Teacher Luke: One Man. One Car. One Destination. *Transcript now available*
In this episode you join me in a BMW Mini as I attempt to drive across Paris, through some of Europe’s busiest streets, on a very hot July afternoon. My mission is to deliver the car to a car-park while avoiding angry Parisian drivers, pedestrians with prams, and buses full of Japanese tourists. The ultimate goal – a glass of cold beer on the terrace of a cafe, and to save the world through another episode of Luke’s English Podcast, of course. Do I manage to complete my mission? And what driving-related vocabulary can you learn during this episode? Listen, and you will find out…
Transcript: Hello everybody, welcome to Luke’s English Podcast. In this episode, I’m actually in a car. I’m driving across Paris and you’re going to join me. You might be thinking; “Why are you driving across Paris, Luke?” and more importantly “Why are you recording another episode of Luke’s English Podcast while you’re doing it?” Well, to put this into some context, this afternoon, I actually had the afternoon off and I was going to record a podcast in the flat. But my plans were interrupted by a friend who was kind of in a bit of an emergency and my friend basically needed me to help drive some documents across town. So, I’ve already done that. I’ve rented a car, using Hertz Rental Car, which is pretty cool.
Because what happens is you sign up for it on the internet and then you look for available cars in your local area. And then once you’ve located one, you book it. And when you become a member, they give you a key, like an electronic key. You go and find the car, which is parked in car park. And you use the electronic key to access the car, you can kind of climb inside it, well, you don’t climb in, you just get in, to be honest. You get inside, and the car is yours for a certain of time. So, I’ve done that. I’ve delivered the documents. Because I’m such a great friend and generally good person. Now, I have to take the car from one side of Paris back to the car park on the other side. And I thought why not try and kill two birds with one stone and record an episode of Luke’s English Podcast while I’m doing it. It’s extremely beautifully sunny day and it’s also extremely hot. I’m sitting here in the car with the windows closed, and it is boiling, it’s absolutely boiling. I’m pouring sweat. I’m probably the sweatiest man in Paris, well, certainly, the sweatiest man in this car. Because I’m alone in the car. So, it’s just to give you a bit of detail. While I’m going, you will hear some Satnav sounds. Unfortunately, the Satnav is in French. Not that French is a bad language at all, it’s a beautiful language. But, I would love for you to be able to hear Satnav speaking English, but it’s going to be in French. I call the Satnav Sally, Sally Satnav. Sally Satnav will be speaking French to you. But I’m going to try translate what she’s saying. I’m going to see if I can. I mean, I might not understand it. And also, during the journey, I’ll just try explain what’s going on. Maybe even teach you some vocabulary of the car on the way. Driving in Paris is a pretty stressful experience for me. Because, well, it’s very busy city and sort of complicated with driving on the other side of the road. I’m using manual shift car, so the gear stick is on the right, normally for me it’s on the left. I’m sitting on the left side of the car when I normally sit on the right side of the car. So, yeah, it’s pretty complicated. Now, I’m just trying to start the car. I mean, Mini, one of these cool new Minis, not that new, but it’s compared to the old versions from back in the day. This is the BMW Mini. And it’s got like quite cool starting system, which has …. engine. I’m going to put the windows down, but it might be a little bit noisy. I’m wearing a headset, so hopefully that’ll cancel out some of the noise. Let’s see. Now, I need to program the Satnav. Let’s roll the windows down. You probably hear some street noise. But I need the windows open, because it’s so goddamn hot today. I would use the air-conditioning, but I don’t know how it works. OK. Because I’m English. I don’t use air-conditioning usually, so I’m not used to operating it. So, instead windows are open, I’m going to do it old-school. Right, now, where am I going? I need to check my phone. Obviously, my primary concern while doing this is to be able to drive without crashing, OK. So, if I pause while speaking, it’s because I’m trying to deal with some aspect of the journey. Right now, I’m just looking for the address on my phone so that I can enter it into the Satnav system. “An address” There it is. OK Sally Satnav. Let’s go.
Except the destination, she’s going to speak French to me now. Ready? OK, what I’ve got from Sally is basically turn left. I had to turn left at some point. Radio is playing, I don’t want that. Let me see if I can turn the radio off. ….. option menu. It’s got a cool option menu I have here. I don’t know if you can hear Sally Satnav. But I care that the radio’s off. OK, cool. But I don’t know if you can hear Sally talking to me. But she’s got quite nice voice. Umm, right. Let’s get started.
