A series of interactive stories
by Mark White (2005)
1. The Graveyard (“be” verbs)
2. The Strange Old Woman (there is/there are)
3. The Letter from a Stranger (present simple)
4. The Attack in the Park (present perfect)
5. The Transfer (present continuous)
6. The Trip to New York (future “going to”)
7. The Restaurant (“would” conditionals)
8. Working in New York (gerunds)
9. The Rich Stranger (one/some/almost all of them)
10. The Bad Day (adjective plus infinitive)
11. The Old Man (should)
12. The New Job (comparatives)
13. The Temple (used to)
1.THE GRAVEYARD (“be” verbs)
It is a Sunday afternoon in the countryside. Is it hot? A small boy is in a rice field. He is ten years old. When is his birthday? He walks up a hill. Is it a big hill? He goes into a graveyard. Is it an old graveyard? He sees his father’s gravestone. What colour is it? He sits down in front of the gravestone. Is he sad?
Suddenly the small boy hears a sound. Is it loud? The boy turns around. He sees a man. Is he tall? The man has very short hair. He has handcuffs on his wrists. The man grabs the boy. Is the boy afraid? The man turns the boy upside down. He shakes him.
There is a rice ball in the boy’s pocket. Is it round or triangular? Is it very big? The rice ball falls out. The man picks up the rice ball. He eats it. Is it tasty? He eats very quickly because he is very very hungry. The boy feels sorry for the hungry man. The man asks for food. He asks for some tools too. He wants to take the handcuffs off.
The boy goes to get food. The man sleeps on the hill behind a tree near the graveyard. Is he very tired? Is he afraid of ghosts?
Two hours later the boy comes back. He has some bread. Is it fresh? He also has some cooked rice. Is it hot? Is it in a bag? He has some fruit too. What kind of fruit is it? He has a bottle of sake too. Is it expensive sake? He has some tools too. What tools are they?
The man is very grateful. He eats the food. He takes the handcuffs off. He runs away.
Two days later the boy is in the rice fields again. Is it a warm day? The boy hears a sound. It is a police siren. A police car comes. What colour is it? Four policemen get out. Are they young or old? They run up the hill. They catch the man. They put handcuffs on him. They put him in the car? The car drives away. Is it fast? The small boy watches the car. He thinks about the man. He feels sorry for the man.
The man is an escaped prisoner. The police take him back to prison. Are the police nice to him? The man is from a poor family. He lives in prison now. Where is the prison? Is it a big prison?
The boy lives with his aunt and his uncle. His father is dead and his mother is dead too. Is he lonely? He lives in an old house in a village. Is it a big house? Is it a traditional Japanese farmhouse?
The boy likes school. Is his school far from his house? What is the name of his favourite teacher? The boy wants to go to university. Is university expensive? The boy wants to go to university but he cannot go to university because his family is poor. Is his uncle a farmer?
At night the boy thinks about his father and his mother and he thinks about school and he thinks about the escaped prisoner and he thinks about his dream. He wants to go to university. Is he happy?
2. THE STRANGE OLD WOMAN (there is/there are)
A little boy lives in a small village with his aunt and his uncle. His parents are dead. How many houses are there in the village? The little boy’s family is poor. He helps his uncle in the fields.
There is a beautiful little girl in the village. She is about ten years old. Is her hair long? One day the little boy sees the girl. The little boy watches her. He likes her but she does not look at him.
The little boy grows up. He goes to high school and he sees the little girl every day but she does not look at him. How many students are there at the boy’s high school? They take the same bus each morning. How many people are there on the bus each morning? What colour is the bus?
There is a strange old woman in the village. She is very very rich. How old is she? Is her hair white? She owns a lot of rice fields and houses too.
The young high school girl lives with the strange old woman. Her parents are dead. The boy’s parents are dead and the girl’s parents are dead too. Every day after school, the girl goes home. She talks to the old woman. The old woman talks to the girl but she does not talk to other people. She stays inside the house.
