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Poland is a V sign, Poland is the leader, Poland is freedom, Poland is hope, Poland is future, my home, my country, my family. Poland is pride and dignity. Poland is us. Estimations suggest that nearly one million Polish citizens currently reside in the United Kingdom, yet very few Brits have immigrated to Poland. There’s one exception however and he goes by the name of Patrick Ney. Not only has he immigrated from the United Kingdom to Poland, but he actively takes to Social Media to encourage the national pride of his new home. On today’s episode of Kult America we’re going to find out why Patrick left his home in Great Britain for Poland. If there were a hypothetical war between Great Britain and Poland which side would you fight for? Oh that’s a good question, I would just run away to Switzerland. I’d have to. In that situation I couldn’t take a side between those two. What I can tell you, is that even if anything did happen here in this country I would fight to defend this country because there’s something about these people, you know, they are so divided, they are so angry at each other but you know that the minute an invader came knocking they would come together like they have done for so many hundreds of years and I feel very strongly about this country, so I can tell you that if something, if someone, anyone else other than the UK invaded Poland you’d see me there in a front rank, trying to do something about it, helping to defend this country.

What team do you support? I’m not entirely sure what’re you asking but when it comes to football than I support Legia Warszawa if it comes to football in England I support the Ipswich Town. Now I’ve been living and working in Warsaw, in Poland since 2010. I’m a writer, I love writing, creating content, and just talking to people, it’s just a way to have interaction with people. And the biggest exposure I have in my life is my 8 month year old daughter, Zosia, she is just the source of such joy.

A lot of people might imagine that if you moved from Great Britain to Poland, a country where Poles are just flocking to that something may have been wrong with your life. I was 27, I’ve been working and living in London for 6 years, I’ve done a very high pressing job working in a Prime Minister’s Cabinet office during the global crisis. And the whole experience of just being there, and experiencing through that storm just chewed me up literally, so I was emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted when I moved over here, but I was also 27 I didn’t have any obligations, I had no kids, all the thing that tie me down here now to Poland and it was more of the sense of “I’m 27 and it’s about time I did something more interesting than just living and working in London”. And nothing is more dangerous than a 27 years old man with the thirst for adventure, I tell you that Ryan. The British passport is one of the best passports a human being could obtain on this little planet of ours and I suppose you could’ve chosen any country.

What was it about Poland that made you choose to come here? I’ll tell this in brief. I’ve been to Sierra Leon I’d unfortunately eaten a falafel kebab on Siaka Stevens Street in the centre of Freetown. Over the next two days before my flight back I’ve had some unfortunate uncomfortable experiences and I’ve haven’t eaten in three days. And I went, as a traditional British person would do rather than go to the nearest tropical disease hospital, I decided I would try and cure it by drinking as much Guinness as possible. And I went to a little pub in the Angel in North London and had about 6 pints of Guinness, which on an empty stomach after three days what I’ve been through was a dangerous experience. My friend then said “Let’s go to this pizza restaurant around the corner.” I was sitting in this restaurant, and there was that beautiful blonde girl dancing like a ballerina around the tables. And she was a Pole, and we started to date each other, and very quickly I traveled to Poland, and very quickly, yeah, fell in love.

It was an emotional reaction to the country, but of course you as a tourist see the best parts of the country. And after about three years of having being together she then move back to Warsaw and it was one of that s**t or bust moments when it’s like are we going to stay together or not, so as I said, 27, no obligations, whether or not, I had no plan whatsoever, I did not had a clue what I was even for at all, literally so disorganized, I can’t believe it. It’s been a hell of the experience. Would I be accurate in assuming that you were kind of a party guy at the time? You know it’s a good question because the society that you live in really does define your behaviour. In Britain we have a big drinking culture, it’s different to the one that’s here, a very different to an American drinking culture, it’s quite unique and it’s not unusual for someone at 12 o’clock on a Thursday afternoon to be in a pub, having two quick pints in their lunch break. Living in Poland had completely changed my behaviour.

I find it interesting because you go, you oscillate between one very different culture with many similarities and another. And these things, you know, there are lots of things that divide you. And I act and talk and maybe even think slightly different in those two cultures when I’m there. It’s uncomfortable going between one and the other, because I’m mostly used to living, working, thinking, and kind of acting in Polish. I know that there was an incident with you here in Poland which is why I wanted to ask about your take on the safety and it involved football hooliganism. I was trying to get a ticket to the Puchar Polski between Legia Warszawa and Lech Poznań. I got that ticket, I also I did what I always do which was I went to the pub with my mates. I was just on the corner of one of the busiest streets in Warsaw and I was attacked.

I had a fractured skull and a very large hematoma inside my brain. Lying in a hospital bed, realising that I could very well not be on this planet or suddenly with very serious mental problems, memory problems, speech problems. I thought a lot about what was important to me. And I realize you don’t think about work, or all those kinda stuff from day to day.

When you’re facing your own death you think about the people who you love, the people who are close to you, and just want to be close to them. Having being saved with the hands of Polish doctors, what can you honestly say about medical care here? Budget of the Polish National Health Service is about 5 times smaller than the British National Health Service, massive injection of European Union funding. I was in an old military hospital, in fact my fiance’s father had stayed there when he had yellow fever in 1980s. My wing hadn’t changed very much, but a lot of the rest of the hospital was completely modernized. And both that hospital and the hospital where my baby was born were as good if not better, much better, than the average British National Health Hospital in terms of the quality of the equipment. I would agree with you, I think Polish people have an unfair understanding of many of their public institutions and how they work and that says a lot about how they see themselves in their country. Did you have any epiphany of regret that you might be dying in a place where your mother and your immediate family were not? Every decision in life has it’s cons and benefits.

It’s certainly a painful one to realise that you can’t wake up and see that your mother can be with your granddaughter, you know it hurts, it does. But on the other hand that’s the way the cookie crumbles and if you’ve looked at the train times between the Edinburg and where my parents live it’s twice as long as between where I live now and where they live so in fact I’m closer here than certain parts of the UK. You actively put out videos on Facebook and YouTube to encourage Polish national pride, at least that’s how I’ve perceived it. What is your motivation in doing that? Originally my blog and my Facebook profile were all about communicating with the group of people in Polish about my views of the country. And on 11 of November, Poland’s Independence Day I released a poem that I’d written about Poland two years before that it got a great reaction. “What is Poland? Tradition, history, unity, respect for elders, hostility, combining, complaining, dealing, pushing, registering, baking.

We’re celebrating or being festive, are we gossiping and fighting. We remember.” People literally saying, and that’s when you send to yourself congratulates when you know that it made them cry, it made them laugh literally in a space of two or three sentences, that they’ve never seen anyone talk about Poland in that way. I am someone, I think I do have a voice of unique perspective like everybody does in that country I live in. I want to help Poles to understand the country they live in better than they do today. I know that it sounds like a noble ambition, but I want to help to bring Poles together and just like you Ryan I also feel that Poles don’t quite understand what a wonderful country they live in.

