A short story about the generosity of my cousin Johan.

English Level: B1 🇨🇦

Full Transcript

On my recent trip to Costa Rica, I met up with my cousin Johan. On my third day there he picked me up in a rented car and we drove to a shopping mall 30 minutes away. As we entered the food court, he said, “primo, what do you want to eat? I’m inviting you.”

Don’t tell my vegetarian wife, I said, “chicken.”

A week later I was downtown with my dad, and I messaged my cousin to see if he had time to meet up. He arrived an hour later with two of my aunts. Again, he invited me for dinner.

Two days later we met up and this time a few more of my cousins and aunts joined us as well. Again, Johan invited us all for dinner.

I’ve gotten used to how restaurant meet-ups are in Germany. When you’re ready to pay, you usually say, “getrennt, bitte”. “Separate, please.” Another variation is… one day I invite you and the next time you pay. That’s how it works.

So I was surprised by Johan’s generosity and I asked myself, “why am I not more generous?”

All I have for you is a question: When was the last time you gave something without expecting anything in return?

Vocabulary Words

  1. downtown (noun): Innenstadt
  2. surprised (adj): überrascht
  3. generosity (noun): Großzügigkeit
  4. expect (verb): erwarten

Phrases to Remember

  1. meet up: come into the presence or company of someone, especially by arrangement.
  2. get used to: in the beginning, a situation was strange or unusual but is not anymore or will soon stop being strange or unusual because of a passage in time.

Question to Consider

When was the last time you gave something without expecting anything in return?


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