原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.483267.live 翻譯:mini才怪 轉載請注明出處

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 wave of hot humid air.

我永遠不會忘記我在中國的第一天。當我第一次走出酒店房間時,我被一股濕熱的空氣擊中。



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

不是那種讓你出汗的熱,而是那種讓你質疑空氣中氧氣含量的熱。有什么?天下著雨,空氣悶熱,灰暗,污濁。

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

我懷疑到外面去是不是個好主意,但是我餓了,所以我決定繼續前進。

Luckily, I didn’t have to walk far.

幸運的是,我不用走很遠。

There was a sextion of 4-5 different restaurants, just 300m away from the hotel, all of which seemed perfectly suitable for a quick bite to eat.

酒店里有4-5家不同的餐廳,距離酒店只有300米,所有這些餐廳都非常適合快速用餐。

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

我沒有時間坐下來體面地用餐,所以我選擇了帶走吃。

My knowledge of Mandarin at the time was zero, but I knew to look up the word for “take away” in a dictionary before heading out the door.

當時我的普通話知識是零,但我知道在出門之前要在字典里查找“帶走”這個詞。

I walked into a restaurant first and tried my luck with English.

我先走進一家餐館,試著用英語碰碰運氣。

“Do you speak English?”, I said to a young, attractive, 5ft tall girl at the counter. She looked at me with no change of expression on her face.

“你會說英語嗎?”我對柜臺邊一個5英尺高、很有魅力的年輕女孩說。她看著我,臉上毫無表情。

OK. That’s a no then.

好吧,那就是不行了。

I started frantically gesturing at food and bags, trying to mime “I want to take food with me to go”.

我開始瘋狂地指著食物和袋子,試圖模仿“我想帶走食物”。

It wasn’t working.

但還是沒有用。

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

“打包”(普通話帶走的意思)我一邊指著食物,一邊不停地說。

Nothing.

沒用。



The next morning I was sick with food poisoning.

第二天早上我因食物中毒而病倒了。

I spent the next 2 days between my bed and my toilet, questioning whether moving to Shanghai was the biggest mistake of my life.

在接下來的兩天里,我在床和廁所之間徘徊,思考著搬到上海是否是我一生中最大的錯誤。

Every day in China, I was faced with

在中國的每一天,我都會面臨著其他的挑戰。

Every day was a new struggle adventure, one that often took me from excited to desperate in a span of just a few hours.

每一天都是一次新的歷險,在短短的幾個小時內,我就會從興奮變成了絕望。

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

起初,語言障礙是我挫敗感的最大來源!

I was told it was possible to get by in Shanghai without Mandarin.

有人告訴我,在上海不會普通話也可以生活。

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

我可以去旅游區,去西方的商店,餐館和俱樂部,和其他外國人一起玩。

After all, this was exactly how many other expats had survived in Shanghai for years!

畢竟,這正是許多外籍人士在上海生活多年的真實寫照!

I tried to follow their advice in the first few weeks, but I quickly realized that it wasn’t going to work.

在最初的幾個星期里,我試圖遵循他們的建議,但我很快意識到這是行不通的。

Once I was settled in, I started to need want more! I wanted to explore local areas, eat all sorts of weird and new dishes at hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and discover the city beyond the major sights and tourist attractions.

一旦我安頓下來,就開始有更多的需求!我想探索當地的風土人情,在破舊的餐館里品嘗各種各樣的新奇菜肴,在主要景點和旅游景點之外探索這座城市。

I soon realized that in a society that was so different from North America, the ability to speak the local language was essential!

我很快意識到,在一個與北美如此不同的社會里,說當地語言的能力是必不可少的!

So I signed up for private Mandarin classes.

所以我報名參加了私人漢語課程。

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

僅僅幾個月的時間,我就可以點餐,四處走動,購物,學會日常對話,感覺自己是一個自給自足的社會成員了。

It made the world of a difference!

它改變了世界!

Equipped with the basic knowledge of Mandarin, I became more curious and adventurous, pushing myself to explore Shanghai beyond the tourist sights and expat hangout areas.

由于掌握了基本的普通話知識,我變得更加好奇和樂于冒險,促使自己探索上海以外的旅游景點和外國人常去的地方。

When I finally gave up taxis and discovered the world of public transport, I was faced with what later became one of my biggest

當我最終舍棄出租車,使用公共交通時,我面臨著最大的問題之一。

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

中國討厭的事情:排隊......或者說完全沒有排隊。

Everyone seemed civilized and polite when they stood in 2 perfect lines awaiting the train arrival, but the second the train stopped at the platform, all manners would go out the window.

等待火車到達的時候,他們排成兩列。每個人看起來都很文明和禮貌,但火車一停在站臺上,所有的禮貌都會消失。

If you didn’t push and shove your way into the train without letting the others exist first, you’d get trampled over by the crowd.

除非你讓其他人先上,否則你會被推著擠進火車,會被人群踩死。

For the longest time I couldn’t get over how rude Chinese were, but with time, I learned that this and many other differences were just a part of their culture.

