避免尷尬沉默的五個話題【倫敦篇】(圖文來源:CNN GO)

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"Rain rain go away, come back on Olympics Opening Ceremony day."

1. Transportation
The London Underground is one of the busiest rail services in the world.
It's (naturally) a reliable source of complaints: how slow it is, how expensive it is, how/why it doesn't run 24 hours a day and why are the Tube drivers constantly going on strike?

2. Real estate
Fluctuating housing prices, and which neighborhoods are up and coming, are always a hot topic. Because of high property taxes, however, few can afford to move, which leads many Londoners to convert their attics into bedrooms and bathrooms, or to extend their kitchens.
If you want to establish immediate camaraderie with a London homeowner, ask how his or her loft conversion is going.

3. The weather
Despite what the Gershwins wrote, it isn't all that foggy in London town.
But weather is still the go-to conversation starter, whether it's cold when it was supposed to be hot, or raining when it was supposed to be dry.
The forecasters, naturally, are rarely completely right.
London also faces the threat of drought this year, causing many residents to wonder not just if it will happen, but how bad it might be.

4. Schools
Children in England enter primary school at five and secondary school at 11. Any parent with kids that age is fixated on getting his or her child into the right state (public) or private schools -- right down to buying a new home in a prime "catchment area" (school district), or dusting off the piety and becoming a regular churchgoer (even converting!) to secure entry in the best state-funded faith schools.

5. The Olympics
The 2012 Olympics in London are the topic this year. Whether you care about the Games or not.
Many Brits tend toward a gloomy outlook on how good the opening ceremony will be, how many (if any) medals the home team will win, the potential for terrorism and how crowded the city will get.
But they're still planning on going, leaving locals to wonder why they couldn't get any better tickets (or revel in the choice seats they scored via work).

 transportation n. 運輸工具   fluctuate v. 波動、動搖  fixated a. 迷戀的
 reliable a. 可靠的  attic n. 閣樓  catchment area n. 學區、集水區 
 complaint n. 抱怨  camaraderie n. 同志間的情誼   dust off v. 除去…的灰塵
 Tube n. (英) 地下鐵  loft n. 閣樓  piety n. 虔誠
 strike n. 罷工  conversion n. 轉換  faith school n. (英) 宗教學校
 real state n. 房地產  drought n. 乾旱  revel n. 著迷
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