19 de noviembre de 2011
Ashlie: This was Stephen’s idea. He loves clubbing, but this really isn’t my kind of music! I don’t know why I put up with him sometimes.
Stephen: What’s wrong, Ash? Surely you must like this. It’s great! I’m just getting warmed up!
Ashlie: Oh Stephen I can hardly hear you. What did you say?
Stephen: I said the music’s great. Why aren’t you dancing?
Ashlie: You must be joking, it sounds like a car alarm. It’s giving me a headache. I can’t stand this kind of music.
Stephen: Oh, but dance music’s much better...
Ashlie: You know I’m going to speak to the DJ.
Stephen: Ashlie! What are you doing? You’ve cleared the dance floor. This is a dance club, not some pop venue.
Ashlie: Well, I couldn’t listen to that noise anymore.
Stephen: Come on. Let’s get out of here before people start complaining!
Ashlie: Listen - we’ve tried live music, a club and a pub and I’ve just had a message from Sally and she says there’s a party at her friend’s house. Come on, let’s get a taxi. You don’t have to get up early tomorrow, do you?
Stephen: No, but we won’t know anyone there. Are you sure we can we just turn up? Are they going to let us in?
Ashlie: Yes - I’m sure - we’ll just tell them you’re with me. Come on, I’ve got to look up her address.
Stephen: Hey guys, all right...
Stephen: This is such a great house for a party.
Ashlie: Yes, it is, isn’t it? Except someone’s just turned up that terrible music. We haven’t been very lucky tonight, have we?
Stephen: For once I agree with you. I thought coming to a house party would be better than a club. You know, we could chat, meet some really cool people but this is awful.
Ashlie: Right – that’s it. We’ve spent the whole night complaining about music. Come on, we’re off!
Stephen: I can’t believe it. We were looking for the perfect night out and look where we ended up.
Ashlie: Oh, I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we make our own music!
Neighbour: Oi! Keep the noise down!
12 de noviembre de 2011
Ashlie: That should do it. The Yorkshire Grey in half an hour... I’m here in Covent Garden and we’re going on a night out. It’s the very centre of London – a place where lots of people come to meet up and hit the town. Now, Stephen should be here any minute.
Stephen: Hi Ash. Sorry I’m late. Have you heard from Caroline and Carl?
Ashlie: Yes, they’re at the Yorkshire Grey. Just round the corner. Come on.
Stephen: You alright?
Ashlie: How are you?
Stephen: Hi Carline – how’ve you been?
Caroline: Yeah good – so great to see you.
Carl: How are you? How’s things?
Ashlie: Really good. You?
Carl: Yeah – good thanks.
Ashlie: Go on then Stephen – get us some drinks.
Stephen: Ok – what will you have?
Ashlie: I’ll have a sparkling water and what are you having, Caroline?
Caroline: Er, a glass of white wine.
Ashlie: And a glass of white for Caroline. Ooh and get us some crisps, salt and vinegar.
Stephen: And how about you Carl? What can I get you?
Carl: Thanks Stephen, I’ll have a pint of lager.
Ashlie: Come on then. Let’s go and sit down.
Carl: I’ll give you a hand.
Stephen: Hi there. Can I have a sparkling …
Stephen: Sorry - Hi Phil? This really isn’t a good time. I’ll call you back in er...10 minutes? OK. Yeah. Right. Um, can I have a sparkling water, a glass of white wine, a coke, a pint of lager - and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps, please?
Barmaid: There’s the lager, a sparkling water, a cola and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps.... Is there anything else?
Stephen: That’s it thanks.
Barmaid: That’s nine ninety, please.
Stephen: Here you go, 10 pounds. Keep the change.
Ashlie: Here they are. You guys took your time.
Stephen: Big queue at the bar. There you go.
Ashlie: Thank you.
Ashlie: So, what’s the plan for tonight then?
Stephen: Well, we could go to another pub? Or we could… Phil called. I said I’d call him back.
Ashlie: Ah - I’ll give him a ring. His band might be playing tonight. I’ll just pop outside. I’ll be back in a sec.
Caroline: What sort of music is it?
Stephen: Do you know what … it’s a bit … it’s not my kind of thing…
Ashlie: Right guys. Listen. Phil’s band are playing tonight in Brixton and if we leave now we’ll make it just in time.
