II . THE NEWCOMER
1 . RAILWAY STATION
PORTER . Porter, sir?
MR. ANYMAN. Yes. I'm hoping to get the eleven-thirty to Birmingham.
How much time do have I ?
PORTER . Ten minutes. The train's coming into the station now.
Have you got your tickets ?
MR. ANYMAN. No. Where's the office ?
PORTER . Straight ovet there. Are you going first or third ?
MR. ANYMAN. Third.
PORTER . That's round the other side.
MR. ANYMAN. Right. Then if you'll take my things to the train, I'll see you there.
Get me a window-seat in a smoking-carrige; facing the engine if possible.
PORTER . Very good, sir. The train's in at Number 3.
MR. ANYMAN. Take great care of that parcel ; there's glass in it.
PORTER . Yes, sir. I'll keep my eye on it.
MR. ANYMAN . [to man at the ticket office] A week-end ticket to Birmingham, please.
MAN AT THE TICKET OFFICE . That'll be eighteen and nine cents.
MR. ANYMAN . How much cheaper is that than a ticket at the normal rate ?
MAN AT THE TICKET OFFICE . Nine and a penny less. The week-end rate is roughly a
journey and a third. But you have to come back not later than the last train
on Tuesday night.
MR. ANYMAN . That's all right. Will you give me change for a five-pound note ?
MAN AT THE TICKET OFFICE . Certainly. But you'll have to put your name on the back.
MR. ANYMAN . With pleasure. Is the book-store near here ?
MAN AT THE TICKET OFFICE . On the left when you go out of the ticket office.
MR. ANYMAN . Oh, I see. [Goes to book-store.] Have you got the Manchester
MAN AT THE BOOK-STORE . That'll be fourty cents, please. Fifty cents. That's ten
MR. ANYMAN . You don't seem to have a very good selection of books here.
MAN AT THE BOOK-STORE . That's the manager's business, sir.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, well. Then have you got a railway guide ?
MAN AT THE BOOK-STORE . Yes, certainly. An A. B. C. or a Bradshaw ?
MR. ANYMAN . An A. B. C., please. I am unable to make sense of Bradshaw.
Now at last I have everything.
MAN AT THE BOOK-STORE. Are those your gloves, sir ?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes, they are -- my new gloves. How foolish ? That was very kind of you.
[Goes to train ] You're my porter, aren't you ?
PORTER . Yes, sir. I've got your seat here and everything's in safely. Your bag is under
the seat and the parcel is up there. I put the box in at the back.
MR. ANYMAN . Good. Here you are [gives a coin].
PORTER . Very kind of you, sir.
MR. ANYMAN . Is it possible to get a meal on the train ?
PORTER . Yes, up in the front. The man by the door will give you a ticket.
But he'll be coming round later.
MR. ANYMAN . Then I'll see about it when he comes [takes his seat ].
WOMAN OPPOSITE . I see from the ticket on your bag that you come from Berlin.
I was in Berlin last year and had such a happy time there.
MR. ANYMAN. So you have been in Germany ? How interesting ! Did you go by air ?
WOMAN . Oh, no. No airplanes for me. Every day you see in the papers that there has been
another smash. In my opinion the air's not at all safe.
MR. ANYMAN . In Germany, these days, everyone who has the money goes by airplane on a
long jourey. In this country the distances are so much shorter that you have not
the same need for air development.
WOMAN . No, and for my part, I've no regets. I've no desire to get my neck broken.
What's the point of getting everywhere so quickly ? Aren't the trains quick enough ?
MR. ANYMAN . [smiling ] If you were a business man, Madam, you might have a
different idea of the value of time. Ah, we're off. Will you have the window shut ?
WOMAN . Oh, please don't. [Taking in deep breaths of smoke.] The papers say that
air keeps off colds.
MR. ANYMAN . What a strange idea !
2 . THE HOTEL
HOTEL PORTER : Have you taken a room, sir?
MR. ANYMAN : No. Put my things down here while I
go to the office. (To woman at office) Have you a
room for one?
WOMAN AT OFFICE : Weíre very full up this week. I have
no small rooms at all at present. How long are you
going to be here?