So, let’s see. The car’s on. I’ve got my hand on the hand brake on my right. I’m in the first gear. And I’m going to get moving, so I just lift the handbrake up. I’ve got the clutch. My left foot is on the clutch. I’ve put myself on the first gear. Handbrake is down. There’s woman crossing right in front of me. Don’t worry about me love. She can’t probably hear me. But she might not be able to understand in fluent English. If she listens to Luke’s English Podcast… you should have no problems. Right. Here we go. I’m going. We’re driving, we’re moving. OK. Now, I might use some rude language in this episode. “Take the first… the next route on the left… the next turning on the left” OK. I’m taking the next turning on the left Sally. I might start swearing, getting very angry. Because I’ve learnt in Paris that the general sort of mood while driving is high energy, aggressive and frustrated sort of feeling. So, if you start hearing me shouting –OK, GO- screaming at the other drivers. Don’t be alarmed. That’s normal. “Take the first exit” OK, Sally. I’m going to take the first exit. Here we go. It’s actually it’s beautiful around here while I’m driving. I’m just driving… it’s not, you know, my route. OK “Take, turn right in a hundred meters” So, I’m driving from sort of basically “Take the first route on the right, OK, take the first turning on the right” I’m driving from sort of the nineth ………….., which is near Mamatra. I’ve just stopped the wheel on the right bank of the river. I’m going to drive all way through down to, where am I going?, that’s right, I’m driving down over the river to Capa, which is the near the Jardin du Luxembourg. So, driving roughly north to south, and, so I’m going to be taking into the nice sights, I might drive through “A Park”, which is the famous park of Paris, one of the famous parks. You can see the Eiffel Tower and the various other monuments from there. And as I said, it’s a beautiful day. Let’s just hope I don’t kill any pedestrians. Because in Paris, the pedestrians seem to just decide to walk in front of the cars whenever they like. And, it’s up to you. And just try and avoid hitting them. OK. “Take the next route on the right” Alright Sally, that’s what I’m going to do. So, this Rover Mini that I’m driving is pretty cool. It’s a really nice car. It’s got some good acceleration to it. It’s perfect for driving around a city like Paris. Because if you need to just sort of suddenly accelerate it or take a truck or something, then you can. And it’s quite cool, it’s quite stylish. I’m proud to be driving around in a Mini, in new Mini. ….. .Ahh Paris, the place is full of well-dressed people, beautiful people, very glamorous environment. And here I am, Mr. Bean, driving a Mini around Paris. I think that was “Turn left in like some meters in ‘French Number’ meters”. I think it was 150 meters or something. Yeah, here you’re learning a bit of French here as well ladies and gentlemen while listening to Luke’s English Podcast, it’s a multicultural podcast. I imagine, I’m, I’ve just stopped the car in traffic and there’s a guy standing about 3 meters away, who can probably hear me talking about it. He’s looking very cool, dressed in a suit, smoking a cigarette, trying not to look bothered that I’m talking about him. He’s just a cool, one of many cool Parisians. You gotta be careful in the city when… because of all the scooters. There’s lots of people riding scooters and they’re just completely crazy, they’re insane. They will weave in and out of traffic, they’ll do anything just to get from A to B. They risk their own lives, and the lives that everyone around them. So before you turn left or right, you gotta make sure you don’t hit a scooter. Goodness me! Alright. It’s very busy. There’s lots of traffic and lots of people walking in front of me, lots of tourist busses full of Japanese people, parents pushing prams across the street. I gotta concentrate ladies and gentlemen. I’m going to make sure I don’t have some sort of horrible accident. I’ve got insurance but still you gotta be careful. Umm, can I do this? So, I’m always concerned that, I’m not, I’m doing something illegal when I’m driving in Paris. I don’t know if I can drive down here, but I’m going to do it anyway. “Take the next route on the left” Alright Sally. I’ll do that. You just tell me what to do and I’ll do it. I can’t turn left Sally, I can’t turn left. You give me false information. OK. This’s a pedestrian looking at me strangely. He’s probably thinking “That guy is just talking to himself. Ohh, it’s Luke from Luke’s English Podcast. Fine, just carry on” He’s still looking at me, he’s probably thinking “I know him and I know his voice. Ohhh, it’s Luke. Heeey. Luke from Luke’s English Podcast, how you doing?” There’re no lights in this junction. So, I’m going to have to just, I’m just going to have to go for it. OK. Here we go. Watch out Paris, I’m coming. Alright. Ohh, damn! I took a wrong turn. Sally’s going to have to recalculate, come on Sally, tell me what to do. Alright. “Take a big turn on the left” Here we go. “Take a next route on the right” There’s lots of amazingly attractive ladies in cafes. I can’t turn right here Sally, why do you keep telling me to turn right? I can’t. Umm, I’ll just turn left here, and you can give another bad direction. This could wind up being a very very long-winded episode where you listen to me getting lost in Paris while a computer shouts at me in French. I think that might be what happens unless I have some sort of horrible accident while recording it. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen ladies and gentlemen. OK. It seems I’m not going in completely the wrong direction. But I’m sure that Sally’s going to save me. She made me… She tries to tell me to turn left or on a one-way street. Sorry Sally. I’m, you know, I’m not prepared to break the law even if she tells me to do it. So, you’re going to have to just recalculate your route, bear in mind all of the various traffic regulations which apply on the street of Paris. OK Sally. She’s gone quite. She doesn’t want to talk to me. Because she’s probably thinking “OK why did he …………… when I telled him to.” That’s Sally speaking with a French accent. Right. I’m turning right here. OK. Turning right. Sometimes in Paris, well quite a lot in Paris, other drivers beep you. You know, “Beep beep!” beep you. I don’t why they’re doing it, because sometimes they beep to say “Hi!”, sometimes they beep to say “You’re an idiot!”, sometimes they beep just to say “Go!”