Abowe you se my aunt's and my unkle's kitchen after we have removed the wallpaper
To the left you see my uncle. He has cutted all the peel of the apple in one piece.
My first meeting with a speaker machine
My English was not good enough when I should order six railway tickets from Denver to Memphis by Amtrak. As my first try to get the tickets I visited Union Station in Denver. I parked the car close to the station. I had been in Denver for a couple of days and had no coins to put in the parking meter, but two decent gentlemen gave me a quarter dollar each. Then I could park for half an hour. When I arrived to the railway station I was the only person in the hall. I went to the ticket-office window asking for help to find the right train at the right day to the right price, but the officer just gave me two brochures and told me to call Amtrak ticket service for ordering tickets. I left the railway station without tickets, but I had seen a big Christmas tree in the hall four weeks after Christmas, which would never happen for me in Denmark.
When I came home I read the brochures carefully and found a schedule for the train from Denver to Chicago and from Chicago to Memphis. Then I called Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL, and a nice talking girl presented her self as Sylvia asked me
Now I realized I was not speaking with a nice girl but to a speaker machine called Sylvia, and I tried to say ‘Schedule’ again and again, but Sylvia don’t understand my pronunciation. In the end I disconnected the phone and called Union Station in Denver just to have the sentence: "Please call Amtrak ticket service at 1-800-USA-RAIL!"
Then I made a lot of exercising to say ‘Schedule’, before I called Sylvia again. After I have made several attempts Sylvia said: "I think you said ‘Schedule’ – If I am correct – Please say yes!" That was not a problem, she understood my happy ‘Yes’ immediately and asked me the next question: "From where do you want to departure – Please name the city or the name of the railway station!" Now I was on my way and I said lout and clearly (I thought): "Denver!" But Sylvia could not understand me. I tried several times and in the end I tried to say: "Denver, Colorado!" Now she understood me. She answered: "I think you said ‘Denver, Colorado’ – If I am correct – Please say yes!" "Yes, Yes, Yes!" I said. Then she asked: "To what city do you want to go?" I answered Chicago, and she understood me immediately. Now I can speak English I thought. Then she asked: "How many tickets do you want?" and I answered: "Six!"
Then it all collapsed. Sylvia understood my wish, but she answered: "I am sorry, I am only aloud to sell five tickets at a time. I have to connect you to an agent!" I was both sad and glad. I didn’t get my tickets but now I would get a personally talk with somebody. It was a guy and he understood everything I said but the price was so high for that trip that I have dropped the idea to go to Memphis by train.
By the way – In my many trying to make it clear for Sylvia what I wanted I tried to say "Agent" too. But she did not understand my accent at all.
Before I leave RRCC I will try to talk with Sylvia again. If I cannot say ‘Schedule’ or ‘Agent’ that she can understand me, I have to stay and take the intensive English course once more.
The 34 verbs I had problems with in the first two weeks:
spænde for (hest)
February 4, 2002