(2) My Life: First Half NYC, Latter Half Paris

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Jan 3, 2017 01:25
Previously: a young Taiwanese person went to work in NYC. Before he knew it, he'd worked five years there, happy as a clam, thinking New York was the best city in the world. Feel free to edit, if you don't understand Chinese. I added the Chinese sentences right beneath the English sentences, in order to help Chinese learners here. ;-)


In New York, everything was work: work was work, after-hours social engagement was work, and even dating was work.

People were even aggressive while drinking in pubs and dancing in KTVs.
到酒吧喝酒、KTV狂欢,脸上都杀气腾腾(agressive as if want to kill someone),准备拼个你死我活(a deadly duel with each other)。

I embraced this way of life, and was mesmerized by the burnout it led to.

I loved to feel on edge, because the vigilance let me avoid all possible dangers.
这种焦虑让我坐在椅子边缘(not an idiom, just the writer's saying),以便(in order to)迅速地跳起来闪躲明枪暗箭(all kinds of dangers)。

Over the course of this game, my drinking skills, courage, resilience and brazenness had increased, so had my stubbornness, snobbishness and sense of superiority.
这种警觉性让我练就了酒量(the capacity of drinking)和胆量(guts)、抗压性和厚脸皮(think-skinned),同时养成了偏执和倔强(toughness)、优越感和势利眼(love the rich and hate the poor)。

I was convinced that, those who survived in this city were worthy opponents, and those who ended up packing up and leaving were all losers.
在纽约时我深信:能在这里活下来的,都是可敬(respectable)的对手,黯然离开(silently leave)的,统统(all)是输家(losers)。

One had to persevere, in spite of any adversity; those who quit halfway should be blamed for their own weakness.
人生任何事,绝对要坚持到底,半途而废(quit halfway)的,必定有隐(hidden)疾(problems)。

In this sleepless city, every morning I woke up with enormous vitality, and sang with Frank Sinatra, “If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere, come on come through, New York, New York.”
在这不夜城,每天我醒来,带着人定胜天(idiom: man can win gods)的活力,跟着法兰克•辛纳屈一起唱:“如果你能在纽约成功,你可以在任何地方成功!”

In New York, in this modern Colosseum, I swore I would outperform my competitors and never stop pushing my own limits.


However, this code of thinking had gradually changed after I turned 35.

The first cause was my father’s death.

My law-abiding, amicable father had been always abstinent and robust.
我父亲一生奉公守法,与人为善,毫无不良嗜好(don't drink, smoke, gamble, go to brothel, etc),身体健康得像城堡(as strong as a fortress)。

But, at age 72, he caught a cancer which triggered complications of stroke that put him through relentless pains and misery.

He’d worked very hard and kept saving money, hoping for a better life.

Both my father and I believed no pains, no gains; I desperately strove in New York to support him, but a two-year treatment didn’t save his life.
我们也相信一分耕耘,一分收获,用在纽约拼事业的精神照顾他,但两年的治疗兵败如山倒(a landslide failure),最后他还是走了。

The day my father passed away, my values collapsed.

I hadn’t expected the “New York spirit,” of which I was always proud, to be so fragile.

Besides my bedridden father, the workplace also made me feel this way.

The higher I climbed the corporate ladder, the more I came to realize that, very few companies were the places of fair play.

Most colleagues thought of you either as a friend or an enemy.

Mighty warriors didn’t necessarily win, while those who succeeded might be despicable.

Gradually, I came to realize that, in this world, there exists a more complex karma than “what goes around comes around;” in life, there was a more subtle, enduring pleasure than achievement.
慢慢地,我体会到:世上有一种比“善有善报,恶有恶报“(karma)更高、更复杂”的公平。人生有另一种比“功名成就”(achieved a lot and became famous )更幽微(subtle, sometimes cannot be felt)、更持久的乐趣。


Where could I find it?

I thought of Tibet, Bhutan, some countries in Africa, and New Zealand; then, I noticed France.

See above.
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