One day a letter comes to the boy’s house. It is from the rich old woman. It is an invitation. It is an invitation to the house. The boy wants to meet the girl. The next day he puts on clean clothes. He goes to the house. He walks. It is a big house on a hill outside the village. Is it a beautiful house? There is a big wall around the house. The boy goes to the gate. He rings a bell. The girl comes to the gate. She opens it. He goes inside. The girl says, “Kiss me”. The boy kisses her on the cheek. Is her cheek soft? The girl says, “Follow me”. The boy follows her. They go inside. The house is huge. How many rooms are there in the house? Is it a three-storey house?
The boy and the girl go upstairs. They meet a man on the stairs. He is a strange man. He has a big red nose. He says “Aaah, very good, very good!” and he nods his head.
The boy goes into a room. He meets the strange old woman. The old woman lives in a big bedroom. The room is a bedroom. It is very dirty. There is a cake on the table. It is very old. The woman is very thin and she has a strange high voice. She says, “Play cards”. The boy and the girl sit on the floor and they play cards. The old woman watches. After thirty minutes the old woman says “Enough!” She puts some money in the boy’s pocket. She says, “Come back next week.” The girl takes the boy to the gate. She does not say “goodbye”. The boy goes home. How much money is there in his pocket?
3. THE LETTER FROM A STRANGER (present simple)
A high school boy lives in a village. Every week he goes to a big house on a hill outside the village. A strange old rich woman lives in the village. A beautiful young girl lives with her. The boy plays with the girl. What games do they play? The old woman pays the boy each week. How much does she pay him?
The boy wants to go to university. What does he want to study? Does the girl want to go to university?
One day the boy goes to the old woman’s house and the girl opens the gate. Does she say, “Hello”?
The boy goes inside and plays with the girl. After they play, the old woman says, “Today is the last day.”
The girl takes the boy to the gate. She says “Am I beautiful?” The boy says, “Yes, you are!” The girl says, “You are ugly!” She slaps him.
The boy goes home. How much money is there in his pocket? Does he love the girl? Does she love him? Is he sad?
The girl goes away to another school in the city. What is the name of the school?
The boy does not see the girl anymore. Does he miss her? He thinks about university. He studies hard at school. What is his favourite subject at school? Does he have many friends? What sport does he play? Does he get good marks at school?
The boy wants to go to university but he cannot go because he does not have enough money. How much does it cost per year? He worries about the future.
One day a letter comes to the house. It is a letter from a stranger. The letter says the boy can go to university. It will cost nothing. A rich man will help him. The boy is surprised. Is he happy?
One year later the boy moves to the city. He moves in to a small apartment. How many rooms are there in his apartment? Is there a unit bath? Does it have a kitchen?
A man with a big red nose comes to the boy’s apartment. He is a lawyer. He tells the boy to come to his office each month. Each month the boy comes and the man with the red nose gives him money. How much does he give him per month? How much is the rent for the apartment?
The boy goes to university every weekday. How many classes does he have per week? What course does he do? Does he join a circle? Does he have a part-time job?
One day the boy takes the bus to university. He sees a girl on the bus. It is the beautiful girl from his village. He remembers her and he still thinks about her a lot. Does she remember him? He says “Hello” to her but she does not answer him. She ignores him.
4. THE ATTACK IN THE PARK (present perfect)
A young guy is a university student. What faculty is he in? Is he a first year student? His parents are dead and he comes from a poor family but he can go to university because a stranger pays his tuition and his living expenses. How much is his tuition per year? How much are his living expenses?
The young guy does not know the stranger. He has never met him. It is exam time. How many tests does the guy have? Is he nervous? He goes to see a lawyer with a big red nose. The lawyer gives him money every month. The money is from a stranger. The young student has never met the stranger.
There is a girl at the same university. She is from the same village. The young guy is in love with her but she always ignores him. The young guy has a friend. It is another student. The friend is a guy in the same faculty. The young guy tells his friend about the girl. How long has he known his friend? How long has he known the girl? Has his friend ever seen the girl?
One night the guy is walking home. He walks through a park. He sees a man and a woman. The man attacks the woman. The woman screams. It is the same woman. It is the beautiful girl from the young guy’s village. He wants to help her. He wants to save her. He shouts at the man. He hits him. The man stops. He runs away. The girl cries. The young student takes her to a coffee shop. Has he ever been to that coffee shop before? Has the girl ever been there before?