MR. ANYMAN : For two weeks probably.
WOMAN AT OFFICE : Iíll let you have a room with two
beds at a special price till Monday, and after that we
will be able to give you a small room. Will that be
MR. ANYMAN : Iím very much against moving if thereís
any possible way out of it. I was hoping to get
everything out of my boxes after the journey. Have
you no other suggestion to make?
WOMAN AT OFFICE : No, thatís the best I am able to do.
Every other hotel in London is full up in the same
way. In fact, quite a number of persons have been
sent on to us.
MR. ANYMAN : Thatís the worst of London at this time
of year. Well, Iíll have to take what there is. Is this
room quiet? Thatís the great thing.
WOMAN AT OFFICE : Yes, very; itís at the back. And soís
the other one. In fact, theyíre two of the quietest
rooms in the hotel.
MR. ANYMAN : And has it got a bathroom?
WOMAN AT OFFICE : The room youíre going into today
has. The smaller one hasnít, but itís only one door
off the public bathroom. And all the rooms in the
hotel have telephones.
MR. ANYMAN : Good. And the price?
WOMAN AT OFFICE : The room with the bathroom is
fifteen shillings. The other will be ten shillings.
MR. ANYMAN : Thatís without any meals?
WOMAN AT OFFICE : Yes. Meals are separate.
MR. ANYMAN : All right, Iíll take the room.
WOMAN AT OFFICE : Will you put your name in the
MR. ANYMAN : Certainly.
WOMAN AT OFFICE : The room is on the second floor,
near the lift. Hereís your key. Let me have it back
when you go out.
MR. ANYMAN : I will. A friend may be coming in to see
me between six and seven. If he does, will you let
him go straight up to my room?
WOMAN AT OFFICE : Certainly. The porter will take you
up if you are ready to go now.
HOTEL PORTER.: Your boxes will come up separately.
This is the room, sir.
MR. ANYMAN : Is it possible to get the window open?
Itís very warm in here with the heating.
HOTEL PORTER.: Is it open enough now? This windowís
very stiff, and thatís the best Iím able to do.
MR. ANYMAN : That will be all right.
HOTEL PORTER.: Iíll send the girl to you.
SERVANT : Have you everything, sir?
MR. ANYMAN : Yes, but there doesnít seem to be a bell
of any sort in the room.
SERVANT : All orders are sent Over the telephone, sir.
You get through to the porterís office.
MR. ANYMAN : I see. I have some dirty things. How do
I send them to the wash?
Servant. if you make out a list, Iíll put them in a
parcel for you, sir, and send them off tomorrow.
They will be back on Saturday.
MR. ANYMAN : Good. And then another thing. When
are the shoes taken for cleaning?
SERVANT : If you put them outside your door at night
the boot boy will do them when he comes round
early in the morning.
MR. ANYMAN : Oh, one minute. Thereís no soap in the
SERVANT : Iíll go and get you a cake now. Weíve had very
little time to get things straight in this room.
MR. ANYMAN : Well, Iíll be going out in a short time.
Whereís the writing room?
SERVANT : On the first floor. But there are writing-tables
in all the public rooms.
MR. ANYMAN : May I have a cup of tea at eight tomorrow
SERVANT : Yes, sir. Iíll be back with your soap in a
minute or two.
HOTEL PORTER.: Here are your boxes, sir. The boy got
the numbers mixed, or youíd have had them before.
MR. ANYMAN : Good; and while you are here, will you
see what has gone wrong with the electric light over
my bed? Itís probably the bulb, because the other
light is all right.
HOTEL PORTER.: Thatís whatís wrong, sir. Iíll have to put
MR. ANYMAN : Now Iím going to take a rest. If any one
comes, the office is to say that I will not be in till six.
HOTEL PORTER.: Yes, sir.
3 . BANK
MR. ANYMAY : Is it possible for me to have an account here ? I've come with a letter
of credit from the Deutsche Bank.
MAN AT THE BANK : The Manager generally sees anyone who is opening a new account.
But I'm not certain if he's free [Goes into inner office and comes back.]
There's someone with now, but he'll not keep you waiting more than a minute
or two. Will you take a seat ?
