故事25 | Amy: Becoming home

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我在中国的家 2022
故事25 | Amy: Becoming home

作者:Amy?Vemon

翻译:潘泽彬

校对:Zuzana、Joanne

?My name is Amy Vernon and I am from the U.S., although I was born overseas. I have been working as an English and kindergarten teacher for two years, but my degree is in Social Work and French. I have lived in China for two and a half years, always in Pudong, Shanghai.

我叫 Amy Vernon,是美国人,但不在美国出生。我已经做了两年的幼儿园英语老师,但我的专业是社会工作和法语。我在中国生活了两年半,一直住在上海浦东。

How does a place become home? How did Shanghai become a friend to me, instead of a stranger? For me it is in the scents and the seasons of this place, in the songs of karaoke in the park and birds in the trees, and most of all in the people and in the flowers whose familiar faces radiate the vibrancy of life.

如何在一个地方找到家的感觉?上海如何成为我的朋友,而不是别人的朋友?答案就在于上海的芬芳和四季变换中,在于公园卡拉 OK 的歌声中,在于树上的鸟儿中,最重要的是,在于这里的人们和鲜花中,他们熟悉的面孔散发着生命的活力。

It is amazing to me that in this bustling metropolis it is the parks and the trees, the birds and the bees, and strangers doing tai qi in parks, that have transformed this beautiful city into a familiar friend. In autumn in Shanghai the osmanthus flowers burst out like tiny little golden stars and grandmothers gather their radiant sweetness to turn into teas. In winter violet and yellow pansies are planted throughout the city – waving gently by metro stations, malls, and more. In spring the plum blossoms spell the coming end of winter and the pure sweetness of pink, white, red, and green blossoms pierce through the lingering cold, calling forth the “people mountain, people sea” to gaze at their beauty. In March the magnolias shine brilliantly pink and white, each tree an entire constellation of unfolding stars – the flower of Shanghai blazing bright. In April and May the peonies are spreading joy, even making it into group buys during lockdown, the national flower of China sharing its beauty with all. 

虽然上海这座大都市熙熙攘攘,但是公园和树木,鸟儿和蜜蜂,还有在公园里打太极的陌生人,这一切让这座美丽的城市变成了我的老熟人。上海的秋天,绽放的桂花像小小的金星,奶奶们把清香的桂花采撷成茶。冬天,紫罗兰和黄色的三色堇遍布整座城市——在地铁站、商场等地方轻轻摇曳。春天,梅花预示着冬末,粉的、白的、红的、绿的花朵穿透了缠绵的寒冷,召唤着“人山人海”来欣赏它们的美。三月里,白玉兰闪耀着粉色和白色的光影,每棵树都是一簇光芒四射的星星——上海市花夺目亮眼。四五月,牡丹花为人们带来欢乐,封控期间甚至有人团购牡丹花,与大家共赏国花的美。

In China I have encountered a deeper knowledge and awareness of plants, even in the heart of the concrete jungle that is Shanghai. Mugwort and calamus are hung outside doors during Dragon Boat Festival to help keep insects away, small children are taught that willow trees putting out leaves help mark the beginning of spring, in summer bayberries are gathered from trees that line the sidewalk – treasured for their juicy sweetness. I have been taught that soapberries can be gathered to help wash clothes, that red date and ginger tea will soothe stomach cramps, and that fruits are always a good gift to grace someone with.?

即便我身处上海这个钢筋混凝土丛林,也对植物有了更深刻的认识。端午节,门上会挂艾蒿和菖蒲,以防蚊虫;孩子们从小就知道,柳树抽新芽,标志着春天的到来;夏天人们采摘人行道两旁的杨梅——甜蜜多汁,如获至宝。我学会了许多“生活小窍门”,比如可以采集无患子用来洗衣服,红枣和姜茶可以缓解胃痉挛,探望时送水果总是一个很好的选择。

When I think of China I think of roasting sweet potatoes on cold days, when the leaves of the London Plane trees that line the French Concession have fallen to the ground. I think of green tea leaves swimming in hot water, carried around by every taxi driver and bao an I’ve ever met, not to mention the old grandmothers dancing to Michael Jackson and sporting matching outfits in the park. I think of the giant blooms of Southern Magnolia that unfurl in summer and watching a grandpa, with his shirt rolled up to show his belly, meandering over to inhale the fragrance of summer. I think of strawberry picking in greenhouses, of people snacking on tomatoes like they are apples, and of how one of the first words I learned in Chinese was 金鱼草 – “goldfish grass,” aka snapdragons.

