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

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SCENE 5: The offices in Geneva: In this scene Petro talks with Catherina about a trip to Paris. What he has to say is very discouraging. He reports that the conference was a fiasco and that the meeting with the Trans Infra personnel was even worse. He explains how Mr. Legrand would not allow his senior engineer to go to the monthly meetings throughout Europe. It is obvious that Catherina knows Legrand, and she decides solve the problem immediately. She calls up Roberto Demur and describes to him the problem with Legrand.

Demur supports Catherina's position and suggests that she talk directly with Legrand. She then talks to him and simply asks him to to send his senior engineer to Geneva on Monday the third day of the month with his passport in order. Legrand says that he will do what Catherina wants. Petro is very impressed with Catherina's authority and competence and invites her out to dinner. She says that she would like to accept his invitation but that she has too much to do.

Catherina: Petro, you want to leave us to take another job. If I understand correctly, you are not happy in Geneva?

Petro: Yes, you're right.

Catherina: Why do you feel like that? What happened in Paris?

Petro: Paris? It was horrible.

Catherina: What was the problem?

Petro: I had difficulties with the hotel, and Infomat's presentation was a waste of time, neither more nor less.

Catherina: Oh, yeah?

Petro: But the most discouraging factor was the liaison commission meeting accomplished absolutely nothing.

Catherina: What do you mean?

Petro: All that we can get from Paris is a young engineer, a beginner. Probably a recent graduate with no experience.

Catherina: But why?

Petro: They refuse to let their senior engineer dedicate one day out of each month to our meetings. It seems that there is too much work in Paris and that their senior engineer is too important.

Catherina: Who said that?

Petro: A certain Legrand.

Catherina: Oh, yeah, Henrique Legrand. There are always problems with him.

Petro: You know him?

Catherina: Yes, I have worked briefly with him several times.

Petro: Then you know the cause of my frustration.

Catherina: I'm very sorry about the difficulties you have had with him, and I am going do something about them right now.

Petro: What are you going to do?

Catherina: I'm gonna phone Paris.

Petro: Would it bother you if I heard the conversation.

Catherina: No, on the contrary.

Catherina: Hello? Can I speak with Mr. Dumar? Yes, I'm Catherina De Sanctis. Roberto? It's me, Catherina. Very well, thanks. And you? Fine, we have finished almost all of the organization of our Geneva office, but up to now we haven't had any work. And Paris is giving us hard time. Henrique Legrand does not want to let his senior engineer go to our commission meetings. Okay, Petro Minelli, our expert engineer, was in Paris Friday, and Henrique insists that his principal engineer has too much to do to waste his time at our meetings. Yes, me too. Should I speak to Henrique Legrand, or do you prefer to do so? ... Hello? Mr. Legrand's office please. Hello? Henrique? I am Catherina De Sanctis, of Geneva. Henrique, what is the name of your principal engineer? Roberti? Good. Please, we need him to come to the meeting of our commission Monday the third of this month. He is a member of the liaison commission. No, we need him in person and no other engineer. Very good. I think we understand each other. Thanks, Henrique. See you later.

Petro: Good God, that was impressive.

Catherina: What did you say?

Petro: You were fantastic.

Catherina: I know Roberto Dumar very well. We have worked on many important projects, and with his support the thing was easy.

Petro: Is he the chief of operations in Paris?

Catherina: Yes. He is very competent and also very nice.

Petro: Yes, so he seemed. Catherina, I would like to as you if you can ...

Catherina: Yes?

Petro: What are you doing this evening? We could go out and eat dinner together.

Catherina: Ah, that's very nice, but ...

Petro: We could go to the theater or to the movies, as you prefer.

Catherina: Really, Petro, I'd really like to, but this evening I can't.

Petro: Oh, okay.

Catherina: I'm very sorry about that.

Petro: Oh, don't worry. It was just a little idea of mine.

Ctherina: Yes, and a very good one!

Petro: So perhaps we can do this later on?

Catherina: Yes, of course.

EXERCISE 5: Speaking about events:

Guide: I understood very well what Peter said about the events of his trip to Paris, but I would like to review some of the ways of describing them.