I work in Polish, think in Polish, speak in Polish, read Polish watch Polish, listen to Polish podcasts and the foreign country for me now is the UK What is your favourite thing about Poland? I love walking down the street in the summer and picking up half a kilo of the freshest fruit you can possibly imagine and paying peanuts for it and literally just scoffing down black hearts and raspberries and strawberries that are so seasonal, you know and you pay four times as much for a half as much in the UK. And it’s just full of vitamins and goodness. And I love the fact that when the Pole says that you’re his friend, he really really means it. Tell me what are the differences between British women and Polish women and which do you prefer? I’m probably telling everyone what I already know which is that Polish women are some of the most beautiful women in the world but what makes them super attractive is that they’re super intelligent.

Do I think that British women are particularly attractive, I can’t lie to you don’t think they do. But not many people have ever told me that they are more attractive than Polish women so I think I’m in the majority in that opinion. Oh I think they have attractive accents. Are you finding my accent attractive right now? Oh I love the british accent. Actually I’ve always aspired to learn it. But it’s been a while. Thank you! Oh my God, that’s creepy. I’ve never heard someone doing the american accent like this. Really? What are you favourite foods in Poland? I just like to eat sandwiches. Bread in Poland’s really nice. I like bigos that my father in law makes, he does really really nice hunter’s stew and he just makes the bomb. Top 3 favorite cities in Poland. Warsaw, Wroclaw, I don’t think I have a third. The hardest question of the whole interview. Question everyone wants to know. How the f**k did you learn to speak Polish as well as you do? Funny you should say that Ryan because I have actually produced a video on YouTube which is “12 steps for learning Polish”. I think that’s how it goes, I should probably remember the titles of my own videos.

“Oh hello, what a coincidence! I am reading very big biography of Piłsudski, really nice book. Listen, today I would like to give you 11 ways to learn the language”. You find it on YouTube if you type in my name, Patrick Ney, it’s my channel there, it’s also on my Facebook. Or if you click the card in this video. Man, these guys are good, aren’t they good? About ten years ago, when I started my life in Poland I thought if only I could say at least a few words in Polish, it would be nice. And if i meet another foreigner, he also could. Today we have the opportunity to make my dream come true. But I have to admit I am very jealous. Stop it. Seven years? Six years summing up. I’ve been here for 10 years, but your Polish is twice as good. You know, everyone has his own road, so I can only say that I’m very sorry that I cannot speak on the level I want to.

I would like to speak like a true Pole, I still have an accent, I still make mistakes. But the most important thing is that I can communicate and I know you do well in Poland. I think that comparing you to the others, you are really good at Polish, and damn it, we have a long road ahead. Patrick, thank you so much for joining us on the interview, everyone check out his channel, he actually speaks Polish publicly and consistently, and all the time, so if you want to hear how a foreigner speaks Polish, Patrick is your lad. Thank you, see you. Thanks a lot. Socash, you’re a hot interviewer man, you ask hard questions, I like it, that’s something new. This is actually, like I told you, this is a soft Pole interview. Yeah, when I work on the radio I was. F**k no..

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Learn English from Riyadh Saudi Arabia hi my name is David Claussen and a viewer of my channel is from Riyadh and I was curious about it so I knew we could learn a lot of English from it so I am here in Colorado and we’re gonna go over here to Riyadh Saudi Arabia it is the capital of Saudi Arabia and this right here is the Arabian peninsula and a peninsula is a body of land that is surrounded by water this is all the water here here is the Arabian sea and I’ll show you a better picture here here is Riyadh like I said it’s the capital here is the Persian Gulf the red sea and then if we go down here we have the gulf of Aden and over here is the Indian Ocean so I love food and a good place to start is the national Saudi Arabia dish and a dish can mean food is the Kabsa and it’s an orange colored rice with lamb or chicken and this is a lamb right here so you know here’s a lamb lamb a lamb and here is a picture of Kabsa so that looks good it can have chicken or lamb and here’s that rice has nice spices in it so this is a Kabsa another dish that they have is called Shawarma I don’t know if I’m pronouncing that right and in English we call it a kebab of we have these Colorado, United States a kebab and they’re made of lamb you can see right here and they are very good so you can see that in Saudi Arabia and another one is called Mandi which is can be chicken or a sheep and it is a nice dish you can see Mandi right here so those are three great dishes or things to eat in Saudi Arabia now if you go there in Riyadh you want to see this kingdom tower or the kingdom center and it’s the beautiful skyscraper you can see here with the triangle here another great site is the Masmak citadel which is right here and another name for that is a fortress or it’s the old part of town so this is a citadel the Masmak citadel or fortress and if you’re there another popular destination are these Souqs I guess you pronounce it but it’s an open market this is a market where you can go buy things shopping a market and another great thing to do is to do the camel trail of Riyadh you take a camel this is a camel and you go out and there’s they say there’s a beautiful view of the desert with the camel ride and I did look up the best hotel in Riyadh if you have a lot of money it’s the Al Faisaliah hotel I think I’m pronouncing that right and this very beautiful I’ll show you some pictures here’s the lobby let’s take a look here you can see the nice stairwell these are stairs and nice china here’s a really good view you can see of the city this is a view of the city of Riyadh so that’s kind of a quick video on Riyadh I know I didn’t say everything about it but I try to keep these videos quick if you learn something you learn some English please subscribe to my channel and I will make many many more fast videos to help you with English so thanks for your time take care bye bye To subscribe to more fast English videos, click subscribe and then this button click “Email with new uploads” and then you will get every video up to date for you, so thanks for your time, bye bye

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Learning to think in English will make you more confident speaking English because you’ll speak more naturally and fluently with less hesitation. I can already hear you saying “But Emma, I need to think in my native language to translate! It’s too hard, I don’t know enough vocabulary to do it!” But listen, that is the long, slow and painful road to English fluency.

When you do this, your English sounds unnatural because the sentence structure is different in your language and it probably takes you a long time to say what you need to say because you’re translating in your head as you speak. We’re going to learn a few strategies to help train your brain to think in English. So start with very simple vocabulary. When you’re at home, think about the English word for things that you see around you. Shoes, flowers, desk, door. When you’re on the train or you’re driving to work, look out the window and think of the English word for the things that you see. Dog, factory, busy, windy, people. In fact, we’re going to try it right now! So, I want you to close your eyes, take a deep breath.

Because when you open your eyes you’re going to look around the room in front of you and think in English – only in English – not in your native language. You’re going to think in English of the words for everything that you see around you. Okay, so take that deep breath again. And open your eyes and look around you. Thinking of the English words only. Great! Now, if that was easy, we can move on to the next level. If it was hard that’s okay too! But you’ll need to practise every day doing the same thing in different places – it will become easier.

