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這是一篇時間跨度為幾年的回憶性日記,最早的一篇有4、5年了

SCULPTURES AROUND THE LAKE

1.湖邊的雕塑



In the parks around Jinji Lake there are many sculptures. Some of them are abstract, some of them are not; some of them look very nice and others make you wonder what the artist was thinking when he created them. Let me show you some of them (these are not the official sculpture names, I made them up).

在金雞湖周圍的公園里有許多雕塑。有些是抽象的,有些不是;有些看起來很漂亮,有些讓你想知道藝術家在創作這些作品時是怎么想的。讓我給你看看其中的一些(這些不是官方的雕塑名稱,是我自己起的)。



Two Huge Drops of Water: this is one of my favourite Jinji Lake sculptures. The shiny metallic surface reflects the surroundings. You can also see the Suzhou Pants building in the background.

兩大滴水:這是我最喜歡的金雞湖雕塑之一。閃亮的金屬表面反射著周圍的環境。你還可以在背景中看到蘇州褲衩大樓。



Pink Flamingos: it would be nicer if they were real but unfortunately they are not!

粉紅色的火烈鳥:如果它們是真的就更好了,但不幸的是它們不是!



Giant Rainbow-Ant: this one is also shiny and metallic, and reflect many colours when it is sunny.

巨型彩虹螞蟻:這一個也是有光澤和金屬表面,在陽光燦爛的時候反射出許多顏色。



Monkeys on the Phone: this is one of the WTFs. What does this mean? It is not even beautiful…

猴子打電話:這是最無語的一個。這有什么寓意?一點都不漂亮。



Skaters: around the boardwalk on the east side of the lake there several sculptures depicting humans. The skaters are one of them. Fun fact: I don’t think boardskating is allowed here for real humans.

滑板愛好者:在湖東側的木板路周圍,有幾個刻畫人類的雕塑?;灝謎呔褪瞧渲兄?。有趣的是,我認為這里是不允許玩滑板的。



Leaf Boat: at least this one is related to the lake!

葉子船:至少這一個和湖有關!



And finally, a guessing game! Do you know who these two guys are? Hint: they are from Spain!

最后是一個猜謎游戲!你知道這兩個人是誰嗎?提示:他們來自西班牙!

Guess!

猜猜看!

The one in the middle is obviously me. I had to take a picture with my countrymen!

中間的那個顯然是我。我不得不和我的同胞們合影!

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MY FIRST TIME IN SUZHOU

2.我第一次來蘇州



I have something to confess: the first time I visited Suzhou I didn’t like it at all. It was hot (and it was only the first week of May!), it was humid,and my hostel room had bugs, including one that had the courtesy of waking me up by taking a walk on my face.

我得承認:我第一次來蘇州的時候一點也不喜歡這里。這里天氣很熱(而且這還只是五月的第一個星期!)還很潮濕,我的旅社房間里有蟲子,其中有一只在我臉上散步,禮貌地叫醒了我。

I traveled to Suzhou and Shanghai from Beijing during the May holidays with two Korean classmates. A few years ago there was one week of holidays at the beginning of May, now you can count yourself lucky if you get 3 days in a row (May 1 plus the weekend). We went by train. There were no fast trains and the journey was 12 hours.

五一假期期間,我和兩個韓國同學從北京到蘇州和上海旅游。幾年前,五月初有一個星期的假期,而現在如果能有連續3天(5月1日加上周末),你就算是幸運的了。我們坐火車去的。這里沒有高速列車,需要坐12小時。



I don''t think this is legal. Or safe.

我不認為這是合法的,也不安全。

My first visit to Suzhou was definitely not among my favourite trips, and the city itself was in no way among my preferred cities in China. If I had chosen myself, I would have probably never moved there so I would have never met C. But destiny, or 緣分 yuanfen, had other plans for me. Now, after a few years living in Suzhou, I like it. It is a nice city. People are not rude, if anything, less talkative than in the north. Summers have been bearable. And I never had a bug running over my face again.

我第一次去蘇州肯定不是我最喜歡的旅行之一,這個城市本身也絕不是我最喜歡的中國城市之一。如果要我選擇,我可能永遠不會搬到那里,那我也永遠不會遇見C.。但是命運對我另有安排。現在在蘇州住了幾年之后,我喜歡上了這里。這是一個美麗的城市。人們并不粗魯,如果說有什么區別的話,那就是不像北方人那么健談。夏天還是可以忍受的。再也沒有蟲子在我臉上爬來爬去。

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BARBECUE SEASON

3.燒烤的季節



When I was 18 or 19 I went on a road trip through Ireland with my family. It was cloudy and raining most of the time, as it is usual there, but one day the sun started shining in Dublin. We were visiting a college or some place with a garden, and many people went to that garden and lied in the sun, wearing shorts and tank tops. I am from southern Spain and we have sunny days almost always, so I thought it was very funny that these people were so happy to see the sun that they would leave everything they were doing aside and go outside to enjoy the day.

