17. (small) device
The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets . If you still struggle with FCE Listening, please refer to Listening tips.
Assistant: Can I help you?
Customer: Yes, I bought this coat here yesterday but when I tried it on at home I found it was too tight on me, so I’d like to exchange it for a larger one .
Assistant: I don’t think we have one in stock. Perhaps you’d like to try on another kind of coat, or a jacket? Actually we’ve got some lovely winter jackets, just in.
Customer: No, that’s not really what I’m looking for.
Assistant: I could order the one you mentioned if you like. Or return your money, whichever you prefer
Customer: Could you order it, please?
Speaker: I’m afraid it looks like there’s quite a storm heading towards western and northern areas, and that will arrive about dawn tomorrow. The rest of the country will start off cloudy with a few showers, but by lunchtime there will be clear skies and the bright weather will last well into the early evening , apart from in the south where there might be a few foggy patches once the sun goes down. At around the same time, bad weather will reach eastern regions, bringing high winds and heavy rain, with the possibility of flooding in low-lying areas.
Speaker: I sometimes think back to when I used to drive to work in the morning, looking at my watch and worrying in case the traffic made me late, and though I still have to ride through it and I still get held up by the lights, I much prefer going on two wheels. By the time I arrive I feel pleasantly tired, almost as if I’d been for a light workout at the gym, and that’s a good way to start the day . I hardly give any thought to my work until I actually sit down at my desk, because nowadays I feel much more relaxed and able to cope with whatever might come up during the day.
Speaker: We’re looking for good short stories to read out on next week’s programme, so if you think you’re capable of writing an interesting tale in less than 750 words, either send it in as an email attachment or post it to us and you may be one of the lucky five prizewinners. Unlike in some competitions, as long they are original pieces of writing you can send in as many as you like  and there’s no upper or lower age limit. In fact, last year’s first prize was won by a seventeen-year-old, and the winner of the second prize was just sixteen.
Woman: So what sort of books do you like to read in your spare time?
Man: Well, in my student days I went through a phase of reading novels that could really make me laugh out loud, but although I still like entertaining stories my tastes have changed a little.
Woman: To what kinds of thing?
Man: Action stories that take place in remote parts of the world. The kinds of location my grandfather visited in his younger days but I can only dream of travelling to . I particularly like those with weird characters, quite unlike anyone you’ve ever met.
Man: Isn’t it much simpler to look at some online reviews, choose a movie, pay a little to download it and then settle down to watch it, rather than go into town, queue up for tickets and then sit in a crowded, uncomfortable cinema?
Woman: There’s certainly a much wider choice available, and getting the one you want is easy, too , but it’s never the same as seeing it on the big screen. And I wouldn’t take too much notice of the comments made by other buyers: they’re even less reliable than the arts critics in the newspapers.
Speaker: Yes, it’s an awful feeling and I’ve been kicking myself here. It’s never happened to me before, though I’ve had a few near-misses. Like the time I got stuck in traffic on the road to the airport and only just made it in time; or when I got off the Underground at Terminal 5 rather than 4, and had to race back to the station when I eventually realised my mistake. On this occasion I got there on time but there were just too many people waiting ahead of me, and when I finally reached the desk I was told the flight had closed .
Speaker: When I first saw the ad in the employment section of the paper, it wasn’t the fact I’d be earning far more than I am now that caught my attention, it was the chance to achieve my full potential doing something relevant to the experience I’d gained before I took up my current post . In fact, though the job description in the ad talked about good prospects of rising within the company structure, that’s never really been an ambition of mine.
Brad Mitchell: When you go extreme snowboarding, you head for the highest peaks and the steepest slopes, taking little more than a map and some basic survival equipment with you. Unlike in ski resorts, you won’t see any signs telling you there are rocks, or trees around , so it’s up to you and your guide to make sure your route is as safe as possible. Of course, you should never attempt to go down a slope on your own. It’s essential to be accompanied by a guide , who must go first every time as there may be no clear route down through the rocks and other dangers. They’ll also show you the way up to your starting point, which may involve a long, difficult climb, and may wear a backpack containing supplies. I know some snowboarders like to take a helicopter up to the top, and that’s quick and easy – though expensive – but I always prefer to go on foot, with a helmet on , of course. When you finally get up there, the view is always
completely different from the way it looked from below. People say to me it must take a lot of courage to start going down such a steep slope, but if you’ve reached that point then you must be
a pretty experienced snowboarder and what’s really required is a tremendous amount of confidence . You never know exactly which way you’re going to go or what you’re going to encounter on your way down, and you often find yourself having to make split-second decisions, but that’s part of the fun. There’s nothing quite as exciting as suddenly having to perform a series of jumps as you descend , and then managing to stay on your feet afterwards. The ability to do that is obviously something that takes those new to extreme snowboarding quite some time to learn. And whereas doing a reasonably good take-off seems to come fairly naturally to most of us, landing is a more complex skill to acquire , as I found in my early days out on the mountain side.
Falling correctly is also something you need to practise, initially at low speed and on gentle slopes, and later in conditions more similar to those you’ll encounter on the mountain. Rule one when you lose your balance is not to panic , or else you’ll get tense and be far more likely to injure yourself than if you’re relaxed and just let yourself go with the fall. Often the best thing to do is roll out of the fall, but it’s natural to try to use your arms to try to slow yourself down and if you do so remember that elbows, if you fall on them, are much stronger and less likely to be injured than wrists . Following a high-speed fall, you might find yourself covered by some of the white stuff that has fallen with you. There may be just a few feet of it and you can usually pull yourself up to the surface, but if you can’t you’re in big trouble and that’s why I’d never go down a slope without a small device fastened to my body  that sends out a signal to the rescue services if I get buried. I know some safety experts recommend also taking a medical kit, but somehow I think that if I were buried under ice, my priority would be to get out or get rescued. I’m always looking for new challenges. Competition snowboarding was something I looked at, but there were just too many guys showing off. Teaching snowboarding is certainly something I might do one day, but what I really dream about is parachute snowboarding : going straight down a mountain, flying off a cliff and then floating down to the valley below. Now that’s what I call extreme.