You’re training yourself to think in English. So you can do it at home or at work, on the train or when you’re at the cafe waiting for a friend. Then you can move on to simple sentences. For example, your hair’s really long or what’s he eating for lunch? Or that chair looks really uncomfortable. So do the same thing now. I want you to look around the room and make three simple sentences about what you see. Remember, no translating! You’re not allowed to think in your native language at all. And if this is too difficult, go back to thinking of simple vocabulary words. Okay, so close your eyes, take a deep breath, go. Okay, if that was easy, you can move to the next level which is to plan your day in English – thinking in English. So when you wake up in the morning and you’re still lying in bed, think about everything that you need to do that day – in English.

After I eat breakfast I’ll walk to the bus stop and I’ll catch the bus to work. On the bus, I’m going to read my book. I’m meeting Matilda for lunch today and I think we’re going to get takeaway and eat it in the park. It’s going to be such a nice day. So when thinking in English sentences and planning your day with simple sentences becomes easy, move on to thinking in conversation. Now, this is great when you’re sunbaking on the beach or hiking up a mountain or you’re in the shower getting ready for your day and you have some time alone in your head. So there’s nothing to distract you! Now thinking in conversation is really great because you’re asking the questions then thinking of answers to those same questions and also ways to keep the conversation going, so it’s really great conversation practice.

Now, if talking to yourself in your head sounds strange or silly… well I guess it probably is! Get one of your friends to help. And no, I don’t mean ask one of your friends to have a shower with you, that would get maybe a little bit weird and awkward. You might not have the same relationship again after that. I just mean, imagine that they are part of the conversation in your head, so when you’re asking the questions, how would they answer? What would they think about the things you’re saying? As you’re walking down the street, in your head you could be saying “It’s so hot today, isn’t it?” “Yeah it is! I wish I brought my hat, that sun is scorching! It reminds me of a week that I spent in Dubai actually.

It was over 40 degrees Celsius!” “Hey are you sure that Sally’s meeting us here? We’ve been waiting for so long now!” Practising this skill and doing it regularly will help train your brain to think in English. I recommend that you find a time in your day where you always do this every day. So for example, every morning after you brush your teeth, spend five minutes thinking in conversation or planning your day.

Or it could be on your lunch break. Work on it every day and you will make it happen! You will train your brain to think in English so that when it comes to speaking in English, it flows naturally. Your words flow naturally because you’re not translating in your head. You’re thinking in English. Now, there’s heaps more videos to watch on my YouTube channel and if you sign up for my emails on my website, you’ll get five free pronunciation lessons so visit www.mmmenglish.com/signup See you soon!

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So, I’m dr. Catherine Brown and I’m head of the English faculty and senior lecturer of English at New College of the Humanities. The skills that you develop, that you have to develop, in order to be a good analysts of literature are skills to do with your relationship to language and understanding how language is being used. Which not only I think increases your pleasure at beautiful and complex uses of language wherever you find them for the rest of your life, but also make you more street wise. They make you cannier, they make you see lazy or manipulative or mendacious uses of language wherever you might come across them, whether they are in newspapers articles or political speeches or something that somebody is saying directly to you. And that I think makes you a more alert, less naive citizen.

There are a lots of ways of doing English and there are a lots of ways of writing about one given text and one of the great things about the tutorial method is that it does allow students to discover what type or types of critic they have innate intellectual bent towards, whether it’s towards the historicise or towards the more philosophical side, we often get some indication what kind of a literature critic a student might develop into from the contextual subject that they’ve chosen. So if they have fund that they were writing a lot of historicises essays and would just like to try themselves out with psychoanalytical criticism just give that a go and see what kind of psychoanalytical essay they could produce and that is entirely risk free and we very much encourage them to explore different sides of their intellectual disposition. Our three visiting professors of English at this College who are: Howard Jacobson, who is an award winning book, a prize winning novelist, he comes and speak to our students about how he became a creative writer, how is it possible to make a living as a novelist and his perspective on literature, he is a very distinctive literature critic in his own right.

Then we have Sir Trevor Nunn, who is one of Britain’s most prominent theatre directors, who’s been working as a theatre director for decades, he comes and does for example verse speaking workshops with our students. And then finally professor Christopher Ricks, he is one of the world’s most prominent literature critics, certainly in the English language and he’s got a range of areas that he covers, but essentially he can speak to us and does lecture on all periods of English literature and he to, he gives his email address to our students, they can debate literature with him, whilst he is back in Boston and he also, twice a year, takes our students out for a meal after one of his lectures and that’s a great way of bringing everyone in the college to do with English together. Well I think they are equipped with a load of tools for the greater enjoyment of life and of the greater understanding of life and of what it is to be alive for start and that is actually the most important thing, but beyond that they have a very well respected degree, because English is intellectually well respected.

It requires intellectual flexibility, it requires articulacy and as I say this sensitivity to language and to the ways it can be used the way in which rhetoric works and so on. The great Cambridge critic F. R. Leaves had this wonderful idea of English as the central subject, because it is about everything. It is about all life and he said that people having studied this as their undergraduate subject can then go out into the world and become carrot farmers, or Prime Ministers, or whatever it might be, but the way in which they do those jobs is forever benefited by their original undergraduate study of English literature and I agree with that view..

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When I was 21 years old, I could only speak English, which is typical for those of us from English-speaking countries, and I had many reasons why this is going to be the case for me for the rest of my life. And I was very confident of this, because I had no natural talent, I had a very bad memory, I couldn’t travel to the country yet, I was too old, I felt too old and I was sure that I was going to frustrate the native speakers and embarrass myself. And on top of this, in school, I did really poorly with languages. So, I did actually get the opportunity to get into languages after I graduated at university with a degree in Electronic Engineering, still only able to speak English, I moved to Spain. And I figured, this is it! this is going to solve my problems, living in the country. No! Six months later of living in Spain, I couldn’t speak any Spanish. Now, a sensible person would have given up at this stage and gotten the point.

I’m not very sensible though. So I figured if I change my approach and change my attitude, maybe I can change my language skills. And what happened to inspire me to get into language learning was I met a polyglot. A polyglot is someone who can speak many languages. And the first time you meet someone like that, you can’t help but feel really impressed. Like, for instance there’s Richard from the UK, and there’s one video online where he speaks 16 languages. Let me just show you a little clip here and you can see him: French, Estonian, Czech and Catalan which is pretty impressive. We also have Luca from Italy, and here you can hear him speak in: German and Portuguese. And we also have Susana, who goes through here: Italian Russian. And a very impressive video I saw once of this 16-year-old from America called Tim, goes through 20 languages in one video, and in this part here you can see him go through: Wolof, Yiddish, Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Swahili and Hindi. So wow! I met someone like this and I was so impressed. I thought to myself, “I want to be like that!” But the reason I wanted to be like that is because I wanted people to think I’m smart, to be impressed with me, and I met this polyglot at the start of my time in Spain and with this very superficial motivation, just because it will be cool to learn a language, I failed.

So, what I discovered after those 6 months is one of the biggest problems we have in language learning but we don’t know it, and that’s motivation. A lot of us start with the wrong motivation to learn a language. We are learning the language just to pass an exam, to improve our career prospects or, in my case, for superficial reasons to impress people. And what I’ve found is that those polyglots that I’ve just shown in the video, the reason they’re learning the language is because they’re passionate about that language, They’re passionate about the literature, and the movies and being able to read in a language and of course to use it with people.

