Listening 1 A Lecture
OK, everyone, what I want to do today is continue our discussion about cities and the challenges they face, and, I?d like to focus on the city of Venice, in Italy, which is an extraordinary example. So, to begin with, let?s review a few of the points we?ve discussed so far. Remember that, for centuries, the city has been struggling with the problem of flooding. As you know, the regular floodwaters—called the acqua alta—are a big problem in the city. You may also recall that the government has started the innovative MOSE project to build water barriers and stop flooding from the ocean.
Now, flooding is an important issue, but many Venetians say that the city has more serious problems than the acqua alta or the MOSE project. And most of these problems have to do with tourism.
Of course, tourism has both the positive and negative side—tourism is extremely profitable. But the problem in Venice is too many tourists.
For example, in 2007 the number of Venetian residents was 60,000. And what do you think the number of visitors to Venice was in that year? Twenty-one million! Recently, on a single holiday weekend in May, 80,000 tourists visited the city. Public parking lots filled up and were closed. And tourists walked through the streets eating and drinking and leaving a lot of trash behind. The result is that Venice?s city services just can?t handle so many people. The city has to pay more and more money for garbage collection to clean up all of the trash. In addition, public transportation on the famous boats and gondolas is so crowded that Venetian residents can barely find room to get on.
Along with trash and crowded transportation, city residents also have to deal with higher prices for food and for housing. Food prices continue to rise around the city. Some cafés charge as much as 13 U.S. dollars for a soft drink! In the Rialto Market—an area with many shops and stores—some of the grocery stores have been replaced by souvenir shops, which means that Venetians have fewer places to buy their groceries. In popular tourist areas, rent has almost tripled, and many small local businesses—for example, toy stores and hardware stores—can?t afford to pay.
Let me add that there is a serious housing problem in Venice. At one time, there were regulations making it illegal to convert residential buildings into hotels. But a law in 1999 removed those regulations, and the housing problem got even worse. Since then, the number of hotels and guesthouses has increased by 600 percent, and the number of houses that are available for local residents has gone down.
These days, housing is only affordable for the very rich or for people who already own houses because they?ve been passed down by family. Young Venetians simply can?t afford to buy any property in the city. This has forced a huge number of Venetian residents to move out of the city. Thirty years ago, the population of Venice was around 120,000. Now it?s less than 60,000.
So, why does Venice continue to encourage tourism when it causes so many problems? Mainly it?s because tourism in Venice generates more than two billion U.S. dollars a year in revenue—and many think that the amount is much higher.
Also, there?s a lot of financial pressure on Venice. The cleaning of canals, restoration of old structures, and the MOSE project are all very expensive. Tourism brings in money to help the city solve these problems.
Another point I want to make is that many people in Venice have jobs related to tourism. As more
tourists come to the city, hotels, restaurants, and museums need to hire more workers. In fact, the city of Venice has a lower unemployment rate than the rest of Italy, and it?s likely a result of the tourism industry.
Some people think that Venice is to blame for its own problems—that these problems are the result of greed for tourists? money. There?s a lot of talk about limiting tourists, taxing tourists, and even asking tourists to avoid the busy seasons of Easter and Carnival. However, as you can see, maximizing the number of tourists in Venice is also necessary. So, there seem to be no simple solutions to Venice?s tourism problem.
好，大家，我今天要做的就是继续讨论城市和他们面临的挑战，我想把重点放在意大利的威尼斯市，这是一个非常好的例子。所以，首先回顾一下我们迄今为止讨论过的几点。请记住，几个世纪以来，这座城市一直在为洪水问题而苦苦挣扎。正如你所知道的那样，定期的洪水称为“获得” - 在这个城市是个大问题。你也许还记得，政府已经启动了创新的MOSE项目来建造水屏障，并阻止海洋的洪水。
Listening 2 A Conversation between Classmates
M: Hi, Linda. I?ve been looking for you. I wanted to return your notes from the lecture on Singapore. Thanks for letting me borrow them.
F: No problem. Sorry that you missed class. Are you feeling better?
M: Yes, a lot better, thanks. Do you have time to answer a few questions for me? There were a few things in your notes that I didn?t understand. F: Sure.
M: OK. So first, you wrote here “Singapura—lion”. What did you mean by that?
F: Oh, that?s an easy one. Singapura is the original name for Singapore. It means “lion city”. And the symbol of the country is the Merlion—it?s a unique creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. The head of the lion relates to the name Singapura. And the body of the fish is because Singapore started off as a fishing village.
M: Interesting. Do you remember when modern Singapore was founded? I couldn?t really read your handwriting here.
F: Um, I think it was 18 something ... maybe 1819? So, you know, it?s still a young country.
M: OK. I don?t really understand the section of your notes about Singapore?s challenges. Could you explain that a bit more?
F: Sure. For one thing, Singapore doesn?t really have much land, oil, wood, or other natural resources. Oh, and another thing ... um, there?s also a mix of people from different ethnic groups and with different religions and languages. They?re all trying to conform to the laws and live together in a small space. M: I didn?t know that.
