SCENE 1: Strasbourg: Catherina and Petro are in Petro's apartment. They are discussing his plans for his trip to Geneva. In Catherina's presence, Petro listens to the messages on his telephone answering machine.
We hear a message recorded by Alicia, his secretary, who reveals to him that she authorized that everything be taken from his office because of his obligation to go to Geneva for his work. She informs Petro that she will go directly to Geneva to work with him at the end of her vacation.
Petro does not seem very enthusiastic about his transfer to Geneva. He invites Catherina (who finds the situation a bit funny) to have dinner with him, but she does not accept the invitation because she has a lot to do.
Petro: We'll be arriving soon. There is my apartment, over there. Let's go. Come on in.
Petro: Follow me, please.
Catherina: This is a very nice room.
Petro: Yes. It isn't bad. Would you like something to drink?
Catherina: No. I'm fine, thanks. I will be having to leave before long. I've got a lot to do.
Petro: And you're going to Geneva tomorrow.
Petro: And me, I'm going Sunday, and we will see each other Sunday afternoon or Monday morning.
Catherina: Yes, exactly. I could telephone you shortly after you get to your office.
Petro: That would be a little early, but .... That wouldn't bother you in any way?
Catherina: Not at all. What is this?
Petro: A telephone answering machine.
Catherina: Something like that can be very useful.
Petro: Yes. I'm not in my apartment all that often.
(Peter presses a button on the machine to hear his messages.)
Alicia: It's me, Alice. Where were you yesterday afternoon? I called you up three times.
Catherina: Who's that?
Petro: Alicia, my secretary.
Catherina: She isn't here right now?
Petro: No, she is on vacation.
Alicia: Finally, you've returned to your apartment. I've got some news for you. You're gonna leave for Geneva very soon. A letter arrived here from Paris a week ago. They wanted to know if you would be interested in the position in Geneva. I told them that you were interested in the job and wrote them a confirmation letter for you.
Petro: Thanks a lot!
Alicia: You're gonna need a secretary in Geneva. Don't worry. I'm not gonna abandon you. I will be going there to work for you very soon, after my vacation.
Petro: She really thinks of everything!
Alicia: Your boss in Geneva will be a woman, Catherina De Sanctis. She's young ... and very attractive, it seems to me.
Catherina: I think your secrtary's very nice!
Alicia: There's something else: Marc Reval needs you office. Tomorrow they're gonna move out all your things. It will be necessary for you to find another office until the end of the week. I said that everything was okay because soon you would be going to Geneva.
Petro: That woman's trying to plan my life as if whe were my mother!
Alicia: That's everything. I'm gonna go out to take in the sun. You're gonna need me, I know, but we will be seeing each other very shortly. I'm gonna send you a post card.
Catherina: Good. She's explained to you everything I wanted to say to you.
Catherina: Everything has now been explained.
Petro: Completely. Everything is on my answering machine.
Catherina: Fine. I'm now gonna go away. We don't have anything to discuss right now, it seems to me.
Petro: Yes. You're right. Listen. Where are you going to eat? Do you want to go out to eat with me?
Catherina: No, thanks. I don't believe I want to do that. I've got many things to do.
Petro: Fine. Then we will see each other next week.
Catherina: Yes. That's the way things are. See you next week.
Petro: I'll walk with you out of the building.
Catherina: No. Don't do that. Alicia perhaps is gonna call you up. And you weren't here the last time she called you.
EXERCISE 2: Listening to a message.
Guide: Good. Petro now knows where he is going and why. His secretary, this Alicia, seems rather authoritarian. Let's listen to another answering-machine message.
Martina: Petro, this is Martina. Martina Barrate. Listen, my car has broken down. It is in the garage. I don't know the cause of the problem, but I won't be able to get it back today. So could you give me a lift to the office in your car tomorrow morning? I can't use Eric's car because he needs it. Could I go with you? I will be here all evening if you want to call me up.
