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回忆录。1948-2018 (1991) 英文原文中文译文
送交者: 周郎的赤臂[♂★☆盖世大侠☆★♂] 于 2018-01-03 13:55 已读 324 次 1 赞  
1991, summer

Darkness. Endless darkness.

Never have I been on a plane for what seems like an eternity. It was night when we got on the plane in Beijing, and it’s still night after hours of flight.

I turn my head to check on the guys. The team leader, (Marcus), is sound asleep. Gentle snores can be heard even through the noises of the airplane. Our chief translator continues to flip through the countless books he brought along—probably would not be a good idea to disturb this old professor from XISU right now. Then I look to my right. There he is, my co-worker, (Larry), who is also dozing off.

I tried to sleep as soon as I got on the plane, and normally I am a pretty heavy sleeper, but I just can’t stop my mind from racing. Sure, I might have gone on countless business trips, and I’m rarely ever home, but to spend such an extended period away from my family—my beautiful wife and toddler son, is a first, let alone in a foreign country.




It was two, three days ago I left Xi’an. My wife and my brother came with me to the airport, leaving my sister to watch my baby son. We had a hearty breakfast of hulatang and youtiao; the warmth and sourness of the soup along with the deep fried dough that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, filled the void caused by the uncertainty of the upcoming year at the time. My brother paid for the meal and called us a cab to the airport.

My wife and I sat in the backseat while my brother took shotgun to make small talk with the driver. I prayed as we passed by the Bell Tower and Drum Tower to myself, hoping for a safe flight. My wife looked a bit bleak; in fact, she seemed as though she was going to tear up at any moment, and she definitely would have done so if my brother wasn’t there. I tried to engage in a conversation going with her in hopes of cheering her up a bit with my lame jokes. She sometimes responded, but most of the time she just gave a half-hearted chuckle at my futile attempts.

I don’t blame her. After all, I’m the one leaving her out here, alone in a city that she still hasn’t gotten familiar with, along with our kid. My parents and siblings might be here, but they are not exactly the most reliable when it comes to child-rearing. My in-laws lived a couple of hours away, so they wouldn’t be able to help in the long run.

Is this all worth it? I thought. I had no answer. As the one man selected out of dozens of candidates from our state-own trading company, this was my one opportunity to see the world outside, so that I can perhaps one day, bring everyone I love into the outside world.

It took just under half an hour for us to reach the airport here in the west suburbs. My brother helped me take the luggage out of the trunk. My co-worker was already there, waving at me; the guy’s always had a pretty sharp eyesight. He was dressed in suit and tie, just as I was.

My wife came to face me. She stared at me for a second, hesitantly, then let out a short sigh. Before I could comfort her, she grabbed my tie and fixed it straight.

“Go, have fun. You ain’t the first man in history to leave his family behind.”

I was at a loss of words. Yes. That’s exactly what I had done.

I wanted to hold her, but with my co-worker and brother around, it was too embarrassing.

My brother tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around, and he pointed with his chin towards my waving co-worker.

I looked back to my wife.

“I’ll be back, maybe a year at most, promise. I’ll bring home so much money we’ll be living our dreams!”

“Then don’t you dare show your face here again until you can fulfill that!” Then she turned around.

I felt a bit relieved. At least she’s acting normal again. I took my suitcase, and joined my co-worker.

My wife and brother took off as soon as the rest of the crew arrived. It’s pretty customary to wait for the elder and the leader of the group, and I was quite glad that they arrived only a mere ten minutes after I did.

It took almost no time for us to check in, and the plane to Beijing was smooth as usual. We stayed in Xidan to get some supplies, namely thick coats for the upcoming harsh winter, and random trinkets that we can sell to the locals after we arrive.

And then here I am. Sitting, waiting in this dreaded darkness, stranded in the air.

In my discomfort, I get up from my seat, and walk towards the back of the plane, cigarette in hand.

I took a nice long puff of smoke as I stared blankly into the blankness outside. I exhale. The nicotine is somewhat comforting, even if it’s just a quick fix for the fear of a journey into the unknown.