. You know, I don’t know which one it is. What does this beep really mean? Does it mean they’re angry or not? You know, I get stressed by all the beeping. I don’t beep personally. I just don’t believe in beeping. I believe in just driving well and not beeping other drivers. Come on Sally, tell me what I’m doing. I might have to pause this until I know where I am. OK. She’s telling to go back where I just went. No. Ohh shit! OK then Sally, I’ll do whatever you tell me to do, just get me to the place I want to go to. Just get me to the car park Sally. OK. Quite streets. I’m stopped at some traffic lights. Let me tell about the car. Let me give you some vocab listeners. OK. So, vocab is, what I’m holding, what I’ve got in front of me, the wheel. Is that a red light or green light, I don’t know, I can’t see. Green! Go go Luke, Go! The thing that I’m turning in order to control the direction of the car, that’s the steering wheel, folks. The steering wheel. Turning the steering wheel to go left and right. “Sally speaking in French” What? I think that’s basically just left in some way. Just turn left on some point. And, so, the steering wheel is what I’m using to control the car to go left and right. Left, OK, on the second road on the left. OK. The steering wheel to turn left and right. The gear stick to control the gears. Hold on listeners. I need to drive into oncoming traffic again. OH yeah yeah. Pedestrian just gave me a bad look. And another pedestrian gave me a bad look. Because I stopped on a zebra crossing, which I shouldn’t be. It’s a red light. I’ve stopped on a zebra crossing. So, all the pedestrians are now looking at me like I’m some kind of cretin who doesn’t deserve a driver license. Alright. OK. Steering wheel. Gear stick to control the gear. Gear stick. First gear, second gear, third gear, fourth gear, fifth gear, sixth gear sometimes and reverse gear, of course. Handbrake, I’ve already mentioned that. That’s the way you can sort of… how you stop the car when you’re on a hill, or you park, you pull the handbrake up. Sometimes, if you’re on a Hollywood movie and you need to like turn the car around very quickly, you might pull the handbrake and do the handbrake turn. It’s very dramatic and exciting. But I’m not going to be doing it today, folks, no! I’m going to try drive safely. As you should, too. What’s going on? There’s a massive bus turning in front of me. OK. I need to turn left there. Is that possible? Is that possible can I turn left there? Well, I’m going to try. Is that actually possible? I don’t think that’s possible. I’m not doing… ohh I’m stuck. No I can’t turn left there. Reversing. OK. I’m a good driver. You have to trust me on that. Sorry Sally. I disobeyed you again. She keeps telling me to places where I can’t go. OK, alright. I’m sure we can turn left up there. “Turn left in about 200 meters” Alright. I’ll do that. OK. Right. So, the pedals on the floor to… “Sally speaking in French” OK Sally. I’m going to turn the volume down on you a little bit now, OK? You’re probably listening to this, it’s probably quite stressful experience listening to this, isn’t it? But I’m just giving you the first-hand experience of what it really is like to drive a car in a European capital city. It’s exciting. It’s like an adrenaline store or something. OK. Turning left Sally, just like you told me to. Alright. I didn’t get distracted by all of the various amazing distractions that there are. Walking around the streets of Paris, if you what I mean. So, the pedals on floor, the one on the furthest right is the accelerator pedal or the throttle, which is the accelerator. (I DON’T GET THİS PART) which is probably why you can hear the sound of the wheels underneath me. The accelerator pedal, the brake pedal on the middle and the clutch on the left. OK. I’ve got some switches behind the steering wheel. You can hear the indicator switch, which sounds like this: “Indicator sound” Yeah. This’s the indicators, they indicate left and right. And I’ve also got things like headlights, and stuff like that. I’ve got speedometer in front of me, I’ve got a full gauge, rev counter which tells me how I’m revving the engine. OK. “Sally speaking in French” Didn’t catch that Sally, sorry. Don’t do it pedestrians, don’t jump in front of the car. It’s not worth it. Just generally turn right, I think that was. I need to be in the right hand lane. Is that ….. going to let me in? Come on ….., let me in, let me in to the right lane. I’m nice. I’ll teach you some English if you let me into that lane. Right. Good, he’s let me in. Thanks mate. Merci Beaucoup. I’m terrible at pronouncing Beaucoup. If you’re French, you probably have identified that. OK. Good I’m going in the right direction, the light is green. Come on Renault Frigo in front of me. OK good. Life’s beautiful. Ohh, that’s what I’d like to see. Nice long open road. There’s a cyclist that came out of nowhere. OK. I’ve got a nice view of La Madeleine in front of me, which is one of the landmarks here in Paris. “Take the fi… the next road on the right” OK then. I’m trying to turn the volume down on Sally. But she won’t be quite. That’s fine. So, I just think to drive around the La Madeleine, which is I think some sort of… it’s like a big whole or maybe cathedral church. I’m not sure but it’s very impressive building with big columns in front of it. So, it’s like a sort of Roman architecture style, large building with big columns and steps in front of it. Yes, those are the bits of the car. We also have the glove compartment on the right in front of the passenger seat, which never