girl at street market wearing backpack


You will hear the recording twice, and then the examiner will ask you questions.



Why does the speaker’s friend not want her to buy the handbag?
Is the speaker especially happy with her purchase?

My friend and I have been planning this trip for years! And here we are. Istanbul. It’s fantastic. As we wander through the overcrowded ancient roads we come across a man selling handbags on the street. A particularly stylish bag catches my eye, so I grab it to a have closer look. I love it. It’s perfect. The size, the colour. And the price – well a bit of haggling will make it dirt cheap. Just what I need.

Out of nowhere my friend snaps at me saying ‘you’re not seriously considering getting that, are you? It’s a fake!’ I then notice the label on one face of the bag. ‘I couldn’t care less’ I respond. She protests ‘it’s a fake. It’s fraud. They’re stealing! You can’t possibly support that’. I understand what she’s saying, but to me it’s a bag, one that is absolutely perfect for my needs. I know it’s not a genuine brand, but I really don’t care. My friend is disgusted. ‘Everyone will know it’s a fake anyway’ she mutters in a rather condescending tone. Do I care? Certainly everyone who knows me is well aware I cannot afford purchase the genuine article. And I really couldn’t give a hoot what anyone else might think. ‘You’re stealing from the designers if you buy it’ my friend hisses. Well I suppose she has a point but surely it’s more ethical to give my hard-earned dollars to this obviously underprivileged street seller rather than a ludicrously wealthy designer anyway.

The street seller, who speaks fairly limited English looks puzzled. He wants to sell the bag and he believes he has a buyer. He glares at my friend as she is obviously the cause of the commotion. I can’t feel guilty. I know it’s a fake designer, but it’s not a fake bag. It’s a really good handbag for my needs. Not to mention ridiculously cheap. Although I’m not concerned about what other people think about my bag, I am now somewhat concerned about ending this rather irritating disagreement with my friend. I’ll feel uncomfortable now if I buy the bag but disappointed with myself if I don’t. The seller does the usual haggle and begs me to purchase the bag – he tells me he has a wife and children to feed, he hasn’t sold anything for days etc etc. For the first time ever I’m actually pleased to have a pushy salesman in front of me. I take it, but reluctantly as I know this awkward scenario has put a dampener on the otherwise fantastic trip.


Why does the speaker’s friend not want her to buy the handbag?
Is the speaker especially happy with her purchase?


The speaker’s friend doesn’t want her to buy the bag because:

  • it’s fake/ it’s fraud
  • it’s stealing from the designers
  • everyone will know it is fake

The speaker is not very happy with her purchase because:

  • although it’s cheap, it’s just what she needs/ it’s a good handbag for her needs
  • and she doesn’t care what other people think about her bag
  • it has caused a disagreement between herself and her friend
    the awkward scenario has put a damper on the other wise fantastic trip


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