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Jeff talks about a memorable experience while stuck in traffic in India.

Mike: OK, so Jeff, we've been talking a little bit about your travel kind of experiences and stuff, and one other question I wanted to ask you, is there a time where you experienced something really weird, or something strange that happened in your travels around the world? Is there something that stands out in your memory?

Jeff: Many weird things happen when you're traveling. I think that's the beauty about traveling is it's an emotional roller coaster but I remember one time, again it was in India because it's a country full of surprises, but I was driving on a old rickety bus. We were going down the road and we stopped, and I was sitting by the window, and a bus is full of action and noise and everything so I was paying attention inside the bus, and when the bus came to a stop at the intersection I turned around and looked out the window and there was an elephant staring right about me. The big eye of an elephant at the same level as the bus window looking right at me, and it was such a shock to me that, you know, you're in the middle of a big city in India and you're one a crowded bus and you turn around and look outside, and there's this big elephant looking at you. Well, you expect to see that in the zoo, but not out in the streets so I must say it was very weird and wonderful experience.

Mike: Did you strike up a conversation with the elephant?

Jeff: Actually, there was a man sitting on top of the elephant, so I had a quick chat with him and then the bus went on and we left the elephant and that was it.

And you have --- India you have cows in the streets, and you have donkeys, and you have dogs and cats. It's a very animal friendly place, and I knew that they had elephants, but I hadn't seen one at that point in the street, so, and I expected to see one my first time from a distance. I didn't expect to be eye-to-eye with one the first time I saw one, and elephants have quite big eyes.

Mike: I heard that.

Jeff: So, but it was a very good and elephants are lovely animals.

Mike: You didn't poke him in the eye?

Jeff: I didn't poke him in the eye

Mike: That's a good thing. Fantastic.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

an emotional roller coaster


The trip was an emotional roller coaster.

A roller coaster is a ride that goes up and down and makes people feel joy and fear. When an experience is an emotional roller coaster, that means it has many good points and many bad points. Notice the following:

  1. Raising a child can be an emotional roller coaster.
  2. The planning of the wedding was an emotional roller coaster.



It was a old rickety bus.

Something that is rickety is in poor condition and likely to break down. Notice the following:

  1. I am scared to take that rickety elevator.
  2. He rides an old rickety bike that barely moves.

strike up a conversation


Did you strike up a conversation?

When you strike up a conversation, that means you start a conversation with someone, often a person you just met.

  1. I like to strike up conversations with people at the mall.
  2. She hates it when people on planes try to strike up a conversation with her.

quick chat


I had a quick chat.

A quick chat is a short conversation. Notice the following:

  1. I have a quick chat with Bob about the meeting tomorrow.
  2. If you have time, can I have a quick chat with you.

at that point


I had not seen one at that point.

The phrase 'at that point' is a time reference meaning 'then" or "at that time'. Notice the following:

  1. I got home at midnight, and at that point I just wanted to sleep.
  2. We got there in the third period, but at that point the game was over.

Vocabulary Quiz

roller coaster • rickety • strike up
at that point • chat
  1. I had a with him after lunch.
  2. It was a of a day. Up and down.
  3. A stranger tried to a conversation on the bus.
  4. The car was , but it still ran.
  5. I was late again, and , I knew I was going to be fired.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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