contains gloves. They call it the glove compartment, you know, it’s like a little box that little storage cupboard thing in front of the passenger seat. I don’t know why they… I know why they call it the glove compartment. It’s because traditionally. That’s where you keep gloves. I’ve never ever seen a pair of glove in the glove compartment. Usually, it’s just like an old map or -“Sally interrupts” OK Sally- an old map or some boiled sweets or something like that. Never, never any gloves in the glove compartment. “Take the left and an immediate right” OK. See, you can, you’re learning some French but also hopefully learning English. “Take the sort of next left and immediate right” OK, God! Come on Luke, hold it together. What else? There’s the horn, which makes the car go “Beep beep beep” this’s the horn. The seatbelt, which can obviously save your life if you have a crash. Hopefully, that’ll never happen. You also have mirrors, don’t you? Mirrors, what you can, which allow you to see behind you. You’ve got the wind mirrors on the left and the right. And then you have the rear view mirror. OK. I’ve gotta turn left there. Bear with me listeners! Because, as I said before, I’m just concentrating on driving, so I can’t talk clearly all the time. I hope you find it interesting and useful. I suddenly do, I realise there’re periods of silence. In those moments of silence, you can just imagine that I’m looking around me and trying not to sort of crash into a French person’s car. Because if you do that, or a Parisian person’s car, if you do that, then you just going to get involved in some sort of big arguments in French as well. I’m not really ready to argue in French yet. So I’m going to avoid that if possible. I’m dreaming folks, I’m dreaming of the moment when I finally drop this car off at the car park. And then I can just go and get a cold beer somewhere. Ohh GOD! Honestly, I’ve never wanted beer more in my life, I think, than I do now. It’s so hot. This’s so stressful. I can wait to just have a beer or two, and just to calm myself down. OK. Luckily, I don’t have to drive around the “A place”, which is one of the world’s famous spot for driving. It’s very difficult. I think, to be honest, if you can drive around “A place” in a car and survive, you should be given a driver license for life. I think that’s the only test that you need. I think if I can drive around “A place” and survive without damaging the car or injuring someone, then I should be given just some massive cash price by the government of France, François Hollande, the president of France should give me a donation as a way of saying “Well done Luke, you survived, you did that, congratulations, here’s some money as a reward” OK, I’m now heading towards La Place De La Concorde which, as I mentioned before, is a famous place in Paris, it’s a beautiful place. I don’t know enough about it now to be able to give you full explanation of what I can see. But I can see, there’s large Egyptian obelisk where the gold tip, it looks fantastic. I’ve got similar one in London. It doesn’t have a golden tip and the whole area is very open. It’s difficult to drive through. OK. I just pause sometimes, then I can edit, then it’ll be alright. Everything’s okay. Normally, on La Place De La Concorde, there’s… there’re no lanes, no lines painted on the ground, which means that it’s sort of chaos, cars are all going in different directions. Without lanes printed on the ground, it’s very difficult to keep any sense of discipline while driving with lots of other cars in the street. You need lanes, so that you know, the traffic is ordered. But when there’re no lanes, it’s just chaos and it’s really confusing and really stressful. And you end up with people just driving wherever they want to go, they drive in front of you. Some people just drive like… I’ve seen it before while driving on La Place De La Concorde where the main flow of traffic is going in the one direction, and just one idiot is driving all the way across everyone else just because he missed his turning. I realise that I sound, I sound a bit like my dad or something. That reminds me of when I was a kid. And I would be in the passenger seat. And my dad would be driving through traffic in London or something. And he would be complaining about other drivers and generally sort of… complaining about the way that there aren’t enough …… or the fact that other drivers don’t respect the lanes that’re marked on the ground. And I now… I think I may have become my dad at this point. Driving through difficult traffic while talking, I’ve just become my dad, haven’t I? It’s finally happened. Dad, if you’re listening to this, I understand how it was now. I understand how you felt when you were driving through traffic all those times. Now I understand what it is. I know what it means to be a man. It’s like a rite of passage, a coming of age, this experience driving through heavy traffic in hot weather. You learn how to be a man in this situation. It’s painful, it’s stressful but ultimately you learn important life lessons. You are never the same again, it changes you, this experience, driving in these conditions. You feel scarred, like emotionally scarred, just caused by the trauma of driving in these conditions, but ultimately I’m stronger. But hopefully I will be stronger when this’s over if I make it. If I make it to the car park. Are you with me listeners? I’m going to make it right. I’m going to make it to the car park if it’s the last goddamn thing I do, ladies and gentlemen and you’re going to come with me. Wish me luck with the driving into the heart of darkness here in Paris, driving through one of the busiest parts of the city on one of the hottest days of the year. I’m trying to make this more dramatic, you know, I’m trying to raise the tension to make it exciting to give you the sense of drama, to give you a storyline, you know, “ONE MAN, ONE CAR, ONE CAR PARK!” God! The traffic here is nightmare. There’s people driving, the folk’s in Polo pushing in front of me, there’s a Citroen Xsara