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Living in London

Listen to Luke talking about London life and the best and worst things about living there.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Interviewer: Hi, Luke. Thanks for talking to me today.

Luke: Hi, Jo. Nice to meet you.

Interviewer: Erm, what would you like to talk about?

Luke: I'm going to talk about living in London, erm, and the kind of love–hate relationship I have with it – and I assume most people do. I've been living in London for about 15 years, maybe a bit longer. And I've lived kind of mostly in kind of north and east London. So I moved to Camden originally and now I live in Hackney, which is probably the kind of trendiest area of London, and that's not necessarily why I live there, but it's a nice area of London. And most people that come to London, visit London, think that central London is London. And, but, where – generally people don't live in central London. Erm, people don't spend too much time in central London. They might work there, but they don't visit there. So, you might come to London as a tourist and go to somewhere like Leicester Square, er, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street, Regent Street, that kind of area. And I'm very rarely in that area. Erm, so, I live, erm, slightly on the outskirts but it's not really on the outskirts 'cause it's kind of Zone 2, Zone 3, which for most people that live in London, that's quite close to the centre. So, it takes me about half an hour to get into town. And when you live in London you say 'town' as in 'central London'. And things I love about London is that I've got two children that live in London. Well, my oldest is nine and there's so many things to do, constantly, and so many events every weekend. Erm, you go somewhere like the South Bank and there's always something happening throughout the year. You can always go to the theatre, go to the cinema, there's amazing restaurants and cafés. Erm, there's lots of things to experience but there's also … the downside is it's, there's a kind of lack of stillness and quietness that you might get if you live outside the city. But of course you can always go to Royal Parks which are amazing. Erm, I think my favourite thing about living in London is, erm, the kind of, well, where I live particularly there's a bit of a local community, it's kind of like a small village. It's called Stoke Newington, which everyone that lives in London has heard of but tourists haven't necessarily heard of and it's actually quite a nice place to visit. 

Interviewer: What's the worst thing about living in London for you?

Luke: Erm, the Underground's pretty horrific, erm, and what I find is, I used to come up to London when my dad worked in London when I was a kid, sort of 20, 30 years ago. Maybe even longer. And there was, there was rush hour, and rush hour was the morning and the evening or the early afternoon, and now London is just one constant rush hour. Doesn't matter what time you get on the Tube or what time you get a bus, it's packed. It's always packed, and if you drive in London as well it's the same thing. It just takes forever to get anywhere. Erm, so, I, my worst thing is how busy it is. It's hectic.

Interviewer: OK. Thanks so much for talking to me.

Luke: Pleasure!



Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


I live in Rochester, It is a small city in New York. I 've been living here for almost 2 years. And you know, I love it.
My first impression wasn't good, and for one moment i thought: What i did from my life? Everything chilli and white. I arrived in the winter beginning, i was in shock. I was frozen. But now i am utterly in love.
My first reason to love Rochester is the stillness, i can hear the birds songs, the nature is fantastic. My neighborhood is farms, barns, so, i can see deer, squires, bunnys for all places.
In Rochester we can observed the four seasons. I never lived this before. And my favorite season is the fall....i love the colours.
It is not a big city like Dubai and Rio de Janeiro, the last two city that i lived, but i have everything that i need in Rochester.
Rochester is calm and quiet, i usually spend 15 minutes to arrive in my job and we don't have rush hour. And i have space, i don't need to struggled for spot in a Metro, I go to work with my own car.

I live in a town. The good thing about living here is small distance. You don't need to spend much time to get to one or another place. Another thing is that my town is quiet and peaceful, someone can say it is boring, but there is a big city in 200 km way, so one can go there for a day or two to visit interesting places like museums, theatres, cinemas.
The worst thing about living here is that it is dirty. You can see rubbish lying near the houses. Sometimes it makes me upset.

I live in a small city called Cucuta in Colombia which is located in the border with Venezuela, this city is good because is stillness and quietness, you can get to any place taking just 15 minutes to travel on car, Is mostly a hot city but you take 2 hours on travel to get a cold city or town, I think that is good place to live and the estate cost is cheap in comparison with others cities, the security is good, that depends of the neighborhood, the only huge problem is job, in this city there is no industry and mostly people here work in commerce formal or informal and people that has a lot of money works and has business and other places in Colombia or oversea.

I live on the countryside, in a nice selfbuilded house, that my husband and I designed by ourselves. It is not far from the village where I work and my youngest son´s school. It is also near Cáceres, the town where both my husband and my eldest daughter work. The best thing of living there is that you can relax in the quietness of a big garden, where we have plenty of work to do as well, which is the best way for us to manage stress and workout our bodies. You can also have animals, a very important thing for doglovers as we are. We share our sofas and garden with three dogs and one cat. The only weakness I see on the way we live, is that we always depend on a car, and that maybe, despite of the freedom of living in a quiet place, our children depend too much on us as parents to go to school, playing sports or hanging out with friends, which is a matter to consider if you will rise more independent children. So, as soon as they turn eighteen, getting the driving license is a must.

Hi! I am MBAIRANE from Chad. I love ever learning english as foreign language. I got my high school diploma in 2014 and the same year I was admitted at university of N'Djamena. But I unfortunately dropped out my major program which is Letters and English Studies. In my country, all good study domains are only at the University of N'Djamena. So if any student has problems with a tutor perhaps, he or she will move to neighbour country to achieve his or her further studies. Despite its beauty and its characteristics as national capital of Chad. Moreover, whether you are graduated or having not any professional training you will get life hard.

Good evening! I am MBAIRANE from N'Djamena. I have been living in this city since 2014. It's a larger city with so much more people. And it's unique beautiful city that you can see good buildings. But N'Djamena is better to those who are graduated and managed any business. And then in rainy season there's nothing good I mean no good way to pass because of lack of infrastructures. Anyway, I love it because it's my home place better than anywhere.

I am MBAIRANE from the national capital of Chad. I have found him so fast but I can't blame him because speaking fast is already included his second manner. I hope I can do exactly as well as he does now. Thank you.

Hi, my name is Mauricio, I'm from Colombia and living in Cali city. Living in Cali has a lot of advantages but disadvantages, too. The main and most important feature regarding Cali is the enormous diversity and different environments such as parks amid the city for taking lunch or if you want to go out and feeling the breeze on your face, you can do it because there're are different choices, for instance, Pance or 'El Kilometro 18'.

Hi.I live in a city.I have been living here since i was born.
The thing i like about my city is that there are a lot of old palaces to see.There is a long river at the center of my city surrounded by trees and parks, and that is why it is one of the most beautiful cities.
The thing that really annoys me is the way our people behave.
they disobey rules.Their driving habits are awful.
Although,they are kind,they are so curious about what you do,what you wear,how you look, and etc.
Despite all these, I love it.

I live in a big city. I love it speed and a lot of different events being arranging every day wherever you go. But sometimes I'm really tired from its constant tension on traffic and crowded public transport. So many peole on every place don't afford just to relax. For some times I'd like to live in a more quiet and small town but I still love place where I live though it has disadvantages.