在我18或19歲的時候,我和我的家人一起自駕游去愛爾蘭。和往常一樣,那里大部分時間都是陰天,下著雨,但有一天太陽開始照耀都柏林。我們參觀了一所大學和某個有花園的地方,許多人穿著短褲和背心去那個花園,躺在陽光下曬太陽。我來自西班牙南部,我們幾乎總是擁有有陽光的日子,所以我覺得很有趣,因為這些人看到太陽非常高興,他們會把所有的事情都丟在一邊,到外面去享受這一天。

Then I came to China and I experienced something similar.

然后我來到中國,經歷了類似的事情。

I live in the Yangtze delta area, a place that is not exactly famous for its nice weather: winters are long, cold and humid and summers are long, hot and humid. Spring and autumn are almost non existent. You will probably be wearing long underwear and down jacket one week, and be sweating in short sleeves the next.

我住在長江三角洲地區,那里的天氣并不是很好:冬天很漫長,寒冷潮濕,夏天很漫長,炎熱潮濕。幾乎不存在春天和秋天。你可能上一個星期還穿著長袖內衣和羽絨服,下一個星期穿著短袖都會出汗。



When Chinese people go to the park to spend the day they do something that I think it is very weird: they bring a tent. I can’t understand why someone would go outside to enjoy a beautiful day and then spend it melting inside a tent. It must have to do with the fact that Chinese people don’t like being in the sun because they hate getting tanned (it makes you look like a peasant).

當中國人去公園度過這一天的時候,他們做了一件我認為很奇怪的事情:他們帶了一個帳篷。我不能理解為什么有人會出去享受美好的一天,然后卻在帳篷里度過。這一定與中國人不喜歡曬太陽有關,因為他們討厭曬黑(曬太陽會讓你看起來像個農民)。

This time our relaxing day was kind of “spoiled” by a family located four or five trees to the left, who decided that it was a great idea to bring a portable karaoke machine. The daughter, who must have been 10 or 11, was singing the whole time. And no, she couldn’t sing at all. And yes, she sang “Little Apple”. I thought about recording a video but I didn’t want to torture you.

這一次,我們輕松的一天被左邊四五棵樹下的一家人破壞了,他們覺得帶一臺便攜式卡拉ok機是個不錯的主意。他們的那個女兒,大概10歲或者11歲,一直在唱歌。不,她根本不會唱歌。是的,她唱的是“小蘋果”。我想過錄一段視頻,但我不想折磨你。

A day barbecueing outside cannot be complete without a kite. In Spain, kites are something kids play with when they are in the beach, but they are not very popular. In China, kites are a serious matter and more for adults than for kids. Me? I have never flown a kite. It is like fishing, I just don’t get it.

如果沒有風箏,在戶外燒烤的一天就不完整。在西班牙,孩子們在海灘上玩風箏,但是風箏并不受歡迎。在中國,放風箏是一件很嚴肅的事情,對成年人來說更是如此。我?我從來沒放過風箏。就像是釣魚,我就是搞不明白。

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A WALK AROUND SUZHOU ALLEYS

4.漫步蘇州小巷



We are having a very weird summer. While in Europe and the US everybody is suffering a heat wave, here in Shanghai / Suzhou we are having a cool wave. It is July already and right now it is 17 degrees. I had never seen anything like this in all of my years in China, but I don’t complain because I seriously hate the typical Shanghai summer with 35oC and 95% humidity. So god bless rain and cool weather!

我們正在經歷一個非常奇怪的夏天。在歐洲和美國,每個人都在遭受熱浪的襲擊,而在蘇州和上海,我們卻在經歷一場寒潮的襲擊。現在已經是7月了,卻只有17度。我在中國的這些年里從來沒有見過這樣的景象,但我沒有抱怨,因為我真的很討厭上海典型的35攝氏度和95%濕度的夏天。所以上帝保佑,繼續下雨,保持涼爽的天氣!

The only negative side of this cool weather is that I haven’t been able to go to the outdoor swimming pool yet, so it looks the 30 day pass that we bought last year and only used 7 times will not be spent this year either. My last weekends have been pretty boring, mostly staying at home. And the more I stay at home, the lazier I become and the less things I do. And this spiral is getting out of control!