pushing in front of me, there’s Nissan pushing in front of me. I’m being squeezed into a tiny space. There’s a woman in a Daewoo Matiz, “GO ON, GO ON!”, the woman in the Daewoo Matiz is trying to squeeze through. I’m being ….. from behind, I don’t know why. OK. There’s tourist walking in front of the car. This is madness. OK. Driving towards Assemblée Nationale, which is another famous landmark here in Paris. Surrounded by cars. There’s a big ….. truck on the right-hand side of me with lots of stuff on the… in the back like ladders and scaffolding equipments, there’s a big wide van coming up pass me here. A green Daewoo Matiz in front of me, I mentioned earlier, right behind me I have Peugeot, silver Peugeot. These are my companions on this journey. They cross the La Place De La Concorde. Let’s see who makes it cross in one piece. I’m actually driving over La Siene. I’m driving over the River Siene. Here I’ve got a joke for you, listeners. Alright. I’m going to tell you a joke. Did you hear about the man in Paris who lost his mind and decided to commit suicide by jumping into the river? Alright. Did you hear about the man who lost his mind and committed suicide by jumping into a river? He literally went in Seine (insane). Did you get it? Did you get it, ladies and gentlemen? Insane. He went into the River Seine, that’s the name of the River in Paris. He went insane, meaning he went mad. But he also jumps into the river. He literally went in Seine. Thanks Sally, thanks for that. Did you get it? It’s a brilliant joke, isn’t it? I forgive you if you don’t laugh at that, because the conditions aren’t really right. These aren’t really the ideal conditions for humour. Not that I’m going to let that stop me trying you make you laugh, but I realise that these stressful situations aren’t really conducive to sort of lay it back joke-telling situation. Who knows, though? Maybe it’s just the stress of the situation in the kind of Gallo’s Humor, the darkness of the situation, it’s not that dark, the darkness of the situation maybe emphasizes the sort of bizarre ……. joke like that in these situations. Maybe, you’re all listening to this just laughing or maybe you’re listening to this thinking “What’s going on? What’s he doing?” “Not only is he foolishly attempting to multitask by recording an episode of Luke’s English Podcast while also attempting to drive across Paris” “But he’s trying to make people laugh with bad jokes that no one understands, as well” “Seriously Luke. What are you doing?” OK. I’m turning left, that’s what I’m doing. Turning left. I’m going to make it, I’m going to make it, come on. OK. Yeah. Successful left turn completed. OK. I’m in the right gear, I’m going in the right direction. Checking my mirrors, checking wind mirrors, checking my rear view mirror. There’s big bus that’s turning in front of me. Do not crush into the back of that Luke. OK. Not… not jumping through any red lights, not hitting any scooters, everything’s OK. Good. Alright. So, the windows, the window in front of me, we call it the Windscreen, in front of me, it’s the big window at the front of the car. The windscreen. In America, they call it the windshield, but we call it the windsh… windscreen. Then the other one, it’s just this the windows in the back window. It’s just pragmatic. The front part of the car that you open if you want to look at the engine, it’s called the bonnet. But in America, they call it the, what do they call it?, the hood, hood, but we call it the bonnet. The front of the car is the bumper. That’s the part which’s used to sort of bump other cars. I mean in Paris when you’re parking, people actually do regularly bump into other cars when they’re parking, and in England, we don’t do that. If you touch another car, then you’re in trouble. Because, it’s like an Englishman’s car is his castle, it’s something like that. We’re very precious about other people touching our cars. If someone scratches your car, it makes you very angry. If someone even touches in front of your car when you’re driving, then it’s unacceptable in England. But in France, it seems to pull sort of regularly bump into each other’s car when they park, it’s not a big deal. The space is very limited in this city, so, they squeeze in, they literally squeeze in to any place they find by pushing the bumpers together. They push the bumper of the car in front, push the bumper of the car behind them. All in an attempt to squeeze into the space. Alright. We’re heading in the right direction. There’s something about turning right, I think. “French Word” I don’t know what “French Word” means. There’s a flag, I can see a flag on the Satnav. We’re nearly there. I can’t believe it. I hope that it’s the right destination. I hope it isn’t all some sick joke Sally… Sally Satnav playing on me. It’s like “You English pig dog! You stupid English …… give is a wrong directions _________ Satnav in a taking a turn…………………………….” OK. Sorry about my bad French accent, ladies and gentlemen. If you’re French, then I do apologise. But It’s… I don’t mean anything by… it’s just… just trying to have fun, you know, it’s Monty Python accent. Alright. Luke, do not screw this up at the end of the journey, OK? Alright, I’m going to just stop the car, because this isn’t exactly where I need to be. OK. I’m going to stop the car at the side of the road. That’s a bus stop, I shouldn’t stop there. It’s night buses. There’s tourist there, but they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s a night bus stop, ladies and gentlemen. You’re not going to find a bus there, not until night time. Alright, ladies and gentlemen. I’m just going to be sort of a bit quiet for a minute while I look for the address for the car park. I can edit out this silence, because if you’re listening to this, you’re probably like “I don’t want to listen to Luke’s thinking, it’s not really that interesting unless he describes what he’s thinking” and I can’t do that. So, let’s see. OK. I’m just going to be quiet for a little bit while I look for the address for the car park.
