by Katarina Savic
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to express my opinion on the ban on smoking you have recently introduced. As you have stated in your Information leaflet, smoking will be banned in all public places including any outdoor facility in which there is seating. I would like to inform you that neither I nor the majority of the citizens I have talked with about this issue are feeling supportive towards this certain ban and in the next paragraph I will try to explain why this ban is inadequate and list a few alternatives.
First of all, I would like to note that the ban was introduced on really short notice and that there was no public discussion. If there had been any, I have no doubt that there would be much more compromise suggestions. Introducing this kind of a ban in that way will not bring any good to the City Council. I can give you an example of a similar case in Poland – the government banned smoking, but not many cafes respected this, and those which did – they lost many of their customers. A case like this makes us realise that the introduction of this ban will result in a loss of not only tourists but also jobs and that the city economy will suffer from it.
In order to resolve this issue, I can suggest a few alternatives. Firstly, you should organise a public discussion. If that is not possible, you can always chose a simple solution – introduce obligatory non-smoking areas in every facility. In my opinion this is an adequate solution because it will bring benefit to both sides in this issue.
Finally, I would like to mention that I do respect the City Council’s worries for the health of its citizens, but in the future you should make your decisions more carefully. I hope you will take my suggestions in further consideration.
Last weekend our college’s principal organised a clean-up campaign in which, you might have noticed, the majority of students took part voluntarily. You may have also observed that since the campaign has been organised the college looks much cleaner. Does that mean that the clean-up day was a success?
It all started when the principal saw her college was turning into a real mess, so she decided to change something about it! She gathered a group of people, advertised the campaign and everyone felt really enthusiastic about it.
On the day itself, quite a big group of people gathered and bags for trash and rubber gloves were distributed. Everyone had fun while cleaning and talking to friends and to sum it up there was a free buffet supper for everyone in the evening.
The principal also introduced a few policies for everyone to follow – some of which were a bit absurd. The thing that caught my eye the most are the fines for littering. They are really too high for the student standard and should be reduced. On the other hand, extra bins have been put and they had art students paint them so that everybody now enjoys throwing rubbish away. One of the most popular policies is the ban on smoking, and surprisingly even the ones who smoke like it because the college looks really neat now.
Finally, the only bad thing about the campaign were the advertising leaflets! They were all over the place. But I believe now that students’ environment consciousness has been raised there will be a significant decline in littering, and that is why I declare the clean-up day a success!
Assignment from Advanced Expert CAE
As a person living in Valjevo, I am of course automatically going to say I am not a great fan of the way of life ’round here, but thinking about it for a second makes me reconsider what I have just said.
From a point of view of a person living in a big city with all the hustle and bustle, noise and hectic work, I’d say Valjevo is a real little heaven on Earth. Although it sometimes seems that there are no things to do, and no places to go out to, it is actually not quite like that. People are just too lazy to create things to amuse themselves. Comparing a small peaceful town to a big city makes you realise how much you enjoy walking through the non-crowded streets, sitting on a bench in a quiet park while watching the world slowly drift by, even if you always bump into someone you know anywhere you go, which can sometimes be really annoying.
So, depending on the kind of a person you are and the things that interest you, you are the only one who should choose where to live. I, personally find myself lucky to have spent my childhood here in Valjevo, although I now can’t wait to leave it, but I am also sure that will change and I will want to come back when I’m older.
I never do things like knocking on wood. The reason why I don’t is probably because it never became a habit to me, as it did to many people I know, both older and younger. I guess nobody really believes that it works, whatever knocking on wood might mean… It just became a habit to them, for example they learned it from seeing older superstitious people do it, who probably thought it worked. On the other hand, some people probably hope that knocking on wood or something else of that kind will prevent a bad thing from happening. However, if they actually tried doing something more than just knocking, there would probably be less of so called bad things and at least they’d feel they really did something to try and prevent them from happening. That would probably mean the total end of the ‘magic knock’.