Robert: Hi there, Jessie. Hope everything's OK with you and the kids. Tell young Callum and Jamie their Uncle Robert sends his love. How's the new job going?
We're really busy here at the hotel – lots of tourists in London at this time of year – but, you know I enjoy it. I've got another three months here as assistant manager and then, if I get a good report from my boss, I'll be able to take a manager's job in a small hotel somewhere. Sooo … I did what I've wanted to do for ages and went to see him, Mr Rowlands, and asked about the chance of getting a transfer to Brazil. We both know that's something I've wanted to do for a long time. It went quite well, I suppose ...
Mr Rowlands: Hello, Robert, come on in. Take a seat.
Robert: Good morning. Thank you.
Mr Rowlands: Now, what can I do for you? Nothing wrong, I hope?
Robert: No, no, not at all. Everything's going very well. I really enjoy the job. I really wanted to talk about what I'm going to do next ...
Mr Rowlands: You're not thinking of leaving us, I hope.
Robert: No, no, I'm very happy with this company. I want to be a manager of one of your hotels.
Mr Rowlands: I'm very glad to hear it.
Robert: But I was hoping that I could move to a hotel in a different country – when I finish my training, of course. When I become a manager.
Mr Rowlands: Well, we have a lot of hotels worldwide – I'm sure we could arrange something, somewhere fairly small, of course. Were you thinking of Europe? The Middle East?
Robert: Well, no. Actually I was thinking of Brazil. I really want to work in Brazil.
Mr Rowlands: Brazil, eh? That's not so easy. We could probably find you something in the Middle East … or China – we've got some new hotels opening there.
Robert: Um, no, thank you. I really want to go to Brazil.
Mr Rowlands: Got your heart set on Brazil, eh? What's the story? Got yourself a Brazilian lady friend? You want to join her on the beach in Copacabana?
Robert: No, nothing like that. It's ... um ... something personal, something connected with my family ... with my past, anyway.
Mr Rowlands: All right, Robert. I'll see what's available in Brazil. How's your Portuguese?
Robert: Well, not very good, I'm afraid ... but I'm going to have some lessons. Soon. Now.
Mr Rowlands: Well, you'll need good Portuguese if you want me to put you in charge of one of our Brazilian hotels. We've got a lot of very good managers in Brazil already, all fluent in the language, or native speakers. It's very ...
Robert: So that's good news and bad news, I suppose, Jessie. I don't remember any of the Portuguese we learned when we were kids, do you? Just a few phrases and bits of songs that Chico used to sing. Not enough to manage a hotel, so ...
Robert: Excuse me.
Receptionist: (Speaking to a student) Yes, your class started at seven o'clock – you're twenty minutes late. Quick, quick. In there – room seven. (Turning to Robert) I'm sorry, yes, can I help you?
Robert: Yes. I'd like some information about your language courses. I want to start Portuguese lessons. Brazilian Portuguese.
Receptionist: We don't do Portuguese – we haven't got a teacher. English, German, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Mostly English, though – most of our students are foreign students in London – they all want English support. (Speaking to someone else) Go and talk to that lady over there, in the blue blouse. She'll give you a test to decide your level of English.
Robert: So, nothing at all for me? No Portuguese?
Receptionist: Have a look on the noticeboard over there – the section on the left-hand side. People put adverts there – people who want lessons and people who give them. Might be a Portuguese teacher there somewhere. Excuse me, sorry ... Hello, Braxton Language School. How can I help you?
Robert: Thank you.
Robert: So, I left a card. Who knows? There must be Portuguese teachers in London. I'll have a look online later tonight – there must be other schools too. Sooo ... keep your fingers crossed, Jessie. Give Callum and Jamie a kiss for me. And one for yourself, of course. I'll try to come up to Scotland for Callum's birthday next month – I've got a few days' leave to take, but don't say anything to him yet ... just in case it ...