提到中国,我会想起寒风中热气腾腾的烤红薯,想起法租界两旁满地的法国梧桐落叶;我会想起在热水中翻滚游动的绿茶,我遇到的每一位出租车司机和保安,还有公园里穿着运动服,跟着迈克尔·杰克逊跳舞的老奶奶;我会想起夏天盛开的广玉兰,看着爷爷卷起衬衫露出肚皮,悠闲漫步,呼吸着夏天的芬芳;我会想到在大棚采摘草莓,人们把西红柿当苹果吃,想到我学会的第一个中文词语是“金鱼草”。

All of this condenses into one place in my mind – Century Park. When I first visited China years ago I loved Century Park, and over these two years in Shanghai it has become a haunt of mine. ?I have soaked up the sweetness of plum blossoms in a sea of strangers, celebrated my birthday among the magnolias, collected golden ginkgo leaves for my students to turn into crafts, and basked in the beauty of each season. I have marveled at cultural differences – such as when I saw a lady pluck one of the ducks right out of the reeds or when I learned that people bring full suitcases of clothing and cats on leashes to do amateur photoshoots in the park. I have connected with people – chatting with local photographers about the plum blossoms, laughing with my own dear friends as we sit on the rocks or on a bench together, or sitting alone among the trees at night and listening to the cicadas sing their hearts out on a warm summer evening. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Shanghai will evolve, that people will come and go, and that new skyscrapers will pierce the sky. I trust that throughout the change, however, that blackbirds will still scallop the soft blue spring sky and lotus flowers will still float under the summer sun, so that the home I’ve found in Shanghai will always be here.

上海的每一个片段都在我脑海中汇聚成一个地方——世纪公园。几年前我第一次来中国的时候,就爱上了世纪公园。在上海的两年里,我经常去世纪公园。在陌生的人海中,我沉浸于梅花的芬芳,在木兰丛中,我庆祝了自己的生日,收集了金色的银杏叶,让学生们做成艺术品,享受着每一个季节的美丽。我曾讶异于文化差异——比如,我看到一个女人在芦苇丛中给一只鸭子拔毛,还有人带着装满衣服的行李箱,拉着猫在公园里做业余摄影。我也会和这里的人们打交道——和当地的摄影师聊梅花,和好朋友一起坐在石头或长椅上大笑,或者在一个温暖的夏夜独自坐在树下,听着蝉的心曲。毫无疑问,上海会不断发展,人来人往,熙熙攘攘,新建的摩天大楼将高耸入云。但我相信,在巨变中,画眉依然会扇动春天的蔚蓝天空,荷花依然会在夏日的阳光下摇曳生姿。上海,我在中国的家,也会永远存在。

Thank you Shanghai for welcoming me. Thank you to all the Chinese friends I have made here for bringing me fruit when I had surgery, for teaching me about Dragon Boat Festival, for buying me peonies, and for gifting me with your presence. Thank you to each person in my life in Shanghai for filling this season with your own sweet fragrance of personality. Thank you to the birds, the trees, the flowers, and the seasons of Shanghai for sharing your gifts with me. To quote one of my favorite books: “Dear old world, you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”

感谢上海敞开怀抱欢迎我。感谢我在这里结交的所有中国朋友,感谢你们在我做手术住院时送我水果,感谢你们给我讲端午节的知识,感谢你们送给我的牡丹,感谢你们进入我的生活。感谢我在上海生活中遇到的每一个人,让这个季节充满了人性的甜蜜芬芳。感谢上海的花草树木、鸟兽和四季,感谢你们馈赠给我的一切。就像我最喜欢的一本书上所说:“世界啊,我的老朋友,你真的很可爱,我很高兴与你共存。”

I’ve lived in many places, but I still consider my hometown to be Fort Collins, Colorado, in the U.S. It is a university town and as such is full of international and domestic students. It is known for bike paths, Horsetooth reservoir, an overly abundant goose population, breweries, blue skies, and great hiking. My university in Fort Collins?is known for its strong agriculture program, its flower gardens, and for a place called The Oval?which is full of shady trees. Colorado is famous for skiing, hiking, Olympic training centers, golden aspen trees, and the Rocky Mountains.

我住过许多地方,但仍然认为我的家乡是美国科罗拉多州的柯林斯堡。这是一个大学城,挤满了国内外的学生。那里拥有著名的自行车道、马齿水库、庞大的鹅群、啤酒厂、蓝天和徒步旅行圣地。我就读的科罗拉多州立大学以优秀的农业项目、花园和一个被称为“The Oval”的地方而闻名,绿树成荫。科罗拉多以滑雪运动、徒步旅行、奥林匹克训练中心、金色的白杨树和落基山脉而闻名遐迩。

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