3-Minute Coffee with Uncle Reggie: 5-Star, minus 5-Star
与曾叔叔喝三分钟咖啡:五星级酒店,和负五星级酒店
(Emily Ma马欣怡/Dx 翻譯)

5-star, minus 5-star hotel… One night I might be staying at a swanky five-star hotel with immaculately clean bed sheets, with all kinds of free momentos of prettily bottled shampoos, hair conditioners, colorful fragrant soaps and comfortable guest slippers, most of which I often collected as souvenir gifts for young friends at my next stops in China.

五星级酒店与负五星级酒店… 有一晚我可能住在一个豪华的五星级酒店,床单一尘不染,提供各种免费小礼品,如漂亮的洗发水、护发素、香皂和舒适的拖鞋,其中大部分我常常收集作为礼物送给我在中国下一站的年轻朋友。

Big-city wedding banquet (Photos 1A,1B) versus Yi tribal wedding banquet (Photo 1C).
大城市婚宴(图1A、图1B)与彝族部落的婚宴(图1C)

But the next night I might be at a “so-called hotel” with less than bare minimum facilities. With blankets that didn’t really look that clean, and with pillows that I might be suspicious of. I would take my just worn shirt and flip it over to wrap it around the pillow; at least I was sleeping on my own clothing and sweat.

但第二天晚上,我可能会住在一个简陋的姑欠称之为酒店的地方。毯子看起来并不是那么干净,枕头也让我有所怀疑。我会拿出我刚穿过的衬衫翻过来包住枕头;这样至少我是睡在自己的衣物和汗渍上。

During the latter stay, I often put all my used clothing in a separate bag, so that when I got home, it could be separately washed and dried, just in case the dirt and bugs might be too much for our laundry system! The flip-flop in living circumstances did not really bother me, but it did stress out our cleaning system a bit.

在后者的住宿期间,我通常把所有穿过用过的衣物放在一个单独的袋子里,以便回家后可以单独清洗和烘干,以防污垢和虫子对我们的洗衣系统造成太多问题!住宿环境的反差并没有真正困扰我,但回到家就有一大堆东西要洗。

Sumptuous royal banquet versus “fast food” … One day I would be eating a sumptuous banquet in the historic Summer Palace, with 24 elegant dishes coming around on our big round table. Sitting next to the pediatrician-wife of a Vice-Premier of the country. The food was supposedly equivalent to what the infamous Empress Dowager would have eaten, including fine meats packed into fine bean sprouts.

奢华的皇室盛宴和“快餐”… 有时我可能会在历史悠久的颐和园享用盛宴,大圆桌上摆满了24道精致的菜肴。我与国家副总理的做儿科医生的夫人同席。这些菜肴据说是复刻了以骄奢闻名的慈禧太后御膳,诸如把肉塞入豆芽菜中的镶豆芽。

Yi tribal wedding banquet (Photo 1C).
彝族部落的婚宴(图1C)

The next night after I was back home, I would be having a great time eating a one-item meal at Gold Star Chili, Panera, Arby’s or Subway. Which tasted just fine to me.

然后,第二天回到家,晚上我可能会在Gold Star Chili,帕内拉Panera、阿比餐厅Arby’s或赛百味Subway快餐店点一样作晚餐,我觉得味道也很不错。

Sophisticated versus country garb… One day my wife and I would be at a 700-attendee, sophisticatedly dressed Asian wedding banquet, grinning from ear to ear with serious cheek muscle fatigue, and toasting drinks from table to table, surprisingly hosted by my usually very frugal father.

高雅衣饰与普通服装… 有一天,我和妻子在亚洲出席我们的婚宴,来宾云集,超过700人。 我们穿着精致高雅,笑容满面,一桌一桌,频频举杯敬酒。因要保持微笑,我俩的脸颊都笑疼了。我那生性节俭的父亲竟然大宴宾客。

On other days, on return to the same city, from my normal residence in Midwestern Cincinnati, USA, we would be dressed in casual American attire. To the locals we probably looked like we came in from countryside villages, since they were dressed in beautiful elegant cheongsams and tailored suits even for just an “average banquet”. There is a world of difference in attire between jet-set Hong Kong and “average America”, but hey, that’s life.

但在其他日子里,我们从辛辛那提的家回到这个城市,我们会穿着休闲的美国服装。对于当地人来说,我们可能看起来像是从乡下来的,因为他们都穿着漂亮的旗袍和定制的西装去赴一个“普通的宴会”。在上层社会的香港和普通美国人之间的服装差异是巨大的,但嘿,这就是生活。

Professionally and efficiently escorted through Israeli immigration and luggage retrieval.
专业高效的护卫帮助我们通过以色列移民检查和行李检查。

Escorted versus bussed… A personal uniformed escort at Tel Aviv Airport in Israel, waiting at the exit of the plane, before my wife and I even stepped on the gangway, certainly impressed us. Especially as he whisked us off down the side stairs to a waiting chauffeured black limousine that bypassed the normal long walking route, efficiently guiding us smoothly through immigration, and then on to our hotel.