MR. ANYMAY : Oh, that's all right. You seem to be working very hard here.
MAN AT THE BANK : Yes, this is Friday, the day all the week's payments are made.
MR. ANYMAY : Well, I'll not keep you talking. There's a newspaper here for me to have a look at.
MAN AT THE BANK : The Manager is ready to see you now. Will you come this way, please ?
MANAGER : Good Morning.
MR. ANYMAY : Good Morning.
MANAGER : And what may I do for you ?
MR. ANYMAY : Will you let me have an account at your bank for the amount of this letter of credit ? It's made out for four thousand marks. I came to England with the idea of being here for a short time only, but now my business is going to keep me for some months, so that it will be simpler to have an account.
MANAGER : Oh, that's no trouble at all. We will let you have an account here with pleasure if you will give me the names of two friends in some sort of public position who may be questioned.
MR. ANYMAY : I will give you those now. I came armed, you see. They are old family friends.
MANAGER : Good. I'll put them straight down. It's only a question of form. Now, will you put your name in this book, please ?
MR. ANYMAY : My full name or what I put on my checks ?
MANAGER : Oh, what you put on your checks. That's what we're interested in.
MR. ANYMAY : [writing] There you are. I am going to take a hundred pounds now. Will it be best to do that on my letter of credit or on the new account ?
MANAGER : Well, it will be simpler if you do it on the account.
MR. ANYMAY : How much does my letter of credit come to ?
MANAGER : The mark is at twenty-three today. That's twenty three into four thousand. [Takes pencil and paper.] A hundred and seventy-three pounds and eighty three cents. Your name comes here.
MR. ANYMAY : Is it all right?
MANAGER : Yes, quite right. I'll take you through to get a check book. Will you come with me ? [They go to outer office.] Mr. Sharp, will you give Mr. Anyman a check book ? His account is now open.
MAN AT THE BANK : Yes, sir.
MANAGER : Do come and see me at any time if there's ever anything I am able to do for you.
MR. ANYMAY : That's very kind of you.
MANAGER : Not at all.
MAN AT THE BANK : Will you take a book of twenty-five or fifty ?
MR. ANYMAY : Twenty-five will do, and give me open checks, please.
MAN AT THE BANK : Certainly. Put your name to this form, will you ? Down there on the right side. Did you give the Manager any place for letters to be sent ?
MR. ANYMAY : No. Here's my card. If letters come to me here, care of the Bank, will they be sent on ?
MAN AT THE BANK : Yes, naturally.
MR. ANYMAY : I am going to get a check changed now [does so]
MAN AT THE BANK : Ten 'tens' ?
MR. ANYMAY : No. give me two 'twentys', and a pound in silver ; the rest in pound notes. What do I get French money form ?
MAN AT THE BANK : That's one floor up. You go through that door. [Mr. Anyman goes up.]
MR. ANYMAY : What's the rate for the French franc today?
SECOND MAN : I haven't a franc in the place. They were all taken this morning. It's been so wet this month that everybody seems to be going south.
MR. ANYMAY : Well, where's the nearest place to get money changed ?
SECOND MAN : There's a Cook's office three doors down the street. They'll probably have French francs there. But it's a little late in the day.
MR. ANYMAY : I'll go and see what they are able to do about it.
SECOND MAN : If they haven't any at the branch office, they're certain to be able to do something for you at the head office.
MR. ANYMAY : Right. That's a very good suggestion. Good day.
SECOND MAN : Good Day.
4 . RESTAURANT
MR. ANYMAN . Has my table been kept for me ?
WAITER . A table for two, sir ? What name, please ?
MR. ANYMAN . Anyman. I gave it on the telephone this morning, and said I would come in at seven-thirty.
WAITER . Will you come this way please ? Let me take your hats and coats. I will put your umbrella here, sir, because it's wet.
MR. CHU . It seems a little cold in this part of the room.
WAITER . This table is so near the window, sir. That's the trouble. Will you have the electric heater ?
MR. CHU . That's not a bad idea. Yes, put it between us, like that.
MR. ANYMAN . Now comes the serious question of food.
