white thing and answered, ‘It’s’ a bus ticket.’

He looked again and said, That’s strange — it’s a Liverpool bus ticket… from 1930!’

Suddenly Charlie said, ‘Oh, listen! I can hear in my left ear!’

‘What?’ said Jack. ‘I don’t understand…’

I couldn’t hear with my left ear because that bus ticket was in ear all that time!’ answered Charlie. They all laughed about the 1930 Liverpool bus ticket. And now his friends Can sit On his right or on his left in the bar.

Wrong in the Head?

In a new factory Outside town the people in the office didn’t like Mr Taylor, their boss.

One day at lunch-time Mr Taylor walked through a market near his office. He saw some hats and thought, ‘l like those brown and black hats — very nice!’ He thought about the hats for two or three minutes. ‘Perhaps I’ll buy a brown hat tomorrow. I can wear it to work.’

The next day he went back to the market and bought a brown hat. He wore it to work every day after that. But Mr brown hat was more for the garden than for the office, so everybody in the office laughed at him about it behind his back.

Two weeks later, two of the men from the office were in the market and they saw some hats. ‘Look at those hats! They’re the same as the boss’s new hat,’ one man said.

‘That’s right … he’s got a brown one,’ the other man answered.

‘Let’s buy the same hat… no, two hats! I’ve got a plan. Listen…

The men bought two more hats the same colour as Mr hat, but one hat was much bigger and the other was much smaller.

The next day, when Mr Taylor was Out for his lunch, the two men took his hat and left the bigger hat in the same place. At the end of the day he took his hat and put it on. ‘This too big!’ he thought. ‘Why? I don’t understand.’

The next day, when Mr Taylor was in the factory, the two men took the bigger hat and left the smaller hat in its place. When he was ready to go home Mr Taylor put on this hat but it was very difficult. ‘Something’s wrong here,’ he thought. ‘This hat’s too small. But I think it’s my hat.’

On some days Mr Taylor’s hat was too big, on other days it was too small and on some days it was right. After two weeks of these problems with his hat Mr Taylor began to think that something was wrong with his head so he went to a doctor. ‘I’ve got a very unusual problem, doctor,’ he said. ‘N•ly head is bigger one day and smaller the next … and sometimes itk OK. What do you think is wrong with me?’

Red Faces at Christmas

Mr and Mrs MacDonald lived in a small town in Scotland with their three sons. One morning in November they got a letter from Mrs MacDonald’s brother, Tom King, and his wife Susan, in London. Mrs MacDonald read it to her husband:

Please come and have Christmas with us in our new house. It’s very big so you can all stay here. Come on December 24th. We’re going out that evening and we’ll be home late, after midnight, but you’ll find the key for the front door in a small box behind the tree on the right of the garage door. We’ll see you then.

That’s nice,’ Mr MacDonald said. ‘It’ll be interesting to see their new house.’ The three boys were excited because they liked London.

On December 24th the MacDonald family drove down to London. They arrived there late that evening and found the right street and the new house. There were no lights in the street so it was very dark. Mr MacDonald parked the car in front of number 22 and they all got out. ‘Right!’ he said. ‘First, find the key.’

Mrs MacDonald said to the boys, ‘GO and look for the key in the box behind the tree… on the right of the garage door.’

The boys came back after two or three minutes. ‘We can’t find the key. We looked carefully but it isn’t there,’ the oldest boy said.

‘What do we do now?’ Mrs MacDonald asked. ‘There are no lights in the house.’

‘Remember Tom’s’ letter — they’ll be home very late this evening after midnight,’ Mr McDonald said. ‘Perhaps the front door is open let’s’ see.’ They were lucky — the front door was open. They went in and turned on the lights. They went through to the kitchen — everything was new. Mrs MacDonald made some tea and they sat in the front room and drank it.

Mr MacDonald looked at some photographs on the desk. He turned to his wife and said, ‘l don’t know any of the people in these photos. DO you?’

Mrs MacDonald looked at them and answered, ‘No, it’s not my brother and his family… perhaps they’re photos of their friends.’

They finished their tea and went up to the bedrooms. They were tired after the long drive from Scotland so they all slept well.

The next day was Christmas and the MacDonald family came down for breakfast. They went into the kitchen and saw a man and a woman there — but they didn’t know them!

‘Who are you?’ asked Mr MacDonald.

‘Philip and Rosemary Brown. This is our house. Who are you ? ‘Oh, no! This isn’t Tom King’s house?’ Mrs MacDonald said.

‘I’m Janet MacDonald, Tom’s sister. He asked us to Stay for Christmas. We arrived late last night and find the key, but the door was open so we walked in.’

Mr and Mrs Brown laughed. ‘This is number 22 — Tom lives at number 20. These houses are all new — and they’re all the same.’

With red faces the MacDonald family went next door to number 20. ‘Happy Christmas,’ Mr Brown said, ‘and come back and see us some time.’

Where Did I Leave My Wife?

Stan Graham drove quickly along the road one night. His wife, Maggie, slept next to him. Usually Stan and Maggie talked together in the car so he didn’t go to sleep. This time she was very tired so she slept. After driving for about 150 kilometers Stan was tired. ‘I must find a restaurant… I want a cup of coffee and some food,’ he thought. There were a lot of restaurants along the road so he stopped and bought something to eat.

When he went back to the car he turned on the radio and drove along for another 50 kilometers . Then he asked his wife, ‘Maggie, do you want a cup of coffee?’ No answer. He asked again, ‘Do you want some coffee, Maggie?’ Again no answer.

Then he turned to her — but she wasn’t there!

He stopped the Car and looked in the back — no Maggie!

‘Oh, no!’ he thought. ‘Perhaps she went into that restaurant after me and I didn’t see her.’ He started to think about the restaurant but he was very tired. ‘This is not very easy. I drove past a lot of different restaurants. Which restaurant was it? I can’t remember! ‘

The Taxi Driver, the Germans and the Plan

Harry, a friendly taxi driver, was in his car outside Waterloo Station in London. It was a quiet day in spring and not many people wanted a taxi. Suddenly he saw two women with a book.

They looked at it but he could see that they didn’t understand.

The two women walked over to Harry’s taxi and spoke to him.

‘Do you speak German?’ one of them asked in German. Harry couldn’t speak German but he smiled, opened the door of his taxi and pushed them inside with their bags. ‘These German visitors want to see the famous places of London,’ he thought. ‘I’ll drive them round the city and show them everything and they’ll pay me a lot of money!’

The two visitors said a lot of to him in German but Harry understand them. He drove to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and many other interesting places. But the women didn’t 100k happy. ‘l think they’re angry,’ Harry thought. ‘l can ‘t understand it, I showed them a lot of famous places but they’re angry.’Then he drove to the Tower of London and stopped the taxi.

There were a lot of visitors outside the Tower so Harry got out of his car. He asked two or three people, ‘Do you speak German?’

One girl said in English, ‘Yes, I do’.

‘Can you please help me?’ he asked. ‘Can you ask these German women in my taxi about their problem?’

The girl spoke to the visitors in German. Then she smiled and said, ‘Did you take them from Waterloo Station, round the centre of London and then to the Tower?’

‘Yes, right,’ said Harry.

they have a book in their hands at the station?’ she asked.

‘Yes, they did,’ he said. ‘It was a guidebook, I think.’

‘No, it wasn’t!’ she laughed. ‘It was a British Rail book with plans of all the train stations in London — they Only wanted to the restaurant at Waterloo Station!’

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