私人护卫与自己乘坐公交车… 在以色列特拉维夫机场,一名身穿制服的私人护卫在飞机出口等候,甚至在我和妻子踏上舷梯之前,这确实让我们印象深刻。尤其是当他迅速带我们走下侧面楼梯,前往一辆等待的豪华黑色轿车,他绕过了通常漫长的步行路线,快速引导我们顺利通过入境程序,然后前往酒店。

That was certainly quite different from trying to find and catch the double-decker bus by myself, going from Heathrow Airport into London. Followed by lugging my full luggage suitcase through the Tube and train stations, finally catching a black cab to my destination. But in both circumstances I got safely to my final stop, just with a different story to tell!

这与我自己寻找并搭乘从希斯罗机场到伦敦的双层巴士截然不同。那时我拖着满满一箱行李换乘地铁和火车,最后搭乘一辆黑色的出租车前往目的地。但在这两种情况下,我都安全到达了我的最终目的地,只是讲起来是截然不同的故事!

Long sleek luxury limousine transport versus crammed lift… I told the enthusiastic audience at my award dinner, at a fanciest New York City hotel, that, “For the sake of science, I could suffer”. The “suffering” included being picked up at the New York Kennedy Airport in a sleek 30-foot black limousine, which boasted a liquor bar that was wasted on me, comfortable black lounge seats and a television, to be royally transported to give my no-free-lunch acceptance talk.

Original members of the 7,000-member Hangzhou meeting, for rich and poor.
拥有着7000名成员的杭州聚会地的创始者们,在这儿富人和穷人被一视同仁。

豪华的加长轿车与拥挤的电梯…在纽约市一家最豪华的酒店举行的颁奖晚宴上,我告诉热情的观众,“为了科学,我可以受苦”。“痛苦”包括在纽约肯尼迪机场乘坐一辆30英尺长的黑色豪华轿车,里面有着酒吧但对我来说并没有用,舒适的黑色休息椅和一台电视机了,我被接送到酒店,这接送犹如皇室待遇,但在酒店我可没享受到免费午餐,因为我的午餐是我发表演讲得来的。

More commonly, after an 18-20-hour flight, I would arrive in the huge city of Hong Kong at 5 pm. Alone, I would immediately take the fast train from the airport directly into town, to catch a relatively inexpensive US$2-3 taxicab, to arrive in minutes to the congested and rather grubby Mong Kok.

更常见的情况是,在经历了18-20小时的飞行后,我会在下午5点抵达香港这个繁忙的城市。独自一人,我会立刻搭乘从机场直接进城的快速列车,然后搭乘相对便宜的2-3美元出租车,几分钟内到达拥挤而相当肮脏的旺角。

I would then pull my awkward luggage into a mini-lift that literally squeezed six people together, and go up to my third-floor little office. At 7pm, only two hours after landing, the team would gather for a planning meeting till midnight, which I usually chaired.

然后,我将笨重的行李拉到一个迷你电梯里,这个电梯可以挤进六个人,然后去我在三楼的小办公室。在晚上7点,即在降落后仅两个小时后,通常由我主持团队筹备会议,直到午夜。

Past midnight and exhausted, I finally got to shower, and pull open my sofa bed, which practically filled my tight office space, so I could rest soundly overnight, before zipping into China in the early morning. No jet lag allowed.

过了午夜,我精疲力尽,终于可以淋浴,打开我的沙发床,它几乎充满了我狭窄的办公空间,这样我就可以享受一夜安眠,第二天大清早就奔向中国,根本没有时间倒时差。

Two different days in two different cities on different sides of the globe, but hey, each has its exciting merits.

在地球不同的两个城市的两个不同的日子,但嘿,每个都有其令人兴奋的优点。

Services can be just as lively under a thatched roof in Northern Thailand.
在泰国北部的茅草屋顶下的聚会,同样热闹非凡。

Governor’s wife versus poor farmer… Thinking back, dancing officially (as college student president) in my first tuxedo with the Hong Kong (then British) Governor’s wife required careful preparation, since I had never learned to dance properly nor aesthetically. And I needed to make sure to adhere to colonial protocol at dinner while sitting next to the Governor and his wife, which was certainly a bit intimidating.

