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Advanced Reading Course | City Life

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Advanced Reading Course | City Life

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Source: The Coursebook,

Unit 24: “Only a madman would choose to live in a large

Avoid the rush-hour’ must be the slogan of large cities the world over. If it is, it’s a slogan no one takes the least notice of. Twice a day, with predictable regularity, the pot boils over. Wherever you look it’s people, people, people. The trains which leave or arrive every few minutes are packed: an endless of human sardine tins. The streets are so crowded, there is hardly room to move on the pavements. The queues for buses reach staggering proportions. for a bus to get to you because the traffic on the roads has virtually come to a standstill. Even when a bus does at last arrive, it’s so full, it can’t take any more passengers. This whole crazy system of commuting stretches man’s resources . The smallest unforeseen event can bring about conditions of . A power-cut, for instance, an exceptionally or a minor must always make city-dwellers realize how precarious the balance is. The extraordinary thing is not that people these conditions, but that they actually choose them anything else.

Large modern cities are too big to control. They impose their own living conditions on the people who inhabit them. City-dwellers are obliged by their environment to adopt a wholly unnatural way of life. They the land and rhythm of nature. It is possible to live such an air-conditioned existence in a large city that you are barely conscious of the seasons. A few flowers in a (if you have the time to visit it) may remind you that it is spring or summer. A few leaves clinging to the pavement may remind you that it is autumn. Beyond that, what is going on in nature seems totally irrelevant. All the simple, good things of life like sunshine and are . Tall buildings . Traffic fumes pollute the atmosphere. Even the distinction between day and night is lost. The goes on unceasingly and the noise never stops.

The funny thing about it all is that you for the ‘privilege’ of living in a city. The demand for accommodation is so great that it is often impossible for ordinary people to buy a house of their own. Exorbitant rents must be paid for tiny flats which even country hens would disdain to live in. Accommodation apart, the is very high. Just about everything you buy is likely to be more expensive than it would be in the country.

In addition to all this, city-dwellers live . The in most cities is very high. Houses are burgled with alarming frequency. Cities breed crime and violence and are full of places you would be afraid to visit at night. If you think about it, they’re not really fit to live in at all. Can anyone really doubt that the country is what man was born for and where he truly belongs?

Advanced Reading Course | City Life

Advanced Reading Course | City Life

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