Foreign beer-lovers might think that the Germans are unimaginative when it comes to beer because, good as it is, it all seems to taste very similar. There are, however, many regional and seasonal differences, particularly in Bavaria and Munich. Oktoberfest, the world's largest beer festival, actually begins in September and. to mark the occasion, each of Munich's many breweries makes a special beer. Because of this, an astonishing variety of different types and strengths of beer are available at this festival.



14.Junk Food

In today's fast-moving world, people have less and less time to spend eating, let alone cooking. It is probably for this reason that junk food has become so popular, and there's no doubt that it's here to stay. In fact, it seems that you simply can't get away from it. One British hotel group recently announced that its guests are able to order fast food through room service, a move which is seen by many as signifying a new era in the couch potato lifestyle. So what exactly is junk food?

Basically, it is anything that is high in calories but lacking in nutrition. Hamburgers, crisps, chocolate bars and hot dogs fall into this category. Pizzas, although they can have vegetable and cheese toppings, are also included as they contain a lot of fat.

Obviously, a diet of junk food is not the best thing for your health, particularly as it is high in saturated fat. In 1993, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported this type of fat to be associated with a greater risk of cancer.

Apart from the risk of cancer, another side effect of consuming highly fattening junk food is that you are likely to gain weight. This is especially true because you tend to eat more, as junk food is less satisfying and lower in vital nutrients than healthier food.

The best advice, then, for those who cannot live without their hamburgers or chocolate bars, is to limit the amount of junk food they eat. A little now and then will probably do no harm. But why have our eating habits changed? "It's lack of time and loss of tradition." says one expert.

He explains that people are too busy to cook and eat proper meals, so they grab whatever is available and that is usually junk food. Also, the style of life represented on TV, especially in music videos, is fast. Young people pick up the idea that speed means excitement, whereas anything traditional is slow and boring. As a result, they turn down traditional food and go for junk food instead.

Another alarming thing about people's lifestyles today is that while the amount of junk food we eat has increased, the amount of exercise we do has actually decreased. Exercise plays an important part in keeping the body fit and healthy: it helps to control our weight and, if taken regularly, can also decrease our chances of having a heart attack in later life.

What is more, you don't have to exercise much to gain visible benefits. Doctors say that twenty minutes' exercise three times a week is all that is necessary.

Even though people nowadays are actually far more aware of the importance of exercise and a healthy diet than they were a few years ago. The new unhealthy way of life is surprisingly popular. This is illustrated by statistics gathered by researchers over the past two decades.

Recent research has shown that young French people, who prefer burgers and chips to rich gourmet dishes, tend to become overweight. Weight gained in adolescence is extremely hard to lose in later life, so researchers are predicting that the new French generation are not going to be admired for their slim figures as the French have traditionally been.

Researchers suggest that the new generation will be much more likely to suffer from heart and liver disease. What can't be emphasised enough is the fact that a balanced diet and regular exercise bring significant health benefits.

You can gain anything from glowing skin to an all-round feeling of good health. One way or another, the vast majority of people seem to be missing out on this, due mainly to the pressures of modern life.

Ironically, if they were to make time to exercise and improve their eating habits, they would probably find that they were far Setter equipped to deal with their stressful lifestyles than they are now.



16.The Will to Win

Athletes, if they want to reach the top of their chosen sport, have to train hard for hours every day. Their commitment to the sport and their achievements certainly deserve praise. This is true for both able-bodied athletes like Carl Lewis or Linford Christie, and for disabled athletes like Isabel Newstead, who carried the United Kingdom flag at the Barcelona Paralympic Games in 1992. "We want to be recognised for our achievements, just like any other top class athletes. We are not interested in hearing how brave and wonderful we are," says Isabel. "We are demonstrating our abilities in an environment where our disabilities don't count."

Another disabled athlete, Chris Holmes, is a swimmer with gold, silver and bronze medals won at the Paralympics. He is blind and has to count his strokes to judge when he will reach the end of the pool, but this does not lessen his speed.

Competition among swimmers is so fierce that the difference between the record times of the disabled and able-bodied in the 50-metre freestyle swimming event is only four seconds. With results like these, more and more spectators have been attracted to the Paralympic Games.

The opening ceremonies and most of the wheelchair basketball games were sold out long before the start of the Atlanta Games. This is quite interesting if you bear in mind that in many past events, tickets had to be given away to attract spectators.

This new interest is especially pleasing for Bob Steadward, president of the International Paralympic Committee, whose job it is to promote greater awareness of and more participation in the disabled version of the Games.

"I wanted to ensure that developing nations had the opportunity to send athletes to Atlanta," says Steadward. "As a result of the money we had, and the money we received from the IOC (International Olympic Committee), we were able to sponsor more than 100 athletes from 35 countries who would otherwise not have had a chance to come."