The two students sit in the coffee shop for a long time. They talk about their village. They talk about the strange old woman. They talk about the lawyer with the big red nose. The young woman gives the young guy her phone number. She has beautiful long hair. The guy holds her hand. Has he ever held a woman’s hand before? After several hours they both go home.
The next day the guy calls the girl but there is no answer. He calls her ten times but nobody answers the phone. He goes to his friend’s house. He talks to his friend. His friend has a girlfriend. How long has he known his girlfriend? How many girlfriends has he had?
The two friends study for their exams. They both want to work in another country. They both want to get good jobs and travel and see the world. The young guy from the village has never been overseas. Which country does he want to go to? His friend has been to three countries in Asia. Which countries has he been to? Has he been to America?
The final exam period comes. The two friends sit their final exams. They both pass. They both get really high marks. The young guy from the village gets a job at a computer company.
5. THE TRANSFER (present continuous tense)
A young Japanese computer engineer is in his apartment. It is late at night. He is lying in his bed. He is thinking about his life. He is thinking about his parents. Is he thinking about his aunt and his uncle too? Does he miss his aunt and his uncle? Does he visit his village often?
The young engineer comes from a poor family but he has been to university because a rich stranger helped him. He has never met the stranger. The next day he goes to see a lawyer. The lawyer works for the rich stranger. The lawyer is sitting at his desk. He is reading something. What is he reading?
The young guy comes in and he sits down. He has known the lawyer for five years. He has asked him about the rich stranger many times but the lawyer has never answered his questions. He asks him again. The lawyer will not answer.
That weekend the young guy goes back to his village. He visits his aunt and his uncle. Are they still living in the same house? What is the uncle doing when he arrives? What is the aunt doing? There is a strange old lady in the village. The young man thinks the old lady is giving him money. He goes to her house. He knocks on the door. A beautiful girl answers. What is she wearing? Is she wearing a hat? The guy has not seen the girl for two years. He still remembers her. He still loves her. He does not want to love her but he does. He cannot stop his feelings.
The young woman takes the young man to see the old lady. She is sitting in the same room. She is sitting in the same chair. She is wearing the same dirty old white dress. She is reading something. What is she reading?
The young engineer says, “You are giving me money. I know. Thank you, but I don’t need money now. I have a good job. I want too pay you back.” The old lady laughs. She says, “I have never given you any money.”
The young guy is confused. He wants to know who is giving him money. He goes to work on Monday. The boss telephones him. He goes to his boss’s office. The boss is sitting in a big leather chair. Is he wearing a suit? Is he wearing a tie?
The company has a branch in New York City. There are some problems in New York. The young guy has to go to New York. He has to live there and work there for two years. Is he happy about this?
That night he telephones his uncle. What is his uncle doing when the phone rings? What is his aunt doing? He tells them about his transfer to New York. After that he goes to bed. One hour later the telephone rings. It is the beautiful girl from his village. Is he sleeping when she calls? She wants to meet him in New York.
6. THE TRIP TO NEW YORK (future “going to”)
A young Japanese computer engineer is going to go to New York City. He is going to work there for his company. How long is he going to stay? Is he going to get a raise? Is he going to get a promotion?
Before he leaves, the engineer calls a lawyer. He says he is going to go to New York City. He says he is going to leave in one week. Two days later the lawyer calls the engineer back. He says he has a message from the rich stranger. The rich stranger is living in New York City now. He is going to contact the engineer in New York.
The engineer is very curious. He wants to meet the rich stranger. The stranger has helped him a lot. He wants to thank him. He goes home and he opens his cupboard. He looks at his clothes. How many suits is he going to take? How many pairs of shoes is he going to take? How many shirts is he going to take? What is he going to wear on the plane?
The engineer visits his village again. He wants to say “Goodbye” to his aunt and his uncle. He is going to miss them. Is he going to write? Is he going to ring? Do they have email?
That afternoon the young engineer goes to the strange old woman. He wants to say goodbye to her. Is he going to write to her? He wants to see the beautiful girl too. The beautiful girl is not at the house. She is in the city.