And when I changed that priority of use in the language of people, I was able to learn the languages myself. But there are a lot of things that people feel will not allow them to learn a language. So I want to go through… I think there’s five, I asked a lot of people, there’s five major reasons they’d never get into language learning. So, let me go through some of these here. The first is they’ve no language gene or talent. No language gene or talent, well, what does that mean? I mean, sometimes this is actually just a self-fullfilling prophecy. In my case, when I had to learn the language growing up, or the six months of failed learning Spanish, it was just me telling myself, “I don’t have the language gene, so there’s no point in doing any work in the language.” Because I didn’t put the work in I didn’t learn the language, it’s just a vicious circle, it’s all in your head.

There’s no language gene, we all have it already. But let’s just imagine some people who do better, because we see it in school, people advance faster than the rest of the crowd. So let’s say there’s some inborn trait to give somebody 20% advantage over the rest of the people. Good for them! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t, it just means that you have to work 20% harder. And I’ve found that, at least in my case, when I work harder, I can catch up with the naturally talented and even overtake them. So, not having talent is not a good excuse. The next reason is that you are too old to learn a second language. I certainly felt this myself because up to 21, I didn’t learn a language, and lots of us feel that children… their brains are hard wired to learn languages better. But is it really neurology at play here or could it be the environment in which the child is learning the language? Well, a study at the University of Haifa in Israel actually found that under the right conditions, adults are better language learners than children.

It’s sound incredible but it’s about your environment, it’s about your motivation, it’s about the enthusiasm and encouragement you get from other people. And when you think of it, adults tend to be studying dusty old grammar books and doing boring exercises, while children are playing in the language, having fun in it. So I found that when I changed this to live through the language, not making it by studying the language, but living the language, then I was much more successful. So you’re not too old to learn a language.

I’ve met people in their sixties starting to learn a language and being successful with that. The next excuse people would have, is that they can’t travel to the country right now. Now, maybe 20 years ago this would have been a valid excuse but nowadays the world is smaller than you think. Thanks to the internet, we can connect with native speakers from across the planet and you’ll see that in a lot of cases, they might want to learn your language, and then money is not even an issue, because you teach them a little and they teach you a little. But even forgetting the internet for a moment, a lot of us live in cities or towns that are more international than what we think, and when I was travelling in America, I made it to Columbus, Ohio, of all places, to meet this very interesting polyglot called Moses, and he does what he likes to call “leveling up”, where he’ll go to some public place and just see if he can find some foreigners and practice the language with them.

And I joined him when we went to a mall in Columbus, and the two of us managed to practice twelve languages, and just here in this clip you can see he goes through: Cantonese, and here’s Cambodian, and you can see that the guy really appreciated him trying. So, you can learn a language anywhere, and I wanted to push this to the limit, in my most recent project I went to the middle of Brazil, of all places, to learn Egyptian Arabic. And I succeeded, because even though there were no Egyptians around me, I got on Skype and I talked for one or two hours a day and I managed to go up towards conversation levels. So no! not being able to travel to the country is not a good excuse. The next one people might give is that they’ve got bad memory for learning all the vocabulary. And this was certainly what I felt because when I first tried to learn Spanish, I get a big list of words, I tried to go through them and I forget them very quickly.

But research on memory capacity has found that it’s better when you revise these words with the right frequency, and there’s this technique called “Spaced repetition”, where you revise the word just before you’ll forget it. And it looks something like this forgetting curve, the red line is what typically happens when you first see a word but to get it into your head and stuck there permanently then just review it to make sure it goes, like review it one day later, then a week later and then a month later. And there are apps in your Smartphone and there’s free programs that you can download that help you time all of this.

And that’s great but you can learn the words faster and better if you combine this with an image association technique. So, for instance, let’s say I wanted to learn that the Spanish word for “to fit” is “caber”. Well, what if I imagine then that’s barely possible to fit a bear in a cab? “Cab-bear” it’s “caber”, it’s “to fit”. So you do this for a lot of words and it actually gets very easy with time and you can learn vocabulary instantly.

So no, having a bad memory is not a good excuse. Next, and I think the most important one that the people always say, is that they’re going to frustrate native speakers. And this is just so not true. I’ve been to many places, I’ve spoken to many people and every time I attempt to use their language, they’re overjoyed, they’re so pleased that I’m even trying! And I just feel like, especially adults, when we learn a language, we are such perfectionists, we want everything to be just right, and perfectionism is a really bad thing in language learning, because a language is a means of communication, it’s a way to get to know new people and new cultures, and when you embrace this, it’s okay to make mistakes! And I actually have a goal to make at least 200 mistakes a day because then I know I’m getting somewhere, I’m using the language! So embarrass yourself, go out there, talk to people it’s okay.

When do you think I was learning a language better: here? or here? (Laughter) So, anyone can indeed learn a language when you use it with people, and it’s okay to use it early, And this is so important, that you don’t have to wait until you speak the language perfectly and fluently and so on. You can get into it sooner than you’d expect and it opens up so many doors to these other cultures. So for instance, after I’d learned that Arabic in Brazil, I made it to Egypt and I made all the way deep into the Sahara desert, I sat down in the sand with an Egyptian and we had some tea, we had this nice little chat here: (In Arabic) (In Arabic) and there I’m just saying that Egypt is so much, so vast, so great, it’s so much more that just Tahrir Square in Cairo. And, now when I was speaking with him, I used the wrong word here and there and I conjugated the wrong verb every now and again, but that’s okay, because even with this conversation level, I had this fascinating conversation with him.

And I’ve done this with other cultures and other languages and I even managed to learn a little American sign language. And here you can see Juliana had asked me why I didn’t learn Irish sign language, and I said, because when I’m in Ireland I like to improve my Irish and my Gaelic which I can then speak here: (In Irish) so that was me on Irish radio saying about my travels and whatever, and I learned Irish for ten years in school and I wasn’t able to say the most basic phrases after that. But as an adult, I went back to Ireland and I embraced using the language as a beginner. And that helped me to reach this stage. And it’s okay to be a beginner, it’s okay to be conversational, but when you take this on, you take it to the next level, then you can reach very well.

I mean, I’ve got a very good level in French, Spanish and acouple of languages. I’ve worked as a professional translator like here I’m having a chat in French: (In French) and that’s great, that’s what everybody thinks of when they’re getting into language learning, they think, “That’s what I want to be, I want to be at this very high professional level, have deep philosophical conversations.” and that’s fantastic and yeah, it’s impressive when you see people like that.

But rather than be impressive, I think it’s so much better when you embrace the beginning stage of language learning. And one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had, was when I was in China, on the train, at 2000 kilometers deep into China, and I had a basic conversation of “What’s your name?” and it turns out I was given my Chinese name there on the train, and look, this is how it went: (In Chinese) “What’s your name?” “I’m Benny.” (In Chinese) “I don’t have a Chinese name.” and then (unclear), says, “I tell you your name is Pun Li.” because this sounds like your normal name and it means ability or skill. And you know, just, I can have that conversation, even with a basic conversation level of Chinese. And I do have the ability, I do have the skill to learn a language.