More and more sports are being added to the Paralympic Games as the range of the athletes' skills and abilities becomes known. Sailing had not been a Paralympic sport before, but Andrew Cassell, the captain of the British sailing team, helped it to be included. He was born with the lower part of both his legs missing, but he never let this get in his way. He started sailing when he was ten years old and since then he has proven himself time and time again by winning races and even breaking world records. So far, there are

events for the blind, amputees, and people with cerebral palsy as well as wheelchair sports. Atlanta is the first Games to include mentally disabled athletes competing in swimming, as well as track and field events.

Many of the athletes have suffered accidents and illnesses which would be enough to make most of us want to give up. But they are pushing back the barriers which, until recently, kept the disabled from taking part in sports. They are the ones who are catching the public eye and imagination, changing people's perceptions of what 'disability" means and what extraordinary abilities the so-called disabled actually possess.




18.A joke. A woman was playing tennis when the ball was thrown into the woods. She went to seek for it and found a frog, which had been caught into a trap.

The frog said, Please, give me a favor! . Then he asked a woman to free him into a trap and admitted that he had executed three of her wishes.

So, the woman agreed and freed the frog. Then the frog admitted that it was something else he hadnt mentioned about earlier. He explained that a woman could have three wishes but whatever she wished for, her husband would have ten times more. He added, I suggest you first think over. But the woman replied that everything was fine with her.

The woman said for her first wish she wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world. The frog warned that her husband would be the most handsome man and all women would chase him. Woman, however, refused to discuss it because she would be the most beautiful woman in the world and he would only have eyes for her.

For her second wish she wants to be the richest woman in the world. The frog reminded that her husband would be ten times richer than she. But the woman began to insist again that he absolutely didnt mind.

Finally, the frog asked what she wanted for her third wish. And the woman replied she would get a mild heart attack.


19.Romantic Anniversary.

I took a sip of cappuccino and relaxed in the first-class seat of the Eurostar train as it sped towards Paris.

I wasnt really sure why I was on the train in the first place. It certainly wasnt typical of me to drop everything and run off somewhere like Paris. Actually, my wife Sandra keeps feeling me Ive become boring in my old age. In fact, Sandra was the reason why I was heading for the French capital.

When I had got home from work the night before, Id found a note from Sandra on the kitchen table. It said that she needed to get away for a few days and would come back later in the week.

Shed done the same thing several times during our twenty-two years of marriage. When she got fed up with things at home, she would pack a bag and go, but she always came back when she was ready.

We had been having a few problems recently, and I had to admit that our relationship had got a bit boring since our youngest daughter had left for university.

After re-reading Sandra's note, it suddenly occurred to me that the following day would be exactly 25 years since Sandra and I first met in Paris. We had always celebrated this date together, but this time she had obviously decided to spend it away from me.

I couldn't really blame her. I'd been working such long hours that we barely saw each other. When we did have some time together, I was usually so exhausted that I simply fell asleep in front of the TV. I suddenly felt I had to go to Paris on the anniversary of our first meeting. On my own, perhaps, I would be able to see things more clearly.

I decided to catch the first Eurostar train the next morning.

Soon after the train arrived at the Gare du Nord in Paris, jnsure of where I was going, I bought a ticket and went straight down to the Metro. As the train rushed through the alack tunnel, I found my mind going back to that day, 25 years before.

I'd been working in the Paris branch of a London-based merchant bank. I remember it was a beautiful spring day and I'd decided to spend my lunch break in the Tuileries gardens. I had bought a baguette and some cold meat and found myself a bench next to a pool.

I'd only been there a few minutes when a gorgeous young lady came up and asked if she could join me. She had a thermos flask of coffee and a bag of fresh fruit.

We sat on the bench, shared our lunch and chatted for ages. Her name was Sandra and she was working in Paris as a nanny. We fell in love, and eventually married three years later in London.

Coming out of the Metro, I realized I was quite close to the Tuileries so I decided to see if I could find our bench.

As it was nearly midday, I bought some lunch --the same lunch I'd had 25 years before. Then I headed for the gardens, making my way through the tourists who crowded the Rue de Rivoli.

I paused at the gates of the gardens, wishing that Sandra was with me. I eventually went through the gates and walked along the path past the same green trees, statues and flowerbeds.

When I arrived at the pool I saw that the bench was still there. It was empty, so I went over and sat down. I took the food out of the bag, tore off a piece of the baguette and began to eat. Suddenly I heard a woman's voice behind me.

"May I join you?" it said. Startled, I turned around. In disbelief, I watched as my wife, holding a thermos flask of coffee and a large bag of fruit, came round and sat next to me. She looked wonderful. She'd had her hair done and was wearing a floral print dress.

"Sandra!" I exclaimed.

"I was hoping you'd come, Bill," she smiled.



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