OK. It’s not over yet, ladies and gentlemen, it’s not over yet. Because, I’m on the right road, but I’m still miles away from my destination. So, just when you thought it was safe, I got beeped, I got beeped by a yellow truck. Sorry Mr. Yellow Truck, he’s really angry with me, because I was driving badly. I wasn’t driving very fast enough for him, so he got angry. It’s a post office van, as well. He’s probably got lots of letters to deliver. What he doesn’t need is some stupid Englishman in a Mini recording Luke’s English Podcast. He’s like “I’ve got a job to do here, get out of the way, never mind about your podcast.” I can now see the Tour Montparnasse, which is like a big tower, big modern sort of office building. This’s another one of the landmarks in Paris and I’m driving towards it. It’s a big, sort of, big black imposing-looking building. OK. Here goes, so OK. The flag seems to be at the end of this street. So, if I can just make it to the end of this road, and then find the entrance to the parking, and then find the correct parking spot, then my mission will be complete and I’ll be able to have that nice cold glass of beer. I hope that… I hope you’re following all of this. I’ve given you vocab of the car. I’ve been describing some of the things around me. Let’s see. Let me give you some of the verbs, as well. Obviously, you can steer the car, that’s turn left and right, steer. You can accelerate, that’s go forwards. You can brake, that means to stop. You can change gears, obviously, that means to change gears. Pretty clear, isn’t it? First gear, second gear, third gear, gear and so on. There it is. It’s on the left. I can see it. It gotta be the parking that I’m looking for. I think it is. OK. Because I entered this park… car park from a different street before. OK. I’m going to take it. Is that the entrance? Yes, it is. Come on. Just lots and lots of pedestrians, it’s alright. I realise that you have the right to just walk in front of me like that. I mean, I’m not going to violate you human right, and it’s very important. OK. Right now, to deal with the ticket machine, give me a ticket, please. Thanks very much. The gate’s opened. OK. I’m going to drive into like a dark tunnel, dark underground tunnel. The car park is underground here. This’s when I feel like I’m living in the future. When I’m driving down some sort of modern tunnel designed for a car to drive underground. And now, driving into some sort of an underground bunker. It’s a car park. But I like to imagine it’s some sort of military facility from some kind of PlayStation, computer game. And here we are, we’re in the car park. OK. OK folks. Let me just find the correct parking spot. There’s a parking space which is being reserved for this car. I just need to find it. I think that’s it. Is that it? Maybe that’s not it, no. that’s a reserved spot. Again, I’m going to need to stop the car, and find the relevant parking spot for this vehicle. This is exciting for you, isn’t it, ladies and gentlemen? Now that you’re incredibly riveted by this. It’s parking spot 1007. That is parking spot 1007. But there’s a barrier in the way. Now I think that the barrier is there, because I’ve reserved this spot, and I need to get out and move the barrier. So, I think I’m going to do that. Now, if it’s possible, so, I’m trying to leave the vehicle. There’s a Frenchman, he doesn’t look happy. But that’s kind of normal. Sometimes, I see French people looking at me and they don’t look happy. And I think… not French people, Parisian people is different. I see them looking at me, and they don’t look happy. And I think “What’s the matter? Is it something that I’ve done?” and then I think “I don’t know, it’s just Parisians, it’s just miserable” that’s kind of fed job, isn’t it. They’re meant to be miserable. Now I don’t want to end my booking, so I’m getting out the car to check this barrier thing. Wish me luck. If I’m able to move the barrier, I’ll be able to park the car. My mission will be complete. Can I move the barrier? Ohh fucking card, come on, come on. You won’t let move you? Why not? It appears to be a car, and 1006, 07, 08, 09, 010, 011. There’s a car parks in my place. There’s a big Audi, there’s a German Audi parks in my space. What am I going to do about this? Now, maybe I should call Angela Merkel and say to her: “Listen Angela, one of your citizens is parked in my parking space and I suggest it you sort this out or there’s going to be a massive global… some international conflict is going to be the result of this” If you’re are in Germany and listening to this, I hope you feel deeply deeply ashamed that one of your people has parked in my parking space. Personally, I think it’s really disrespectful. I’m joking of course. I don’t really mind. But it’s annoying that someone’s parked in my parking space. I’m going to pause the podcast, I’m going to try resolve this situation without it escalating into some kind of international conflict. Hopefully, will… Europe… European Union will still be standing by the end of this day and I will be sitting in a café drinking a lovely glass of cold beer. And you will get an episode of Luke’s English Podcast after that. So, I’m going to pause the podcast, I’ll resume in due course.