這個涼爽的天氣唯一的負面影響是我不能去室外游泳池了,我們去年買的30天通行證,只用了7次,看起來今年也不會用了。我以前的周末都過得很無聊,大部分時間都是呆在家里。我呆在家里的時間越長,我就變得越懶,做的事情也就越少。這簡直是惡性循環!

Yesterday we had to go bring some things to C.’s parents. As it was not raining on that particular moment, we decided to make the most of trip and take a walk around the neighbourhood. C.’s parent live in an alley in the center of Suzhou, not far from Guanqian Street, the pedestrian shopping avenue. Their particular street is not very beautiful because it has been taken over by garbage collectors and recyclers, so both sides are full of metal scraps, carton boxes and other trash that they pick and sell. But other streets around are nicer and give an impression of how Suzhou was a few decades ago. C. wanted to show me the way to his primary and high school, as he grew up in that area.

昨天我們要把一些東西帶給C.的父母。由于那天沒有下雨,我們決定充分利用這一天的時間,在附近散散步。父母住在蘇州市中心的一條小巷里,離步行購物的觀前街不遠。他們住的那條街不是很漂亮,因為它已經被垃圾回收者占領了,所以兩邊都是金屬碎片,紙箱和其他他們收集來賣的垃圾。但是周圍的其他街道很漂亮,給人一種幾十年前蘇州的印象。C.想帶我去看他的小學和高中,因為他是在那個地區長大的。



The houses remind me of Beijing hutongs. If you enter through the front door, you will find yourself in a narrower alley that zigzags around many small houses.Most of the people living here are old Suzhounese people or migrants that only want a small space and a cheap rent.

這些房子讓我想起了北京的胡同。如果你從前門進去,你會發現自己身處一條狹窄的小巷,在許多小房子周圍蜿蜒曲折。住在這里的人大多是老蘇州人或外地人,他們只想要一個小空間,租金也要便宜。



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SEASONAL FOODS IN SUZHOU

5.蘇州時令食品

After spending several years in Suzhou I noticed that you can guess which month of the year it is without looking at a calendar: you only need to check which fruits are being sold in the markets, or what foods are eating the customers of the restaurants with tables on the street. Many of these products can also be found in other parts of China, of course, but I have never seen people in Beijing or Shanghai raving so much about seasonal products. In Suzhou, you know the second half of May has arrived because you step into the subway and everybody is carrying baskets with loquats; or you realize autumn is here because all the restaurants offer hairy crabs in their menu. So, what are the favourite seasonal products in Suzhou? Here’s the list I compiled:

在蘇州生活了幾年之后,我注意到你不用看日歷就能猜出現在是一年中的哪個月份:你只需要看看市場上賣的是什么水果,或者街上餐館的顧客吃的是什么食物就知道了。當然,其中許多產品在中國其他地方也能找到,但我從未見過北京或上海的人對時令食品如此贊不絕口。在蘇州,你知道5月的下半月已經到來,因為你走進地鐵,發現每個人都提著裝著枇杷的籃子;或者你意識到秋天已經到來,因為所有餐館的菜單上都有大閘蟹。那么,蘇州最受歡迎的時令食品是什么呢?以下是我列出的清單:



– Crayfish (小龍蝦 xiao longxia): their Chinese name literally means “small lobster”. They start appearing at the end of April and are a big favourite in the small street restaurants. There is one such place right next to my apartment in Shanghai and it is always full. The crayfish are bright red and smell really good! However I was a tad disappointed when I tried them: they are very spicy! So spicy you don’t really get to taste their true flavour (so I guess this means it is not too good). Also, the amount of meat you get is not too much; half of the crayfish is the head! Eating crayfish is definitely a pain in the ass, as you have you crack and slurp and the reward is not that great. People usually eat them with plastic gloves to avoid getting (too) dirty and there is always a basin in the middle of the table to throw the shells in.

小龍蝦:它們的中文名字的字面意思是“小龍蝦”。它們在4月底開始出現,在小街上的餐館里很受歡迎。在我上海的公寓旁邊就有一個這樣的地方,而且總是人滿為患。小龍蝦是鮮紅色的,聞起來很香。然而,當我嘗試吃它們的時候,我有點失望:它們太辣了,以至于你不能品嘗到它們的真正味道(所以我猜這意味著它的真正味道不是太好)同時,你能吃到的肉也不是太多,因為它的一半都是頭!吃小龍蝦絕對是一件痛苦的事情,因為你在吃的時候會發出啜吸的聲音,而且也吃不到什么東西。人們通常戴著塑料手套吃,以免手被弄得太臟,而且桌子中間總有一個盆可以把殼扔進去。

– Loquat (枇杷 pipa): I think this fruit can also be found in Spain but I had never tried it. The season starts in mid May and only lasts for 2 or 3 weeks. Craziness ensues: there is a mountain close to Suzhou with a lot of loquat tree plantations and on the weekends the road there is completely jammed with families and groups of friends driving to the mountain to pick loquats. The peasants from that area have a great business: they grow trees and the city people pay to pick their fruit, so peasants save some time and earn some money! I have never done that. I have never bought loquats either as there is no need: I always get free ones from C.’s company. Many companies give loquats to their customers and employees during the season.

