Views #449 | Low-Intermediate 4

Getting Lost

Greg talks about getting lost himself.

Todd: So, Greg, do you have any stories about being lost, since you have all this good advice?

Greg: Ah, well, let me think. Ah, there was one time I got lost in the mountains of the Golden Triangle in Thailand. The Golden Triangle as you might know is famous for a lot of drug trafficking, and it's also a tourist spot in some areas. Some areas are very safe and some areas are very dangerous actually, and my friend and I, we were hiking by ourselves in the mountains and we got lost, and we actually wondered across the border from Thailand into Myanmar. And we came across this village; very. very poor village, very of hill tribes people, and some of the people there were really unfriendly, they just started throwing rocks at my friends and I (oh, man) and shouting things. We couldn't talk, so we just backed away, went back quickly up the hill and we were wondering, we didn't know where to go, and luckily I could see in the distance, there was one tree that stood out because the hill had been burned, but there was one tree that didn't get burned and I remembered that tree when we were coming over, so that was my landmark which helped me to return, and I headed straight for that tree and then I saw the route, and I've been lost before. I love going into mountains, actually my friends and I got a little bit lost when we were hiking in some little forest in England last summer, but no, I make it a habit when I'm going through trails, and I'm not sure where to go, I put rocks, pile rocks on top of each other, or I put sticks to make an arrow in the direction I want to go.

Todd: Ah, that's pretty good.

Greg: So I find a pile of rocks and sticks and then I return that way.

Todd: So, wow, back to the hill tribe people: Why do you think that they were mad? Do you think they were really upset with foreigners coming in to their territory, like they were trying to protect their little area?

Greg: There could be many reasons. Maybe because there used to be a lot of opium being grown in that area, maybe they were growing opium and they didn't want anyone to see it. That's one thing. Maybe, just they were worried about foreigners, for some reason, maybe they've been treated badly before by foreigners. (Right!) I have no idea. (Well) It was pretty scary.

Todd: Yeah, well, better rocks than bullets.

Greg: Yeah.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

drug trafficking

The Golden Triangle as you might know is famous for a lot of drug trafficking.

'Drug trafficking' is the illegal movement of drugs from one place to another, usually across international borders. Notice the following:

  1. Drug trafficking in Mexico has become a very dangerous problem.
  2. He was arrested for drug trafficking.

came across

We came across this very, very poor village.

When you 'come across' something you discover it by accident. It's not something you were looking for, but something you find interesting. Notice the following:

  1. I came across this book when I was at the library today.
  2. How did you ever come across this store?

backed away

We couldn't talk, so we just backed away and went back quickly up the hill.

When you 'back away' from something you walk backwards away from it. You usually back away from something if you are scared of it. Notice the following:

  1. When she heard the news she backed away and ran out of the building.
  2. He saw the angry dog and backed away slowly.

stood out

Luckily, I could see in the distance, there was one tree that stood out.

When something 'stands out' it is different from the things that surround it so it is easy to notice. Notice the following:

  1. Her clothes make her stand out in a crowd.
  2. He really stood out in Peru because he was so tall.


That tree was my landmark which helped me to return.

In this case, 'landmark' is an object that serves as a guide to help you know where you are going in a place that you aren't familiar with. Notice the following:

  1. This big red house is the landmark I use to remind me to turn at the next street.
  2. Most people here don't know the name of the roads so they give you directions using landmarks.

Vocabulary Quiz

trafficking • come across • backing
stand • landmarks
  1. The streets were so confusing that I had to use the peaks of the mountains as .
  2. With the color of you hair and eyes you will definitely out there.
  3. I am hoping to a good present for his birthday.
  4. He just kept away the whole time she was yelling at him.
  5. Drug is a big way that people make money here.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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