A woman: Where does she want to go?
A man: To the office, to work.
A woman: When? At what time?
A man: Tomorrow in the morning.
A woman: Will she use her own car to go to the office?
A man: No. Her automobile is in the garage. She wants Peter to give her a lift there.
Guide: I understand. Finally, I suppose that all this will become easier, with time.
SCENE 2: Strasbourg, in the offices of Marex Mundial: In this scene Petro is talking to the service chief. He tells him that soon he will be going to Geneva. It seems that Bernardo, the chief, already knew this, and he becomes irritated because of Petro's apparently casual attitude about his departure and the problems it will cause everyone in the department.
He becomes especially irritated when Petro asks his help in his search for his precious coffee maker. He expresses his irritation rather strongly, and Petro rapidly goes away, expressing that he understands why the chief is a bit irritated.
Petro: Can I see you a moment?
Petro: I'm going to start soon on a new project. I know that I have not been able to give you my notification before, but ...
Bernardo: I know. You're going to Geneva.
Petro: Ah, you already knew that?
Bernardo: Yes. You are leaving very soon, aren't you?
Petro: Yes, very soon.
Bernardo: At the end of the week?
Petro: Exactly. I'm flying there tomorrow.
Bernardo: This seems a little sudden to me.
Petro: Yes, yes, I know, and also for me.
Bernardo: Henrique is gonna be alone.
Bernardo: He's gonna have to do all the work completely alone.
Petro: Oh, I'm confident that he will be able to do it rather easily.
Bernardo: You really think so?
Petro: Yes. Fortunately, he does not have much work right now. Everything is very calm.
Bernardo: Happily for us!
Petro: Yes. I know that this is really difficult for you.
Bernardo: Yes, but ...
Petro: Bernardo, I would like to ask a favor of you.
Petro: Yesterday someone took away all the things in my office, and I have lost something. It is something that is mine personally.
Bernardo: Oh yes? What?
Petro: A coffee maker. Someone no doubt thought it was company property, but it is mine. The problem is that I can't find it, and ...
Bernardo: A coffee maker?
Petro: Yes. A brown coffee maker. Electric. I bought it only a month ago.
Bernardo: Look, Petro. I'm sorry about this, but I find that you are exaggerating the importance of all this a little bit. You tell me that you are going to Geneva in four days. Your departure is causing a lot of inconvenience for Henrique and the service. This is also causing me big problems. And our clients? What are they going to think about all this? Really, Petro, I don't think that this is very important. And I'm sorry, but I don't have any time to lose for a coffee maker, even if it is new.
Petro: Certainly. I understand. See you later. (To himself) The chief isn't in a very good mood today.
EXERCISE 2: Dates and the time of day.
Guide: If I understand correctly, Peter's boss is rather irritated because of his trip to Geneva. He has talked about too short a delay, it seems to me.
First man: Ask him when it is gonna start.
A woman: When is it gonna start?
Second man: It starts Monday. Ask him which Monday.
A woman: Which Monday?
First man: Next Monday. Ask him how many days that is?
A woman: How many days is that?
Second man: That is only six days. Today is Tuesday.
A woman: That is a rather short delay.
A man: I know. That is a very short delay.
A woman: I need more time.
A man: It starts Monday. We have only a week.
A woman: What day is today? What was the day yesterday? Yesterday it was Monday. So today is ...
A man: Tuesday.
A woman: That means that tomorrow the day will be ...
A man: Wednesday.
A woman: And the day after tomorrow will be ...
A man: Friday.
A woman: In four days the day will be ...
A man: Sunday.
A woman: That means then that in six days the day will be ...
A man: Monday once again.
A woman: I need more time.
A man: We don't have the time.
A woman: I need another week.
A man: The congress is gonna start next week.
A woman: And it is going to continue next week.
Guide: Good. Catherina had to go by plane to Switzerland today. I'm wondering if she has already arrived in Geneva.