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September 21
2015 年 9 月 21 日

怒江行談快樂

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我到怒江,見識到混濁的江水急流南下奔馳,還有水中的大小漩渦。

停留在匹河小鎮的半山上,路邊有個標致的姑娘擺攤子,籃子裡有些新鮮的杏子。

我瞧了一眼,她善解人意地說:「拿個吃吃看。」

我回:「還有好幾個朋友。」

「那就多拿幾個吧!」

「賣的嗎?」我問。

「賣的,一斤五塊,大概二十個。」姑娘應著。

「姑娘,妳的普通話講得標準又好聽。」我說。

「我是少數民族,小學畢業。」她笑著回答我。

多麼開朗的姑娘!我心想。

同行的朋友聽後,挑了二十幾個,付了五塊錢。因為要上路的關係,另一個教授也挑了一大包,也搶著付了錢。

隔天,我偶然聽到那位教授說,他給姑娘買杏子的五塊錢被退回了,姑娘說他的那一包送給大家吃。

據當地資料,怒江沿岸交通不便,居民貧困,但幸福指數最高。

註:本文曾載於聯合報(2015年9月8日)。


Happiness is where you find it

I stood on the riverbank of the Nujiang River in awe of the muddy currents and whirlpools flowing south along a gorge in Yunnan province.

We had stopped at the small town of Pihe halfway up a mountain. A young woman was selling apricots from a basket.

I took a look. She seemed to understand my interest. "Try one."

I replied, "I have a number of friends with me."

"Then take a few."

"Are you selling them?" I asked.

"Yes. 5 yuan a catty. You will probably get two dozen," the woman replied.

"You have a good voice and speak good Mandarin, " I said.

"I belong to one of the ethnic minority groups. I only went to primary school," she said with a smile.

What a friendly and unreserved woman, I thought to myself.

Upon hearing the story about the fruit seller's education, one of my fellow travellers paid five yuan for some of the apricots. And a second professor did the same.

The next day I learned accidentally from that professor that the apricot seller had returned the five yuan, saying the bag of apricots was a gift.

Life is hard for local people like our apricot seller. Transportation along the swirling river is not very convenient.

But statistics suggest that the happiness index for the area is very high.

Note:
This article was originally published in Chinese in the United Daily News (8 September, 2015).

21 September, 2015

 

 

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