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Mar 26, 2009

Beginners.

On my recent trip to New Zealand, I met lots of different people. In Los Angeles, where I waited to catch the plane to Aukland, I met three older ladies who were going on the same trip. We sat in the airport and chatted. They were very interesting. Each was retired, a widow, and interested in traveling. They told me that each year they take a trip somewhere new and go on a cruise. The cruises that they go on are organized especially for old people. I have never been on a cruise, but I imagine that it would be very comfortable. You can see a lot of coastline and islands easily, - no driving or walking necessary. Each day, their ship stops in a port somewhere, and they have the choice of getting out and exploring, or they can stay onboard and relax. I was surprised  that they were willing to make such a long journey. The flight takes fourteen hours. If you have a good book, and watch several movies, it's not too bad, but still, it is exhausting. It's also hard to sleep when you are in a sitting position. But, I am not going to complain. I actually got the trip for free because of air miles. I think the three old ladies who I met were adventurous and brave. Good for them! Their bodies were not young, but their spirits were!

Grammar notes.

Useful vocabulary: recent, to catch a plane, cruise, no ... necessary, onboard, to be willing, air miles.

Exs: The recent James Bond film was not as good as the previous one.

We caught a plane this morning. We need to catch another one tonight.

This cake recipe is easy: only a few ingredients, and no mixing necessary.

I am only willing to fly to the reunion because I have accumulated air miles.

Advanced.

 I don't remember the names of the three older ladies I spoke with in Los Angeles international airport, but I still feel that they made an impact on me. It is interesting being with people who are much older than yourself. In a way, they seem to be a world apart. It's probably because of the fact that they have accumulated so much more life experience than ourselves. I find older people fascinating because, more often than not, they are very sure about their feelings. "You have to be who you are, and you have to live while you can," said one of the ladies wisely. Their eyes were young and lively, and their enthusiasm for the trip was obvious. They seemed very single minded. It was just the shell of their bodies that was old; they actually weren't. They had to take their time when they stood up, or bent over to get something from their bags. In fact, one of the ladies, who was quite bent over, took out, at one point, a huge bag of pills. I looked in horror as she checked that she had all that she needed. "I hope that most of those pills are vitamins!" I said, staring at the large, plastic, zip-lock bag. "Oh honey, most of them are. But I need more the older I get. I had a prescription for my eyes, but now one is worse than the other, so each needs a separate medication..." she went on about her different ailments. "Gosh, I hope I stay in good shape as I get old," I thought to myself as I listened. Well, I will try my best. But, bearing in mind their age and physical condition, I have even greater admiration for these bony, wild, old ladies.

Grammar notes.

Useful vocabulary: impact, to accumulate, to bend (over), pills, vitamins, prescription.

Exs: The drought had a terrible impact on the whole city.

He accumulated so much wealth during his youth, that when he got older, he didn't need to work.

After the operation, he couldn't even bend over.

In my prescription, the doctor gave me pills that are too big to swallow.