F: It?s also a really small country—about 270 square miles, which is the size of the state of Hawaii. M: Uh-huh.
F: And it?s 100 percent urbanized—all the people live in built-up areas. You probably read in my notes that Singapore has a very powerful economy for such a small country.
M: Yes, I remember that part. Your notes said that Singapore was ranked second in the world for having an innovative economy. So, its economy is compatible with the economy of many larger countries.
F: It definitely is. And a lot of people think that Singapore couldn?t have achieved that kind of success without Lee Kuan Yew.
M: He was the first prime minister, right?
F: Right. He was prime minister for, uh, 30 years, or something. And he stayed active in politics until he retired. It was recently, maybe 2011? So, his ideas dominated Singapore politics for over 50 years.
M: You know, the Singaporeans I?ve met all work very hard. They seem to want to be number one in everything.
F: I think you?re right. It?s probably got to do with the spirit of kiasu. M: Kiasu?
F: Yes, it means “afraid to lose”. It?s an idea that some people have internalized, and it makes them work hard to be the best. For example, Singapore has one of the world?s busiest shipping ports, and it has one of the world?s best health care systems.
M: That?s impressive. What about the laws in Singapore? What did you write about chewing gum?
F: Well, you can?t sell chewing gum in Singapore. It?s illegal, and the police enforce that law. Spitting on the street can also get you a huge fine. And then there?s a fine for forgetting to flush the toilet in a public place.
M: I think that the laws seem way too strict, don?t you?
F: Actually, no. I don?t think so. Those laws make Singapore one of the cleanest and safest places to live in the world. In my opinion, I?d rather have strict laws and safe streets than lenient laws and more crime.
M: Hmmm. I?m not so sure about that. I think it?s a debatable point. But I agree that Singapore is an interesting place. F: Definitely.
M: OK, I think you?ve answered all my questions. F: Good.
M: Thanks again for your notes. See you next class. F: Yes, see you then.
男：好的。所以首先，你在这里写了“新加坡狮子”。你是什么意思？ F：哦，这很简单。新加坡是新加坡的原名。意思是“狮城”。这个国家的象征是鱼尾狮 - 它是一头独一无二的狮子头和鱼身。狮子的头与新加坡的名字有关。而鱼的身体是因为新加坡是作为一个渔村而开始的。
F：百分之百城市化 - 所有的人都住在建筑区。你可能在我的笔记中读到，新加坡对于这样一个小国来说经济非常强大。
M：你知道，我遇到的新加坡人都很努力。他们似乎想要成为所有的第一。 F：我认为你是对的。这可能与kiasu的精神有关。 M：Kiasu？
M：再次感谢你的笔记。见下一堂课。 F：是的，那就见。 Viewing the World
Narrator: The Tuareg people have a proud tradition as nomads. But a long drought forced some to settle along the lake and try farming. Here, on the edge of Lake Gossi in Mali, they?ve made the Sahel bloom, and in turn attracted a group of giants. In the dry season, Omar Sowadou has come to expect these visitors.
Omar Sowadou (Farmer): We are living here in this area, just beside the water. Of course, we use the water for our garden, and for our animals. But elephants, they come to drink water, of course, and they want to cool down their body, so all of us, we share the same Water.
Narrator: During the day, an uneasy peace settles over the lake. People fill their goatskins. The elephants drink. But when night falls, the truce will be broken.
Omar Sowadou: After drinking they come straight away to the garden because they smell food—trees and crops. So we have to protect our garden.
Narrator: It takes more than brush fences to keep out three tons of hungry elephant.
Omar Sowadou: If an elephant spends just half an hour in a garden, he will eat at least 30 percent of it, and this is the big danger for farmers.
Narrator: To lose a third of their crop is a catastrophe for any farmer, especially here. And this is not your average garden pest. As the sun sets the battle line are drawn.
Omar Sowadou: The farmer digs holes to keep the elephant away from the farm, to not damage the farm, but it is not enough. They come all the time, spoil a lot of things, and you cannot even get to sleep during the night. It becomes like a nightmare.
Narrator: Tonight, the nightmare appears—and the farmers are ready. At first light, Omar finds he?s had a near disaster.
Omar Sowadou: I discovered that there were two elephants in the garden. I followed their footprints to the next garden. I found out that they damaged a lot of crops and trees. I do remember since I was a kid we are doing the same things every year, and for sure I will do it in the future, every year, and this is the daily fight among us and elephant. Every time we are facing the same problem with elephant, every year.
Narrator: Throughout Africa, elephants and people do battle. For now, the elephants have headed south to search for fresh food. But in six months, they?ll be back, and once again Omar Sowadou will not sleep. 旁白：图阿雷格人作为游牧民族有着骄傲的传统。但是长时间的干旱迫使一些人在湖边定居，尝试耕作。在这里，在马里的戈西湖边，他们使萨赫尔盛开，反过来又吸引了一批巨人。在