枇杷:我想這種水果在西班牙也可以找到,但是我從來沒有吃過。它的季節在5月中旬開始,只持續2到3個星期。瘋狂的事情接踵而至:蘇州附近有一座山,那里有很多枇杷種植園,周末,路上擠滿了人,無數的家庭和他們的朋友開車去山上采枇杷。那個地區的農民生意興隆:他們種樹,城里人花錢采摘水果,所以農民既節省了時間,又賺到了錢。我從來沒有這樣做過,我也從來沒有買過枇杷,因為沒有必要,因為C.總是會從公司帶回來許多免費的。許多公司在節日期間會給他們的客戶和員工贈送枇杷。



– Sticky rice wrapped in a leaf (粽子 zongzi): they start being sold at the end of May but are traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival (端午節 duanwu jie), a festivity that is normally around mid June. There are sweet zongzi and salty zongzi; the sweet ones have a filling of red bean and the salty ones have meat and boiled egg. I am a big fan of sticky rice in all of its delicious forms so of course I love zongzi! My favourite are the salty ones. I have been dreaming about them for several months already, I can’t wait for the season to start! In my previous company we would always be given a few zongzi the day before the Dragon Boat Festival.

粽子:它們是用糯米做的,包在一片葉子里。它們在5月底開始出售,但傳統是在端午節期間吃,這個節日通常在6月中旬左右。粽子分為甜粽子和咸粽子,甜粽子有紅豆粽,咸粽子有肉粽和雞蛋粽。我是粽子的超級粉絲,所以我當然喜歡吃粽子。我最喜歡吃的是咸粽子,我已經夢想吃它們好幾個月了,我等不及新一輪粽子季的開始了。在我以前的公司,我們總是在端午節的前一天得到一些粽子。

C.’s grandma does them herself and last year she tried to teach me how to wrap them. It is more complicated than it looks! But I think I got one right at least.

這些粽子都是C.的奶奶自己做的,去年她還試著教我怎么做,這比看起來要復雜得多。但我想我至少完成了一個。



– “Chicken-head rice” (雞頭米 jitoumi): such an interesting name comes from the shape of these seeds, round with a small beak-like protuberance. I have no idea if it has an official name in English! According to wikipedia they are the seeds of a water lily. They are cooked in a sweet soup and are soft but a little chewy. I love them! Their season is around September.

“雞頭米”:這樣一個有趣的名字來源于這些種子的形狀,它們長得圓圓的,有一個小的喙狀突起。我不知道它是否有一個正式的英文名稱。根據維基百科,它們是睡蓮的種子它們是在甜湯里煮的,吃起來軟軟的,但是很有嚼勁。我很愛吃它們,它們的季節大約是在9月。

– Hairy crabs (大閘蟹 da zhaxie): these crabs are very appreciated in the whole country and the best (and more expensive) come from Yangcheng Lake, between Suzhou and Kunshan. When October arrives, all the fancy restaurants in China serve them at quite a pricey cost. They are very good, to be honest, but I think all the cracking and slurping (as with the crayfish) is quite annoying. Last time I ate them my MIL cracked all the parts open for me and I felt like a small child. The best piece is a yellow/orange part located inside the female crab’s tummy. They are called hairy crabs because they have some kind of hair in their “arms”.

大閘蟹:這些螃蟹在全國都很受歡迎,最好的(也更貴)的大閘蟹來自在蘇州和昆山之間的陽澄湖。每當10月到來時,中國所有的高檔餐廳都會以相當昂貴的價格供應它們。說實話,它們非常好吃,但我覺得所有這些掰碎它們的噼啪聲和吃東西的啜吸聲(就像吃小龍蝦一樣)都很煩人。上次我吃的時候,我的婆婆把所有的部分都給我打開了,我覺得自己像個小孩子。最好的部分是位于雌蟹肚子里的黃色/橙色部分。它們之所以被稱為大閘蟹,是因為它們的“胳膊”上有一些毛。

Have you tried any of these foods? Do you like them?

你吃過這些食物嗎?你喜歡吃嗎?