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来自陌生人的安慰

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小编摘要:在女性专用车厢这个浮萍般的小世界里,作者和同车女性彼此分享,彼此依靠,让她感受到了与自己以往世界完全不同的文化。

2003年,我以教师和记者的身份从科罗拉多搬到开罗。我皈依了伊斯兰教,因此,我想接近它语言和文化的源,从倾向共和党的科罗拉多来到阿拉伯世界的异国之都,有时候会感到手足无措,按照传统,在这儿的公共或私人场所,男女必须分开。最要命的是开罗的地铁,一旦坐错车厢,会尴尬死。
I moved to Cairo from Colorado in 2003 to work as a teacher and journalist. I had recently converted to Islam and wanted to spend time close to the source of the language and culture that had given rise to my religion. The transition between life in red-state America and life in the Arab capital was at times overwhelming because of the traditional segregation of men and women in many public and private settings. Especially difficult to navigate at first was the Cairene metro, where choosing to ride in the wrong car could result in serious awkwardness.
坐地铁上下班的女性都知道,第一节车厢是女性专用车厢,她们戏称这节车厢为“闺房”。这个庇护所没有来自男权社会的严格监管——男人,依然统治着埃及的公共生活。年龄在12岁左右以上的男子自觉禁止进入这节车厢。即使一位男性走上车厢,看到情况也会自动退出来,没有男人能无耻到敢于侵犯埃及女性的最重要的隐私权。
Commuting women learn, however, to look on the first car -- jokingly referred to as the hareem, or women's quarters -- as a safe haven from the persistent scrutiny of men, who still dominate public life in Egypt. The first car, off limits to males above the age of 12 or so, is self-policing; should a man wander on, a quiet word is usually enough to send him out the door again. Few men risk so blatant a violation of a woman's first right in Egyptian society: privacy.
拿我自己说话,仅仅做过一次男女混合车厢,就知道那里的女性完全是被骚扰和宗教非难的对象,我还是想坐在女性车厢里,享受那种绝对非西式的惬意。
In my case, all it took was a single ride in a mixed car, where unescorted women are frequently targets of harassment and religious censure, to make me grateful for the decidedly un-Western amenity of the women's compartment.
几个月前的某个晚上,我乘地铁进城里看个朋友,和往常一样,在第一节车厢里,那晚车厢里很暖和,两个小男孩陪着妈妈——一位少妇坐在我旁边,俩淘气包把车窗打开又关上,打开又关上,玩的不亦乐乎,妈妈想叫住他们,他们倒是一门心思在窗户上,妈妈说什么全做耳边风,下一站又到了,一个戴着面纱的妇人走上车厢,坐在我们对面,也许是太吵了,妇人从手包里掏出一把硬糖,递给孩子们,好叫他们安静点。
One night a few months ago, I took the metro downtown to meet a friend. I rode in the women's car, as usual. The evening was balmy, and two little boys -- sons of a young mother sitting next to me -- were opening and closing the shutters over the car windows, to their great delight. Their mother called to them, but they were too engrossed in their project to pay attention. At the next stop, a woman in a niqab -- the face veil -- came and sat across from us. Noticing the commotion, she reached into her purse for a handful of hard candies and offered them to the boys in return for their good behavior.
“拿着糖块,还不快谢谢阿姨。”少妇说。
"Take the candies from Auntie and say thank you," their mother said.
两个孩子害羞的转过脸去。
The boys turned away shyly.
“拿着糖块,要说“谢谢阿姨”,或者不想吃,也要说“不了,谢谢阿姨”,然后和我跟你们这个阿姨坐好了。”少妇重复道。“这个阿姨”指的是我,在这个车厢里,我知道所有在座女性都有责任照顾孩子,即使如此,我仍然对这种亲密的叫法有种受宠若惊的感觉。作为一个白人女性,我和别的女性在公众场合总是保持一米距离,但我还是伸手接住过道那边朝我们寸一点一点挪过来的孩子。
"Take the candies and say, 'Thank you, Aunt,' or don't take them and say, 'No thank you, Aunt,' and then come sit here next to me and Auntie,'' their mother repeated. I was the second ''Auntie''; in the women's car, children become the communal responsibility of all present. Even so, I was a little surprised to be referred to in such a familiar way. Being a khawagga, or white Westerner, I was often kept at arm's length by other women in public. But I held out my hand to the little boy who was inching across the aisle toward us.