总督夫人与贫困农民… 回想起来,正式与香港(当时是英国的)总督夫人一起跳舞(作为大学学院的学生会主席)需要仔细准备,因为我从未学如过何正确优雅地跳舞。我还需要确保在晚餐时坐在总督和夫人旁边时遵守殖民地礼仪,这确实有点令人紧张。

But sitting/crouching down on a farmer’s low stool before a “relatively sumptuous” dinner with no serving chopsticks or spoons, where one could just freely pick from the ample shared food placed before me, was also somewhat intimidating. Intimidations come from different angles!

但坐在一个农民的小板凳上,享受“相对丰盛”的晚餐,桌上没有公筷,可以随意从摆在我面前的供大家一起享用的大盘里夹菜,也有点令人紧张。不同的地方有不同角度的挑战!

Debating scientists versus teaching village kids… Debating serious academic issues with talented scientists at Review Boards of the National Institute of Health was indeed challenging. Each grant being reviewed deserved and was given thorough and fair evaluation and review, which might include heated discussions.

与科学家辩论与教村里的孩子… 在国家卫生研究院审查委员会与才华横溢的科学家们辩论严肃的学术问题确实具有挑战性。每一笔拨款都应得到彻底和公平的评估和审查,这可能包括激烈的讨论。

But teaching academic English to 60 remote town/village children in a crowded classroom was equally challenging, though there were a lot more happy smiles. And the opportunity to bring in a touch of the mystery of creation all around us.

但是在拥挤的教室里,教六十个偏远城镇/乡村的孩子学习英语同样具有挑战性,尽管这里有这更多洋溢着快乐的笑脸。还有机会讲论创造的奥秘。

Sam loh (3-wheeler) charm beats expensive 30-foot limousine, anytime.
无论何时,三轮车(sam-loh) 的魅力总胜过昂贵的30英尺高的豪华轿车。

7,000-member sophisticated gathering place versus tribal thatched roof meeting… One of the more touching experiences I had was at the officially 7,000-member Hangzhou Church, where the obviously very rich businessman sat in the same pews, right next to the obviously very poor farmer. They all used the same immaculate, volunteer-cleaned washrooms, which I thought were the cleanest washrooms that I had seen in the land. Quietly conveying one of the greatest messages of love by speech and action.

7,000名会员的高雅聚会场所与部落茅草屋会议… 我有一个非常感人的经历,那就是在官方认可的拥有7,000名会员的杭州聚会场所,富商们和贫穷的农民相邻而坐在一排排长凳上。他们都使用同一个由义工们打扫得干干净净的洗手间,我认为那是我在这片土地上见过的最干净的洗手间。在那里人们以言行默默传递爱这一最伟大的信息。

In a few days, however, I was in a mountain tribal area in Thailand where the gathering members basically stood on an unpaved floor or sat on unfinished wooden benches, singing just as enthusiastically as in the big sophisticated service. It’s not the environment, it’s what’s in the heart that counts!

然而,几天后,我来到了泰国的一个山区部落,那里的聚会中,会众基本上站在没有铺好的地板上,或者坐在尚未完工的木凳上,但他们唱歌的热情一点不亚于那些大型的有高端设施的聚会。重要的不是环境,而是内心深处的东西!

A Turkish-born message… A most famous comment about “learning to be content in all circumstances” (1) was recorded by a first-century Roman citizen, born of a minority tribe in Tarsus in what is now modern-day Turkey. He was able to go from being among the most dedicated scholars of Hebrew learning, to writing letters from dungeons in Turkey, Greece and Rome. He communicated eloquently with kings to lowly oppressed minority peasants. Billions of readers of his books have felt he had truly learned the secret of contentment! Which we could learn also.

源于土耳其的信息… “无论在什么景况都可以知足”这个广为人知的话语(1)是由一个在一世纪出生在现今土耳其的小部落大数的罗马公民记录的。他原是一位最专注学习希伯来传统的学者,后来他在土耳其、希腊和罗马的地牢中写了很多书信。他与上至国王下至被压迫的卑微农民一样沟通,游刃有余。他的书籍拥有数十亿读者,他被公认为是一个真正掌握了满足的秘诀的人!我们也可以学到这个秘诀。

Contentment allows one to adjust to any circumstance in life, high or low, to communicate with sophisticated and unsophisticated, to lead a life without jealousy or bitterness, a truly meaningful life of inner joy. Aah… contentment!

知足可以让一个人适应生活中的任何环境,无论高或低,单纯或是复杂,都可以交流,过上一种没有嫉妒或痛苦的生活,一种真正有内在快乐的有意义的生活。啊…知足常乐!

Reference: 1. Philippians 4:11, written from jail by Paul of Tarsus in Ephesus in modern-day Turkey; or from jail in Rome.

索引: 1. 腓立比书4:11,大数人保罗在现代土耳其以弗所或者从罗马的监狱所写的。