S.E.E.D. Interview – The Story Girl

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久居加拿大多年自是结交不少有故事的朋友。若话谁人“文艺”,自然少不了刻板印象里的精良什物、小众品位以及热衷滤镜的画面。直到翻到这张近照,方才发现“文艺”的本质源于真诚内心。

拍摄于加拿大安大略省Hamilton市中心的一家咖啡馆,这个vintage气息浓厚的地方吸引这个城市里的众多过客,或独坐一隅,或步履匆忙。在这个匆忙又普通的地界,书写了一个女孩和咖啡馆的故事。

她不是这个咖啡厅的老板,不是店员,甚至不是顾客,她是谁?

若是有奖竞猜,答案大抵又要招引好青春文学的读者假想邂逅咖啡馆女孩的场景云云…… 若悉心看这些菜单,手写的印刷体和圆体没了商务连锁的固有格式,确让店里脱俗几分。这个女孩便是手写菜单的作者。

近看她的其他涂鸦笔记才知写字绘图几重要——不刻意间传递自由意志。

简单又生动不过寥寥数笔出自怎样的笔下?他的面容是否又似影片Amélie狡黠的招牌笑容,还留有栗子色的短发?

她的名字叫Deirdre,我叫她D。字如其名,简单直接。

自在一个conference与她投机,至今已认识三年多。D带给我最大的惊喜不是她俏皮的外表或文艺的字画,而是她更爱与朋友公开的“秘密” —— 她竟然说一口流利的中文。当我得知这个秘密是,亦难得自嘲地赞她:你的中文绝对比我的英文好!你这么厉害大山知道吗?!

除了口头交流无碍,既有书写天分的D又怎会不爱汉字。

(听闻我的文章会被众多华文订阅者看到,她秀出了几张书法“杰作”)

没错,她的画风外延到Instagram (the.storygirl,私家分享拿走不谢。。。)也不忘用中文和fans沟通。

她与中文结缘,要从一场在中国的旅游说起。

When I was in my university, I went to China for a trip and I was just really intrigued by the culture and language, so I wanted to try to learn it. I took a couple of classes when I moved back to Canada. Because of my love to China, I eventually moved there after graduation. I lived in China for two years, so I knew that I was planning on that. I had the motivation to speak the language. Once I was in China,  I was like, if I want to survive, I have to do that. Otherwise, I cannot go anywhere, I cannot do anything (and) I cannot order food.

我在大学期间去中国旅行了一次,就爱上了中国的文化和语言,从那时我就萌生了学习中文的想法。后来回到了加拿大,我上了几节中文课,因为我真是太喜欢中国了,所以毕业后我选择去中国,去那里学习中文。在中国居住两年这个决定是经过深思熟虑的,因为我的动力便是:我要说中文。我一到中国就发现,如果我想在这里存活,就一定要说中文,否则,我寸步难行。

万事开头难啊(习语库存丰富的D文邹邹地感叹道)!遇到生活囧事在所难免:

I remember when I first got there, maybe in the first or second month, I was trying to buy a shampoo in the grocery store. It was very hard to try to tell the difference between shampoo and conditioner, because the bottle look exactly the same, and the only difference is the characters. It’s all in Chinese characters, there’s no English in any of the products. So I didn’t know which one I should buy, I couldn’t tell.

No one spoke English in the store, I didn’t even really know how to say that in Chinese. It’s hard to even describe it, it’s just guessing, I at least washed my hair with conditioner a few times. In the shower, when you look at the bottles, it’s the same, I was like…I don’t know which one is which… It’s very entertaining.

当我刚到中国的前一两个月的时候,我当时在商店要买洗发露。因为外观都一样,很难区分洗发露还是护发素。全是中文的包装让我完全不知该怎么办,而商店里没人会讲英文,我也不知道该怎么比划,所以就猜着买。我大概在洗澡中错用过几次护发素洗头发。现在想起来,真是挺乐的。

作为世界最难语言之一,仅学习两年中文的D却听说基本无阻。好奇的不止我,究竟什么契机让她迅速掌握与英文如此不似的外语?