WAITER . Will you take the fixed meal, or give a special order ?
MR. ANYMAN . Oh, a special order. It's so much more interesting. Aren't you of the same opinion, Chu ?
MR. CHU . Yes, certainly.
MR. ANYMAN . Let's have a look at what they've got. What do you say to a little soup as a start on a cold day like this ?
MR. CHU . Good. Soup will be very comforting.
WAITER . Thick or clear, sir ?
MR. CHU . Thick for me. What is there ?
WAITER . Creme aux epinards or potage parmentier.
MR. ANYMAN . My friend comes from China and has ony been in this country a week, so our European food is a little strange to him. [To Mr. Chu.] Creme aux epinards is a milk soup made from that plant with dark green leaves which go almost to nothing on boiling. Potage parmentier is a potato soup.
MR. CHU . I'll take the creme aux epinards. It's something quite new to me.
WAITER . And you, sir ?
MR. ANYMAN . What clear soup have you got ?
WAITER . The consomme julienne is very good.
MR. ANYMAN . One creme aux epinards and one consomme julienne, then. What will you have after that, Chu ?
MR. CHU . Fish of some sort. I have not had any fish in this country ; at least, only out of a tin at the meal they give me in my rooms in the morning. What is this sole frite ?
WAITER . It's a flat fish with a very delicate taste, sir, cooked in fat over the fire.
MR. CHU . I'll have that then.
MR. ANYMAN . And I'll have oeufs sur le plat. That's eggs done in butter in the oven, isn't it?
WAITER . Yes, sir. And after that ?
MR. ANYMAN . That's enough to go on with. If you get the soup, we'll give you the other part of the order when it comes.
WAITER . Certainly.
MR. CHU . Everyone says the beef in this country is so good.
MR. ANYMAN . Then here's a chance of putting it to the test. What sort of beef will you have, cooked in the oven or over the fire ? The first, which is the 'roast' which you see on the list, is what I would have myself.
MR. CHU . Very well, then. And will you have the same ?
MR. ANYMAN . I'm a lttle tired of beef. I'm going to have poulet en casserole. That's fowl cooked in a pot with a sort of thick soup and potatoes and things.
MR. CHU . Here comes the waiter with our soup.
MR. ANYMAN . My friend will have the roast beef and I will have the poulet en casserole. Does that have anything green with it ?
WAITER . Yes, sir. [To Chu.] And what sort of potatoes will you have with the beef ? Cooked with the meat ?
MR. ANYMAN . That's the best way.
MR. CHU . Then I will have them like that.
MR. ANYMAN . After my poulet I am going to have an ice.
MR. CHU . What, on a day like this ?
MR. ANYMAN . I've been to America, you see.
MR. CHU . Not having been to America, I have other ideas. [To Waiter] Have you a good strong cheese ?
WAITER . The roquefort is good, sir.
MR. CHU . All right. I will have roquefort and some coffee with it. Aren't these rolls a little soft ?
MR. ANYMAN . I was going to say so myslef. [To Waiter] Give us some of those bread-sticks, the same as they have on the table over there.
WAITER . Certainly, sir.
MR. ANYMAN . Oh, and, waiter, you might give me the wine list first.
WAITER . Yes, sir.
MR. ANYMAN . If we you're going to do all the right things, Chu, you'll have to have a beer. but I don't have geer generally in this country ; it's so different from what one gets in Germany.
MR. CHU . Then let's have some wine.
MR. ANYMAN . Good. Red or white ?
MR. CHU . White would go better with my fish, wouldn't it ?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes, that's true. Then we will have a Rhine wine. I see they have a Johannisberger, which is probably good. Waiter ! Half a bottle of '43.
WAITER . Yes, sir. That's a very good wine.
MR. CHU . When I first saw the Basic word list is seemed to me that it would be hard to get a meal. But we have done very well.
MR. ANYMAN . My dear Chu, even the English have no idea what half their food is when they go out to restaurants. Everything's in French, and their knowledge of French is even smaller than our knowledge of English.
MR. CHU . Yes. And then as the food is different in every country one goes to, it is far wiser to get on as we have done.
This division is from part of a separate book , Everyday Basic English.