“I’m going to do this. It’s for profit in the long run. I’m going to be fine.” I keep telling myself as I draw another breath. “You’re young, you’re strong, you’ve got company. You can do this.” And I let out another smoke-filled sigh.

The aroma of tobacco fill the air.




As soon as we arrived, (Jake) and our chauffeur are already at the airport, waiting for us with a limo. He first shakes hands with the team leader and the old professor warmly, and then waves at Larry and myself to get in. It’s already late evening. No, it’s STILL late evening.

The group get into the limo. Here I come, Moskva.

 

1991 夏

夜。无止境。

从北京上飞机后已经飞了有一个世纪。登机的时候是晚上,飞了这么久了,却还是晚上。

我转身看向我们的(马)处长,却发现他睡的正香,时不时地打着呼噜,连飞机上的噪音都掩盖不住。西外的老教授,总理的玩伴,我们的译审,还在不停的翻书。这会儿去烦他纯属没眼色。右边我的同事小(李)也在昏睡。

我刚上来就打算睡觉的。平时天打雷劈都叫不醒的一个人今晚却思绪万千,怎么都睡不着。我虽然是身经百差的老油条,平日也是三过家门而不入,这还是头一次要出门这么久,经历没有老婆孩子的日子,而且还是出国。




离开西安大概是两三天前的事了。我叫我大姐在家替我看孩子,我哥和我老婆送我去机场。我美美的吃了一顿油条胡辣汤。对即将到来的一整年驻外空虚无助的感觉被酸辣的肉汤和外脆内软的油条暂时压了下去。用餐完后,我哥买单又打了辆车。

我哥坐副驾,一路跟司机唠。我跟老婆在后座。路过钟鼓楼的时候我默默念了念,求主保佑我一路平安。老婆脸色一直很难看,感觉随时都能哭出来。我估计如果我哥不在的话她肯定就止不住要哭了。我试着哄了哄她,讲点段子让她开心,不过她只跟我敷衍的偶尔呵呵。

也不怪她。毕竟是我离开的,把她一个人丢在了一座她并不熟悉的城里,还带着孩子。爸妈亲戚虽然都在附近,但让他们经常帮着带孩子就有点爱莫能助。丈人一家住的一点不近,也是鞭长莫及。

值吗?我也不知道。全公司那么多人却选了我出来,我怎么能不利用这个机会好好看看外面的世界,兴许哪天能把全家人都带出来一起看看呢。

到西稍门的路一共也就用了不到半小时。下车后我哥帮我把行李提了下来。眼尖的小(李)已经到了,远远冲我挥着手。这怂也跟我一样穿的西装革履,人模狗样的。

老婆面对着我,静静地看了我一秒。她叹了口气,趁我没反应过来就帮我整理了领带。

“野去吧,陈世美。”

我一时语塞。陈世美。好像是那么回事。要不是我哥和我同事在场我真想抱抱她。

我哥拍了拍我的肩膀,用下巴指了指我同事。我看了看他,然后又转向我老婆。

“一年,最多一年就回来了。到时候拿着钱,吃香喝辣!”

“那你没赚到钱就别回来了!”

她这么回答我,我就放心了。我提起行李朝我同事走去。

老婆和大哥看到我跟同事们都集合了就走了。等领导和译审也没用太久,我到后十分钟他们也都抵达了。飞往北京的一路很顺利。在北京西单我们采购了一些小零碎准备等到了以后便卖掉,赚点零花。另外还买了几件过冬用的厚重大衣。

然后我就坐在这里,悬空漂浮到世界的尽头。




坐得实在难受。我掏出一根烟,起身走向机舱后方,美美的吸了一口。外面的天还是一样的暗。呼出来,缭绕的烟云,刺激的尼古丁,多多少少能让我暂时静下心。

“莫丝,莫问题。都是有法依代的” 。我这样告诉自己。“男子汉,怕什么!更何况还有一群弟兄呢”。我又吸了一口。




着陆时,司机和小(贾)已经在机场等着了。小贾看到我们后,赶紧跟领导和译审握手,招呼着我们几个上车。这会儿已经是晚上了。这会儿还是晚上。

莫斯科,我到了。

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