But I always did, we all always do. And the reason I have this skill is not because I was born with it and others weren’t, it’s a decision I made. And the problem a lot of us face is that we feel that we’re better studying and preparing for speaking a language some day, because if we do it too early the world will end from all this frustration we cause people. There are seven days in a week and some day is not one of them.

I say, rather than see if the world will end, a whole new world will begin if you try to learn a new language. So I hope you’ll give it a try. Thank you. (Applause).

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CHAPTER ONE; Mystery girl It all began on a beautiful spring morning in a village called Whistler, in Canada – a pretty little village in the mountains of British Columbia. There was a cafe in the village, with tables outside, and at one of these tables sat a young man. He finished his breakfast, drank his coffee, looked up into the blue sky, and felt the warm sun on his face. Nick Lortz was a happy man. The waiter came up to his table. ‘More coffee?’ he asked. ‘Yeah. Great,’ said Nick. He gave the waiter his coffee cup. The waiter looked at the camera on the table. ‘On vacation?’ he said. ‘Where are you from?’ ‘San Francisco,’ Nick said. He laughed. ‘But I’m not on vacation – I’m working. I’m a travel writer, and I’m doing a book on mountains in North America. I’ve got some great pictures of your mountain.’ The two men looked up at Whistler Mountain behind the village. It looked very beautiful in the morning sun.

‘Do you travel a lot, then?’ asked the waiter. ‘All the time,’ Nick said. ‘I write books, and I write for travel magazines. I write about everything – different countries, towns, villages, rivers, mountains, people . . .’ The waiter looked over Nick’s head. ‘There’s a girl across the street,’ he said. ‘Do you know her?’ Nick turned his head and looked. ‘No, I don’t.’ ‘Well, she knows you, I think,’ the waiter said. ‘She’s watching you very carefully.’ He gave Nick a smile. ‘Have a nice day!’ He went away, back into the cafe.

Nick looked at the girl across the street. She was about twenty-five, and she was very pretty. ‘She is watching me,’ Nick thought. Then the girl turned and looked in one of the shop windows. After a second or two, she looked back at Nick again. Nick watched her. ‘She looks worried,’ he thought. ‘What’s she doing? Is she waiting for somebody?’ Suddenly, the girl smiled. Then she walked across the street, came up to Nick’s table, and sat down. She put her bag down on the table. The bag was half-open. ‘Hi! I’m Jan,’ she said. ‘Do you remember me? We met at a party in Toronto.’ ‘Hi, Jan,’ said Nick. He smiled. ‘I’m Nick. But we didn’t meet at a party in Toronto. I don’t go to parties very often, and never in Toronto.’ ‘Oh,’ the girl said. But she didn’t get up or move away. ‘Have some coffee,’ said Nick. The story about the party in Toronto wasn’t true, but it was a beautiful morning, and she was a pretty girl.

‘Maybe it was a party in Montreal. Or New York.’ The girl laughed. ‘OK. Maybe it was. And yes, I’d love some coffee.’ When she had her coffee, Nick asked, ‘What are you doing in Whistler? Or do you live here?’ ‘Oh no,’ she said. ‘I’m just, er, just travelling through. And what are you doing here?’ ‘I’m a travel writer,’ Nick said, ‘and I’m writing a book about famous mountains.’ ‘That’s interesting,’ she said. But her face was worried, not interested, and she looked across the road again. A man with very short, white hair walked across the road. He was about sixty years old, and he was tall and thin. The girl watched him. ‘Are you waiting for someone?’ asked Nick. ‘No,’ she said quickly. Then she asked, ‘Where are you going next, Nick?’ ‘To Vancouver, for three or four days,’ he said. ‘When are you going?’ she asked. ‘Later this morning,’ he said. There was a letter in the top of the girl’s half-open bag. Nick could see some of the writing, and he read it because he saw the word ‘Vancouver’ – .

. . and we can meet at the Empress Hotel, Victoria, Vancouver Island, on Friday afternoon . . . ‘So she’s going to Vancouver too,’ he thought. Suddenly the girl said, ‘Do you like movies?’ ‘Movies? Yes, I love movies,’ he said. ‘Why?’ ‘I know a man, and he – he loves movies, and going to the cinema,’ she said slowly. ‘People call him “Mr Hollywood”.’ She smiled at Nick. ‘Can I call you “Mr Hollywood” too?’ Nick laughed. ‘OK,’ he said. ‘And what can I call you?’ She smiled again. ‘Call me Mystery Girl,’ she said. ‘That’s a good name for you,’ said Nick.

Just then, the man with white hair came into the cafe. He did not look at Nick or the girl, but he sat at a table near them. He asked the waiter for some breakfast, then he began to read a magazine. The girl looked at the man, then quickly looked away again. ‘Do you know him?’ Nick asked her. ‘No,’ she said. She finished her coffee quickly and got up. ‘I must go now,’ she said. Nick stood up, too. ‘Nice to-‘ he began. But the girl suddenly took his face between her hands, and kissed him on the mouth. ‘Drive carefully, Mr Hollywood. Goodbye,’ she said, with a big, beautiful smile. Then she turned and walked quickly away. Nick sat down again and watched her. She walked down the road and into a big hotel. ‘Now what,’ thought Nick, ‘was that all about?’ The man with white hair watched Nick and waited. After four or five minutes, Nick finished his coffee, took his books and his camera, and left the cafe.

His car was just outside the girl’s hotel, and he walked slowly along the street to it. The man with white hair waited a second, then quickly followed Nick. From a window high up in the hotel, the girl looked down into the road. She saw Nick, and the man with white hair about fifty yards behind him. Nick got into his car, and the man with white hair walked quickly to a red car across the street. Five seconds later Nick drove away in his blue car, and the red car began to follow him. When the girl saw this, she smiled, then went to put some things in her travel bag. CHAPTER TWO; A hand in the back That evening, in his hotel room in Vancouver, Nick could not stop thinking about the girl in the Whistler cafe.

Why did she come and sit with him? She didn’t know him, and that story about a party in Toronto wasn’t true. And she was worried about something. But what? And that kiss! It was nice, of course, but why did she do it? ‘Maybe she liked my face,’ Nick thought. ‘Or my brown eyes. But I’m not going to see her again, so it doesn’t matter. Forget it.’ He put some money in his pocket and went downstairs to the hotel restaurant. But there were no free tables, so he walked down to Gastown and found a restaurant there. After dinner, he went for a walk. Vancouver was a friendly city, and Nick liked walking through Gastown and Chinatown, looking in the shops and watching the people. It was nearly dark now, and it was a busy time of the evening. There were a lot of cars, and a lot of people.

