Interlingua/Curso de conversation/Capitulo 5, Scenas 1 e 2 (anglese)

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SCENE 1: Paris, in a conference center: Peter speaks to John Melville and accuses him of dishonestly pretending to be a possible client of his to extract from him confidential commercial information about his company. Petro becomes very irate, and John Melville tries to calm him, saying that in business such practices are common. Gerardo Florette intervenes and takes Petro away, suggesting that they have a drink and forget about Mr. Melville.

Petro finally goes with Gerardo, but not without directing some menacing words to John Melville, who seems surprised and indignant and completely without regrets about what he has done. Petro and Gerardo go to a small cafe in an area of Paris that Gerardo knows well. Petro calms down and takes a certain pleasure in the bonhomie of Paris cafe life. They talk about the conference, and the two agree that it is a waste of time. Neither John nor Petro are hungry, but they want to have a second drink and continue their activities in another part of Paris, no doubt to continue their drinking.

Petro: Hey, Mr. Melville, I have some things to say to you.

Melville: Yes, uh ...

Petro: Do you remember me?

Melville: Certainly. It's coming back to me. A flight. Between Strasbourg and Geneva.

Petro: You didn't tell me that you worked for our competition.

Melville: You're right.

Petro: And you tried to get some information from me by pretending to be a customer.

Melville: Listen. I let you believe what you wanted to believe. Business is a jungle, and you don't seem to know how it works.

Petro: I ought to slug you here and now!

Gerardo: Come on, Petro. Let's go.

Petro: As you say, we live in a jungle. In three years your company will be in bankruptcy, and you will be out of work.

Melville: I think it will be your company that will lose. We'll see about that.

Gerardo: Come on, Petro. Making a scene here will not accomplish anything. Let's go get a drink.

Petro: Be very careful about what you will do in the future, Melville. You think that you are smart and astute, but eventually you're gonna have some big problems.

Gerardo: Come on, Petro. Lets go drink something.

Melville: What is the problem with this guy? I don't understand him. I got to know him during a plane trip, and I asked him some questions about his work. That's all. I don't understand why he's gotten so mad.

Petro: Okay, Gerardo. Do you know a good place where we can go drink something?

Gerardo: Yes. There is a small, quiet cafe very near this place, at the end of the street.

Petro: Let's go there.

Gerardo: Ah, everything's going much better. So are you happy to be in France?

Petro: Yes, it'll be very good for me to have a drink at some sidewalk cafe. I haven't been able to do this in Geneva.

Gerardo: Ah, good. But what was the problem?

Petro: The weather's too cold. And it often rains.

Gerardo: Yeah. Switzerland is a funny country. And what do you think about the conference?

Petro: Frankly, I'm convinced that I'm wasting my time there.

Gerardo: You're right. There's nothing new that they are offering.

Petro: Yeah, it's a real waste of time.

Gerardo: Melville seemed really scared. I think that you were really gonna hit him.

Petro: I almost did so.

Gerardo: Do you want to eat something?

Petro: No.

Gerardo: I'm not hungry either. But I think that another drink would hit the spot.

Petro: Yeah. I need to calm my nerves.

Gerardo: Waiter, the same thing. And go easy on the water this time. Ah, Petro, to your health!

Petro: And to yours!

Gerardo: You know, after this drink, I think that we ought to try another cafe. I know another one near here that serves some really good French food.

EXERCISE 1: Ordering things in a cafe.

Guide: Well, I get the feeling that Petro will be having an interesting evening. Now I'd like to understand better the vacabulary used for ordering things in a cafe.

A man: Good evening.

Waiter: What do you want to order?

A woman: I would like a beer, please.

Waiter: What kind of beer? Bottled? Draft?

A woman: Bottled, please.

Waiter: Dark or light?

A woman: Light.

A man: Me, I'd like a whiskey.

Waiter: Yes?

A man: A beer and a whiskey, please.

Waiter: Do you want something with the whiskey? Coca Cola? Soda? Ice?

A man: Ice, please.

Waiter: The total for all that is thirty-seven euros.

A man: Thanks.

Waiter: Thanks.

A man: To your health.

A woman: And to yours.

Guide: I hope Peter didn't drink too much yesterday evening. He has a lot to do today.

SCENE 2: Paris, at the offices of Trans Infra: On the morning after their evening drinking, Petro and Gerardo are a little hung over, especially Petro, and Gerardo gives him some aspirin and some rather strange advice for taking care of his really bad headaches. After Petro has taken his aspirin, he becomes a little less sick, and a Mr. Legrand takes him to a conference room and presents him to some other people who work for Trans Infra.

Peter is given an invitation to present a discussion on the Geneva project, and he accepts. He suggests that every month they hold regular meetings of senior engineers so that everyone can exchange and update the information they have accumulated on urban transport, adding that each meeting would be in a different European city.

When Petro finishes his discussion, Mr. Legrand expresses his opposition to the project. He says that he can't send his most senior engineer to a meeting every month without unacceptably interrupting the essential work at his office. He can send one of his younger engineers to the meetings, he says, but not a veteran. Petro tries to explain to Mr. Legrand the importance of the presence of his most senior engineer at these meetings, but without success.

