Tommy Talks to Tourists

Tommy has a part-time job at a travel agency in Sydney. Today he has been given a special task. He is going to meet a group of Norwegian tourists at the airport and take them to their hotel in Sydney. On the way he will have to give them some basic information about their stay and answer their questions. Read the dialogue below.


Understanding the text

Answer these questions:

a) Where is Sydney situated?

b) What makes it so important?

c) What has the city done to improve the traffic situation?

d) Sydney’s hotels are divided into four categories. Arrange these categories in order, starting with the least expensive.

e) How do you know that the Hyde Park Barracks is not modern?

f) Why is Australian food so good?

g) What is so special about Australian Rules football?

h) How is it that Sydneysiders can keep fit?

Writing – making questions

Write the following text as a dialogue. Here you have the replies, but what are the questions?

– In the Rocks and City area.

– You must mean the Opera House.

– Those in the international category.

– On a hammock.

– No, only in Australia.

– Well, you can jog, or go to a fitness centre, or join a club.

– Yes, of course. Bondi Beach is famous for it.

– Don’t worry: there are loads of discos and clubs.


Tommy on the Bus

Tommy: Welcome to Sydney, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you had a good flight from Norway, and that you’ll enjoy your stay here. You’ll find it a lot different from Norway, that’s for sure. As you know, the city’s situated on the eastern coast of Australia, on the Pacific coast. You also probably know that it hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics, where Norway won four gold medals, and that it’s the largest city in the country.

Mrs Kvale: Is it true that there are as many people in Sydney as in the whole of Norway?

Tommy: Absolutely. It’s one of the biggest cities in the South Pacific, and one of the most important ports. As a matter of fact, your hotel is located in the historic Rocks and City area, and you’ll have a wonderful view of the harbour.

Mr Auberg: Sorry to break in, but is the traffic always as heavy as this?

Tommy: Not all the time, but it’s certainly a problem. You see, Sydney has grown fast in recent years. The local authorities have done their best by providing ferry boats and a really good bus service and by building an underground railway, but there’s still a long way to go. Don’t worry, though: we’ve planned your visits carefully, and we’ll be using routes that shouldn’t cause delays.

Mrs Dahl: There are certainly a lot of hotels here.

Tommy: Yes, Sydney has a very wide range of hotels. There are four categories: international (the most luxurious), premier, or four-star hotels, moderate, which are comfortable but not luxurious, and budget, which are inexpensive, modest and clean. The Astra Bondi Hotel, where you’re staying, is in the first category, and has restaurants, bars, a gym, hairdressing salons, swimming pools, a nightclub and room service around the clock – you name it, it has it.

Mrs Femdal: I heard that it is possible for visitors to stay at an old prison.

Tommy: That’s right. If you fancy a complete change you can spend the night in the Hyde Park Barracks and sleep on a hammock in the dormitories which were built for transported convicts. Would anybody like me to book a bed for them?

Tourists: No, thank you!

Mr Knutsen: Maybe next time.

Tommy: I expect you’re all hungry now. We’ll have lunch at the hotel, and this evening, after we’ve seen the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and some other sights, we’ll eat out. I think you’ll enjoy the food here. Sydney has lots of upbeat bistros, brasseries, cafés and ethnic restaurants, and when you think of all the fine meat, fish, fruit and vegetables which the country produces, it’s no wonder that Australian cuisine is so highly thought of. As I mentioned, we’re going to visit a restaurant tonight. It’s called Tony´s Grill, and it’s on the beach. We always take our groups there, and people always want to go back for more. If you want to keep in good shape in spite of all the good food we’ve got planned for you, there are plenty of opportunities for walking or jogging. There are also hundreds of sports clubs and fitness centres.

Mr Aaland: What about sport?

Tommy: The most popular sport is Australian Rules Football, with its own very special set of rules. It’s only played in this country. By the way, on Tuesday we’re arranging a trip to some of the venues used in the 2000 Olympics, and there’s also an opportunity to go and see an Australian Rules match on Friday. Talk to my colleague Peter if you want to sign up for any of these excursions.

Mr Holen: Will we be going to Bondi Beach?

Tommy: We certainly will. As you know, it’s heaven for surfers. It’s also known for its lifesavers, who make sure that you stay between the yellow and red flags. If you didn’t, you could find yourself pulled out to sea by a rip current, unless the lifeguards save you! And if you’ve ever wanted to swim with sharks, there are plenty of places to go. After a long day on the beach, you might want to explore the hundreds of discos and nightclubs the city has to offer. In your brochure you’ll find some places we recommend you check out. We can also help you to get tickets to the famous Sydney Opera House if you want to see a first-class performance. And here we are: the Astra Bondi Hotel.