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 ONE OF THE HOT SPOTS

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مُساهمةموضوع: ONE OF THE HOT SPOTS   الأحد 20 فبراير 2011, 10:51 pm



ONE OF THE HOT SPOTS




ANNA KAVAN


THEY say that Semarang is the hottest place in the
whole of the islands. The people who live there say so, and I see no reason to
disbelieve them.






I’ve never been on shore at Semarang, but on two separate days I’ve spent
five hours on a ship called the Plancius just outside, and they were ten
of the hottest hours I’ve spent anywhere. The harbour is too shallow for any
boats except the smallest to go inside, and the Plancius had to wait
half a mile out.






One of the ship’s officers asked me if I was
going on shore, but I told him that the appearance of Semarang did not attract me. “Semarang lacks colour and gaiety,”
I said.






There was hardly any colour about Semarang except the colour of the sea, and even that
wasn’t bright blue like the rest of the Java Sea,
but a strange sort of thin shining green, like a cat’s eyes. Underneath I could
see yellow mud. The line of the shore could just be seen, slightly different
from the sky, a little darker than a grayish, bluish, yellowish sky. The
mountain behind was a little darker than the sky too. It was not a range of
mountains; just the one mountain that had risen there rather unfortunately to
keep the wind off the town. There were a few clouds on the mountain.






I stood there on the Plancius, looking
at Semarang,
beside the officer, who was a young Dutchman. He spoke English because he had
lived most of his life in London.
He liked to speak English, and now he did not get many opportunities of doing
so and he wanted to talk to me. I leaned over the side of the ship and looked down
into the yellow-green water. It had a solid appearance; it was so smooth round
the ship. The water looked solid and glassy, and it seemed as if you might
break an arm or a leg if you jumped on to that shiny surface; but it was hard
to think you might drown. I kept looking down at the water and wondering what
it would feel like to drop down into the sea one dark night when everyone was
asleep.






The officer didn’t move away, so I thought I
ought to talk to him. I said, “Have you ever been on a ship when someone has
jumped into the sea?”






“It’s strange that you should ask that,” the
officer said.






He smiled secretly and privately, and there was
a pause.






“Well, have you?” I said.





“As a matter of fact, I have,” he said. There
was another pause, and he added, “It was here,
too, at Semarang,
quite near to where we are.”






“What happened?” I said.





“”Well,” he said, “it was early morning. We’d
arrived rather early and I came up here before it was really light, to smoke a
cigarette in the cool air. I was standing near one of the lifeboats when a
passenger passed me. He didn’t see me although he passed quite close to where
I was standing, and you would think he’d
have noticed the cigarette. Perhaps he didn’t notice things usually, or perhaps
he was thinking too much just then. In any case he went straight to the side
and climbed over and jumped into the water. He didn’t dive; he jumped, feet
first, with his leather shoes on. The light wasn’t good enough for me to tell
whether his shoes were black or brown, but I saw that they weren’t white, and
that’s how I knew they were made of leather.”






“What did you do?” I said.





“Nothing,” he said. “There wasn’t time for me
to do anything. By the time I’d looked over the side, the fellow had climbed on
to the ladder and was halfway back up the side of the ship.”






“You mean he jumped into the sea and climbed
straight out again?” I asked.






“Yes.”





“Do you think that he meant to drown himself
and then changed his mind when he got into the water?” I said.






“I don’t know,” he said.





We stood in silence for a time, looking over
the side.






“Did you know anything about this passenger?” I
asked.






“He sat at my table for meals,” the officer
said. “I sat next to him, but I can’t say I know much about him except that he
was coming back to his work in Semarang.
He was a quite little fellow. Always very neat. He always left his knife and
fork very neatly on his plate.”






“What happened when he got back here out of the
water?” I asked.






“He stood there all wet,” the officer said.





“What did you say to him?”





“Nothing. I was very surprised. I didn’t know
what to say.”






“Didn’t he say anything?” I asked.





“Not a word,” said the officer. “But the funny
thing is that he looked at his watch. He looked at me and then looked down at
his watch, just as anyone might quite naturally, and then he went off to his
room.”