The next day the guy goes back to the city. He visits his old friend from university. They go to a little bar. They drink a lot and they talk a lot. The friend is going to go to Malaysia. When is going to leave? Is he going to stay in Kuala Lumpur? How long is he going to stay there? Is he going to get a promotion? Is he going to get a raise?
A week later the young engineer catches a plane to New York City. Is the plane full? Does he have a window seat? A woman sits next to him. She is European. Which country is she from? She is going to New York too but she is not going to stay there long. She is going to change planes in New York and then she is going to fly to Chicago. How many hours is she going to stay in New York? What is she going to do in Chicago?
Then Japanese guy talks to the European woman. He likes her. She likes him. They talk about music. What kind of music does she like? She gives him her telephone number in Paris. She lives in Paris. Is he going to call her? Is he going to email her?
The plane arrives in New York. The engineer says goodbye to the European woman. He goes through customs and immigration. A man from his company meets him in the arrivals lounge. They take a taxi to his new apartment. Does the engineer have jetlag? That night he has to meet his new co-workers at a restaurant. What time is he going to meet them? Are they going to meet in a Japanese restaurant?
7. THE RESTAURANT (“would” conditionals)
Five Japanese engineers are at a Japanese restaurant in New York City. They all work at the same company. They are welcoming a new staff member from Japan. He has just arrived in the United States. Does he have jetlag? Would you go to a Japanese restaurant on your first night in New York City?
The five engineers order sushi and sake. Would you order the same thing? The new guy is tired. He eats and drinks but he does not enjoy his food. A waitress comes to the table with more sake. He looks up. He recognizes her. It is the beautiful girl from his village. She lowers her eyes. She ignores him. Would you ignore him, if you were her? Would you say “Hello” if you were him?
The guy goes to the bathroom. He waits in the corridor near the kitchen. He stands in front of the waitress when she passes him. He says, “Why are you ignoring me? I love you.” Would you do the same thing?
The waitress gives him a piece of paper. There is a telephone number on it. She says, “I love you too, but it is dangerous now. I cannot talk. Call me tomorrow.”
The guy says, “Okay”. He goes back to his table. As he walks past the kitchen door, he looks in. He sees a man. He recognizes the man’s face. He remembers the face but he cannot place it. He sits down and he thinks about it. The other guys talk to him but he cannot concentrate because he is thinking about the girl and the guy in the kitchen.
After dinner the new engineer takes a cab home. Would you take a cab or walk? He goes to bed and then the next day he gets up early. He is very very tired. He takes a shower and he goes to work. He does not eat breakfast. Would you eat breakfast? He takes a taxi to work. If you were him, would you take a taxi or a subway to work?
At lunchtime he calls the girl. Would you call her? There is no answer. He calls her again. Would you call her again?
That night the guy goes back to the restaurant. He looks for the girl but she is not there. Would you do the same thing? He asks for her but the manager says “Nobody of that name works here.”
That night the guy lies in bed and he thinks about the girl. He has known her for many years. He has loved her for many years. He wants to stop loving her but he cannot. He cannot control his feelings. What would you do?
Suddenly he remembers the guy from the restaurant. It is the guy from the park three years ago. He attacked the beautiful girl in the park three years ago. It is the same guy. The engineer cannot understand. Why is the beautiful girl working with the bad guy from the park? Would you try to find her or forget her? How would you find her?
8. WORKING IN NEW YORK (gerunds)
A young Japanese engineer is working in New York. Is working in New York interesting? He has been there for three months. Is living in New York fun? Is it expensive? A girl from his village is in New York and he wants to see her but he cannot find her. Finding someone in New York City is hard because it is a very big city and there are lots of people.
The new job is hard. The young engineer has a lot of responsibility. He has to do a lot of overtime. Sometimes he works till ten at night then he goes for a drink with his co-workers. Is going to bars in New York City safe?
One day the engineer gets home from work at seven pm. Getting home before nine pm is unusual for him. There is a letter for him. It is from a rich stranger, He has never met the stranger. The stranger has helped him for many years. He has paid for his education. Is getting a good education expensive? He wants to thank the stranger and he wants to repay him but he has never met him.
