Interlingua/Curso de conversation/Capitulo 6, Scenas 5 e 6 (anglese)

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SCENE 5: Petro has returned to Geneva. There he finds Francesca, who has started her work. He wants to know if she has had any problems in getting used to her new work. She answers that everything is going well enough but that everything will be better after a few more days of practice. She asks Petro if his trip to Frankfurt went well. Afterwards she wants to know when he arrived in Geneva.

Petro then wants to know if Catherina is in her office and if she is busy. Francesca says that she's free, and Peter goes in to see her. Catherina wants to know if the trip to Frankfurt went well, and Petro gives her the details about their decisions for the next meeting and about the program that they have established.

Francesca then interrupts them with an urgent and mysterious message. She has received on the telex something that should be of great interest for Petro and Catherina.

Francesca: Good morning, Mr. Minelli.

Petro Good morning, uh ...

Francesca: Francesca.

Petro: Ah, yes. Francesca. I'm very happy to see you. It seems that you have now started your work, and this place now seems like a real office. How's everything going?

Francesca: Just fine, thanks.

Petro: Have you been able to settle in easily enough?

Francesca: Yes. Everything's gone quite well. But I need more time to get used to things.

Petro: Naturally. It will take some weeks.

Francesca: Yes.

Petro: Fine Have you had any problems up to now?

Francesca: No, none.

Petro: Ah, perfect.

Francesca: And your trip to Frankfurt, was everything okay?

Petro: Yes, thanks. Just fine.

Francesca: Did you like the German beer?

Petro: No, this time I drank more wine than beer.

Francesca: And when did you get back to Geneva?

Petro: Oh, this morning. Tell me, is Catherina in her office?

Francesca: Yes, she's there.

Petro: Do you know if she's busy right now?

Francesca: Uh, no. She's now alone in her office. You can go in.

Petro: Thanks.

Catherina: Good morning, Petro.

Petro: Good morning, Catherina.

Catherina: Did you have a good trip?

Petro: Yes, very good, thanks.

Catherina: And how was Frankfurt?

Petro: Oh, very good. Things were very nice there.

Catherina: No problems?

Petro: No, no problems.

Catherina: And everything is organized for next month?

Petro: Yes. Everything has been organized. They have some very good ideas there. I toured one of their factories.

Catherina: Oh yeah? I've heard they're really very good. So how's the organization for the next meeting?

Petro: Okay, the liaison commission has been formed. It has four members, which is a good number. A small commission is much more efficient than a large one. The first meeting will be here on the third of the month, or Monday. They will be here for breakfast, and the meeting will start out afterward. The agenda for the first meeting is ...

Catherina: Do you have a program?

Petro: Yes, certainly. All of us made it up together.

Catherina: Very good.

Petro: We lost no time at all.

Catherina: Then, what is there on the program?

Petro: Some provisions for the next ten years, a feasibility study for a centralized evaluation.

Catherina: That's very impressive, all that. (Francesca comes in.) Yes, Francesca?

Francesca: Excuse me for interrupting you.

Catherina: Don't worry.

Francesca: I have something that you will find interesting.

Catherina: Oh yeah? What is it?

Francesca: Read this message from the telex.


EXERCISE 5: Polite questions:

Guide: I'd like to know what came in on the telex, naturally. But in the meantime, I'd like to hear once again these questions of courtesy.

A man: If someone comes back from a trip, you could ask ...

A woman: Have you had a good trip?

A man: Oh, just fine, thanks.

Another man: And if this person is coming back from London, you could ask ...

A woman: How did you like London?

A man: Very nice, but a little expensive.

A woman: Yes, things are expensive there. I myself am coming back from New York.

A man: What did you think of New York?

A woman: Very interesting. Exhausting, but fascinating.

A man: Did you do some interesting things there?

A woman: Yes, I really like New York a lot.

A man: Me too.

A woman: I returned by plane.

A man: And the trip, how was it?

A woman: Fine. A little long, naturally, and a little tiring.

A man: Yes, a trip like that is always very tiring.

A woman: It's nice to return home.

A man: And how's everything going?

A woman: Ah, very well. Everything's going very well. And for you, how're things going?

A man: Not too bad, thanks.

A woman: Fine.

Guide: Good. Let's find out what there was on the telex.