Carl: OK then, lets go.
Ashlie: Come on then, let’s get a taxi.
Ashlie: Wow, they’re so cool!
Singer: Thank you very much. We’re the Rum Shebeens. Goodnight.
Ashlie: They were excellent. They were so good!
Stephen: Ah - I’m not sure about the music. It’s not exactly my kind of thing. You can’t really dance to it, can you? You know what guys, I think we should go dancing. I know a great place.
Carl: Actually, it’s getting quite late.
Stephen: Oh, come on.
Carl: Sorry, I’ve got to go to work in the morning.
Caroline: Me too, Stephen. I’m sorry. We’ll get a taxi home.
Stephen: OK, nevermind. It looks like it’s just me and you, kid!
Ashlie: Well, actually Stephen, it is late and...
Stephen: Oh come on, don’t be so boring. I want to dance.
Ashlie: Oh, alright, then. See you later guys!
Caroline: Have a good night. See you later!
Ashlie: See you!
Stephen: Have a good night – take care!
Ashlie: Right then. Where are you taking me?
Stephen: You’re going to love it.
9 de octubre de 2011
Would you choose to live with a host family or your fellow students in a dormitory if you studied overseas? Why?
Some people may experience culture shock when they first study or live in a foreign country. Are there any ways to overcome or cope with these negative feelings?
A fellow student from Hong Kong tells us her experience studying in the UK.
I wanna talk about my life in UK. I went to study in the UK a few years ago. The most exciting experience is that I went to a host family for my Christmas holiday in December. I went there alone…on a train, it took me one or two hours to get there, to York and then I stayed there for one week. This was the first time that I spent time with a UK family which I learnt a lot from them. They treat me like a family member, they took me out to eat, to play and to see all the different interesting culture of their region. On Christmas Day, they even bought me some presents to celebrate the Christmas.
When I went back to Oxford, which was the place that I stayed for that year, I had a chance to teach in a Chinese school every Sunday. The kids are about 14 years old and I taught them Chinese. They were all very cute but they all speak (spoke) in English. I spent lots of time to encourage them to speak in Cantonese.
During my study (studies) in the UK, I lived with few other students from different countries. They are very nice and we use to cook on our own just like a big family. Every day we will go to…every day we went to supermarkets to buy food and drinks and desserts. We cooked every day…I was not a good cook, normally I just put everything into oven. And I’ve tried to bake a cake before but failed and they all laughed at me. And every time when I bake a cake, they never taste it. We share a flat together - we share kitchen, bathrooms but we do have our own sink and bedroom. The life in the UK is quite relaxing besides study because you can explore more and do different activities at school or even some other extracurricular activities.
After I come back (to) Hong Kong, I still keep in touch with all my friends in the UK, from different countries like Italy, Malaysia, Japan, UK and other countries. Sometimes we even send email(s) to each other, sometimes they may come to Hong Kong to visit and we will meet each other again.
I really enjoy the time in the UK, I hope you will also have the chance to explore more in other different countries in the future.
BUENOS AIRES — Victoria Montenegro recalls a childhood filled with chilling dinnertime discussions. Lt. Col. Hernán Tetzlaff, the head of the family, would recount military operations he had taken part in where “subversives” had been tortured or killed. The discussions often ended with his “slamming his gun on the table,” she said.
Instead, he was the man responsible for murdering her real parents and illegally taking her as his own child, she said.
He confessed to her what he had done in 2000, Ms. Montenegro said. But it was not until she testified at a trial here last spring that she finally came to grips with her past, shedding once and for all the name that Colonel Tetzlaff and his wife had given her — María Sol — after falsifying her birth records.
The trial, in the final phase of hearing testimony, could prove for the first time that the nation’s top military leaders engaged in a systematic plan to steal babies from perceived enemies of the government.
Jorge Rafael Videla, who led the military during Argentina’s dictatorship, stands accused of leading the effort to take babies from mothers in clandestine detention centers and give them to military or security officials, or even to third parties, on the condition that the new parents hide the true identities. Mr. Videla is one of 11 officials on trial for 35 acts of illegal appropriation of minors.
The trial is also revealing the complicity of civilians, including judges and officials of the Roman Catholic Church.