After a time, Nick began to walk back to his hotel. He came to a busy street, and waited, with a small crowd of people, to go across. A tall woman in a blue dress stood next to him. She turned and smiled at him. ‘It’s the first warm evening of spring,’ she said. ‘It’s nice to be out, after the long cold winter.’ ‘Yeah,’ said Nick. ‘It’s great. It’s-‘ Suddenly, there was a hand in his back – and the hand pushed Nick into the road. Nick fell on his face, in front of a big green car. People screamed. But the green car stopped, only inches from Nick’s head. The woman in the blue dress ran into the road and pulled Nick to his feet. ‘Are you OK? What happened?’ she said. The driver of the green car shouted angrily at Nick, but Nick did not hear him.

‘Somebody pushed me,’ he said to the woman. ‘I didn’t fall – somebody pushed me!’ ‘Pushed you?’ said the woman. ‘Who? I didn’t see anybody.’ Nick looked at the faces of the people near him, but he didn’t know them. Then he saw a man’s back. The man was tall and thin, and had very short white hair. He walked quickly away down the street, and did not look back. ‘Hey, you!’ Nick shouted. ‘Wait!’ But the man did not stop, and he was soon lost in the crowds.

‘Did he push you?’ asked the woman in the blue dress. ‘I … I don’t know,’ Nick said. ‘Do you know him?’ she asked. ‘I don’t know his name,’ Nick said. ‘But I know that short white hair. Now where did I see it before?’ The woman began to move away. ‘I must get home,’ she said. ‘Are you OK now?’ ‘Yeah, I’m OK,’ Nick said. ‘And thanks. Thanks for your help.’ ‘That’s OK.’ The woman smiled. ‘Be careful now!’ Back in his hotel, Nick sat on his bed and thought. ‘It was an accident. Nobody pushed me, it was an accident. Nobody wants to kill me. And there are hundreds of men in Vancouver with white hair.’ It was one o’clock in the morning, but Nick couldn’t sleep. He listened to the cars in the road, and he looked at the night sky through his hotel room window.

Then he sat at the table and tried to write some more of his book about mountains, but he couldn’t think about his work. He got back into bed. There were four or five magazines in the hotel room. They were not very interesting, but Nick sat in bed and opened one . . . and saw a photo of Mystery Girl’! He looked at the picture very carefully. But, yes, it was her! Jan, the girl from the Whistler cafe. She was next to a man of about fifty or fifty-five, and they were in the garden of a big, expensive house.

They smiled at the camera, and they looked very happy. Canadian millionaire, Howard Hutson, and his daughter, Meg, it said under the picture, at their home in Toronto. Meg Hutson! Not Jan. Not Mystery Girl. Meg Hutson, the daughter of a millionaire! Nick read it again. ‘Why did she come and sit with me in the cafe at Whistler?’ he thought. ‘Millionaires’ daughters don’t sit with strangers in cafes, and then give them a big kiss when they leave! Why did she do it? What did she want?’ He thought back to the cafe in Whistler, and the girl next to him at the table. Then he remembered something.

He remembered a man at a table near them in the cafe. A tall thin man, about sixty years old. A man with very short white hair. Nick didn’t sleep much that night. CHAPTER THREE; A walk in the park The next day was Thursday. Nick stayed in his hotel room and wrote about mountains all morning. Then he drove to Stanley Park in the afternoon. He sat and read a book for an hour, then he went for a walk under the tall trees.

There was nobody here. It was quiet, and he could walk and think. He thought about Meg Hutson, and about the man with white hair. Did he know Meg Hutson? Did she know him? He remembered Meg Hutson’s last words. Drive carefully, Mr Hollywood. Why did she say that? Why did she call him Mr Hollywood? He didn’t understand any of it. Suddenly, he heard a noise. He stopped. ‘That was a gun!’ he thought. ‘There’s somebody in the trees with a gun! There it is again!’ Then something hit the tree over his head.

‘Somebody’s shooting at me!’ Nick thought. He turned and ran. And somebody began to run after him. Nick ran through the trees. There was no sun in here, and it was half-dark. And there were no people. Nobody to help him. ‘I must get to my car,’ Nick thought. ‘Find some people. . . the police. . .’ He ran on. He could still hear the gunman behind him, so he ran faster.

After three or four minutes, he stopped and listened. Nothing. It was all quiet. Nick was afraid. ‘What’s happening?’ he thought. ‘Why is somebody shooting at me? First a hand pushes me in front of a car, and now somebody’s shooting at me!’ He waited another second or two, then walked quickly back to his car. He was very careful. He looked and listened all the time. But nobody came out of the trees, and nobody shot at him. Then he saw people – women with young children, some boys with a football, two men with a dog. He began to feel better. ‘Nobody can shoot me now,’ he thought. ‘Not with all these people here.’ Ten minutes later, he was back at his car.

There was a letter on the window. Nick read it. It said; I’m going to kill you, Mr Hollywood. Nick drove to the nearest police station. He waited for half an hour, then a tired young policeman took him into a small room. Nick told his story, and the policeman wrote it all down. ‘So what are you going to do?’ asked Nick. ‘Nothing,’ said the policeman. ‘Nothing!’ said Nick. ‘But somebody shot at me, and-‘ ‘Mr Lortz,’ the policeman said tiredly.

‘How many people are there in this town with guns?’ ‘I don’t know,’ said Nick. ‘But . . .’ ‘You didn’t see the gunman. Was it a man, a boy, a woman? Colour of eyes? Long hair, short hair? You don’t know, because you didn’t see anybody. Maybe it was an old girlfriend. Maybe somebody doesn’t like your travel books, Mr Lortz.’ ‘But what about the man with white hair in Whistler?’ said Nick. ‘The girl, Meg Hutson, called me Mr Hollywood in the cafe, and this man heard her. And now I get a letter to Mr Hollywood on my car.

Who is this Mr Hollywood?’ ‘We all want answers to our questions, Mr Lortz,’ the policeman said, ‘but we don’t always get them.’ Questions. But no answers. Nick walked out of the police station and drove to his hotel. He was angry, and afraid. ‘How did the man with white hair find me in Vancouver?’ he thought. ‘Did he follow me from Whistler? Is he following me now? Maybe he’s staying at my hotel, too.

In the next room. With his gun.’ CHAPTER FOUR; The man with white hair Nick stopped his car in front of the hotel. He looked carefully before he got out, but there was nobody with white hair near the hotel. He half-ran through the hotel doors and went to the desk inside. ‘I’m looking for a man with very short white hair,’ he said to the woman behind the desk. ‘He’s staying here, I think. He’s about sixty years old, and he’s tall and thin.’ The woman did not look very interested. ‘There are a lot of visitors in the hotel,’ she said. ‘Do you know his name?’ ‘No, I don’t,’ Nick said. ‘He’s, er, a friend of a friend, you see. He arrived in Vancouver yesterday, and I must find him. It’s very important. Please help me!’ The woman looked at him.