SCENE 6: Francesca shows Petro and Catherina the telex message that has just come in from Cairo. The Egyptians, it seems, want to build a completely new city, and the Egyptian planning minister is going to arrive in Geneva the following day. Catherina got to know him earlier when they worked together on a project in Alexandria.

Catherina is rather confident that Marex Mundial will get the contract. Naturally, Petro also will have to participate in the meeting when the minister comes. Petro expresses his confidence that Marex will get the contract because Marex will be able to offer the best prices. Their personnel are also more competent, and they finish their work very fast.

The phone rings, and Francesca answers. It is Alan Tanner, who invites Catherina to go out with him. But she answers firmly that she can't do this and that it will be better that he not call her up about personal things because they have nothing further to discuss.

Petro and Catherina then continue their conversation. Francesca is going to call up the hotel in Geneva where the minister is staying, and she is also going to tell Martijn Ockrente and Olivero Rossi about the meeting. Peter mentions that he has heard Catherina's conversation with Alan Tanner, and he tries to console her, but she does not seem anxious or angry in any way. Finally, she says that not all that long ago Peter asked her out for dinner, and he asks if he can go out with her that evening.

Francesca: There's something that you should see.

Catherina: Oh, yes? What?

Francesca: This telex. Take a look.

Petro: What is it?

Francesca: It came from Egypt, from Cairo.

Petro: What do they want?

Francesca: They're building a new city.

Petro: What?

Francesca: And they want to build a transportation network for the city.

Catherina: They want a complete study. Everything. From the beginning.

Petro: What's the size?

Catheinra: Two hundred thousand to two million or more.

Petro: Can I read the message?

Catherina: Yes, here it is.

Francesca: It comes from a Mr. Mohammed Chahine. He's arriving this evening.

Catherina: Oh yes?

Francesca: He's the planning minister.

Catherina: Yes, yes.

Francesca: Do you know him?

Catherina: Yes. We worked together on a project in Alexandria. I met him while we were working there.

Francesca: And you think that you will get the contract?

Catherina: Let's say that ... I think that we could get it, yes.

Petro: That would be really great! ... Tomorrow morning. Catherina, do you want to see him alone, or do you want all of us to see him.

Catherina: All of us.

Petro: In that case I'm gonna polish my shoes.

Catherina: Ah, yes, please. We must make the best impression possible.

Petro: And I will also wear a clean shirt.

Catherina: All in all, we can't do much in twenty-four hours.

Petro: Don't worry. Our prices are the best, we are more competent, we can provide the best service after the construction of the project, and we work faster than our competition. I'm confident that we'll win this contract.

(The phone rings.)

Francesca: Marex Mundial, Geneva. Good morning. Yes, Mr. Tanner, she's in the office. It's for you, Catherina, Mr. Tanner.

Catherina: Hello, Alan? No, I can't. No, I'm sorry, it is really impossible. You know very well why. Listen, Alan, things are like that. Accept them the way they are, and let's not talk any further about them. No, really, I don't want to.

Francesca: Do you think it would be better for us to leave?

Petro: No, I want to listen. I find that interesting.

Catherina: Frankly, Alan, it would be better for you not to call me up to talk about these things. We will always be friends, colleagues, but that's all. No, I really don't have anything else to say. See you later, Alan. (Catherina directs her attention to Francesca.) What were we talking about?

Francesca: I'm hoping to contact the minister's hotel.

Catherina: Yes, fine. And afterwards we will have to notify Martijn Ockrente and Olivero Rossi that we will be having a meeting tomorrow.

Francesca: Yes. I'm gonna show them the telex.

Petro: Catherina, ... I couldn't help hearing your conversation. I'm very sorry that things did not go well between you and Alan.

Catherina: Oh well, it really couldn't have lasted very long.

Petro: But any case, the news of a breakup is always a bad piece of news.

Catherina: No, not really.

Petro: But even so, such breakups are always difficult.

Catherina: Maybe so. ... Petro?

Petro: Yes?

Catherina: The other day you asked me out to dinner.

Petro: Yes?

Catherina Well, ...

Petro: Well, what?

Catherina: Well, do you have anything to do this evening?

Petro: This evening?

Guide: Aha! It looks as though Petro and Catherina are now going to become friends. It seems that things are going better for them.