5-Minute Coffee with Uncle Reggie: Skirting Deathly Dangers
与曾叔叔喝咖啡闲聊五分钟:踢脚板死亡危险
(Sonic 翻译)

Hong Kong’s Pearl Harbor. In 1941, six hours after “Pearl Harbor” in Hawaii, the Imperial Japanese Military began aerial bombing of the then British colony of Hong Kong. I was barely one year old at the time. One of the key invasion battles was at the famous Repulse Bay, a normally gorgeous spot where years later my wife, Esther, and I actually honeymooned for a few days.

香港的珍珠港。1941年,夏威夷“珍珠港事件”发生6小时后,日本帝国军队开始对当时的英国殖民地香港进行空中轰炸。那时候我还不到一岁。其中一场关键的入侵战役发生在著名的浅水湾,这是一个平时很漂亮的地方,多年后,我和妻子Esther在那里度了几天蜜月。

Boys from DBS, my later high school, volunteered to fight, and many died, but the battle was soon lost and the Imperial Japanese Army swept over Hong Kong.

来自DBS(我后来的高中)的男孩自愿参加战斗,许多人牺牲,但战斗很快就失败了,日本帝国军队扫荡了香港。

As a newly graduated surgeon, at times Dad was allowed to visit prisoners of war at their camp in Stanley. It was later reported that he had helped smuggle medicines and supplies to the prisoners, obviously a deathly hazardous effort!

作为一名刚刚毕业的外科医生,父亲有时被允许去看望赤柱战俘营里的战俘。后来有报告说,他帮助偷运药品和用品给那些不幸的囚犯,这显然是一种致命的危险行动!

The reputation of the Imperial Japanese Army was atrocious everywhere they touched, so in 1942, after my mother was slapped in public by a Japanese soldier for not being deferential enough, Dad decided it was too dangerous to stay. We escaped, Dad, Mom and toddler me, to the relative safety of our ancestral Hakka mountain village of Wujingfu, in Southern China.

日本帝国陆军所到之处都臭名昭著,在1942年,当我母亲因为不够恭顺而被一名日本士兵当众扇耳光后,父亲认为留下来太危险了,所以爸爸、妈妈和蹒跚学步的我逃到了相对安全的中国南方客家人祖上居住的山村五经富。

Boys from my high school who gave their lives in defense of Hong Kong. A touching memorial.
我的高中同学为保卫香港献出了生命。一个感人的纪念。

The Malaya-Thailand guerrilla war zone. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, the Imperial Japanese Army was causing havoc in Malaya, plus making periodic incursions into neighboring Southern Thailand. Esther, also then a toddler in Haadyai, South Thailand, clearly remembered the horror from aerial bombing alerts and the sheer terror of running to rural bomb shelters for protection. She was often frozen from fear, and couldn’t run. She would scream out for help, so family members grabbed her and carried her the rest of the way. Those scary memories affected her in nightmares for years to come.

马来亚-泰国游击战战区。与此同时,数千英里之外的日本帝国军队正在马来亚大肆破坏,并不时入侵邻国泰国南部。当时还在泰国南部合艾。蹒跚学步的Esther,清楚地记得空袭警报时的恐怖,以及跑向农村防空洞寻求庇护时的惊恐万状。她常常吓得呆若木鸡,动弹不得。她大声呼救,家人赶来抓起她,抱着她跑完剩下的路。那些可怕的记忆成了她那以后多年的噩梦。

Refugees pour across the border. After World War II ended, in 1945 my father brought our little family back to Hong Kong. But only a few years later, especially around 1949, refugees began to pour over the mountains and seas from inland into Hong Kong. Civil War was ending and a new government had taken charge. And in the transition, I heard as a child all kinds of frightening rumors and reports of public executions and humiliations, particularly of the “dizhu”, the land-owning class. Many of our relatives “owned land” and so were instantly in danger.