It was all immersion, so (I) live in a culture. I know people who live in Beijing or Shanghai, they would only hang out with their friends or “foreigners”, so then you don’t really have any opportunities speaking Chinese. Because we lived in a small town, and I wanted to learn Chinese, plus I’m a very communicative person, I like to talk to people, I like to get to know people, ask them questions. At the beginning It was very frustrating for me, you like I wanna talk to you, but I cannot communicate. So you push yourself to speak.

如果用一个词来概括的话就是“浸润”。我是生活在一个文化里。我知道很多在北京或者上海的“外国人”,他们总是跟自己的朋友或者是其他外国人在一起,所以并没有太多说中文的机会。我生活在一个小城镇,我也特别喜欢中文,加上我是一个特别爱与人交流的人,我自然地非常喜欢跟别人讲话,问他们问题。在一开始的时候也很困难,我感觉,我想跟你讲话,但是我就是讲不出。所以那个时候你就要强推自己一把。

聊到极有兴致时,D跟我透露她将要在今年10月份再次到访中国,但这次她有了另一身份 —— 英文老师。

I’m so excited about going back to China. I will be in the south this time, I’ll be near Kunming. I wanna see the local, see the beautiful side of Yunnan, and I also want to meet the minorities Chinese there.

My first time teaching English for Chinese students was actually in China last time. I was a student in China and I wasn’t technically allowed to work, so together with some friends, I volunteered in helping kids. It was kind of disorganized, but more fun. So we taught in the morning 2 or 3 hours for a few months.

我现在很兴奋,因为我马上就要回到中国啦。这次我将会在南方离昆明比较近的一个城市。我想去见见云南的当地人,饱览一下美丽的景致,也想去见见中国的少数民族。

我第一次教中国学生英文是我上次在中国的时候。那个时候我是以学生身份在中国,所以原则上我并不能在中国工作。所以我就跟我其他的朋友一起做志愿者帮助中国学生们提高英文。虽然那不是一个井然有序的课堂,但是很有意思。我几个月中每天会教2到3个小时的英文。

成长在加拿大闲适安宁的小城,即将启程赴文化、语言、生活习惯截然不同的国度探索人生的下一页。我特别想知道她对中文的热爱以及这样的决定是否得到家人与周围朋友的支持。D轻快而笃定地说:

I think I want to encourage people who want to learn Chinese.  I always love exporing, going to different cultures meeting different people, even learning a new language. It’s not all easy, even for me, society pushes us to get job, get married, buy a house, you know, just settled down. Every culture has that expectation, more settled. Even in Canada, Canada is more individualistic, which encourages you to do what you want, but even that, parents are like, why don’t you get married….  A stable life is boring. For me, my worldview is that every corner in this world is beautiful, it’s not one is better than the other, it’s cool to go to the parts of the world to experience. We are a global family, I wanna be a global citizen.

我非常鼓励大家学习中文。一直以来我都喜欢探索,探索不同的文化,去不同的地方,见不同的人,学不同的语言。但是,这一切并非易事,因为这个社会不断施压给我们——让我们找个好的工作,早点结婚,早点买房子,早日过上稳定的生活。在每个文化里都有这样的期待—稳定的生活。即使是在加拿大,这样一个崇尚个人主义的国度,我的父母也是像每个做父母的一样担忧道:“你怎么不早些结婚,早点稳定下来。”可一个稳定的生活在我还年轻的时候看来是那么枯燥无味。于我,我的价值观告诉我:这世界上每一处地方、每一个文化都有她美丽的一面,我并不用去度量其中的好与不好。前去探索本身便让人神往。我们既组成全球化的大家庭,做全球公民正是我想要的。

得知她不久后启程,我不舍地与这位老友拥抱,并急切问她何时返回。她没有直接答我,Punk式怪笑卖着关子:

“你又怎么知道我的下一站在哪(儿)?”她夸张的儿化韵仍在耳际。

2016-11-02T17:30:38-04:00