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Lesson 3 – How long have you been here?

Making Small Talk

Sergei, a Russian immigrant, is waiting in line at the INS. The line is very long, and it’s moving very slowly. Peter, an American standing in front of Sergei, turns around and strikes up a conversation. Sergei is surprised by his friendliness.

PeterI guess we didn’t have anything else to do today, did we?
SergeiWhat?
PeterI said I guess they think that we didn ‘t have anything else to do today. It’s just that we’ve been in this line for a very long time. It seems like we aren’t going anywhere very fast.
SergeiYeah. I know. I’ve been here since about 9:30. What about you?
PeterI think, I got here just a few minutes before you did. I decided to pick up a green-card application for my wife. I should’ve gotten it off the internet. That way I could have just stayed home. Say, where are you from?
SergeiMe? I’m from Russia.
PeterOh, whereabout?
SergeiI lived in Moscow for most of my life, but I moved around a little. I was in the military.
PeterInteresting. I’ve never been to Russia, but I’ve always wanted to visit. It seems like such an interesting country. How long have you lived here?
SergeiI’ve live in San Diego for only a few weeks, but I’ve been in the U.S. since August.
PeterWell, welcom to San Diego. I guess the weather must be a bit warmer than where you’re from, huh?
SergeiYes, that’s true. I’ve gotten used to it.
PeterHave you visited the zoo or Balboa Park yet?
SergeiNo, but I really want to go to Balboa Park. I’ve heard about all the flowers and museums that are there.
ClerkNext!
PeterHey. That’s me. Gotta go. See you around.
SergeiOh. OK. See you.

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