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    #1

    Neighbours, part two

    Please would you proofread the second part of my short story, Neighbours.

    Although Anna was a great fighter, she was not a saint. She was aware of her own shortcomings and prejudices. A sense of shame would sweep her mind whenever she remembered the moment when her daughter Sanna told her that she had a black boyfriend, from Ghana. As soon as Sanna left the room, Anna sat at her computer and searched on the Internet the number of AIDS patients in that country. Her brain was quickly assessing the chance that her daughterís boyfriend could be one of them. She fought off that thought but it returned most of the time. Please always use a condom, she wanted to warn Sanna, but bit her tongue, afraid she would be misunderstood. Thorsten did not show any signs of worry, and she did not dare to mention it to him. Youíre paranoid, he would have said and laughed it off. Her thoughts had not changed even when he met her daughterís boyfriend. She brought him one afternoon to a dinner. John was a nice looking and intelligent man, who studied electronics and communication engineering and had ambitious plans for the future. Anna kept her thoughts at bay all the evening, and then when the guests left, she caught herself washing Johnís plates, glass and cutlery three times. Three months later her daughter arrived crying and seeking comfort. She told her mother she had broken up with her boyfriend, and Anna was enormously relieved.

    Later she pondered on her irrational fear and understood that root of it must have been in her travel to Gambia many years ago. As newly married couple, she and Thorsten wished to experience something exceptional and at the same time escape dark and cold Sweden. Africa awaited them with open arms, hot weather and kind people, but unfortunately, it gave Anna terrible diarrhoea, which kept her inside her hotel room for three days. When she recovered and walked around, she saw that many of her fellow travellers did not come to enjoy beautiful beaches and warm weather but sex with young African man. Those middle-aged Swedish women, whose fat fingers groped at the muscular dark bodies, disgusted her. She asked Thorsten to leave Banjul and travel into the countryside, which they eventually did. There in the villages, there was no trace of sex tourists, but poverty was widespread. There were neither social services nor proper healthcare, and some people shuffled around with their deformed limbs and haggard faces stretching out their gnarled arms and begging for money. In the end, she was happy when the plane landed at Arlanda airport, and she was back in safety where everything functioned properly and where poverty was extinguished.
    TO BE CONTINUED

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    #2

    Re: Neighbours, part two

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Please would you proofread the second part of my short story, Neighbours.

    Although Anna was a great fighter, she was not a saint. She was aware of her own shortcomings and prejudices. A sense of shame would sweep her mind whenever she remembered the moment when her daughter, Sanna, told her that she had a black boyfriend from Ghana. As soon as Sanna left the room, Anna sat at her computer and searched on the Internet for the number of AIDS patients ("patients" usually refers to someone who is under the care of a doctor. I believe that you should use something like "people infected with AIDS") in that country. Her brain was quickly assessing the chance that her daughterís boyfriend could be one of them. She fought off that thought but it returned most of the time ("most of the time" is acceptable but "time-after-time" might be better). "Please, always use a condom", she wanted to warn Sanna, but bit her tongue, afraid she would be misunderstood. Thorsten did not show any signs of worry, and she did not dare to mention it to him. "Youíre paranoid", he would have said and laughed it off. Her thoughts had not changed even when he she met her daughterís boyfriend. She brought him one afternoon to a dinner (She brought him to dinner one afternoon - don't people usually have dinner in the evening?). John was a nice looking and intelligent man who studied electronics and communication engineering and had ambitious plans for the future. Anna kept her thoughts at bay all the evening, and then when the guests left, she caught herself washing Johnís plates, glass and cutlery three times. Three months later her daughter arrived crying and seeking comfort. She told her mother she had broken up with her boyfriend, and Anna was enormously relieved.

    Later she pondered on her irrational fear and understood that the root of it must have been in her travel ​trip (though "travels" could be used) to Gambia many years ago. As a newly married couple, she and Thorsten wished to experience something exceptional, and at the same time, escape dark and cold Sweden. Africa awaited them with open arms, hot weather and kind people, but unfortunately, it gave Anna terrible diarrhoea, which kept her inside her hotel room for three days. When she recovered and walked around, she saw that many of her fellow travellers (Be careful of this term. In the US, a "fellow traveler" used to be a term for someone who agreed with Communists) did not come to enjoy beautiful beaches and warm weather but to have sex with young African man. Those middle-aged Swedish women, whose fat fingers groped at the muscular dark bodies, disgusted her. She asked Thorsten to leave Banjul and travel into the countryside, which they eventually did (This sounds as though she wanted Thorsten to go by himself. Rewrite - She asked Thorsten if they could leave Banjul...). There, in the villages, there was no trace of sex tourists, but poverty was widespread. There were neither social services nor proper healthcare, and some people shuffled around with their deformed limbs and haggard faces stretching out their gnarled arms and begging for money. In the end, she was happy when the plane landed at Arlanda airport, and she was back in safety where everything functioned properly and where poverty was extinguished.
    TO BE CONTINUED
    Gil

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    #3

    Re: Neighbours, part two

    Dear Gil,

    Thank you again for your help, which means so much to me.
    Regarding my sentence "She brought him to dinner one afternoon," I really did not think about that dinner should be used with the word "evening." Here in Sweden people have dinner sometimes at 6, and I have always believed that 6 p.m. is still afternoon. I am probably wrong.

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    #4

    Re: Neighbours, part two

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Dear Gil,

    Thank you again for your help, which means so much to me.
    Regarding my sentence "She brought him to dinner one afternoon," I really did not think about that dinner should be used with the word "evening." Here in Sweden people have dinner sometimes at 6, and I have always believed that 6 p.m. is still afternoon. I am probably wrong.
    There are no set rules,as far as I know, as to when afternoon ends and evening starts but generally 5 PM is the breaking point. It seems that 4:55 PM is late afternoon and 5:10 PM is early evening. This might be different in other parts of the world or even the country one is in. When I read that I thought of Mexico where the main meal is taken in the mid-afternoon, around 2:30 PM or 3:00 PM.

    I should made some mention of the usage of "irrational" in the first sentence of the second paragraph. I don't believe that her fear was irrational. It may be that the fear was the product of a racial stereotype: all Mexicans live in a desert, all Italians are Catholics, all Chinese like rice, etc. "Later on she pondered on her stereotyping of John and the fear it brought from her and understood...."

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