The letter says that the stranger is in New York. He wants to meet the young man. He invites him to a restaurant in Chinatown. The invitation is for seven pm in three days. Is eating in Chinatown cheap?
The next day the guy goes to work. He thinks about his life. He thinks about the rich stranger. He is curious to meet him. He also thinks about the beautiful girl from his village. He wants to find her. He wants her to be his girlfriend. He is single and he is lonely. Is finding a girlfriend in New York City difficult? Is being alone in New York lonely? Is meeting people in a big city hard?
The guy logs on to his computer. There is an email from a beautiful European woman. He knows her from the plane. She lives in Paris. Is living in Paris interesting? Is it expensive? Does the guy answer the email? Would you answer it?
Two days later it is the day of the appointment. The engineer is going to go to Chinatown. He is going to meet the rich stranger. He is very excited. He is very curious. He really really really wants to meet him.
That day it is very busy at work. There are a lot of problems. The engineer has to work overtime. Is working overtime important? The engineer wants to go to the restaurant to meet the rich stranger but he has to work overtime. Would you go to the restaurant or work overtime?
The engineer leaves work at 6:45. He jumps in a taxi. Is finding a taxi hard in New York? The traffic is very heavy. The guy sits in the back of the taxi. The driver is an African. He does not speak English. He gets lost. The young engineer arrives at the restaurant at 7:25. He gets out of the cab. He pays the driver. He runs into the restaurant.
9. THE RICH STRANGER (none/one/some/most/almost all/all of them)
A young Japanese engineer is standing outside a restaurant in Chinatown in New York. Is eating in Chinatown expensive? He is about to go in and meet a rich stranger. The stranger has changed his life. He has paid for his education. He has helped him a lot. Is helping people good?
The young guy goes in. He looks around. There are a lot of people in the restaurant. Most of them are Caucasians. A few of them are Chinese. None of them are Japanese. The guy is confused. He cannot find the rich stranger. He walks around the restaurant. He looks at all the people. Most of them are eating. A few are still waiting for their food. How many people are there in the restaurant? How many of them are Asians?
The engineer talks to a waiter. The waiter says there is another room upstairs. The Japanese guy goes upstairs. There are about twenty people in the upstairs room. Almost all of them are Chinese. How many of them are not Chinese? An old man is sitting alone at a table by a window. He is not eating. What is he wearing?
The engineer goes up to the old man. He says, “Are you Japanese?” The old man is Japanese. He is waiting for the young man. He is the rich stranger. The engineer sits down. They talk for a long time.
After dinner the young Japanese engineer leaves the restaurant. He walks through the streets of New York. He thinks about his life. He passes many people. Where are they from? Where are they going? Where are they coming from?
The guy goes in to a bar. He orders a drink. What does he order? There are a lot of people in the bar. How many of them are Asians? How many of them are Caucasians? How many of them are Afro-Americans? Where do most of them come from?
The guy meets a drunk businessman. The businessman is from Boston. Sometimes he goes to Japan on business. He has a lot of Japanese friends. Where are they from? The engineer and the guy from Boston talk about Japan. The Japanese guy gets drunk. After three hours he leaves the bar. He walks through the streets.
Suddenly he comes to a Japanese restaurant. He remembers the restaurant. The beautiful girl from his village works in the restaurant. The bad guy from the park three years ago works there too. The engineer goes in.
The restaurant is full. There are four waiters. One of them is from Osaka. Where are the other three from? The one from Osaka comes up to the drunk engineer. He says, “The restaurant is full.”
The engineer wants to talk to the waitress from his village.
10. THE BAD DAY (adjective plus infinitive)
A young Japanese computer engineer is working in New York City. It is late at night. He is in a Japanese restaurant. He has just met a rich old stranger from his past. Is it good to meet people from the past? The stranger is an escaped prisoner.
The engineer is drunk. The restaurant is full. It is not possible to eat now. It is not possible to get a seat. It is too late. Is it expensive to eat Japanese food in New York? Is it difficult to find authentic Japanese food there?
A beautiful young woman from the young engineer’s village is one of the waitresses at the restaurant. Is it easy to get a job as a waitress in New York City? Is it easy to in Japan?
