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Rob Radboud

www.barbarayung.nl

Barbara Yung's life in England

I can still remember the first time I met Barbara in 1976. She sat as always alone in the canteen of the CCAT (Cambridge College of Art and Technology), and as always she was writing in a black book. She never sat in the popular coffee shop of the CCAT, The Batman. She made me curious, this solitary Chinese girl with long hair till her waste. I went to sit opposite her and asked what she was writing. With a northern London accent she told me that it was her dairy and she showed it to me. I couldn't read the Chinese letters but I recognized the words 'leaving on a jet plan' of the song of John Denver. I also recognized the sentence 'You always smile but in your eyes your sorrow shows ' from the song Without You by Harry Nillson.

A few days after some of my friends joined us in the canteen. In this group Barbara easily blended in. She was very cheerful and stood up for herself. She pronounced some words with a typical London accent that with her Chinese appearance made was a surprisingly combination. Barbara soon discovered that the coffee shop the Batman was a much nicer place to be. Often I would find her there with my friends. One of these friends was Sue, she had long blond hair also till her waste and she was about the same size as Barbara. It was lovely to see Barbara and Sue from behind when they walked next to each other. Both long hair, hanging lose but in different colours.

The problem was that I couldn't see Barbara alone. There was always someone around. Several times I had asked her to go out with me in the weekend. Every time she told me that she couldn't come. She had to work at the fish and chip shop.

Then I discovered that Barbara went to the library after school. She didn't want to go home immediately and went to the library to look at picture books for ideas for her drawings. I went also to the library to join her. This time there were no friends around, just the two of us. The first few times I came she was doing her school work, later she pretended she was working, after that she didn't even pretend and after a few weeks she didn't even bother to go the library and waited outside for me. We were very pleased with each other's company. We told each about each other life's. Our life's were completely different from each other. She told me about the Chinese culture and her way of life in England and I told her about my Dutch way of life in England. We had great fun telling each other these stories.

When it was time to go home we walked together to the Cambridge bus station, from there she took the bus to Histon. During these walks Barbara told me more about her life. About her father who had died when she was young, that she had to leave Hong Kong to go to London. How difficult it was for her then to leave her friends. She also explained how she finally ended up in the fish and chip shop in Histon.

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(I remember that Barbara was working on this drawing when I first visited her in the library)

 

 

我们是怎么相识的

我仍然能回想起1976年我第一次遇见翁美玲。她像往常一样独自一人坐在CCAT(剑桥艺术科学学院)的学生食堂里面,她也总是在一个黑色笔记本里面写着什么东西。翁美玲从不坐在当时学校很流行的咖啡馆--蜘蛛侠咖啡馆里。我对她,一个孤独的留着长长头发的中国女孩开始产生了好奇。我第一次走到她的面前,问她,"你在写什么?"。"我在写我的日志",带着北伦敦英语口音的她回答到。她把日志递给我让我看。 我读不懂中文,但我能看懂日志里面的几句英文歌词,其中有《坐着喷气式飞机离开》,约翰丹佛的歌。我同时也能辨认出一句哈里.尼尔森的歌《失去你》中的一句英文句子--"你总是微笑,但在你眼中却能看见忧伤。"

我和翁美玲第一次相识的几天之后,我的朋友们也加入了我们,和我们俩一起在学校食堂里吃饭。翁美玲很快的和我的好朋友打成了一片,她十分开心,总是支持自己。让我们非常吃惊和有意思的是,这个黑头发的中国面孔女孩说着一口带有典型伦敦口音的英语。翁美玲也很快发现,学校的咖啡店-蜘蛛人咖啡馆相比食堂是个更好的地方。从那以后,我经常能看见她和我的朋友在蜘蛛人咖啡馆一起。其中的一个朋友叫苏,她拥有一头很长的金发,同时她和翁美玲体型都差不多。看着翁美玲和苏走在一起时的背影是件很惬意的事情。同样是两个长头发女孩,头发也都是松散的披在肩上但却又是不同的两种颜色。
我意识到问题是我没有和翁美玲独处的机会。总是有其他人在旁边。很多次我邀请她周末和我一起出门。但每次她却说不行。她说她必须要在鱼肉薯片店工作。

很快我发现翁美玲总是放学后去学校图书馆。她不喜欢放学后就直接回家,而是去图书馆看些能给她创作灵感的设计图册。于是,我也去图书馆加入她。此时此刻就只有我和她,没有其她的人在我们旁边。最初,她只是在看书,之后我能感觉她只是装作在认真看,到了最后她甚至不再装着看书。她开始不厌烦的在图书馆外面等我。我们彼此都喜欢在一起,在图书馆互相陪伴着对方。我们谈论着彼此的生活。当然,我们各自的生活都是非常的不同。她给我讲中国文化和她在英国的日子,而我通常给她聊我荷兰背景在英国的生活。我们在聊天中十分的快乐。

到了回家的时候,我们总是一起走到剑桥大学的公交车站,从那里她坐车到希斯顿。在前往车站的路上,她给我了讲关于她更多的故事。-她父亲在她很小的时候就去世了,她不得不和母亲离开香港去伦敦。离开香港的朋友们对她起初是件多么困难的事情。那首日志里提到的约翰丹佛的《坐着喷气式飞机离开》就是她临走香港时朋友给她送行放的歌。然后她告诉我她是怎么最后在希斯顿的鱼肉薯片餐厅工作。

 

(translated by Zhi)

 

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