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Devon talks about his train trip across Russia. 

Country: Devon and Todd from the U.S.

Time: 2:22


Level: Intermediate

Normal speed

A bit slower 

Audio Script


TODDOk, uh, Devon, I hear that you took the train across Russia.




Yes, I started in Moscow, travelled through Russia, Mongolia, and ended up in China.

TODD TODD: Wow! That's a long way!


DEVON:  Yes, it was. It took three weeks. I did it as part of a tour with ten other people. 


Man, that's a cool trip. That must’ve cost a lot of money.



It did cost a lot of money but not a lot of people can say they have done that, and so, umm, I looked in, I researched the trip several months before I actually took it. A friend and I did it together and there was one other American and the rest of the people were from Switzerland.

TODD TODD: OK, Cool! Uh, what was the landscape like?  
  DEVON: A lot of it was flat and for miles around you could see absolutely nothing, and as you got into Siberia there was scattered trees, and when we got into Mongolia you could see some Camels every once in a while, but besides that there was a whole lot of nothing. DEVON

Wow. Just wild camels!

  DEVON: Wild Camels around the drinking hole. Yeah, saw that more than once. DEVON

So how did you eat on this train?


We stopped several times along the way and upon every platform you could buy food that local people were selling. A lot of it consisted of dried fish and other types of Russian delicacies and a lot of noodles that you heated up with hot water. Every train had hot water on it on every carriage so you were always able to make noodles if you were desperate.

TODD TODD: So was this a luxurious train or was it a pretty basic...?  
  DEVON:  It was pretty much the most basic you could get. There were no animals on board but sometimes they were coal-heated so it was very basic. DEVON
TODD TODD: Wow! Would you do it again?  
  DEVON:  Great question! Would I do it again? Yes, I would do it again but I would wait several years to do it. One because it does cost a lot of money and two because there are many other things to, to do, to see. DEVON

OK. Thanks a lot Devon.


                                                You’re very welcome.


Vocabulary Notes

End up 

“I started in Moscow, traveled through Russia, Mongolia and ended up in China”

If you 'end up' in a place it is your final destination.  It is where you stop traveling. Notice the following:


  1. How did you end up back at your house?
  2. We ended up eating at the McDonald's down the street.



Look in

“I looked in, I researched the trip for several months before I actually took it”

When you 'look into' something you find out information about it, ask questions and do research.  Notice the following:


  1. When we looked into his background we discovered that he was a criminal.
  2. I need you to look into a solution for this problem.



Drinking hole 

“Wild camels around a drinking hole”

A 'drinking hole' is literally a hole in the ground that has water in it.  It's like a well or a fountain with water at the surface.  These can be natural or constructed. Notice the following:


  1. There are very few drinking holes in the desert.
  2. Every day the women walk to the drinking hole to get water.



“Sometimes they were coal-heated which is the most basic you can get”

When the black rocks, 'coal', are burned to make heat, whatever they are heating is 'coal-heated.' Notice the following:


  1. The cabin was coal-heated so the air was very smoky.
  2. Very few houses are coal-heated anymore.
See nothing 

“For miles around you could see absolutely nothing”

When you 'see nothing' it means that there is absolutely nothing to look at. Imagine you are driving in a desert and see no trees or animals, only sand.  That is basically seeing nothing. Notice the following:


  1. It can be scary when you are in a boat and see nothing around you, only water.
  2. I was looking in the sky, but I could see nothing like he was describing.

Now, it's your turn!

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Would you take that trip?