“Was that all?” I said.





“he came to breakfast. He sat beside me as
usual and ate two eggs. He’d changed into dry clothes, of course.”






“I suppose you talked about it then?” I said.





“Never spoke a word about it.”





“You mean to say you sat there, side by side,
just after he’d jumped into the sea, and neither of you even mentioned it? Why
not?






“I don’t know,” said the officer. “I’ve
sometimes wondered about it myself. Of course, I ought to have reported it to
the captain really. I’d have got into trouble if he’d ever learnt that I’d
failed to report a thing like that. I don’t know I said nothing. It was such a
strange business, being so early in the morning, not properly light, and the
little fellow jumping into the sea in his good shoes, and then standing there
wet and looking at his watch just as anyone might, and not saying a word. I was
astonished.”






“Did you ever hear any more of him?” I said.





“Not a thing,” said the officer. “He’s probably
somewhere over there in Semarang
this minute.”






“It’s an interesting story,” I said.





The officer whistled gently for a few moments.





“Well, I must go,” he said, and smiled and
walked away.






I stood there alone, looking across the water
to the town, trying to imagine how it would feel to be coming back there for
five or six years of work in the heat, far from home. I was not surprised that
the poor fellow jumped into the sea, even in good shoes. The only surprising
thing was that all the people who had come to Semarang didn’t jump together into the sea.
Who could blame them for doing it?






I put on my dark glasses and looked very hard
but I wasn’t able to see the town. All I could see was a cloud of heat or smoke
or whatever it was, and the long straight unbroken row of trees near the water,
and some red roofs and some iron roofs that shone bitterly in the sun.






I felt very sorry for all the people who had to
live in Semarang;
and later on, when the Plancius started to move and there was a little
wind, it was like getting out of prison. And Semarang is a place I don’t want to see
again, from the Plancius or from any other ship.







Vocabulary:


Page 41



smile privately

يبتسم


spot
بقعة



pause

توقف
لبرهة


disbelieve

لا
يصدق


lifeboats

قوارب
النجاة


separate

منفصل


passenger

مسافر


harbour

مرفأ


passed me

مر
بجواري


shallow

ضحل


dive

يغوص


appearance

منظر
/ مظهر


leather

جلد


lack

ينقصه


ladder

سلم


gaiety

بهجة
/ سرور

Page 43



hardly

بالكاد


change his mind
يغير رأيه



bright blue

أزرق
زاه / ساطع


quiet

هادئ


Java Sea

بحر
جاوة


neat

منسق
/ مهندم


underneath

أسفل


naturally

بطريقة
طبيعية


mud

طين


dry

جاف


slightly

بدرجة
طفيفة

Page 44



a range of

سلسلة
من

report


يقدم
تقرير




unfortunately

لسوء
الحظ


astonished

مندهش


Dutchman

رجل
هولندي


whistle

يصفر


opportunities

فرص
/ مناسبات


blame

يلوم


lean over

يستند
عل


Page 45

solid

صلب


row

صف


glassy

أملس


roofs

أسطح
المنازل


drown

يغرق


bitterly

بشدة
/ بمرارة

Page 42



later on

فيما
بعد














Summary




J
The ship
“Plancius” was standing half a mile from the shore at Semarang because the water was too shallow.



T
Semarang was the hottest town in
the whole of Java
Island.



J
I spent five
hours on two separate days on the ship in front of the Semarang,
which I never visited. I was not attracted by that town as it lacked colour and
gaiety. The mountain behind it kept the wind off.



T
I was standing
beside the ship officer. He wanted to talk to me
in English as he was a Dutchman who lived most of his life in London.



J
I asked the
officer if he had ever been on a ship when someone jumped into the sea, he said
yes and began to tell me that once he was standing for a smoke in the early
morning when a passenger passed him and jumped into the water with his feet
first.



T
The officer
looked over the side and saw the man climbing the ladder. He stood in front of
the officer all wet. The man looked at his watch and then went to his room.



