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MY LOVE HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA
upxed: August 20, 2019 by Dave And Deb

與中國有關的愛與恨



I will never forget my first day in China.As I stepped outside my hotel room for the very first time, I was hit by a waveof hot humid air.

我永不會忘記我來中國的第一天。當我第一次走出酒店房間,一股濕熱的空氣撲面而來。

It wasn’t the kind of heat that makes yousweat, but the kind that makes you question the level of oxygen in the air. Wasthere any? It was raining, the air was stuffy, grey, polluted.

這不是那種讓你出汗的熱,而是那種會讓你感到窒息的那種熱。這里怎會這樣?因為雨水,悶熱、灰暗、污染。

I questioned whether going outside was agood idea, but I was starving, so I decided to push through.

我懷疑走出去并不是個好主意,但是肚子餓啊,所以我心意已決。



Luckily, I didn’t have to walk far.
There was a sextion of 4-5 differentrestaurants, just 300m away from the hotel, all of which seemed perfectlysuitable for a quick bite to eat.

幸運的是,沒走多遠,離酒店大概300米左右遠的地方,開著4、5家餐館,像是有快餐的估計很快就能吃到。

I didn’t have time to sit down and dine instyle, so I opted for take-away.

我沒有時間坐下來好好吃飯,所以我選擇了打包。



It wasn’t working.

哎·~不管用呢。

“Da bao“ (take away in Mandarin) I kept repeating while pointing atthe food.

“打~寶,打~寶(普通話管外帶叫打包)”我指著師傅不停滴重復說道。

Nothing.

沒反應。

The second girl had joined the first girland they were now both pointing at me, talking in Mandarin, and laughing.

這時又一個女孩走過來和第一個女孩站在一起,她們邊指著我,邊用普通話說笑著。

I felt myself blushing. This wasembarrassing. I hung my head in shame and walked down the street to anotherrestaurant.

我感到自己的臉紅了。尷尬四起。我羞愧地低下頭,轉身離開順著街道走向下一家餐館。

Despite my best efforts, the outcome wasthe same. And the restaurant after that. No luck!

在另一家餐館。盡管我使出渾身解數,結果還是一樣。倒霉!

No one seemed to understand what I wastrying to say.

似乎沒人能聽得懂我在說啥。



AT TIMES I REALLY HATED CHINA!

有時候我真討厭中國



It made the world of a difference!

它創造了一個與眾不同的世界。

At first, the language barrier was thebiggest source of my frustrations!

起初,語言是我感到沮喪的最大原因!

I was told it was possible to get by inShanghai without Mandarin.

有人跟我說,在上海不會講普通話也是能混得下去的。

I was to stick to touristy areas, go toWestern shops, restaurants and clubs, and hang out with other expats.

但我只有去旅游景點,去涉外商店、餐館和俱樂部,還有和其他外國人一起出去玩。



In just a few months, I was able orderfood, get around, go shopping, keep up a basic conversation, and feel like aself-sufficient member of society.

短短幾個月后,我可以點餐、四處溜達、買東西、可以進行最基本的交流,感覺自己已融入了這里的社會。



Equipped with the basic knowledge ofMandarin, I became more curious and adventurous, pushing myself to exploreShanghai beyond the tourist sights and expat hangout areas.

會了些普通話的我,變得更好奇,更想去探險,驅使我去探索上海的景點和外國人的聚集區

When I finally gave up taxis and discoveredthe world of public transport, I was faced with what later became one of mybiggest

最終我忘掉了出租車,發現了公交汽車的世界,同時遇到了我以后在中國最具挑戰最討厭的事情之一

China pet peeves: THE QUEUES …or rather thecomplete lack thereof.

排隊……或者更確切地說,不像排隊的排隊。



I wasn’t going to change their ways, so Ihad to adapt mine.

所以我不打算去改變他們的行事方式,改變的只有是我自己。



There were numerous other Chinese habitsthat I didn’t enjoy.

還有中國人其他的不少習慣我不太喜歡

There was that time when I saw a motherprop up her child, so he could proceed to defecate on the side of the street.

有次,我看到一位母親照護她的孩子,在路邊大便。

That quickly taught me to avoid childrenwho wore crotchless pants and the sides of the streets where the aforementioneddefecations would tend to occur.

這很快提醒了了我,不要讓孩子穿開襠褲,同時避免在大街上兩邊出現上述問題。

Then there were times when I would slip ongiant spits on the sparkly floors of the, otherwise, completely pristineShopping Malls.

有時,我還會在那些購物中心錚錚發光地板上,踩到一灘嘔吐物上滑倒。

It was a gross way to learn that Chinesespat everywhere.

中國人要知道隨地吐痰是種不文明的方式。

Some believed it was unhealthy to swallowphlegm, but most just admitted to the fact that it was part of their culture.

有些人認為咽下痰是不健康的,但大多數人承認這是他們文化的一部分。

No one ever told them that it was rude andsocially unaccepted.

