Towns and Places

People live in different places during their lives. They move from place to place for jobs,
studies, marriage, traveling, or other reasons.

Some people live in one place all their lives. One of the most important places in our lives
is our birthplace.

Birthplace

  • It is the place where we were born.
  • The name of our birthplace is written on our birth certificate, ID card, and passport.

Another really important place for everyone is a hometown.

Hometown

It is the place connected:

  • with the happiest memories from our childhood,
  • with our parents and siblings,
  • with our extended families, close friends, and first boyfriend/girlfriend,
  • with school and work.

We are strongly tied to this place.
For many people, “Home is not a place; it is people.”

Very often, we can hear the well-known proverbs:

  • East or west, home is best.
  • There is no place like home.
  • Home, sweet home.

QUESTION TIME
Part 1

  1. What are common reasons for people moving homes?
  2. Give a definition of BIRTHPLACE.
  3. What does HOMETOWN mean for most people?

CITY LIFE & COUNTRY LIFE

Living in towns and cities

Living in towns and cities has both advantages and disadvantages.

Pros (On the one hand):

  • There’s always a lot to do and see; you are never bored.
  • There are many job opportunities, making it easier to find employment.
  • Better schooling possibilities, with a variety of kindergartens, primary schools,
    secondary schools, and universities.
  • Rich cultural and social life with concerts, operas, theatre performances, art exhibitions, libraries, museums, and more.
  • Many playgrounds with jungle gyms, seesaws, slides, swings, sandboxes,
    benches, climbing walls, etc.
  • A lot of sports facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, stadiums, ice rinks, and others.
  • Numerous shopping malls where one can buy various goods under one roof.
  • Hospitals where you can get medical help.
  • Good public transportation options, such as buses, trains, airports, subways, taxis, and car rentals.
  • Availability of catering, accommodation, and nightlife facilities like restaurants, hotels, hostels, guest houses, nightclubs, and discos.
  • Other essential facilities such as job centers, law courts, police stations, City Hall, skyscrapers, factories, etc.
  • You get a lot of privacy.

Cons (On the other hand):

  • City inhabitants live in a: bustling, overcrowded, and hectic place.
  • The air is often polluted by fumes from factories and cars.
  • There is a high rate of crime caused by pickpockets, shoplifters, burglars, and
    drug dealers (it is not an ideal place to raise children).
  • Homelessness is another big problem.
  • There are traffic jams and problems with parking places.
  • The cost of living is high.

QUESTION TIME
Part 2

  1. What are the benefits of living in towns?
  2. What are playgrounds equipped with?
  3. Name some cultural events that people can participate in.
  4. Name some drawbacks of living in cities.
  5. Would you prefer living in the downtown or in the suburbs? Explain your choice.
  6. Where do you think the most dangerous places are in the world? Why?

LIVING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

Living in the countryside has its unique advantages and disadvantages.

Some of the best aspects of rural living include:

  • Peace and Quiet: Life in the countryside is quieter and more relaxed.
  • Clean Air and Less Pollution: The air in the countryside is really clean and fresh, and there’s less pollution than in cities.
  • Lovely Scenery: In the countryside, there are beautiful views that connect you to nature.
  • More space: In the countryside, there’s more space, so you feel freer and can
    move around more.
  • Doing activities like having picnics or picking mushrooms and fruits in the forest is simple and doesn’t require going far.
  • Less crime and vandalism: Rural areas experience lower levels of crime and vandalism. Community is important; people know each other.
  • Lower Cost of Living

In the countryside, people often spend time in their big gardens, doing things like:

  • Growing vegetables and fruit,
  • planting and watering flowers,
  • weeding flowerbeds,
  • trimming tree branches,
  • mowing the lawn,
  • maintaining hedges,
  • building greenhouses,
  • constructing summerhouses or gazebos for relaxation.

However, there are some downsides to / disadvantages of living in the country:

  • Not many things to do for fun: Some people say there isn’t a lot to do or see, but different people have different opinions.
  • Not many nighttime activities: Life in the countryside might seem slow because
    there aren’t many things to do at night.
  • Limited public transport: It’s harder to get around by bus or train in the countryside compared to cities.
  • There aren’t many stores close by, and it might be hard to get to a hospital.
  • Not much privacy: everyone knows each other well so you may not have enough
    privacy

QUESTION TIME
Part 3

  1. What are the best things about living in the countryside?
  2. In the country, with big gardens, what activities can people do there?
  3. What are the worst things about living in the country?
  4. Where do you live? What makes the place where you live special for you?

Buying a house/flat

Currently it is not easy to buy own flat or a house. The prices of property are extremely high. It is impossible for a young family to buy a flat without their parent´s help or a mortgage. They have to pay it off in regular monthly instalments. Some houses are shared by two families (grandparents, their children and grandchildren). They often take out a loan for the reconstruction of the house or the flat. These days living in rented flats and houses is becoming quite normal especially for younger families.

USEFUL PHRASES AND EXPRESSIONS ON HOLIDAYS

  • Do you have any vacancies / available rooms?
  • I would like a single room.
  • How long are you planning/going to stay?
  • Sorry, we are full up.
  • Can you put us up for the night?
  • I would like full board.
  • I would like half board.
  • Please fill in this form.
  • How much is a single room at this hotel?
  • My luggage is heavy/light.

QUESTION TIME
Part 4

  1. What possibilities do young people currently have for living?
  2. Where is the best place you have ever been?
  3. What town or place in the world would you like to visit one day? Why?

Related topics:

  • Travelling + Holidays
  • Favorite places to go: Slovakia (castles, caves, spas, Bratislava), London, New York, etc.
  • Housing (types of houses, etc.)

Vocabulary

1. cost of living [kɑst ʌv ˈlɪvɪŋ] skživotné náklady
2. living standard [ˈlɪvɪŋ ˈstændərd] skživotná úroveň
3. birthplace [ˈbɜrθˌpleɪs] skmiesto narodenia
4. hometown [ˈhoʊmˌtaʊn] skrodné mesto
5. homeland [ˈhoʊmˌlænd] skvlasť, domovina
6. heritage [ˈhɛrətəʤ] skdedičstvo
7. countryside [ˈkʌntriˌsaɪd] skvidiek
8. facilities [fəˈsɪlətiz] / amenities [əˈmɛnətiz] skzariadenia, možnosti a vybavenie v mestách
9. urban [ˈɜrbən] skmestský
10. rural [ˈrʊrəl] skvidiecky
11. uninhabited [ˌʌnɪnˈhæbətɪd] skneobývaný
12. valley [ˈvæli] skúdolie
13. district [ˈdɪstrɪkt] skokres
14. province [ˈprɑvəns] skkraj
15. density [ˈdɛnsəti] skhustota
16. densely populated [ˈdɛnsli ˈpɑpjəˌleɪtəd] skhusto osídlený
17. path [pæθ] skcestička, chodníček
18. pavement [ˈpeɪvmənt] / sidewalk [ˈsaɪˌdwɔk] skchodník
19. pedestrian [pəˈdɛstriən] skchodec

towns and places - valley
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