J
The man came at
breakfast and sat beside the officer as usual, neither of them mentioned
anything about what had happened.



T
The officer didn’t report the matter to the captain. If the captain had
known this, the officer would have got into trouble. All that the officer knew
about the man was that he was coming back to his work at Semarang.



J
The officer
didn’t hear any more of that man. He might be somewhere in Semarang at that moment. If all the people coming to Semarang jumped into the sea, nobody would
blame them for doing so.



T
I was not
surprised that the man had jumped into the sea. He was coming back to work in
that heat far from home.



J
When I put on my
dark glasses, I could see a cloud of heat or smoke and roofs shining bitterly
in the sun, when the ship moved there was a little wind. I felt like one
getting out of a prison. I didn’t want to see that town a gain.


Questions and answers



(1)
Why did the Plancius have to wait
half a mile out of the harbour?





Because the harbour
was too shallow for the big ships (boats) like the Plancius to go inside.


(2)
Where was the ship “Plancius”
standing?





The ship was
standing half a mile from the shore at “Semarang”.


(3)
How was the sea around Semarang different from the rest of the Java Sea?





The sea around Semarang was not bright blue like the rest of the java Sea.
It was strange sort of thin shining green.


(4)
What do you know about the officer
on the Plancius?





He was a young
Dutchman. He lived most of his life in London.
He spoke English well.


(5)
How long did the writer stay in
front of “Semarang”?





He stayed for ten
hours.


(6)
Why didn’t the writer like Semarang?





Because he was not
attracted by it as it lacked colour and gaiety.


(7)
Why was the Semarang very hot?





The mountain behind
it kept the wind off.


(Cool
How was the water of the sea near Semarang? Why?





The water was
smooth, solid and glassy. Because there was no wind.


(9)
What did the writer ask the
officer about? What was the answer?





He asked the officer
if he had ever been on a ship when someone jumped into the sea. He said yes and
told him the story.


(10)
When did the passenger jump into
the sea? How?





He jumped into the
sea early in the morning. He jumped with his feet first.


(11)
Why didn’t the passenger see the
officer?





Perhaps the
passenger was thinking too much just then or perhaps he didn’t notice things
usually.


(12)
What did the passenger do after
jumping into the sea?





He climbed up the
ladder and went on board the ship. Then he looked at his watch and went off to
his room


(13)
Why was it wrong for the officer
not to report what the passenger had done?





If the captain had
known the matter, the officer would have got into troubles.


(14)
What did the writer know about the
passenger?





He knew that he was
coming back to his work in Semarang
and that he was a quiet neat person.


(15)
Why did not the writer blame the
passenger for what he had done?





Because
Semarang lacked
colour and gaiety and it was too hot. He didn’t like it.


(16)
How did the officer feel when the
passenger jumped into the water?





The officer was so
surprised and didn’t know what to do.


(17)
How did the writer feel when the
ship moved?


















He felt it was like getting out of a prison.






Exercises





Answer the following questions:

1.
Why was the ship standing half a mile a
way from Semarang?





2.
Why was the
writer against visiting Semarang?



3.
Why didn’t the
passenger notice the officer when he jumped into the water?



4.
How did the
passenger jump into the water?



5.
What did the passenger do when he came out of the
water?



6.
How did the
writer feel about the town of Semarang?



7.
How does the writer feel about the people of Semarang?



8.
The officer
didn’t report the incident to the ship captain. Give reasons.



9.
What nationality was the officer?



10.What did the officer know about the passenger?


Quotations:


(1)
“I stood
there on the Plancius, looking at Semarang
beside the officer?”



1.
Why did the writer refuse to go to Semarang?



2.
What nationality was the officer?



3.
Why did the officer speak English well?



(2)
“Have you ever been on a ship when someone has
jumped into the sea?”



1.
By whom and to whom was this question asked?



2.
What was the answer to this question?



3.
Why was the question a surprise to the hearer?



(3)
“It’s strange that you should ask that”



1.
What was the
question the writer asked the officer?



2.
Why did the
officer think it was strange to ask that question?



3.
What was the
officer’s answer?



(4)
“It was here, too, at Semarang, quite near to where we are.”



