You are going to read an extract from a novel. For questions 31-36, choose the answer (А, В, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.
The flight is busy and the last few passengers to board are searching for places to stow their hand luggage. The Asian woman in the seat next to me is in her late twenties, probably travelling on business. I am wondering if I should talk to her when the man in the window seat shows up and we have to let him in. She settles back in the middle seat. When I try to strap myself back in I find she’s picked up the buckle of my belt by accident and we look at each other and laugh.
‘What have you been doing in Bangalore?’ I ask.
‘My office is there. It’s where I’m based.’ I notice that she has a North American accent. She tells me she works for a multinational company that makes clothing and that she is on her way to Thailand. She has to visit a couple of factories and meet with some other people from the company. She’s also trying to complete her PhD thesis, which is on a laptop she has under the seat in front of her. While she’s talking she puts her passport away in her bag and I see she’s Canadian.
She asks me what I do and I tell her. Then l ask her some more about her job and she tells me about that. By this time we are in the air and climbing towards our cruising altitude. The cabin is quiet, lights still dimmed, just the gentle sound of the air conditioning and the murmur of conversations. The flight to Singapore is three and a half hours. I can’t decide whether to attempt sleep. It is nearly midnight and it hardly seems worth it. The man in the window seat has put on eye-shades and has an inflated pillow around his neck. He has slipped down in the seat with his head lolling to one side, his blanket pulled up to his chest. The woman shows no inclination to sleep so I ask her where she grew up.
She tells me her father is a medical doctor and that he went to Canada before she was born. They spent a few years in Montreal but most of the time she lived in Saskatchewan. ‘It was OK,’ she says. ‘There are things happening there, it’s not as dull as you might think.’ She tells me sometimes in the winter it would get down to minus sixty.
‘Really it was minus thirty,’ she says. ‘But the wind chill factor made it feel like minus sixty. I remember them saying on the weather forecast “human flesh will freeze in 1.4 seconds.” Things like that.’
‘I’ve never been anywhere that cold,’ I say.
‘Somehow it didn’t feel that bad,’ she says. ‘It was like a dry cold. When the sun was shining it didn’t seem that cold. It makes your skin kind of tingle. We used to play out in it. You can get seriously cold and not realise it. When you’re back indoors your face and hands ache as the blood comes back. I suppose that is how polar explorers end up losing toes. They don’t realise how cold they are.’
‘I suppose so,’ I say. There’s a pause in the conversation and I wonder what to say next.
‘I guess you get the other extreme living in India.’
‘Bangalore is fine,’ she says, ‘though we need rain. The drought is very bad in south India right now.’
The woman asks me how I got into my present job and I tell her a bit about my life. At least I tell her the story which over time has fashioned itself into what I call my life. It’s not that I’m being deliberately secretive or deceitful. I just don’t know how to talk about what really happened.
31 What do we find out about the woman in the first paragraph?
A She is annoyed at having to change seats with another passenger.
B She finds a mistake she makes amusing.
C She wants to get on with her work during the flight.
D She has difficulty finding room for items she brought on board.
32 What does the woman say at the beginning of the conversation?
A She has Canadian nationality.
B She usually works in Thailand.
C She is currently both studying and working.
D She is going to work for a different employer.
33 Why does the writer stay awake throughout the flight?
A There is a lot of mechanical noise on the plane.
B Nobody else on board seems to want to sleep.
C Some of the passengers are talking loudly.
D He would not be able to sleep very long.
34 The woman talks about temperatures in Canada to show that
A it could sometimes be extremely cold in Montreal.
B India is a more pleasant country to live in than Canada.
C the place where she grew up could be interesting.
D in Saskatchewan children had to stay at home all winter.
35 What does the underlined ‘that’ refer to in Paragraph 10?
A failing to notice how cold some parts of the body really are
B wearing clothes that do not cover the skin in very cold weather
C playing games outside in extremely low temperatures
D going into a warm place straight from somewhere much colder
36 The writer mentions the weather in India because
A he realises the woman wants to change the subject.
B he wants to keep the conversation going.
C he finds the weather an interesting topic to discuss.
D he had wanted to ask the woman about it while she was talking.