從來沒有人告訴他們這是不文明的,在社會當中也是這樣。

So they continued to spit and I tried mybest to avoid being spat on.

所以他們對吐痰毫無顧忌,我只好盡量躲開不被擊中。

The excessive smoking in public areas, theloud conversations, the complete disregard of road rules, the starring, thepointing, and the “laowai” labelling (the slang term for foreigner) didn’t make it easy to love Shanghai.

頻繁在公共場所吸煙,大聲交談,完全無視交通規則,張揚,指指點點,以及“老外”的標簽都讓人很難愛上上海。

But despite all of that, I still did!

但盡管如此,我還是習慣了。



A few months after my arrival, I rented anapartment that I shared with an American drama student and a Chinese ITdeveloper.

來到中國幾個月后,我和一名美國戲劇專業的學生,還有一名中國IT開發人員合租了一套公寓。

We bought kitchen wares, linens, adopted akitten and called it our home.

我們買了廚具,幾床被,養了只貓,把這里稱之為我們的家。

We hired an “ayi” (literally translated asauntie a.k.a maid) that helped us clean the house and cooked the mostincredible meals for the price of just a few dollars.

我們只花了幾美元雇了一個“阿姨”。她幫我們打掃房間,做了最好吃的飯菜。

I loved ayi. Not because she eliminated thehouse chores, but because she helped me experience Chinese food culture.

我愛阿姨。她不僅幫我們省去了家務活,還讓我體驗到中國的飲食文化。



For me, no other food scene will evercompare to the food scene in Shanghai. (Bold statement, I know!)

對我來說,沒有任何其他美食能與上海的美食環境相比。(大膽聲明,我知道!)



I used to love spending my weekends roamingaround Shanghai. I was living and working there, but I felt like I was still abackpacker.

我喜歡在上海的周末游蕩。雖然我在那里生活和工作,但我覺得自己仍是一個路人。

Traveling, exploring, learning.

旅行、探索、學習。

It was one of my favourite things aboutShanghai. I could spend my week working 9-5 and living a regular life, and myweekends roaming around small hidden alleyways in the city, where life couldn’tfeel any more different from my 9-5 routine.

這是我最喜歡上海的地方之一。我可以用一周的時間朝九晚五地工作,過著有規律的生活,周末游走于城市里大家小巷,這里的生活和我一天的生活沒什么不同。



Somewhere between Yongkang Lu and YongfuLu, between the best street food, thenext free cocktail, and that cute guy chatting me up on the curb outside of TheApartment bar.

在永康路和永福路之間,一邊是美味的街頭小吃,一杯免費的雞尾酒,一邊是那個在公寓酒吧外和我聊天的帥哥。

I used to look around at my life and feelincredibly lucky to be young and single in the city, as alive and vibrant asShanghai!

我曾回想我的生活,對于一個城市中年輕單身人來說,感到不可思議地幸運,就像上海一樣充滿活力。



But after a while, the party life lost itsappeal.

但過了一段時間,派對生活對我已失去了吸引力

The expat community started to feel toosmall.

有些外國人開始抱怨這里的世界太小了。

In the city of 14 million people, the300,000 foreigners all seemed to somehow know each other.

在這座擁有1400萬人口的城市里,30萬外國人似乎都以某種方式相互認知。

At times, it was just like living back inCanada, in the small town of Waterloo, where everyone went to the same bars,hung out with the same people, and had the same terrible luck in dating.

有時,這就像生活在加拿大的滑鐵盧小鎮一樣,每個人都去同一個酒吧,和同一個人一起出去玩,約會時也會遇到同樣的尷尬。

Except for one big difference.

除了一個很大的不同

Here, every other weekend, you were invitedto a good-bye party. One by one, my friends would throw in the towel and callit quits.

在這里,每隔一個周末,你都會被邀請參加一個告別聚會。朋友們一個接著一個地走開,就此相互別離。

Some moved elsewhere in Asia, while otherspacked up their bags and moved back to their home towns in Europe or NorthAmerica.

有些人去了亞洲其他地方,而有些則收拾好行囊,回到歐洲或北美的家鄉。

There were new people arriving every week,but after a while, I no longer had the interest nor the desire to go throughany more friendship cycles.

每周都有新朋友來,但過了一段時間,我再也不想去經歷這種認識新朋友爾后別離的循環。



After 8 months of fascination and adorationof life in Shanghai, my love for the city started to fade.

經過8個月對上海生活的迷戀和喜愛,我對這座城市的愛開始消退。

The spitting and shitting, the shoving andpushing, the pollution, the work ethics, and all other cultural differenceswould annoy me more and more with every passing day.

隨地吐痰、拉屎、推搡、污染、職場潛規則以及所有其他的文化不同都讓我感覺一天比一天煩惱。

I craved something new, somethingdifferent.

我渴望一些新的東西,一些不同的東西

There were still 100 other places I wantedto visit in China, but my heart just wasn't in China anymore.

這里還有100個我想探索的地方,但我的心已經不在中國了。



And for that, I will always be grateful toChina!

為此,我將永遠感激中國