OK folks, what’s going on? I’ve just lost my phone down the side of the seat. I’m just attempting to get it. Right. I’ve got it. So, now, in fact, the space that was occupied by the German Audi, the Audi with a German number plate, that wasn’t actually my space. That was space 1107. And my space is 1007. So, I found that there’s another car in that. It’s also an Audi. I don’t… I can’t really blame Germany for that, I mean, they have really good cars, in fact. But there’s an Audi in that space, it’s a French, it’s got a French number plate, which’s not surprising really, because we’re in France. That means I can’t park there. So, what I’ve done is I’ve parked opposite that place and I’m going to have to go and try and phone the Hertz people. It’s exciting, isn’t it? It’s the sort of dramatic life I have, and I get involved in complicated driving adventurous, then like the parking space is filled and I have to make phone calls. It’s really exciting. “ONE MAN, ONE CAR, ONE DRAMATIC PHONE CALL!” You know, that kind of thing. It could be some sort of amazing Hollywood action movie, couldn’t it? It can probably be whole franchise lots of movies, sequels and stuff. It’s a bit like that movie The Transporter, have you seen that with Jason Statham where his job is basically just drive people, drive packages from A to B. He doesn’t ask questions. He just… you know… “I’m just driver, I drive… I’m just the transporter” He drives things from A to B and he always gets involved in some conflict fighting along the way. It’s not that basically. This is… this is what this episode is all about, this’s like I’m Jason Statham, and instead of driving a really nice BMW or an Audi, I’m driving a Mini and instead of getting involved some sort of Kung-Fu fights, I’m getting involved in slightly awkward telephone calls. So, I’m now going to leave the car park, so I can get some mobile phone reception and attempt to sort this out over the telephone. It’s probably going to be a disaster, because my French isn’t really up to standard. It’s not really good enough for me to be able to explain the complexity of the situation to Hertz employee who probably doesn’t care. If he cares, he’s going to try to help me. If he doesn’t care, then it’s just going to be awful, isn’t it? Because I’m going to need his help to help for me to be understood. Maybe he’ll speak English but I don’t want to force into speak English in his own country, you know. I think that’s rude. I should at least try and fail to speak to him in French before I expect him to speak speaking English. I think that’s only fair. I’ll let you know what happens and the continuing sargo of… the Transporter will continue after this short pause
Hello everybody, so this’s going to be the last part of this episode of the podcast. You’ll be glad to know that I went upstairs, I manage to sort this whole thing out and I’ve parked the car, instead of parking it in place 1007, I parked it in place 1028, which, in my opinion, is a much nicer parking space, anyway. Slightly more specious, the other cars next to it provide it like enough room. There isn’t a huge pillar in way, which can sort of scrape the paint of the side of the car. I parked it in 1028, that’s fine. No problem. I’ve locked the car, I’ve ended the journey, terminated the booking. A few statistics, I… the car rental took 3 hours and 16 minutes, I drove a total of 10.1 km, which isn’t actually very much. But, considering the stress and time it took the travel that distance, you know, it just shows you how densely populated Paris is, and although you’re not travelling very far, it actually feels like a big adventure, anyway. So, that’s all done, just before I finish and going have my beer, I’m going to just tell you the rest of the vocabulary of the car. There’s people walking around me, they’re probably going to think I’m either a lunatic or I’m just talking to someone on a kind of Bluetooth headset. Even though there’s no mobile reception down here in the car park. So, if they work that out, then they’re going to probably think, “What’s going on? Either he’s mad, he’s business man or he’s Luke from Luke’s English Podcast.” Hopefully, they’ll see that it’s me. Then I’ll go, oh fine, I’ll let him carry on. Because he’s saving the world with his podcasts. I’m just going to run through the vocab of the car that I attempted to teach you during the journey just as a summary. OK. You got in the car. You’ve got the steering wheel, which you use to turn left or right or to steer the car. You have accelerator pedal, the brake pedal and the clutch pedal. You use the clutch to change the gear. And also you have a stick on the right if you’re in Europe and that’s the gear stick. Let’s see, what else? You have the seat-belt to keep you safe. If you have a crash, then the air-bag will come out and protect you so that you don’t get badly injured in the event of an accident. You have mirrors, the rear view mirror in the middle, the wind mirrors on the left and right. You have the indicator to show which direction you’re going to turn, left or right. Tick, tick, tick, tick, like that. The indicator. You’ve also got things like the windscreen wipers, which are those things that clean the water of your windows or the dead insects after a long journey, you use the windscreen wipers to wipe them off. You also have like jets of water which spray onto the windscreen. And if you angle the jets correctly, you can spray pedestrians as you drive pass them, which is quite good fun, isn’t it? You’ve got the… let’s see… the back window with a windscreen