孩子们坐好了,列车启动,下一站是解放广场,我意识到头巾要掉下来,伸手系好,棉纱的衬里掉了出来,风灌到脖子里,或许孩子的妈妈注意到我相对浅色的头发,便问我我来自哪儿,美国,我说。
When the boys were settled and the train clattered along toward Tahrir Square, I noticed that my head scarf had begun to slip. I reached up to unpin it. As the layers of cotton gauze fell away, I felt air on my neck. The mother of the boys, noticing, perhaps, my comparatively light-colored hair, asked me where I was from. The United States, I told her.
“你是穆斯林?”
"And you are a Muslim?" she asked.
“对。”
"Yes," I answered.
接着她赞美真主,我恭敬的重复了她的话,相视一笑;戴头巾的女性皈依教徒并不多见,这我明白。
She praised God, and I dutifully repeated her words, smiling; I understood that a convert in a head scarf was unusual.
我正整理着头巾,听到一阵唏嘘声,警觉的四处看了一下,一个卖纸巾的十六七岁男孩正抱着一个盒子蹒跚走过。我脸火辣辣的,知道肯定有人在一旁嘀咕说我在还有男人在的时候摘下头巾,在埃及已经呆了两年了,我对自己社交上出丑已经衍生出很强的幽默感,但这次的确太让人难堪了。细听了一下,还好,指责不是朝向我,她们在说那个卖纸巾的男孩。
As I rewrapped my scarf, however, I heard a chorus of hisses. I looked up in alarm. A boy of 16 or 17 was making his way through the car, selling boxes of tissues. I blushed, feeling certain that the other women were reprimanding me for taking off my scarf in the presence of a man. After two years in Egypt, I had developed a sense of humor about my inevitable social gaffes, but they were still embarrassing. Looking around, however, I realized that the scolding wasn't for me after all. The tissue seller was the target of the women's censure.
“你想什么呢?你不觉得羞耻吗?”
''What are you thinking? Don't you have shame?''
“你多大了,不知道这是女性车厢吗?不该你来吧。”
''You're too old to be in the women's car, Son.''
“真主保佑,你还看什么看啊,”
''Look away, for God's sake.''
卖纸巾的男孩脸红了,含混了几句,转身朝门口走去。尽量装成是偶然,我也迅速包好头巾。男孩可能是想多卖点纸巾,觉得女性车厢里比男女混合车厢了能多点人给点赚钱的机会,毕竟,他还是在下一站退下车去了。
The tissue seller went red, muttered something in response and turned into the doorway, trying to appear casual. I hastily repinned my scarf. The boy was probably just trying to do better business: he would get more sympathy in the women's compartment than in the mixed cars. Nevertheless, he retreated down the train at the next stop.
那一刻,我融入到这节车厢里了,能活在这个浮萍般的小世界里,感到很幸福。阿拉伯文化与我曾经的世界截然不同,但在此时此刻这个角落,文化没有隔阂。在这几站地之间,我不用考虑那烦人的国籍问题,也没有那些不着边的政治话题,我只是我,很多女性中的一个,彼此分享,彼此依靠。没有人会在像在大街上一样因为各种原因疏远我,人人都维护自己和别人的隐私,她们知道,我也一样。离开地铁时,我心中比整理头巾时舒坦了很多。
At that moment, I was grateful to be part of the floating world of the women's car. In that small corner of a culture so different from my own, culture itself ceased to matter. For a few station stops I carried no baggage -- no problematic nationality, no suspect political agenda. I was simply a woman among other women and worth defending because we shared that much. Regardless of the many factors that might separate us on the street, in the women's car my fellow passengers felt I had the same right to privacy as they did. I left the metro feeling secure in much more than the arrangement of my head scarf.
标签:陌生人 安慰
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2011-01-13 11:32 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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