很長一段時間我都無法接受,但隨著時間的推移,我認識到這種和其他許多差異只是他們文化的一部分。

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

我不打算改變他們的方式,所以我必須改變我的方式。

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

在我到達幾個月后,我租了一套公寓,和一個美國戲劇系的學生以及一個中國IT開發人員合住。

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

我們買了廚房用具,亞麻制品,領養了一只小貓,并稱之為我們的家。

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

我們雇了一個“阿姨”(字面意思是女傭),幫我們打掃房間,花幾美元就能做出最好吃的飯菜。

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

我喜歡阿姨,不是因為她讓我省去了做家務,而是因為她幫我體驗了中國的飲食文化。

Ayi didn’t know how to cook burgers or make pasta, but she would make the best g?n bi?n sìjì dòu (Sichuan style fried beans), táng cù páig? (sweet and sour pork ribs) and x?hóngshì ch?o dàn (tomato scrambled eggs).

阿姨不會做漢堡,也不會做意大利面,但是她會做最好吃的四川炒豆、(糖醋排骨)和(西紅柿炒蛋)。

Eating in Shanghai was an affair of its own.

在上海吃飯本身就是一件重要的事。

Between hundreds of amazing (and easy on the wallet) restaurants with cuisine from all over the world, small hole-in-the-wall Chinese diners, and mouth-watering street food, there was never a shortage of great eats.

在數以百計的令人驚嘆的(而且省錢的)餐館中,有來自世界各地的美食,有小得可憐的中餐館,還有令人垂涎欲滴的街頭小吃,這些美食從來都不缺。

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

對我來說,沒有任何其他美食城市能與上海相提并論。

I used to love spending my weekends roaming around Shanghai. I was living and working there, but I felt like I was still a backpacker.

我過去喜歡在上海周圍漫步度過周末。在那里生活和工作,但我感覺自己仍然是一個背包客。

Traveling, exploring, learning.

旅行,探索,學習。



There was something on every night of the week! New restaurants were popping up on every street corner, each one more delicious than the next.

這個星期的每個晚上都有節目!新的餐館如雨后春筍般出現在每個街角,一家比一家好吃。

Wednesdays were ladies night at Zapatas, where free margaritas would flow until midnight and the party would go on until 5am.

周三是Zapatas的女士之夜,免費的瑪格麗塔雞尾酒會一直持續到午夜,持續到凌晨5點。

Thursday was free manicures and free drinks at Bar Rouge.

星期四是免費的美甲和免費的飲料。

On Friday’s swanky after-work bars were filled with young attractive expat men and Saturdays were spent rubbing shoulders with models at VIP tables at M1NT.

周五下班后酒吧里擠滿了年輕的外國男人,周六則是在M1NT的VIP桌前與模特們摩肩接踵。

Somewhere between Yongkang Lu and Yongfu Lu, between the best street food, the next free cocktail, and that cute guy chatting me up on the curb outside of The Apartment bar.

在永康路和永福路之間的某個地方,有最好的街邊小吃和下一杯免費的雞尾酒,還有那個在公寓酒吧外面和我搭訕的帥哥。

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

我過去常?;仡欁约旱纳?,感到難以置信的幸運,我年輕,單身,像上海一樣充滿生機和活力!

But after a while, the party life lost its appeal.

但過了一段時間,派對生活對我失去了吸引力。

The expat community started to feel too small.

我作為一個外籍人士開始覺得自己太渺小了。

In the city of 14 million people, the 300,000 foreigners all seemed to somehow know each other.

在這個擁有1400萬人口的城市里,30萬外國人似乎都互相認識。

At times, it was just like living back in Canada, 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.

有時候,這就像回到加拿大,在滑鐵盧的小鎮上,每個人都去同一家酒吧,和同樣的人一起出去,在約會中也有同樣的倒霉事。

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

在這里,每隔一個周末,你就會被邀請參加一個告別派對。我的朋友們會一個接一個地認輸,然后退出。

Some moved elsewhere in Asia, while others packed up their bags and moved back to their home towns in Europe or North America.

一些人搬到了亞洲的其他地方,而另一些人則收拾行李回到了他們在歐洲或北美的家鄉。

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

每周都有新朋友到來,但過了一段時間,我不再有興趣也不想再經歷更多的友誼周期了。

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

在上海生活了8個月,經歷了對他的迷戀和崇拜之后,我對這座城市的熱愛開始消退。



The cultural differences made for great stories, the horrid dating stories taught me some valuable lessons, and my experience traveling through rural China pushed me to become the traveler that I am today: patient, adventurous, respectful, and curious.

文化差異造就了偉大的故事,可怕的約會故事教會了我一些寶貴的經驗,我在中國鄉村旅行的經歷促使我成為今天的旅行者:耐心、冒險、尊重和好奇。

And for that, I will always be grateful to China!

為此,我將永遠感謝中國!