Gerardo: Good morning, Petro.

Petro: God morning, Gerardo.

Gerardo: How're you doing right now?

Petro: Not all that well. And you?

Gerardo: Not much better.

Petro: Where are all the others who are going to be at this conference?

Gerardo: In the conference room next to us.

Petro: Can I have some coffee before going in there?

Gerardo: Naturally.

Petro: And two aspirin tablets.

Gerardo: Aspirin? I should have a bottle of tablets somewhere. Ah, here they are.

Petro: Thanks. I hope they'll help you.

Gerardo: You might try standing on your head.

Petro: What?

Petro: Yeah. Stand on your head?

Petro: Stand on my head? What will that to?

Gerardo: It'll help you out. All your blood will go down to your head.

Petro: That seems dangerous to me.

Gerardo: On the contrary. It helps out a lot.

Petro: No, thanks. By the way, ...

(Mr. Legrand comes in.)

Mr. Legrand: We're waiting for you.

Petro: I'm coming.

Gerardo: I'd like to introduce Mr. Legrand to you.

Mr. Legrand: Everyone is in the conference room. We're waiting for you.

Gerardo: Good afternoon, gentlemen. This is Petro Minelli of the Geneva project. I am going to take a seat and let him speak.

Petro: Thanks. Okay, as Gerardo has told you, I have come to talk to you about the Geneva project. I suppose you have learned some details about it.

Mr. Legrand: No. We don't know anything about this project, and we hope that you can tell us about its most important details.

Petro: Ah, very good. Our idea is to establish an information-centralization system in Geneva. We have a small center there led by Catherina De Sanctis. Our work consists of centralizing and coordinating general and specialized information for all the projects of Marex Mundial and Trans Infra. We also will have a general advisory role for all our projects. Thus we will be able to centralize our capabilities for forming strategies to respond to new conditions of development in areas involving marketing and technology. We are especially interested in new technology. Here's an example: If the government of a city asks for a better system of urban transport, we want to have the information for presenting to it large range of options including buses, taxis, light rail, and heavy rail in cost effective and efficient combinations. Naturaly, to present an optimal series of options, we will have a research department whose knowledge base will be continually updated. To help us in these efforts we propose to hold monthly meetings of our most senior personnel so they can exchange ideas and information that our research department cannot extract from the usual sources, which often don't have access to the latest information ...

Mr. Legrand: Wait a minute.

Petro: Yes?

Mr. Legrand: If I understand correctly, you want our our principal engineers to meet once a month?

Petro: Yes. Such meetings are an important part of our plans. Didn't you know that?

Mr. Legrand: No. I've just now found out about this from you.

Petro: Uh, yes. Holding such meetings is our intention.

Mr. Legrand: Where?

Petro: What?

Mr. Legrand: Where are you going to hold these meetings?

Petro: Hmm. Well, we could discuss that later. But we had thought that these conferences could take place, for example, here one month, the next month in Geneva, then in London, then in Frankfurt--a series of meetings in each city.

Mr. Legrand: If I understand correctly, you want my chief engineer to go take one or two days out of each month to go to these meetings?

Petro: That's our idea, yes.

Mr. Legrand: To talk about new developments?

Petro: Exactly.

Mr. Legrand: This is impossible.

Petro: Impossible? Why?

Mr. Legrand: I know that the Geneva project is important. You have explained to us exactly why.

Petro: Yes, it is very important. I think there is no doubt about that.

Mr. Legrand: And you want us to put one of our principal engineers at your disposal each month.

Petro: Yes, exactly.

Mr. Legrand: But I can't allow my principal engineer to go to meetings in all the cities of Europe all the time. There is too much work to do. You should content yourself with one of our junior engineers.

Petro: I was hoping that we could arrive at some arrangement about that.

Mr. Legrand: My senior engineers have a lot of work that requires their ongoing attention. They simply cannot go to your meetings. The cost would be neglecting some important details of their work.

EXERCISE 2: Explaining situations.

Guide: Petro's trip to Paris did not have very favorable results for him. Petro had a lot of things to say during this meeting, and some of the things he said caused a few problems. I would like to practice the type of language that people use in these situations.

A man: It is necessary for you to explain the situation as it is now.

A woman: Okay, here is how it is:

A man: Tell us about the new project.

A woman: We are now about to start a new project.

A man: Tell us about the meeting.

A woman: What is needed is for us to meet regularly.

A man: Once a month in Paris.

A woman: What is needed is for us to meet regularly once a month in Paris.

A man: To discuss new projects.

A woman: What is needed is for us to meet regularly once a month in Paris to discuss new projects.

A man: Mention when the details will be discussed.

A woman: We can arrange questions of detail later on.

A man: Probably.

A woman: We can probably arrange questions of detail later on.

A man: We will be able to discuss them.

A woman: We will be able to discuss questions of detail when we meet next.

A man: Where? In Paris?

A woman: We will be able to discuss questions of detail when we meet next in Paris.

Guide: We will meet once again in Paris No. I don't think that I could speak about such things, at least not at this moment. But let's return to Petro, who has flown from Paris to his offices in Geneva.