wiper on it, you’ve got the brake lights, you have bumper at the back, bumper at the front. You’ve got the boot of the car or in Ameri… that’s the back, that’s the storage area at the back of the car. We call it the boot. In American English, they call it the truck. The front of the car, you’ve got the bonet, which covers the engine. And in America, they call that the, what do they call it?, the hood. That’s right. You’ve got also the petrol cap, which you remove in order to fill a car up with fuel. This is very exciting vocabulary, isn’t it? Although… I wonder if any women listening to this are really that interested in all these words. They’re probably thinking “Luke, is it a car?” Yes or No. and second point “Is it a big car or not a big car? And what color is it? That’s all I need to know. Those are the only technical specification that I need as a woman I need to know about a car. Is it a big or small? What color is it? And just is it a car?” Well ladies, this is a BMW Mini, so it’s quite small really, it’s very cute, it’s very stylish, as well. I managed to sort of retain a lot of the stylistic elements of the original Minis while modernizing the car, making it sort of safer to drive, making it faster and more powerful. It’s very nice, it’s so small, it’s black, which I think you’ll agree as a classy color for a car. You can hear some French people nearby, there’s some guys who work in the car park just behind me. Laughing like that, sort of making jokes in French. They’re alright, they’re ignoring me. Let’s see, what else? So, the number plate on the back and the number plate on the front, they have the registration number of the car. Also the wheels, of course, they’re very important. If you want to actually travel anywhere. You got the wheels… the wheels have, what do they call it?, alloy covers, often if you’ve got like you know very nice cool car, you might have alloys on the wheels, which look cool. Then you’ve got the rubber bits that go around and they’re filled with air. Those are called tires, of course. The tires that go around the wheel. Just the same as a bicycle, in fact. Headlights on the front help to illuminate the road as you’re driving. And that’s probably it, isn’t it really? There’re some verbs we associate with driving, as I mentioned before you. Accelerate. Brake, brake means to stop. You turn left, you turn right, you steer the car. You reverse, I mean, you back backwards. Mirror signal maneuver. Mirror, obviously, check the mirror before you move. Signal, that’s to indicate which direction you’re going to go. And maneuver, that means to turn or to make some sort of specific movement in the car. A maneuver. A maneuver might be, for example, a 3-point turn or a U turn or a… if you reverse into a parking space, to parallel park, which is one of the most difficult things that you can do when you’re driving is parallel park. When you’re learning to drive, that’s very difficult. If you have a space in the road and you have to try and park the car in that space. So, that’s nicely positioned, close to the curb, without too much space between the car and the curb and you don’t actually touch either the car in front or the car behind. That’s… if you can master that art, then you should be able to pass your driving test, how to parallel park. I think my job here is done, my work is complete. Not only have I helped a friend, I’ve also successfully driven across a European capital city in a hot weather and while doing it, I’ve taught you some key pieces of vocabulary that you can use to describe driving and to describe cars. Obviously, there’s… there’re more words but that’s it for this episode. Ultimately, I think my main achievement in this one is just to have made the world a better place by educating it and by not crushing into anyone. And what more could we strive for as human beings than that? Well, we can probably invent a cure for a cancer, but it’s 4 o’clock, I don’t have time. That’s the end of my day. I’m going to go drink a beer and relax in the sun shine. Thanks very much for listening to the podcast. I realise it was a bit of crazy, sort of slightly stressful episode. But you know, I’m a busy person, I’ve gotta record on the go, I have to try to multitask. It’s difficult for me, because I’m a man, but I’m just doing the best that I can. Do visit the website where you can find more details. http://teacherluke.wordpress.com/ You can always donate some money. Throw a bit of cash on my way. It’s expensive this car rental. It’s not cheap. Petrol, you know, petrol is an expensive stuff. If you’re in Saudi Arabia, maybe you can consider sort of just giving a few gallons of fuel free. Actually, on second thought, don’t do that. Don’t send oil to my apartment. Don’t send any kinds of crude oil. I wouldn’t know what to do with it. Send me money instead, it’s much better. It’s much more adaptable, much more useful. That’s it for the episode. I could just keep rambling forever, but I’m not going to. This has to draw to a close at some point. Thanks very much for listening. You’re wonderful people for listening all the way to the end of this and I think your patience will pay off in the end and you will rip the benefits of listening to every episode of Luke’s English Podcast from the beginning to the end. Your English is going to be that much better than everyone else’s. That’s it for the episode. Thanks very much. I’m Luke Thompson. That’s the end of the episode. Thank you, good night, goodbye, good morning, good evening. Ciao.
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