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Text B

My Meals on Wheels

Unit V. Text A

Looking back on things now, perhaps my being a “van-vendor” or a mobile canteen owner was meant to be. I’ve pretty much always been on the road. My father’s work involved moving around a lot, so by the time I was fifteen, I had been to six different schools! When I was at college studying Hospitality, I began to work part-time for a programme called ‘Meals On Wheels’.

I was a volunteer who drove a van stocked with prepared food. I handed out of the food to various elderly or ill people who couldn’t prepare meals for themselves. The meals were really good. All well prepared, with hygiene and nutrition taking priority, and people even had choices of vegetarian, diabetic or particular types of ethnic cuisine.

I had to stop working there when I got a full-time job for a catering business. I learnt many tricks of the food trade there as well, but my goal was to become my own boss. I didn’t have enough money and unsure of exactly what I wanted to do.

A trip to Japan was the inspiration for my current mobile food business. I loved trying the variety of foods at the “yatai” or street stalls. One of the owners told me that “yatai” actually means “a cart with a roof”, and I even saw were the modern equivalents, large vans that had been converted into mobile kitchens with a large serving window in their side. Customers would line up by the dozens to buy their range of offerings.

When I came back home, that was it–I finally knew exactly what I was going to do. I bought an old van, got it customized by a carpenter friend of mine and then by a plumber. My van ended up with benches, cupboards, a microwave, fridge and sink and a huge sign proudly sporting “Fred’s Food to You”. I applied to the council for the relevant permits and in no time my business was up and running!

I visit large companies and factories from early morning through to the afternoon selling sandwiches, fish and chips, cakes and more. I open when I please and close when I want. My customers know me by name and I know most of them. Good food and service, that’s what people want and that’s what I’m about.

Virginia Evans, Linda Edwards, Upstream Advanced

Cheers!

You can’t walk far along a British high street without coming to a pub. A sign hangs high over the door, proclaiming some grand heraldic name like “The King’s Arms” or, more modestly, “The Slug and Lettuce”.

Especially in the country, pubs can be cozy, welcoming places, with comfortable furniture and a fire glowing in the corner. Most country pubs have a good number of “regulars” who have been drinking there for decades and always sit in the same seat;woe betide you if you accidentally take it!

City pubs often date from Victorian times and many feature mahogany bars, large, ornate mirrors and old-fashioned flock wallpaper. As offices close, these pubs fill up with business people fortifying themselves for the journey home–you have to use your elbows to get near the bar at the most popular ones.

Once at the bar, don’t make the mistake of ordering “a beer”; beer comes in two sizes (pints or “halves”–half-pints) and a huge variety of brands. Be specific: “a pint of Guinness, please” or “a half of John Smith’s.” If you can’t name a brand of beer, you should at least say whether you want “bitter” (the traditional British brew), “mild” (similar, but not quite so strong) or “lager” (usually an internationally known brand of light beer) as well.

Most of the pubs you go into will contain roughly twice as many men as women. This may be because women derive less entertainment from drinking eight pints of bitter and then falling over on the way home. This predominantly male pursuit is known as “a night out with the lads”. Another common reason for “going down the pub” is for “a game of arrows”, or darts. Many British pubs are equipped with darts boards; look carefully before you cross the floor when games are in progress!

It is illegal to go into most pubs if you are under the age of fourteen. Between fourteen and eighteen, you can drink soft drinks. A landlord or landlady could lose his or her license for selling alcohol to someone aged under eighteen.

One last thing–if you’re planning a visit to a pub, don’t leave it too late! “Last orders” is at 10:30 p.m.–11.00 p.m.at the latest! “Drink up now, please!”

English Manual


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  • - Bits about THE BRITS

    Text B My Meals on Wheels Unit V. Text A Looking back on things now, perhaps my being a “van-vendor” or a mobile canteen owner was meant to be. I’ve pretty much always been on the road. My father’s work involved moving around a lot, so by the time I was fifteen, I had been to six different schools! When I was at college studying Hospitality, I began to work part-time for a programme called ‘Meals On Wheels’. I was a volunteer who drove a van stocked with prepared... [читать подробенее]