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Rob Radboud

www.barbarayung.nl

Barbara Yung's life in England

I decided that I wanted to celebrate Christmas and new year with my parents in the Netherlands. It would be the first time that I went there since they moved back. Barbara didn't mind as she knew she had to work during the Christmas holiday. Celebrating Christmas together with her family wasn't an option for me. Since we were seeing each other nearly every day, we decided it was not worth all the troubles and arguments for Barbara in trying to come along with me. Just a week not seeing each other shouldn't be a problem. Looking back now it seems strange, but we never celebrated one Christmas together. To be honest I even don't know if the Chinese celebrate Christmas in a different way than the English or Dutch.

In the Netherlands my oldest brother introduced me into the Dutch student life. He was studying at the Technical university and was living in a student house. The student life at that time was quite decadent. It was easy to get a grand and there was no time limit in studying. The result was that there was little studying going on. Hygiene wasn't an issue either. For the Dutch readers, the house was officially called "Goor en Ruft", I don't quite know how to translate it.

My brother's friends spend most of their time trying to find out ways how to irritate the common citizens and testing the bureaucratic systems. If there was somewhere a fault in bureaucracy, then they would find it. They did it with a lot humor and it was all very harmless. For example they organized a football tournament and named it after the most irritating civil servant they knew. They even invited him to do the prize giving. Outsiders would have seen these students as lazy, dirty, noisy, alcohol consuming nuisance, a waste of the taxpayers money. I felt very at home there.
Every time I went to Holland I spend a lot of time in that house. When Barbara was in Holland later that year I tried to introduce her to this life, but understandingly it was not her style. For someone who always had the work hard to get things done, she didn't understand why people want to live that way. She did cook a meal once for the whole house and she did enjoy the attention she was given when she came along. Once I asked her what she thought of those students, al she said was: "loud and hairy".

Barbara and I were very different from each other but in a few things we were similar. We had the same sense of humor. We could make each other laugh, it was fun being together. There was always some positive energy between us, we enjoyed being together. Personally I find that when you can't laugh together anymore your relation is ending.

Another thing we had in common was that we respected each other's choices in life. We both didn't like to be told how to live our life, therefore we didn't try to influence each other. Barbara must have had her thoughts when she noticed that I was so attracted towards the student life of my brother. But she never made a negative comment or tried to persuade me to spend my time differently.

 

 

新年新生活

我打算回荷兰跟我的父母一起过圣诞和新年。这将会是他们搬回荷兰后我第一次回去。美玲知道自己必须在圣诞假期期间工作,所以她也无所谓我回不回去。跟她的家人一起过圣诞也不太可能,我们也差不多天天见面了,不想再去费好大劲去说服美玲的家人允许她和我一起回荷兰。才一个星期不见面而已啦,应该没什么问题吧!现在回头想起来真有点不可思议,我们竟然从未在一起度过一个圣诞节。老实说,我都不知道华人过圣诞和英国人或者荷兰人过圣诞有什么不同。

在荷兰,我的大哥带我熟悉了荷兰的学生生活。他在工业大学学习,住在一所房子里——学生之家。那时的学生生活非常颓废,很容易就会得到一个大荣誉,在学习时间上几乎上没有要求,结果就是大家都不学习。清洁卫生方面也没有要求。荷兰的读者通常都称学生公寓为"Goor en Ruft",我不知道用英语怎么讲。

我的哥哥和他的朋友们大部分时间都在找一些事刺激公民,或者检测官僚系统,他们总是能找到官僚系统的漏洞。他们很有幽默感,做这些时并不会伤害别人。举个例子,他们组织了一个橄榄球比赛,比赛的名字就以最令人讨厌的文职官员的名字来命名,他们甚至邀请他来颁奖。外人可能认为这些学生懒惰、邋遢、吵闹、整天喝酒让人讨厌,简直浪费纳税人的钱,我却觉得这样很自在。

一回去荷兰,我都会去哥哥的学生之家待好久。那年后来美玲也去了荷兰,我想带她一起过这种生活,但可以理解的是,她不喜欢。她是一直努力工作,尽力做好一切事情的人,她不理解为什么他们那样生活。美玲曾为那间学生之家的所有人做了一顿饭,她很高兴哥哥和他的朋友们关心注意到她。有一次我问她怎么看这些学生,她说:吵闹不堪,令人恐怖。

美玲和我非常不一样,不过在下面这几方面我们一样。我们都有幽默感,可以互相让对方大笑,在一起很快乐。我们在一起总是有充沛的活力,特别喜欢待在一起。个人以为如果恋人不能再在一起开心的大笑,恋情很可能就完了。我们还有一个共同点就是:互相尊重对方对生活的选择。我们两个都不喜欢别人来教训自己你应该怎样生活,所以我们也不会试图影响对方。看到我那么迷恋我哥哥的颓废学生生活,美玲肯定有自己的不同看法,但她从未批评我们或者试图说服我不要那样过日子。
(translated by Julia)

 

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