1.
Who said this statement? To whom?



2.
On what occasion did he say it?



3.
What was he referring to when he said it?



(5)
“I don’t know. I have sometimes wondered about
it myself. Of course, I ought to have reported it to the captain really”



1.
What ought the
officer to have reported to the captain?



2.
What would have
happened if the captain had learnt about the matter?



3.
Why didn’t the
officer say anything about that incident?



(6)
“Not a word. But the funny thing is that he
looked down at his watch, just as anyone might quite naturally and then he went
off to his room.”



1.
Who was the speaker?



2.
Who was he talking about?



3.
What did the man do when he went off to his room?



(7)
“Did you ever hear any more of him?”



1.
By whom and to
whom was this question said?



2.
What was the
reply to this question?



3.
What was that
man’s strange story?



(Cool
“I’d have got into trouble if he’d ever learnt
that I’d failed to report a thing like that.”



1.
Who said this? To whom?



2.
What thing should the officer have reported?



3.
Why didn’t he report it?


Model Answers to the questions of the set book







T
Pre- reading questions:



(1)
Who are the main characters in the story?



The writer himself and the ship officer.


(2)
What kind of a story do you think this is; a travel story; a murder
story; a mystery?



A travel story.


(3)
Did the passenger drown himself?



No, he didn’t.


(4)
Do you think that the island looks attractive? Why? Why not?



The island doesn’t look attractive because it
is surrounded only by the blue colour of lifeless sea.



T
Comprehension questions answers:



Write “T” for true or “F” for false next to each
of the sentences:



(1) F (2) T (3) F (4) T (5) T (6) T (7) F (Cool F


T
complete the sentences:



(1) … the harbour was too shallow for
any boats except the smallest to go inside.



(2) … was going back to his work in Semarang.


(3) … what it would feel like to drop
down into the sea one dark night when everyone was asleep.



T
Answer the questions:



(1) The writer describes Semarang as lacking
colour and gaiety when he was asked by the ship’s officer if he was going on
the shore.



(2) The officer did nothing when he
saw the man jump into the sea because there was no time for him to do anything.



(3) He says that he knew that the
man’s shoes were made of leather because they weren’t white but he could see
that they were brown or black although the light was not good.



(4) After he had jumped into the sea,
the man climbed up the ladder onto the ship and then he looked at his watch and
went back to his room.



(5) He didn’t ask the man why he had
jumped into the sea because he was so surprised that he didn’t know what to
say.



(6) He didn’t report the incident to
the ship’s captain because he was so astonished and he thought it was such a
strange business.



(7) He found it more surprising that
all the people who had come to Semarang
did not jump into the sea together.



(Cool The writer says that he feels
very sorry for all the people who live in Semarang.



T
Quotations:



(1) A previous passenger jumped into
the water. He was a quiet little fellow who was always very neat. I think he
didn’t mean to drown himself because he climbed back to the ship, looked at his
watch and went to his room. He might have jumped into the water to cool
himself.



(2) The officer says he didn’t
mention the event because everything happened so quickly and he was so
astonished by the event. He says he should have reported it to the captain.



T
Choose the correct answer:



1 (c) looked at his watch, and then went off to
his room.



2 (d) the hottest place in the whole of the
islands which lacked colour and gaiety.



T
Match the beginnings and ends of the sentences:



(A) i (B) iv (C) ii (D)
iii



T
Complete the notes on what happened when the passenger jumped into the
sea:



i.
I was standing near one of the lifeboats when the passenger passed me,
but he didn’t see me even though he passed quite close to where I was standing.



ii.
In any case he went straight to the side and climbed over and jumped
into the water.



iii.
By the time I looked over the side, he had climbed on to the ladder and
was halfway back up the side of the ship.



iv.
After this, he looked at his watch and went off to his room.



v.
When he returned from his room, he came to breakfast.



T
Put the events in the correct order:



C, F, A, E, D, B, G.









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