The Japanese guy is very drunk. It is difficult for him to stand up. He staggers in to the restaurant. He sees the waitress. He calls out her name. Is she embarrassed to see him? She says, “Meet me outside in thirty minutes”. The guy goes outside. He falls asleep in the street. A policeman comes. He arrests the Japanese guy. Is it illegal to sleep in the street in New York?
The policeman takes the Japanese guy to the police station. He puts him in a prison cell. The next morning he wakes up at six o’clock. He has to pay some money. Is it expensive to get out of prison? He has a hangover. He goes home and he takes a shower then he goes to work.
At work the young engineer sees his boss. His boss is very angry because the engineer left early the day before. The engineer has a bad hangover but he has to work overtime until midnight. Is it normal to do overtime till midnight at that company? Is it bad to go home early?
After work the Japanese guy staggers home. He enters his apartment but he does not take his shoes off. It is normal to take your shoes off in the house in Japan but it is not common in the States. Does the young engineer usually take his shoes off inside in his apartment in New York?
The engineer calls the waitress. She does not answer. Is it rude to ring after midnight? The engineer goes in to the bathroom and he runs a bath. Is it normal for him to take a bath or a shower? Is it normal for him to wash in the morning or at night or both?
The engineer relaxes in the bath. He falls asleep. Is it dangerous to fall asleep in the bath? A few minutes later he wakes up. He comes outside. There is a strange man in his apartment.
It is the man from the restaurant kitchen. He is a big man. He has a scar on his face. He is very angry. He shouts at the young engineer. He says, “It is dangerous for you to come to the restaurant! Do not come again!”
11.THE OLD MAN (should)
And old man is in a big house in New York. He is from Japan originally. He is a criminal. He is sitting ion front of the TV. He is thinking about the past. He has broken many laws. He has committed many crimes. Has he ever killed anybody? Has he ever robbed a bank? He has been in prison many times. In Japan the police are looking for him. He is not happy because he wants to go back to Japan. Should he go back to Japan? Should he turn himself in to the police? Would you turn yourself in, if you were him?
In another part of New York City, there is a young engineer. He is working for a Japanese computer company in New York. He knows the old man. The old man has helped him with his education. Should he turn the old man in? Would you turn him in?
The engineer goes to work. His boss is angry. His boss shouts at him. Should he shout back? His boss hits him. Should he hit back? Should he go to the police? He argues with his boss. His boss fires him. He leaves the office. He goes to a bar. He thinks about his life. He thinks about his boss and his job. Should he go back to the office? Would you? He thinks about the waitress from his village. Should he go to the restaurant and see her? Would you? He thinks about the bad man from the restaurant. Should he go to see him? Would you?
Suddenly the engineer’s mobile phone rings. It is the old man. He wants to see the engineer. He says, “You are like my son.” Should the engineer go to see him? Would you?
The engineer goes to see the old man. He meets him at his house. It is a very big old house in New Jersey. The two men talk about life. The old man tells the young man the story of his life. His mother is Korean. Can he speak Korean? His father is half Korean and half Japanese. Is discrimination a problem in Japan? Should all people be equal?
The young man talks about the beautiful waitress. He talks about the bad man at the restaurant. The old man knows about the bad man and he knows about the beautiful waitress. He says, “The waitress is married to the bad man!” The young engineer is shocked. Should he believe the old man? Would you believe him? The old man says the waitress is selfish. He says she is a bad woman. He says she wants to trick the young engineer. Should the engineer believe the old man? Would you believe him?
The young engineer leaves the old man’s house. He goes back to Manhattan. He has no job and he has no girlfriend. He has no parents and a criminal has paid for his education. Should he feel bad? He has to move out of his apartment in one week. What should he do? He has to get a new job? How should he find a new job? Should he go back to Japan?
12. THE NEW JOB (comparatives)
A young engineer is in his apartment in New York. Is it big? Is it bigger than his apartment in Osaka? He looks out the window. Is the view better than the view from his apartment in Osaka? Is Osaka bigger than New York? Is Osaka more interesting than New York? How does Osaka compare to your hometown?