A man: Tell me about your trip last week?

A woman: We went to Paris. It was the first time I went there. We spent the night at a very small hotel.

A man: How was the hotel?

A woman: It was very nice and almost in the center of Paris. The hotel breakfasts were very good.

A man: What did you do while you were in Paris?

A woman: We went to our office in Paris, and we participated in discussions about our new project.

A man: Did you also do some other things while you were in Paris?

A woman: Yes, we went a couple of times to the theater. And we saw some sites for tourists.

A man: And how was all that?

A woman: It was very interesting.

Guide: Okay. Let's continue with the story.

SCENE 6: The Geneva Office: Petro goes to see Catherina in her office. When she sees him, she remembers that Petro wanted her to write a letter of reference for him, and she says that she is sorry that she hasn't written it.

Petro, however, tries to invite Catherina to go out to eat or perhaps have a drink with him. While they explore the possibilities, Liliana interrupts them, saying that Alan Tanner tried to get through to her on the phone three times, but Catherina wasn't in the office. Liliana then gives out the details of Alan Tanner's message, saying that he has found a very good restaurant where they could go to eat, and that he would like her to wear the same dress that she wore the previous Saturday.

The phone then rings once again, and Catherina answers (Liliana thinks that it is Alan on the line.) She tells Petro about the details of the relationship between Alan and Catherina. Petro answers very briefly, indicating that possibly he is annoyed. But Catherina comes back and says that she has talked with Alicia, who said that she had started her trip to Geneva.

Petro: Can I come in?

Catherina: Yes, certainly, Petro. You wanted to talk with me?

Petro: No, not especially, I don't have anything to do. That is all.

Catherina: Do you want some coffee?

Petro: No, thanks.

Catherina: Oh, Petro, something has come up that I am very sorry about.

Petro: What is it?

Catherina: That letter to Mexico.

Petro: Yes?

Catherina: You wanted me to write a letter of recommendation. I completely forgot about it.

Petro: Oh, you don't have to do it right now.

Catherina: I'll make a special effort to do it tomorrow.

Petro: Thanks, Catherina. And what about going out to eat this evening?

Catherina: Unfortunately, we can't do so today.

Petro: But possibily we could go out and have a drink after closing up the offices today.

Catherina: But I don't know exactly what time I'm ...

Liliana: Miss De Sanctis? Oh, you're busy.

Catherina: No. We aren't doing anything important, Liliana. Come on in. What do you want?

Liliana: Uh, you know, Mr. Tanner, in the next office?

Catherina: Yes?

Liliana: He's called three times, but you weren't in the office.

Catherina: Oh, yes, thanks.

Liliana: He said he'll see you at seven o'clock.

Catherina: Fine.

Liliana: He says that he has found a nice restaurant to eat in--better than last Saturday.

Catherina: Ah, good, very good.

Liliana: And he is asking ...

Catherina: Yes?

Liliana: ... if you could wear the same dress that you wore last Satudray.

Catherina: Very good. Thanks, Liliana.

Petro: Ah, I understand now.

(The phone rings.)

Catherina: Oh, the phone.

Liliana: Maybe Alan wants to talk to you.

Catherina: Probably. I'll talk with him.

Liliana: I think that Miss De Sanctis and Mr. Tanner are ...

Petro: Yes?

Liliana: ... uh, you know, very good friends.

Petro: Oh, yeah?

Liliana: They went out together last Friday and Saturday, the two of them.

Petro: Really?

Liliana: And he called her up three times today.

Petro: Yes, I know. You already told me.

Liliana: It is good for her. She is completely alone. And you, are you married?

Petro: Me? No.

Catherina: By the way, uh, your telex arrived too late.

Petro: My telex? The telex that I sent to Strasbourg?

Catherina: Yes.

Petro: You mean to say that Alice ...

Cathierna: She is the one who phoned. She's now coming here.

Petro: Oh, no. That can't be true.

Guide: Finally, it seems that we are going to get to know Alice. Lets listen and find out what's happening.