Coffee with Uncle Reggie: Making an Impression
与曾叔叔喝咖啡闲聊 : 留下印象
(韩文丽、孙珺 翻译)

It is often said that it is important to make a good impression on someone when you first meet. However, sometimes it is just important to make an impression.

有一天,ー个14岁的泰国女孩来到香港的潮人生命堂。们经常说良好的第一印象至关重要,其实有时候,重要 的只是留下印象

Playing with fire – a drawing by artist Lily Heinzin, Seattle, WA
玩火——华盛顿州西雅图芝ボ家Lily Heinzin的作品

One day, this 14-year-old girl arrived from Thailand. For the teenage boys in the Swatow Church Sunday school in Hong Kong, this sounded exotic. It didn’t hurt that her mother showed up at times bearing gifts, such as true crocodile wallets and belts, and gold belt buckles inscribed with the royal symbol of Thailand. Apparently, these gifts were not expensive in Thailand, but to a young teenager, this smelled of exoticism.

对于在教会上主日学的那些十几岁的男孩子,这是很新奇的事 情。女孩的妈妈不时带来鳄鱼皮的钱包腰带,或者带有泰国皇 族标志的黄金腰带扣等小礼物,并不会让我们有抵触心理。这 些礼物在泰国不算貴重,但对于ー个香港年轻人来说,却是那 么的与众不同。

Determined to make an impression on this cute little girl, the boys brought her innocently into our sphere of influence. So, one day “the boys” were up on a balcony on the third floor of an apartment building. We were throwing explosive “contact bombs” at unknowing passersby on the street below. We aimed the explosives just shy of the feet of the people so that they would explode and startle the unsuspecting pedestrians, while we darted away from the balcony and giggled.

为了要给这个可爱的女孩留下 印象,我们这些男孩子无恶意地带 她来到我们的“地盘“。有一天, 男孩子爬到了一座公寓三楼的阳 台,朝下面的人行道扔摔炮。我们 将这些摔炮扔在离行人还有几米的 地方,爆炸的时候把不知情的行人 吓ー跳,而我们就会躲到阳台后面 偷笑。

Meanwhile, Esther, the Thai girl who had been sent to Hong Kong to study, began to innocently examine what we were playing with. Having never seen an explosive and being extremely meticulous and clean, she spotted a black flake on it. She used her thumbnail to scratch the flake off the bomb. The “contact” bomb instantly exploded in her hands and blew off her thumbnail completely.

与此同时,这个来香港求学的泰国女孩,开始天真地看我 们在玩什么。由于她从来没见过摔炮,而她又是个注意细节和 清洁的人,所以,当她在摔炮上发现了一块黑色的薄片,就想 用大拇指的指甲刮下来。摔炮马上就在她手中爆炸了,把她的 指甲完全炸了下来。

What’s on the thumb?

In my panic and to my horror, I watched the entire off-script scenario unfold. Quickly my surgeon father appeared, and he took us angrily to his clinic, while I sheepishly accompanied the victim and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible. For weeks after that, a bandage around her thumb was a daily reminder of the traumatic event.

目睹整个过程的我完全吓呆了,所有人都没有预想到这件 事情的发生。很快,身为外科医生的父亲来了,他大发雷霆, 把我跟女孩带到他的诊所。我既紧张又害怕地伴著她,简直想 找个縫钻进去。接下来的几个星期,她拇指上的绷带时时都在 提醒著我那次可怕的事故。

And up to this day, her regrown thumbnail bears the scar of the explosion. But I think the episode created a vivid impression on her, since we became childhood sweethearts and were married 10 years later, 6 days before we took off for America.

直到今日,她的指甲上还留著爆炸时的伤疤。但是我仍觉 得这一幕给她留下了深刻的印象,因为后来我们就成为了青梅 竹马的恋人,十年后,也就是我们前往美国的六天前,我们结 为了夫妻。

The moral of this story is that it might not be necessary to classify first impressions as good or bad, as long as it is an impression. The Good Book tells us to “remember the wife of our youth”: presumably, the wife might also remember her first impression of her youthful suitor.

这个故事的意义在于,没有必要过于在意第一印象的好坏, 只要留下印象就好。圣经吩咐我们:“要记念(和合本作:喜悅) 你幼年所娶的妻’’,妻子大概也会记得她对那个年轻求婚者的 第一印象。