‘There are three hundred and fifty rooms in this hotel,’ she said, ‘and maybe thirty or forty men with white hair. How can I remember all their names?’ She turned away to answer a telephone call. Nick walked away from the desk. ‘A drink,’ he thought. ‘I need a drink.’ He went into the hotel bar, got a drink and sat down at a table. ‘So what do I do now?’ he thought. And then he remembered something. A letter in the girl’s half-open bag in the Whistler cafe. . . . and we can meet at the Empress Hotel, Victoria, Vancouver Island, on Friday afternoon . . . And tomorrow was Friday. ‘I’m going to Victoria, on Vancouver Island!’ he thought. ‘To the Empress Hotel!’ And tomorrow was Friday. ‘I’m going to Victoria, on Vancouver Island!’ he thought. ‘To the Empress Hotel!’ Nick had dinner in the hotel that evening. He finished eating and got up from his table . . . and saw the man with white hair. Nick moved quickly. The man was at the hotel desk. Nick could see the white head above the other heads near the desk.

‘Excuse me!’ said Nick. He pushed past the people in the hotel restaurant. A small boy ran in front of him and Nick ran into him. The boy and Nick fell down on the floor. The boy began to cry. ‘Hey!’ said a woman behind Nick. ‘I’m very sorry!’ said Nick. He got up and helped the boy to his feet.

‘Are you OK?’ he asked the boy. ‘Be more careful next time,’ said the woman. Nick moved away quickly, but when he looked back at the hotel desk, he couldn’t see the man with white hair. He pushed through the crowd of people. ‘That man!’ he shouted at the woman behind the desk. ‘That man with short white hair. Where did he go?’ The woman looked at Nick. ‘Mr Vickers?’ she said. ‘I don’t know.’ ‘Vickers? Is that his name?’ said Nick. ‘What’s his room number?’ ‘I’m sorry, I can’t tell you that,’ the woman said. ‘But I need to-‘ began Nick. The woman turned away to answer the telephone. After a second or two, Nick went upstairs to his room. ‘Vickers,’ he thought. ‘Does Meg Hutson know Mr Vickers? I need some answers, and I need them quickly!’ CHAPTER FIVE; Vancouver Island Tsawwassen was about twenty-three miles south of Vancouver. Nick drove there in his car the next morning for the one o’clock ferry to Vancouver Island.

Every five minutes, he looked behind him. The road was busy – black cars, white cars, red cars, green cars. Maybe Vickers was in one of them. At Tsawwassen Nick drove his car on to the ferry. There were a lot of cars and crowds of people. Nick got out of his car and walked up and down the ship. He looked for a man with white hair but he didn’t see one.

Soon the ferry began to move and Nick felt better. He found the ferry restaurant and got something to eat. More people came in. Nick looked at the faces of all the older men. Some had hats on, so he looked for somebody tall and thin, but there was nobody. ‘Maybe he’s not on the ferry,’ Nick thought. ‘Maybe he’s back in Vancouver.’ Later, Nick walked around the ship again.

Once, he thought he saw the man with white hair in the crowds, but he could not be sure. Ninety minutes after leaving Tsawwassen, the ferry arrived at Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island, and Nick went back down to his car. Swartz Bay was twenty miles north of Victoria. Nick drove quickly, and again, looked behind him every four or five minutes. Once, he saw a red car about two hundred yards behind him. ‘Did I see that car on the road from Vancouver to Tsawwassen?’ he thought. He drove more slowly, but the red car still stayed two hundred yards behind him, and Nick couldn’t see the driver’s face or hair. Soon he was in the busy streets of Victoria, and Nick didn’t see the red car behind him again. Victoria was a city of gardens and beautiful old buildings.

Nick liked Victoria very much, but today he wasn’t interested in gardens or buildings. He found the Empress Hotel, went inside and walked across to the desk. ‘Can I help you?’ a young man asked Nick. ‘I’m meeting a friend here this afternoon,’ said Nick. ‘Miss Hutson.’ ‘Hutson?’ said the young man. ‘Wait a minute.’ He went away and came back. ‘Sorry, but there’s no Miss Hutson staying here.’ Nick took something from his pocket. It was the photograph of Meg and her father, from the magazine. ‘This is her,’ he said. The young man looked at the picture. ‘Oh, right. You mean Howard Hutson’s daughter,’ he said. ‘She’s not staying here, but I saw her ten or fifteen minutes ago. She was with somebody – a man. He asked me about the tea room.’ ‘The tea room?’ said Nick. ‘Where’s that?’ The man with short white hair was tired.

He couldn’t sleep and he couldn’t eat. He thought about only one thing, all the time. He drove and he watched, and he waited and he followed. When he drove into Victoria, the streets were busy, and suddenly he lost the blue car in front of him. Angrily, he drove around the city, past all the big hotels. ‘I must find him,’ he said. ‘I must do it. Today.’ Then he saw the Empress Hotel, and in the street outside it, a blue car. He drove past the hotel, left his car, and ran back down the street. He went across the road and walked past the downstairs windows. There was a big room with tables and chairs, and a lot of people. He looked carefully at all the faces. ‘There she is!’ he said suddenly. There were two men with the girl. He couldn’t see their faces, only the backs of their heads, but one of the men was in a green shirt. ‘Mr Hollywood,’ the man said, and smiled. ‘Goodbye, Mr Hollywood.’ People in the street turned to look at him, but the man did not see them.

He walked up to the doors of the hotel and put a hand into his pocket. Inside, the gun was cold and hard. CHAPTER SIX; A tea party Nick looked through the doors of the tea room in the Empress Hotel. Meg Hutson sat at a table with a man. The man was about thirty, or maybe a year or two younger. He was tall, and brown from the sun. He wore a white shirt, white trousers, and white shoes. He said something to Meg, and she laughed. She looked very happy. A waiter came up to Nick. ‘Can I get you some tea?’ he asked. ‘No, thanks,’ said Nick. ‘I’m with the two people over there.’ And he walked across to Meg’s table. ‘Hello, Mystery Girl,’ said Nick.

‘Remember me? We met at Whistler. Your name was Jan then. But maybe today it’s Meg Hutson.’ Meg Hutson looked up at him. ‘Oh,’ she said, and her face went red. ‘Who is this, Meg?’ asked the man. ‘This is Nick,’ said Meg. ‘He’s a writer. Nick, this is Craig Winters.’ ‘Sometimes called Mr Hollywood?’ said Nick. ‘Maybe. But how did you know that?’ asked Craig Winters. ‘I guessed,’ said Nick. ‘And I think I’m beginning to understand. Can I ask you a question, Mr Winters? Does somebody want to kill you?’ Craig Winters’ face went white. ‘Kill me?’ ‘What are you talking about?’ asked Meg. ‘Before I tell you, answer this question, please,’ said Nick.