难民涌入边境。第二次世界大战结束后,1945年,我父亲带着我们的小家庭回到香港。但仅仅几年后,特别是1949年前后,难民开始从内地翻山越岭,漂洋过海,涌入香港。内战即将结束,新政府上台。在转型的过程中,那时还是小孩的我听到过各种耸人听闻的谣言和公开处决和羞辱的报道,尤其是针对“地主”(地主阶级)的。我们的许多亲戚都“拥有土地”,因此立马陷入危险之中。

Seaborne escapes. After several failed attempts, my first cousin, FH, escaped by hiding in the bottom of a junk boat, floating for four nights and four days in the baking sun of the South China Seas. Exhausted, sick, vomiting and starving, he finally reached Hong Kong and safety.

海上飘逃亡。在几次失败的尝试后,我的大堂弟FH躲在一艘破船的底部,在南中国海的烈日暴晒下漂浮了四个昼夜。他精疲力竭,气息奄奄,呕吐,饥饿,但最终抵达香港,获得了安全。

Two other cousins prepared themselves through intensive swim training. They left in the dead of night, swimming and hanging on to rubber tires, then floating for many scary days, avoiding patrol gunboats, to reach safety in Hong Kong. For me, childhood memories in Hong Kong were not that peaceful!

另外两个表亲自己通过高强度的游泳训练做好了准备。他们在夜深人静的时候离开了家,靠着橡胶轮胎游泳,然后在水上漂浮了胆战心惊的许多天,期间还要避开巡逻的炮艇,最终抵达香港,这个安全的地方。对我来说,在香港的童年记忆并不那么平静!

Border town woes. For Esther, growing up in a small town in Thailand, life after the War became a lot more peaceful on the surface. But dark clouds were gathering, since just across the border in Malaya, the then British government was battling an insurgency, and battles often spilled over into Thailand. And, a few years later, extremist Islamists initiated frightening “executions” of schoolteachers, considered “atheists” (often Buddhists). Assassins would drive by in motorcycles and gun down teachers literally before their pupils’ eyes.

边境城镇的灾难。对于在泰国小镇长大的Esther来说,战后的生活表面上变得平静多了。但乌云正在聚集,因为就在马来亚边境,当时的英国政府正在与叛乱作战,战火经常蔓延到泰国。几年后,伊斯兰极端主义者开始对被认为是“无神论者”(通常是佛教徒)的学校教师进行可怕的“处决”。刺客会骑着摩托车直接在学生的眼前枪杀他们的老师。

Southside Chicago violence. In our twenties, we flew to the USA for residency training in Chicago. My wife and I were instantly and starkly reminded that the Chicago Mafia was very much in control. See Welcome to America in reggietales.org.

芝加哥南边的暴力。20多岁时,我和我的妻子飞到美国芝加哥接受住院医师培训。我们立刻被直截了当的提醒“芝加哥黑手党控制着一切”。请阅读在reggietales.org网上的“欢迎来到美国”。

Crime and murders predominated in the south end of the city, and we lived close by, at the 29th Street south of downtown Chicago. Even the 22nd Street Chinatown area was often under threat.

犯罪和谋杀充斥着城市的南端,我们就住在附近,在芝加哥市中心以南的第29街。甚至22街的唐人街也经常受到威胁。

One of our friends in the Chinatown church showed up at church one day with a vivid story. A gang of young Black thugs had surrounded him, but he had beaten them off using a belt with a metal buckle, demonstrating his black belt Chinese kung fu. Frankly, it sounded a bit exaggerated, but it was probably not too far from the truth!

我们在唐人街教堂的一个朋友,有一天在教堂给我们讲述了一个生动的故事。一群年轻的黑人暴徒包围了他,但他用一条带金属扣的皮带击退了他们,展示他的黑带中国功夫。坦白地说,这听起来有点夸张,但可能离事实并不太远!

Someone is watching. As we “grew up”, it was sobering to realize we had skirted through many deadly dangers with our lives intact! There must be someone looking over us, we often concluded. But there was more to come.

有人正看着。当我们“长大”的时候,我们清醒地意识到,我们的生命完好无损的避开了许多致命的危险!我们常常得出这样的结论:一定有人在照拂着我们。但还有更多的事情要接踵而来。

Demonstrations and turmoil. On April 19, 1989, at the end of the first medical mission that I led to Asia, we were leaving through Hong Kong to return home to Cincinnati. But numerous demonstrations had begun up-country, ultimately followed by guns and tanks, which instantly, though temporarily, threw off any plans for future medical mission team visits.

示威和动荡。1989年4月19日,在我带领的第一个医疗任务结束后,我们要经过香港返回辛辛那提的家。但是在内地已经出现了大量的示威活动,最终伴随着枪炮和坦克,尽管是暂时的,但这立即打乱了未来医疗小组访问的计划。

Political military coups were actually happening all over the world during this period, and it was difficult to avoid them.

在这一时期,世界各地都发生了政治军事政变,难以避免。

The Philippines had its good share of those. I was invited to give medical lectures in Manila. A few months before it was time for my lectures, a political coup occurred. I decided to keep my promise to speak. However, no other invited speakers from USA showed up.

菲律宾在政变方面可不逊色。我应邀到马尼拉做医学讲座。就在我讲座的前几个月,发生了一场政治政变。我决定遵守诺言去做讲座。然而,没有来自美国的其他的受邀讲者出席。

My intuitive response regarding the coup was, it was over, and a few months after the coup was probably quite safe to go, since everything was still on high alert and everyone was careful!

我对政变的直觉反应是,它结束了,政变发生后几个月,去做讲座可能是相当安全的,因为一切仍然处于高度戒备状态,每个人都很小心!

My Manila hosts for the meetings were impressed and grateful for my showing up on schedule. They specially showed me around Manila and proudly showed me the walls with many fresh bullet holes. I guess that’s a way of confirming the important news of the day!

我在马尼拉的东道主对我的准时出席印象深刻,也很感激。他们专门带我参观了马尼拉,并自豪地向我展示了墙上许多新的弹孔。我猜想这是为了证实那段时间所发生的重要事件的一种方式!

The famous female IDF, Israel Defense Force, from Wikipedia
来自维基百科的著名女性IDF,以色列国防军

Missile targets. I’ve been to Israel three times as visiting professor. Israel has had recurrent wars with Palestinian extremist groups, which might include missiles from Palestinian sites fired into Israel. So it’s difficult to find a time completely without problem. However during one intermission between fightings, I had accepted an invitation to speak.

导弹靶子。我以客座教授的身份去过以色列三次。以色列与巴勒斯坦极端组织之间战火不断,其中可能包括从巴勒斯坦基地向以色列发射导弹。所以很难找到一个完全没有风险的时间。然而,在一次战斗间歇,我接受了演讲邀请。

It was quite obvious that security was very tight as I arrived at the airport, which was packed with AK-47-carrying soldiers walking casually around. And it seemed that on all city rooftops there were security people with machine guns silhouetted against the sunny skies. In a strange sort of way, I felt extra safe since there was plenty of security.

当我抵达机场时,我明显的感觉到安全措施非常严格,那里挤满了携带AK-47的士兵,随意地走来走去。似乎所有城市的屋顶上都有手持机枪的安保人员,他们的身影映衬在阳光明媚的天空下。奇怪的是,我觉得特别安全,因为这里有那么多的安全保障。

We were often reminded that Israeli planes were the safest in the world, with no hijacking incidents! Compared to many infamous hijackings in the region. Israeli planes always had a security agent fully armed on board. Reassuring, I suppose.

我们经常被告知以色列的飞机是世界上最安全的,因为从来没有发生过劫持事件!与该地区许多有名的劫机事件相比,以色列飞机的安全性是不辩自明。以色列的飞机上总是有一名暗地里全副武装的安保人员混迹在旅客之中。我想:这自然会让人宽心。

Safety precautions. Nevertheless, to be totally safe, on trips to Palestinian territories, I left a note in the hotel desk drawer. It indicated the name of the very friendly Arab taxi driver and phone number, just in case my wife and I did not return from the trip, for whatever reason. It’s still good to be careful. We did return safely every evening, including an exciting day in Palestinian Hebron visiting the exquisitely historical, high security Abraham’s tomb. That itself was worth the many AK-47 security hassles.

安全防范。然而,为了安全起见,在去巴勒斯坦领土的路上,我在酒店的书桌抽屉里留了一张纸条。上面写着那个非常友好的阿拉伯出租车司机的名字和电话号码,以防我和妻子因为无论什么原因没有回来。小心驶得万年船。我们每天晚上都安全返回,包括在巴勒斯坦的希布伦度过了激动人心的一天,参观了精美的历史遗迹、高度安全的亚伯拉罕墓。它确实是值得的许多AK-47安全守护。

Flying without engines. South America was always full of unexpected excitement. I was in Caracas, Venezuela before the relatively recent governmental collapse and chaos. It was a beautiful place with impressively warm people.

没有发动机的飞行。南美洲总是充满了意想不到的刺激。在委内瑞拉政府最近一次垮台和混乱之前,我在加拉加斯。那是一个美丽的地方,人们非常热情。

I was even warmly invited on a private two-seater plane to fly over the beautifully tall and heavily forested mountains, a truly exhilarating experience. My amateur pilot friend, whose day job was to save babies, made my exhilaration jarring when he cut off his engine, and proudly demonstrated a death- defying landing without it. I’m not sure I needed that kind of excitement!

我甚至被热情地邀请乘坐一架私人双座飞机,飞越美丽的崇山峻岭,这是一次热血沸腾的经历。我的业余飞行员朋友,他的日常工作是拯救婴儿,当他关掉引擎,自豪地演示了没有引擎的挑战死亡的着陆时,我的兴奋爆表了。我不确定我需要那种刺激!

Dynamic breakfast sticker tags. The rampant inflations going on in Argentina and Brazil were quite unnerving. Especially going for breakfast every morning and seeing prices that had gone up overnight again, and again. Restaurant owners put micro-size price stickers on each menu item, so that prices could be updated daily. “Real time”, every day, truly updated! Plus inevitably there were inflation driven deadly riots which broke out throughout the countries.

动态早餐标签。阿根廷和巴西的疯狂的通货膨胀非常令人不安。尤其是每天早上去吃早餐,看到价格一夜之间又一次上涨。餐厅老板在每个菜单上都贴了微型价格标签,这样价格就可以每天更新。“实时”,每天,真正更新!此外,通货膨胀不可避免地导致了致命的骚乱,席卷整个国家。

Boys from Brazil. Plus the gangs that tormented Brazil then were indeed intimidating. The hotel staff refused to even let us walk on any of their lovely beaches alone, claiming it was not safe to even stand just outside the hotel on the pavement. They regaled us with stories of tourists who ignored their advice and came back without wallets, rings or shoes! I’m sure their stories were real. More or less.

来自巴西的男孩。再加上当时折磨巴西的帮派确实令人生畏。酒店的工作人员甚至不让我们单独在任何一个美丽的海滩上散步,他们说即使站在酒店外面的人行道上也不安全。他们向我们讲述了很多游客无视他们的建议,回来时没有了钱包、戒指和鞋子的故事。我确信他们的故事或多或少是真实的。

One truly unnerving backstory is of the young husband of my first cousin, who accompanied his Asian business boss to Brazil. He was found murdered, lying in a ditch, together with his boss. An internationally sensational news story at the time, but without accountability and justice. Ever.

一个毛骨悚然的背景故事是我表姐的年轻丈夫,陪他的亚洲老板去了巴西。他被发现被谋杀了,和他的老板一起躺在沟里。这在当时是一个轰动国际的新闻,但却没有人承担责任和声张正义。从来没有!

Midwest small-town break-in. One might think that Cincinnati, Ohio is a quiet and safe little midwest town, but we once had an alarming burglar visit to our mother’s home next door to us. My mom and dad had moved to Cincinnati after decades in Asia. My dad then passed on, so our college-age daughter moved in to live with my mom, partly to be a protective presence.

中西部小城镇的非法闯入。人们可能会认为,俄亥俄州的辛辛那提是一个安静、安全的中西部小镇,但有一次,就在我们隔壁的我的母亲的家,被盗贼光顾,吓了我们一跳。我的父母在亚洲生活了几十年后搬到了辛辛那提。后来我父亲去世了,所以我们上大学的女儿搬去和我母亲住在一起,部分原因是为了保护她。

One day, a burglar broke through my mom’s back door, but I guess my hard-of-hearing mother didn’t hear him. In perfect timing, our daughter also arrived home.

有一天,一个窃贼闯进了我妈妈的后门,但我猜我的妈妈因为有一些耳背,没有听到他的声音。我们的女儿也正好到家了。

As she stepped into the entrance foyer, she saw the broken-in back door, and instantly realized what was happening. She screamed, grabbed her frail small grandmother and dragged her out to the car. She raced her car down the steep driveway, and up the driveway to our home. The burglar escaped, without much to show for it except for a broken door! And thank God no one was hurt.

当她走进门厅时,她看到后门被撬开了,立刻意识到发生了什么事。她尖叫着,抓住她虚弱的瘦小祖母,把她从屋子里拖到车上。她把车开下陡峭的车道,又上了我们家的车道。窃贼逃走了,除了一扇破门之外,没有什么明显的迹象。感谢上天,没有人受伤。

Self-inflicted near-death scene
自残濒死场景

Self-inflicted crash? And of course I had my sort of funny accident, when I crashed myself into a rock-like telephone pole. I survived with airbag chemicals sprayed all over my face and neck. I could very well have died, which would have been pretty stupid, a self-inflicted death on a telephone pole in suburban Cincinnati, instead of death in war or something more meaningful.

自己造成的碰撞?当然,我自己也有一些有趣的意外,我撞到了一个像石头一样的电线杆上。我的脸和脖子被喷满了安全气囊里的化学物质,但我活了下来。我很可能会死在辛辛那提郊区的电线杆上,这是相当愚蠢的,自己造成的死亡,而不是死在战争或其他更有意义的事情上。

I remember the story of world-renowned Lawrence of Arabia, who had numerous dramatic death-defying experiences while serving heroically in the Middle East. He came home to England, but died very shortly thereafter on a small English country road, when his motorcycle slipped off the road and crashed. A practically self-inflicted death. Ironic indeed.

我记得世界著名的阿拉伯劳伦斯的故事,他在中东英勇作战时经历了无数戏剧性的直面死亡的威胁。他回到了英国的家,但没过多久就死在了英国的一条乡间小路上,他的摩托车滑出了路面,出了车祸。差不多是自作孽的死亡,具有一点嘲讽意味。

No longer small, frontier town of Seattle. In my childhood, we heard of Seattle as a small, practically frontier town. No longer.

西雅图不再是边境小镇了。在我的童年时代,我们听说西雅图是一个实实在在的边境小镇。而现在不再是了。

We currently live in the Eastside of Greater Seattle, considered a reasonably safe area. But soon after we arrived, we discovered there were quite a lot of burglaries in the neighborhood.

我们目前住在大西雅图东区,被认为是一个相当安全的地区。但我们到达后不久,就发现附近发生了好几起入室盗窃案。

In fact, we had the fascination of watching a video monitor escapade, in which we followed a young white couple after they broke the door of our condo’s 20-car garage. They then broke into our assigned personal storage space, and we watched them merrily walk off with one of our suitcases (actually one suitcase inside another). Maybe it seemed heavy (and suspiciously valuable) to them, but it was otherwise quite empty. (Sorry).

事实上,我们很着迷地观看了一场视频监控的恶作剧,在视频中,我们跟踪了一对年轻的白人夫妇,他们打破了我们公寓有20个车位的车库的门。然后,他们闯入了我们指定的个人存储空间,我们看着他们愉快地拿走了我们的一个行李箱(实际上是一个行李箱装在另一个行李箱里)。也许对他们来说,这个箱子有点沉,可能比较值钱。但相反,它完全是空的。(对不起)。

In a more sophisticated, expensive area nearby, an Asian family friend was bound, gagged and robbed at gunpoint. The family became so frightened and upset that they moved out of the area totally.

在附近一个更高级、更昂贵的地方,一名亚裔家庭朋友被捆绑、堵住嘴,并用枪指着被抢劫。这家人变得杯弓蛇影、草木皆兵,后来他们完全搬离了这个地区。

And recently, the city of Seattle, 20 minutes west of us by freeway across Lake Washington, came into national, even international news. An Anarchist-Antifa group had created their own little “country”, a violent semi-autonomous area, which they called, charmingly at first,“CHAZ” (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone). They had their own gun-toting leadership, and barricades to wall off their area, while wanting no walls for all of America!

最近,西雅图市,从高速公路穿过华盛顿湖向我家西边20分钟车程的地方,成为了全国甚至国际新闻热点。一个无政府主义者-反法西斯组织建立了他们自己的小“国家”,一个充满暴力的半自治地区,他们一开始温馨地称其为“CHAZ”(国会山自治区)。他们有自己持枪的领导,用路障把他们的地区隔离起来,同时不希望整个美国都有墙!

Burglar in condo garage, eerily caught by marvels of security monitoring. Her male accomplice is not shown in this footage. Video identification led to arrest of this neighborhood couple.
公寓车库的窃贼,被神奇的强大的安全监控系统抓获。她的男性同伙没有出现在这段录像中。通过视频识别,逮捕了这对邻居夫妇。

A shocking total of 50 homicides occurred in Seattle during riot-driven 2020, unbelievable for some people who had deliberately moved from Asia to their expected beautiful and cinematic (remember Sleepless) Seattle.

在2020年的骚乱中,西雅图总共发生了50起杀人事件,这令人震惊,对于一些特意从亚洲搬到他们期待中的美丽和电影般的西雅图(还记得《不眠夜》吗)的人来说,这是难以置信的。

Messed-up world. The world today seems always so messed up and unsafe, no matter where and when. Asia, South America, USA, it’s like a pattern. However, I’m still quite “cheerily minded”, since I closely follow the Good Word, which reminds us we should always “be of good cheer”, even in the middle of tribulation (1). A profoundly deep, reassuring thought. Somewhere, somehow, Heaven knows best.

混乱的世界。今天的世界似乎总是如此混乱不堪和不安全,无论何时何地。亚洲,南美,美国,就像一个模式。然而,我仍然是相当“心情愉快”的,因为我紧循圣道,它提醒我们即使在苦难中也要保持“心情愉快”(1)。这是一个非常深刻的、令人安心的想法。在某个地方,以某种方式,上帝最清楚。

I’m not even going to tell you about the time when our young family was in a car driven by a young lady, who shot the car out of the expressway and landed us in a 6-feet deep ditch, somehow facing the opposite 180° direction with everyone totally safe and unscratched; nor when our young high school son was hit by a car on campus and sent flying in the air with only a few scratches on his body; or our young adult daughter who went skydiving (twice!) and only told us after the fact; or when I was quite senior and slipped on ice, landing instantly flat on my back, actually on my magic red bag with not a single concussion or fracture; nor when my wife slipped going down the beautifully carpeted stairs of our friend’s home and landed on her back with only a single rib fracture and zero other fractures or head injury. The only thing I can conclude is our guardian angels have been working overtime, and we should always “Count your blessings, name them one by one”, from a very famous song .

我甚至不打算告诉你,有一次我们小家庭坐在一辆由一位年轻女士驾驶的汽车里,她把汽车冲出了高速公路,把我们扔进了一个6英尺深的沟里,不知怎么的,我们还180°的掉了个方向,然而所有人都平平安安,毫发未损。我们正上高中的年轻的儿子在校园里被车撞了,被撞飞到空中,身上只有几处划痕。我们刚成年的女儿去跳伞 (两次!), 只是在事后才告诉我们。还有当我很老迈,在冰上滑倒,立刻仰面平躺在地上,实际上是在我那神奇的红色袋子上,没有任何脑震荡或骨折。我的妻子在朋友家铺着漂亮地毯的楼梯上一跤滑下去,仰面着地,也只有一根肋骨骨折,其他部位没有骨折,头部也没有受伤。我唯一能得出的结论是,我们的守护天使一直在加班,我们应该永远“数数恩惠樣樣都要数”,这是一首非常著名的歌曲。

Reference (1) John 16:33
参考 (1) 约翰书 16:33