The Wealthy Quarter by Feng Jicai ~ 冯骥才 《富人区》 with English Translations

作品原文

冯骥才 《富人区》

在洛杉矶,一位美国朋友开车带我去看富人区。富人区就是有钱人的聚居地。美国人最爱陪客人看富人区,好似观光。到那儿一瞧,千姿百态的房子和庭院,优雅,宁静,舒适,真如人间天堂。我忽然有个问题问他:“你们看到富人们住在这么漂亮的房子里,会不会嫉妒?”
我这美国朋友惊讶地看着我,说:
“嫉妒他们?为什么?他们能住在这里,说明他们遇上了一个好机会。如果将来我也遇到好机会,我会比他们住得更好!”
这便是标准的“老美”式的回答。他们很看重机会。
后来在日本,一位日本朋友说他要陪我看看不远的一处富人区。原来日本人也有这种爱好。日本的富人区,小巧,幽静,精致,每座房子都像一个首饰盒,也挺美。我又想到上次问过美国朋友的那个问题,便问日本朋友:
“你们看到富人们住着这么漂亮的房子,会嫉妒吗?”
这个日本朋友稍稍想了想,遥遥头说:“不会的。”继而他解释道:“如果一个日本人见到别人比自己强,通常会主动接近那个人,和他交朋友,向他学习,以便把他的长处学到手,再设法超过他。”
噢,日本人真厉害。我想。
前不久,一位南方朋友来看我,闲谈中说到他们的城市发展得很快,已经出现国外那种“富人区”了。我饶有兴趣地打听其中的情形,据说有的院子里还有喷水池,车库,门口有保安,还养大狼狗。我无意中再次想到问过美国朋友和日本朋友的那个问题,便拿来问他:
“有没有人去富人区参观?”
“有呀,常有人去看。但不能进去,在门口扒一扒头而已。”这为南方朋友说。
“心理反映怎样?会不会嫉妒?”
“嫉妒?”他眉毛一扬,笑道:“何止嫉妒?恨不得把那小子宰了!”
我听了怔住。

 

 

作品译文

 

 

The Wealthy Quarter

In Los Angeles, an American friend of mine drove me to an affluent quarter for a visit. It was a place inhabited by the rich. Americans like to take their guests to see it as if on a sightseeing tour. Standing before me were houses and courtyards of a great variety of shapes, looking elegant, quiet and comfortable like in an earthly paradise. I suddenly put this question to him, “Don’t you feel jealous of guys living in beautiful houses like these?”
He looked at me in astonishment and said,
“Jealous? Why? They live here because they’ve met with a good opportunity. If I should also find a opportunity in the future, I can do even better.”
The answer he gave was typical of Americans. Americans set great store by an opportunity.
Later, when I was in Japan, a Japanese friend of mine said he would take me to a nearby wealthy quarter and show me around. So, Japanese and Americans shared the same inclination to visit a wealthy quarter. Japanese houses were small, quiet and exquisite, and each was like a beautiful jewelry box. I put to him the same question as I had asked the American,
“Are you jealous of the rich people living in these beautiful houses?”
After pondering for a moment, he shook his head and said, “No, never.” Then he explained, “When a Japanese finds somebody superior to himself, he’ll contact him on his own initiative, make friends somebody superior to himself, he’ll contact him on his own initiative, make friends with him, learn from him, and try to excel him after learning all the strong points from him.”
Ah, the Japanese were a real aggressive sort! I was absorbed in thought.
Not long ago, a friend of mine called on me on his arrival from southern China. While chatting together, he told me how, like in foreign countries, wealthy quarters had appeared in his own city in the wake of its fast development. When, I, out of curiosity, demanded to hear more details of them, he mentioned their fountains, garages, security personnel guarding the gates, wolfhounds, etc. Then I asked him the same question as I had asked my American and Japanese friends,
“Do people visit the wealthy quarter?”
“Yes, they often do,” said my friend. “But they can’t get into it. They can only watch it from outside the gate.”
“How do you feel? Aren’t you jealous?”
“Jealous?” he brightened up and said with a smile. “Not only jealous. We’re dying to finish off these rich guys.”
I was stunned to hear it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *