[Listening Medium] Bus Trip – KEY

Pre-Listening Exercise

What are the advantages and disadvantages of traveling by bus on a trip over flying or driving?


hit the road” = start to travel
It’s getting late. Let’s hit the road before it gets dark. I don’t like driving at night.”

off the beaten path” = an area that people usually don’t visit
When the bus stops in the next city, I want to take you to a restaurant off the beaten path. The food is great.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.


Woman: Excuse me. Is this seat taken?

Man: It is now. Take a seat.

Woman: Thanks. I had been waiting for over two hours for the bus to come.

Man: Yeah. The bus broke down about 50 miles back. Actually, the bus driver lost control of the bus when he spilt hot chocolate on himself, and then as he tried to regain control of the bus, he hit a rock and the bus blew a tire.

Woman: Uh. Are you sure this bus is safe?

Man: I’m not sure if it’s safe, but you can’t beat the price of the trip.

Woman: So, where are you from?

Man: To tell the truth, I really don’t know.

Woman: Uh, what do you mean?

Man: Well, you see, I was adopted when I was a baby. I was told that I was born in New York City, but I can’t be sure about that. Then, my new parents raised me in a small town in Texas. I’m sure you’ve never heard of it.

Woman: Oh.

Man: My parents, Fred and Norma, had a farm, so I grew up milking cows and herding sheep. Actually, I’m on my way to visit them now.

Woman: You mean back to Texas?

Man: Oh no. They sold that farm years ago when they discovered oil on their property. They live on a ranch right outside of Las Vegas. Beautiful place with a pool . . .

Woman: Las Vegas. Las Vegas? I thought this bus was heading to Chicago . . . in the opposite direction!

Man: Ah. You’re on the wrong bus.

Woman: I got to get off.

Man: Hey, relax. Spend a weekend with me and my parents on the ranch. I can teach you how to milk a cow or something.

Woman: I have to get off.

Man: Relax. Anyway, once this bus left the station, it ain’t gonna stop until the next stop . . . three hours from now. The driver got really upset when the last passenger made a similar mistake. Hey, sit and relax. Let me tell you about the farm. I have plenty of stories.


Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • Is this seat taken? (adjective): being used or occupied 
    – I’m sorry, but this seat is taken. My wife is using the restroom right now, but she’ll be back in a minute.
  • break down (verb): stop working 
    – The buses always break down on my way to work, so I now drive instead.
  • regain (verb): recover something after it is lost 
    – My brother almost crashed his car into a tree during the snowstorm, but he regained control of the car at the last second.
  • beat (verb): do better than something else 
    – I know that taking the bus isn’t always very comfortable and fast, but you sometimes can’t beat the price.
  • herd (verb; also a noun): gather animals 
    – Our dog herds the sheep very quickly in the fields.
  • discover (verb): find 
    – You can discover interesting places when you travel the country by bus.
  • ranch (noun): a place where people live in the country and raise animals such as horses and cows 
    – My father grew up on a large ranch in California, and his family raised a lot of animals. He said it was very hard work.
  • head somewhere (verb): go in the direction of a particular place 
    – I’m heading to California to visit my family. What about you? Where are you heading on this trip?
  • upset (adjective): unhappy or angry 
    – Brittany is really upset about the trip. She can’t go because she doesn’t have money to buy a bus ticket.