09.11.2017 |

Episode #6 of the course English idioms (B2) by Kasia Sielicka, PhD


Two hours later, the girls were in a port, with a last-minute ticket for a luxury cruise.

“A cruise?!” asked Susan, still in half-disbelief.

“Sure!” confirmed Alice confidently. “You need to recharge your batteries!”

“Well, yes, a vacation would be nice, but a cruise?! I’ll be bored to death!” replied Susan.

“Come on,” said Alice, “You know what they say: ‘A change is as good as a rest.’ You can’t keep going on the same package vacation year after year. Let’s go!”

“Easier said than done,” sighed Susan, looking at her three suitcases, a backpack, two duffel bags, a carryall, a small purse, and a big purse.

“Whoa,” exclaimed Alice. “You sure took everything but the kitchen sink!”

“Well, I never know which pair of shoes I want to wear…and which blouse, you know…” explained Susan.

“I know,” agreed Alice. “But still, I prefer to travel light. Look, just a small suitcase!”

Susan looked admiringly at Alice’s tiny luggage, and then—with dread—at her own. How was she going to get all that onto the ship?

And then, as if answering her unspoken plea for help, a man was standing in front of her. Handsome, tall, willing to help…

“Hello, ladies,” he said smiling. “I’m Richard Hammond Branson, Junior, and you seem in need of some help.”

And without waiting for an answer, he grabbed Susan’s luggage and carried it onto the yacht.

When they were all in the girls’ cabin, Richard continued the conversation.

“Your first cruise, I assume?” he asked.

“Yes,” said both of the girls simultaneously.

“You’ll really like it,” he assured them. “It’s nice to let your hair down for a change. And this ship, she’s a beauty. A real home from home.”

“Oh,” said Alice.

“I really love it, you know,” he added dreamily, “Standing on the deck and watching the world go by.”

“Oh,” said Susan.

“Of course,” continued the man, “it’s not my first choice. Nah. I’d much rather choose somewhere off the beaten track, like a small village on Tahiti or Bali.”

“Oh,” remarked Alice.

“Still, a ship is a good way to get away from it all.” He laughed.

“Oh.” It was now Susan’s turn to say something.

The girls suddenly realized that they weren’t making a terribly good impression. Apparently, Richard realized that too.

“Well, it was nice meeting you. Have a nice cruise,” he said, and left politely.

“Oh no!” cried Alice. “We’ve made such fools of ourselves!”

“I know,” admitted Susan, also depressed.

And they both sat down on the bunk, crying quietly.


Idioms Explained

When you recharge your batteries, you rest after a busy time, so you can start working again.

“A change is as good as a rest” means that when you do something different, it’s as refreshing as relaxing. This can even be used about doing a different job!

A package vacation is a vacation where everything is organized for you by the travel agency: the flight, transfer to the hotel, the hotel, food, etc.

When you take everything but the kitchen sink, you pack a lot of things when you go on vacation. The opposite is to travel light, where you take as little as possible. Which do you do?

When you let your hair down, you relax and enjoy yourself because you’re in a comfortable place.

A home from home is a place where you feel as relaxed as in your own home.

When you watch the world go by, you sit or stand somewhere and enjoy watching people pass by.

A place off the beaten track is far away from typical tourist destinations.

When you get away from it all, you go to a place different from where you live to have a vacation.


Will Susan get another chance to make a good impression on Richard? Find out tomorrow!


Recommended book

McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs by Richard A. Spears


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