The young guy goes out to a shop. He buys a newspaper. He looks for a job. There are two computer jobs in the paper. One is for a big company and one is for a small company. Which one has a higher salary? Which one has better working conditions? One job is in Chicago and one job is in Boston. Which is closer, Chicago or Boston? Which is closer from Japan?
The guy calls about the two jobs. Which one does he call about first? He arranges two interviews. The interview for the job in Boston is the next day. The guy gets up early. He takes a shower and he puts on a suit. He goes to the interview. There are two interviewers. One is a young man. One is an old man. Which one is taller? Which one is nicer? Which one is handsomer? The young engineer knows one of the interviewers. He knows him from a bar. He likes the interviewer and the interviewer likes him too. He is from Boston. The guy from Boston offers the Japanese guy the job.
He has to move to Boston. Is Boston bigger than New York? Is his salary at his new job higher than his salary at his old job? Does he get more holidays? Does he get a company car? Does he get a free apartment? Does he get a moving allowance?
In his new job the Japanese guy has to travel to Japan five or six times a year. How does Japan compare to the United States?
After two months at the company in Boston, the young engineer makes a trip to Japan. He flies to Tokyo. How does Tokyo compare to Osaka? He stays in Tokyo for two weeks. One weekend he takes the Shinkansen to Osaka than he goes to his village. How does the Shinkansen compare to the local train? Has the village changed much?
The guy visits his aunt and his uncle. Has his aunt changed much? Has his uncle changed much? The guy talks about living in Japan and living in America. How does living in America compare to living in Japan? How does living in the city compare to living in the countryside?
The guy drinks beer with his uncle and then he takes a bath and he goes to bed. The next day he reads the paper. A famous Japanese criminal has turned himself in in New York. The engineer looks at the photo of the man. He knows the man. It is the rich stranger from his past. The old man wants to die in Japan. The next day the young engineer goes back to Tokyo then he flies to Boston a week later.
13. THE TEMPLE (used to)
A Japanese engineer is working in Boston. He has lived in Boston for two years now. He works for an American computer company. Does he like working for an American company? He used to work for a Japanese company. Where did he use to live before Boston?
The guy goes to Japan half a dozen times a year. Where did he use to live in Japan? When he goes to Japan, he tries to visit his aunt and his uncle. He also visits a prison sometimes. He knows an old man in prison. The old man used to be a famous gangster, but now he is in prison. Where did he use to live? Where is the prison? How long has the guy been in this prison? Which prison did he use to live in before?
The young guy has a girlfriend. She is European. She lives in London but sometimes she visits him in Boston and sometimes he visits her in London. She used to live in Paris. Has the Japanese engineer ever been to Paris?
In the summer the Japanese engineer takes a trip to Japan. He works in Tokyo for two weeks then he takes a vacation. He goes back to his village. His girlfriend visits him in his village. She used to live in Japan seven years ago. Did she use to live in Tokyo or in Osaka? She works in the fashion industry. She works for an English company. Did she use to work for a French company before? What is her nationality?
The engineer arrives in his village. He introduces his girlfriend to his aunt and uncle. She used to speak Japanese before but she has forgotten a lot. The four people eat together. What do they eat? They drink a lot then they go to bed. In the morning the guy wakes up. His girlfriend is still asleep. He buys a newspaper. He reads it. He reads the paper every day now. Did he use to read it every day when he was a student?
After he reads the paper, he goes to the graveyard. Did he used to go the graveyard when he was younger? He visits his parents’ grave. Did his father used to be a farmer? After that he goes to the temple. Does he pray? There is a beautiful woman at the temple. The engineer knows here. He has known her for a long time. He used to love her but he has forgotten about her now. Now he loves his new girlfriend.
The girl comes up to him. She smiles at him. She says, “Hello.”
The guy says, “Where is your husband?”
She says, “He is in prison in New York.” He used to beat her up. Why did he use to beat her up? Why did she marry him? The guy talks to the girl for ten minutes. She says, “Do you love me?” What does he say?
The guy looks up. He can see his girlfriend. She is walking towards them. She is walking under a huge cedar tree. The guy used to play under that tree. His girlfriend is walking closer and closer. Is she beautiful?
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