The abduction of an estimated 500 babies was one of the most traumatic chapters of the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. The frantic effort by mothers and grandmothers to locate their missing children has never let up. It was the one issue that civilian presidents elected after 1983 did not excuse the military for, even as amnesty was granted for other “dirty war” crimes.
“Even the many Argentines who considered the amnesty a necessary evil were unwilling to forgive the military for this,” said José Miguel Vivanco, the Americas director for Human Rights Watch.
In Latin America, the baby thefts were largely unique to Argentina’s dictatorship, Mr. Vivanco said. There was no such effort in neighboring Chile’s 17-year dictatorship.
One notable difference was the role of the Catholic Church. In Argentina the church largely supported the military government, while in Chile it confronted the government of Gen. Augusto Pinochet and sought to expose its human rights crimes, Mr. Vivanco said.
Priests and bishops in Argentina justified their support of the government on national security concerns, and defended the taking of children as a way to ensure they were not “contaminated” by leftist enemies of the military, said Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, a Nobel Prize-winning human rights advocate who has investigated dozens of disappearances and testified at the trial last month.
Ms. Montenegro contended: “They thought they were doing something Christian to baptize us and give us the chance to be better people than our parents. They thought and felt they were saving our lives.”
Church officials in Argentina and at the Vatican declined to answer questions about their knowledge of or involvement in the covert adoptions.
For many years, the search for the missing children was largely futile. But that has changed in the past decade thanks to more government support, advanced forensic technology and a growing genetic data bank from years of testing. The latest adoptee to recover her real identity, Laura Reinhold Siver, brought the total number of recoveries to 105 in August.
Still, the process of accepting the truth can be long and tortuous. For years, Ms. Montenegro rejected efforts by officials and advocates to discover her true identity. From a young age, she received a “strong ideological education” from Colonel Tetzlaff, an army officer at a secret detention center.
If she picked up a flier from leftists on the street, “he would sit me down for hours to tell me what the subversives had done to Argentina,” she said.
He took her along to a detention center where he spent hours discussing military operations with his fellow officers, “how they had killed people, tortured them,” she said.
“I grew up thinking that in Argentina there had been a war, and that our soldiers had gone to war to guarantee the democracy,” she said. “And that there were no disappeared people, that it was all a lie.”
She said he did not allow her to see movies about the “dirty war,” including “The Official Story,” the 1985 film about an upper-middle-class couple raising a girl taken from a family that was disappeared.
In 1992, when she was 15, Colonel Tetzlaff was detained briefly on suspicion of baby stealing. Five years later, a court informed Ms. Montenegro that she was not the biological child of Colonel Tetzlaff and his wife, she said.
“I was still convinced it was all a lie,” she said.
By 2000, Ms. Montenegro still believed her mission was to keep Colonel Tetzlaff out of prison. But she relented and gave a DNA sample. A judge then delivered jarring news: the test confirmed that she was the biological child of Hilda and Roque Montenegro, who had been active in the resistance. She learned that she and the Montenegros had been kidnapped when she was 13 days old.
At a restaurant over dinner, Colonel Tetzlaff confessed to Ms. Montenegro and her husband: He had headed the operation in which the Montenegros were tortured and killed, and had taken her in May 1976, when she was 4 months old.
“I can’t bear to say any more,” she said, choking up at the memory of the dinner.
A court convicted Colonel Tetzlaff in 2001 of illegally appropriating Ms. Montenegro. He went to prison, and Ms. Montenegro, still believing his actions during the dictatorship had been justified, visited him weekly until his death in 2003.
Slowly, she got to know her biological parents’ family.
“This was a process; it wasn’t one moment or one day when you erase everything and begin again,” she said. “You are not a machine that can be reset and restarted.”
It fell to her to tell her three sons that Colonel Tetzlaff was not the man they thought he was.
“He told them that their grandfather was a brave soldier, and I had to tell them that their grandfather was a murderer,” she said.
When she testified at the trial, she used her original name, Victoria, for the first time. “It was very liberating,” she said.
She says she still does not hate the Tetzlaffs. But “the heart doesn’t kidnap you, it doesn’t hide you, it doesn’t hurt you, it doesn’t lie to you all of your life,” she said. “Love is something else.”