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    #1

    The Seminar , part two

    Would you please take a look at the second part of my short story and correct my mistakes?

    We sat at the table, and Darko opened the bottle of red wine from his homeland. It was a quiet afternoon, and the restaurant was empty. Through the window, we saw the tired faces of passersby illuminated by the falling sun, hurrying home after another working day. I sipped the excellent wine and told Darko about my PhD, my wife and my two daughters. He was interested in football and wanted to know how Real Madrid were playing, and if I went to the matches. He had been entitled to receive a pension last year but had chosen to work on instead because he would die of boredom.
    “You see, the town is a great place for students, but for other inhnabitants it is a lifeless one-horse-town. If people were not allowed to drink at weekends, they would kill themselves en masse. But to tell the truth, it is not so boring as it was before. Now we have robberies, shootings and arson attacks in suburbs almost every week. Cars are burning, while firefighters and ambulances don’t dare to go there without the police escort. And if they arrest anyone, the youth respond by pelting buses with stones and stopping the traffic.”
    “But what the Swedes say?

    Darko smirked. “The Swedes don’t dare to say anything because if you protest, you’re automatically called a racist. So everyone pretends nothing extraordinary is happening, although people are boiling inside. Look at those refugees in the street. They need a place to sleep, food, clothing, medical help... Who is going to pay for all that? Look at the Gypsis from Romania and Bulgaria; they all have iPhones. They are well-organized and work for their bosses who drive around in BMWs and Audis of the latest model.”
    I wondered what his plans were for the future, and he looked at the picture on the wall, showing the sparkling sea and a white yacht with a billowing sail and said,
    “I’ll sell this place and return to the house where I was born. I’ll make wine, grow figs, olives, and mandarins, and enjoy the rest of my life with my own people. I am too old to build Sweden. Now they have enough refugees to build two or three countries at the same time.” Darko cracked up and I joined him. Before I left, we gave each other a long hug, and I promised to return for dinner before my departure.

    The next morning after breakfast, I went to the Africa Institute where about twenty of my colleagues gathered to discuss the poems and life of a certain Mamadou. A group of tourists and their guide had found them by accident while they were searching for a shelter during the desert storm among the ancient ruins in Mali. Some experts questioned the authenticity of the verses, which did not prevent researchers all over the world to publish books and articles about the poet.
    We sat in a semi-circle while the director of the institute sat in front of us and gave a speech, welcoming us and wishing us success. The researchers were mostly men, and they stared at her well-shaped legs, which ended in high heels. Ms Anna Svensson was dressed in a tight-fitted red blouse, and was heavily made-up, as if she wanted to tease us. Her blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail, exposing her slender neck. The male participants seemed to be more interested in her body than Mamadou’s poems. When she had finished, my colleagues read out their contributions: Mamadou and Victorian poetry, Mamadou and the Struggle Against Colonialism, The Secret of the Malian Desert, Mamadou and Shakespearean Sonnet...one more boring than the other.

    At the lunch break, I sat with Jim, a middle-aged sunburnt professor from Australia, He was ecstatic.
    “I didn’t know that Swedish women are so sexy,” he said. “I’ve got a hard-on when I saw the director. She has such a great pair of legs.”
    “It’s true, many Swedish women are attractive,” I said.
    “Some people told me they are easy.”
    “Some of them.”
    “I’ve prepared myself,” he said, his ruddy face beaming. He reached into the inner pocket of his jacket and took out a packet of Viagra.

    I nodded and told him he should also buy a packet of condoms, in case he did not want to get a sexually transmitted illness or father a child. Before I left the building, I saw him talking with Ms Svensson. They seemed to enjoy each other’s company, and they gazed continually into each other’s eyes. Jim was making a promising start.

    In the evening, I went to a pub to meet my friend Filippo. He was an exchange student like I, but unlike me, he decided to stay and marry. I had tried to persuade him to move back to Italy, but he did not want to listen. “My Olivia is different,” he said. “Our love is so strong.” Six years later, he was crying on the telephone as he was telling me how his wife had left him, and had taken their two children with her.
    TO BE CONTINUED

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The Seminar , part two

    First paragraph. Say:

    He was entitled to receive a pension (starting last year), but he had chosen to work on instead because he was sure that if he retired he would die of boredom.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The Seminar , part two

    Say:

    Now we have robberies, shootings, and arson attacks in the suburbs almost every week. Cars are burning, while firefighters and ambulances don't dare to go there without a police escort.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The Seminar , part two

    Say:

    "And if they arrest anyone, the youth respond by pelting buses with stones and stopping traffic."

    "But what do the Swedes say?"

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The Seminar , part two

    What does Darko mean when he says he is too old to build Sweden?

  6. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The Seminar , part two

    Paragraph three. Say:

    Some experts questioned the authenticity of the verses, which did not prevent researchers all over the world from publishing books and articles about the poet.

  7. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The Seminar , part two

    Yachts with sails?

  8. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The Seminar , part two

    Hm. It seems that Shakespearan sonnets might be more interesting.

  9. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: The Seminar , part two

    Fourth paragraph. Say:

    "I didn't know that Swedish women were so sexy," he said. "I got a hard-on when I saw the director."

  10. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: The Seminar , part two

    Paragraph six. Say:

    He was an exchange student like me, but unlike me he decided to stay and marry.

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