‘You called me Mr Hollywood in Whistler. And you wanted the man at the next table, the man with white hair, to hear you. Is that right?’ Meg Hutson did not answer at first. Then she said quietly, ‘Yes.’ ‘Why?’ asked Nick. ‘I wanted him to follow you, and not me.’ ‘Why?’ Nick asked again. ‘I think he’s a detective,’ said Meg. ‘And I think he’s working for my father. I saw him soon after I left Toronto. He followed me.’ Meg put her hand on Craig Winters’ arm. ‘My father doesn’t like Craig. A month ago, he told me not to see Craig again. I’m not happy, and he knows that. I think he guessed that I’m meeting Craig. And now he wants to find Craig and stop him seeing me.’ ‘Stop him?’ said Nick. ‘Or kill him?’ ‘No!’ Meg Hutson said.

‘Daddy doesn’t-‘ ‘The man with white hair pushed me in front of a car in Vancouver,’ Nick told her. ‘And he shot at me in Stanley Park.’ ‘What!’ said Meg. ‘Tell – tell me about this man with white hair,’ Winters said suddenly. Nick looked at him. ‘He’s about sixty, and he’s tall and thin,’ he said. ‘Do you know his name?’ asked Winters. ‘Vickers,’ said Nick. Craig Winters suddenly looked ill. ‘Did he – did he follow you to Victoria? Did he follow you here?’ ‘I don’t know,’ said Nick. He watched Winters. ‘You’re afraid of him. Why? Why does this man Vickers want to kill you, Winters?’ Before Craig Winters could answer, Meg’s face went white. ‘Oh, no!’ she said. ‘Look! Look over there, by the door!’ Nick and Craig Winters turned to look. At the door of the tea room stood the man with white hair. He looked up and down the room, and then he saw them, and began to walk across to their table.

His hand was in his pocket. For a second or two the three people at the table did not move. Then Craig Winters jumped to his feet. ‘That’s Mr Hollywood!’ he screamed. ‘That man there!’ And he pointed at Nick. The man’s hand came out of his pocket – with a gun. ‘This is for Anna!’ he shouted. Nick moved very fast. The tea table went over, and Nick was down on the floor in a second. The shot went over his head, and Meg screamed. At the same time Craig Winters shouted out and put a hand on his arm.

There was blood on his white shirt. Then more people began to scream, and two waiters pulled the man with white hair down on to the floor. ‘Get the police!’ somebody shouted. CHAPTER SEVEN; At the police station It was p.m. Nick and Meg were in a room at the police station. The man called Vickers was in a different room, with three detectives. There was a doctor with him too. Craig Winters was at the hospital. The door opened and a detective came in with two cups of coffee. He put them down on the table, and turned to go out again. ‘Detective Edmonds,’ Meg said, ‘did the hospital call? Is Craig going to be all right?’ ‘Winters?’ Detective Edmonds said. ‘Yes, he’s going to be OK.’ ‘Can I call the hospital now?’ asked Meg.

‘I’d like you to wait,’ said Edmonds. ‘Detective Keat is going to be here in a minute. He’s just coming from the airport and-‘ He looked through the open door. ‘Ah, here he is now.’ A second detective came into the room, and behind him was a tall man with dark hair. Meg stood up quickly. ‘Daddy!’ she cried. ‘What are you doing here?’ ‘The police called me,’ said Howard Hutson, ‘and I flew here at once.

Detective Keat met me at the airport. Now, sit down, Meg. I want you to listen to me.’ He did not look at Nick. Meg sat down and her father took her hands. ‘Meg, last week Johnnie Vickers came to my house. He wanted to talk about his daughter. You remember Anna, Meg? Three months ago she jumped off a bridge in Boston and died. She was young, beautiful, rich – and she didn’t want to live.

Why? Because she loved a man, and the man took her money, ran away and left her. And the man was called-‘ ‘No!’ said Meg. ‘NO!’ ‘Yes, Meg, yes. He was called Mr Hollywood.’ ‘No!’ shouted Meg. She began to cry. ‘That’s right, Miss Hutson,’ said detective Keat quietly. ‘To you, he gave the name Craig Winters. When Anna Vickers knew him, he was Carl Windser. But he liked all his . . . er . . . girlfriends to call him Mr Hollywood.

He took nearly 50,000 dollars from Anna Vickers. And there was a girl before that. . .’ ‘No, it’s not true!’ Meg shouted. ‘It is true, Meg,’ said her father. ‘Winters – Windser – gets all his money from rich men’s daughters. Johnnie Vickers loved his daughter. He went to her house in Boston after she died. He read her letters, and learned about the money and the name Mr Hollywood. And when he came to my house, I told him about you, Meg. I said, “My daughter’s got a new boyfriend, and she calls him Mr Hollywood. I don’t like him, but I can’t stop her. She’s going away to meet him next week, I think. What can I do?” Johnnie put his hand on my arm, and he said, “Don’t be afraid for your daughter. I’m going to find that man – and stop him!'” Meg said nothing. Her face was very white. For a minute or two nobody spoke, then detective Edmonds said ‘Vickers told us all about it, Miss Hutson.

He followed you to Whistler, and saw you with-‘ Nick began to understand. ‘With me, in the cafe! And Meg called me Mr Hollywood!’ Howard Hutson looked at Nick. ‘You’re the travel writer guy, right?’ ‘Lortz. Nick Lortz,’ said Nick. ‘Vickers nearly killed me. He shot at me twice, and-‘ But Howard Hutson was not very interested in Nick. He looked at his daughter again. ‘How much money did you give him, Meg?’ he said. ‘I -I gave him 25,000 dollars,’ said Meg. ‘Only for two or three months, he said. Then he . . .’ She began to cry again. ‘Well, you can say goodbye to that money,’ said Hutson angrily. ‘What’s going to happen to Vickers?’ Nick asked detective Edmonds. ‘Hospital, I think,’ said Edmonds. ‘OK, he shot at you and about fifty people saw him. But he’s not a well man. The doctors are going to put him away in a hospital.’ Howard Hutson stood up. ‘OK, Meg, I’m going to take you home.

My plane is waiting at the airport.’ Meg followed her father to the door, then she remembered Nick and turned. ‘I’m sorry,’ she said. ‘I got you into all this. I called you Mr Hollywood. That was wrong. But I didn’t know-‘ ‘It’s OK,’ said Nick. ‘You know everything now. And it’s better to learn it now, and not later. 50,000 dollars later.’ CHAPTER EIGHT; A nice smile Nick took the evening ferry back to Vancouver. He was tired and hungry, so he went down to get some dinner in the ferry restaurant. The restaurant was busy and there was only one free table. Nick sat down quickly and began to eat.

‘I must get back to work tomorrow,’ he thought, ‘and forget about millionaires’ daughters and men with guns.’ ‘Excuse me,’ somebody said. ‘Can I sit with you?’ Nick looked up. There was a pretty girl next to his table. He got up. ‘It – it’s OK,’ he said. ‘You can have this table. I don’t want it.’ And he began to move away. ‘Please don’t go,’ the girl said. ‘Stay and finish your dinner.’ She smiled at him. It was a nice smile. But Nick knew all about nice smiles. ‘I’m not hungry,’ he said. And he walked quickly out of the restaurant..

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Here’s a little video I put together of an English Beginner Level group in Riyadh.