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旅行中追求“真实”,有意义吗?

更新时间:2016-1-8 9:29:56 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Can a Trip Ever Be ‘Authentic’?
旅行中追求“真实”,有意义吗?

In a globalized age — when a McAloo Tikki is just as Indian as the Taj Mahal — has the very word lost its meaning?

今天的旅行几乎总是要费尽周章地追寻“真实”。然而在全球化的时代,当麦当劳薯饼汉堡和泰姬陵一样很印度,“真实”这个词是不是失去了意义?

I once spent an unforgettable day in the traveler’s treasure-house that is Sana’a, capital of Yemen. Stained-glass windows glittered from thickets of high tower-houses as night began to fall, and khat-chewing men with daggers at their sides haggled furiously in the Salt Market. Clay walls surrounded one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements on the planet, where groups of turbaned shopkeepers headed toward 1,400-year-old mosques as the call to prayer echoed through the dusk. It wasn’t hard to feel, amid the dusty lanes of a large section of town that’s now a Unesco World Heritage Site, that nothing had changed since the Prophet’s time; here, I decided, was the Old World, all slowness and prayer and tribal custom, in stark opposition to the fast-forward, hyperconnected, young society I know in California.

我曾在堪称旅行者宝库的也门首都萨那度过了难忘的一天,夜幕降临时,在憧憧矗立的塔楼上,彩色的玻璃窗闪着亮光。在贩卖香料的“盐市场”(Salt Market),别着匕首的男人们一边嚼卡塔叶(khat),一边激烈地砍价。这里是地球上人类连续居住历史最久的地点之一,城市四周有土墙环绕。宣礼声响彻黄昏时,一群群裹着头巾的店铺主人,走向有着1400年历史的清真寺做礼拜。这座城市如今是联合国教科文组织指定的世界遗产,城里很多地方的道路都尘土飞扬,让人很容易以为这座城市从先知穆罕默德在世时就不曾改变过。我断定,这里无疑是旧世界,生活缓慢、时常礼拜、延续着部落习俗,与我在加州所熟悉的那种仓促、高度互联的年轻社会大相径庭。

And yet the single most revealing moment I spent in Yemen came not in Old Sana’a, but in the bombed-out, headline-ridden port of Aden. The ‘‘true Yemen,’’ I realized inside a crowded Internet cafe, was the sound of ‘‘La Cucaracha’’ playing loudly as a truck driver sounded his horn outside. It was the melancholy half-Yemeni, half-British man who buttonholed me one afternoon and invited me to see the cemetery where most of his family was buried. It was the Ching Sing restaurant nearby that had been serving moo shu shrimp through nearly 40 years of warfare, and boasted a menu startlingly similar to the one I’d seen at the Chinese Cascade Restaurant (an ‘‘Authentic Chinese Restaurant’’) in southern Oman, not far away — run and frequented entirely by Indians.

然而对我而言,也门最发人深省的时刻,并不是在萨那老城,而是遭到轰炸满目疮痍,备受媒体关注的港口城市亚丁。我在一所拥挤的网吧里意识到,所谓“真正的也门”,是一个卡车司机在网吧门外按着喇叭,车上大声播放着墨西哥民歌《小蟑螂》(La Cucaracha)。是一天下午,一个也门和英国混血的男子拉着我讲话,邀请我到一块墓地参观,他的家人多半埋葬在那里。是附近的诚兴餐馆(Ching Sing),尽管它经历了近40年的战火,但一直在供应木须虾仁,这里的菜单与我在另一家餐馆看到的菜单惊人地相似——那家店是烹制“正宗中国菜”的瀑布中餐馆(Chinese Cascade Restaurant),位于距此不远的阿曼南部,由印度人经营,也只有印度人光顾。

Our notion of places — which is to say the romances and images we project onto them — are always less current and subtle than the places themselves. That’s why we work to screen out the many shopping malls and signs for McAloo Tikki in Varanasi as we search for dead bodies near the ghats; it’s why my Kyoto-born wife, visiting the U.S., looks aghast when I take her to an authentic-seeming Vietnamese restaurant in Orange County or that Ethiopian market my friends in D.C. have been raving about.

我们对地点的期许,也就是说我们向地点投射的浪漫和印象,永远都不会比那些地点本身更微妙、更属于当下。因此,我们在恒河畔的瓦拉纳西(Varanasi)仔细寻找河边台阶上的死尸时,一直努力忽视路上许许多多的购物中心和麦当劳薯饼汉堡(McAloo Tikki)的广告。也正是因此,我生于日本京都的妻子来美国后,我带她到橙县一家看似正宗的越南餐馆,她却惊呆了。后来我又带她到了我华盛顿的朋友都很喜欢的埃塞俄比亚市场,她也惊呆了。

She longs instead for Universal Studios, a ghost town that evokes the ‘‘macaroni Westerns’’ she grew up on, the ‘‘real America’’ as devoured by the world on ‘‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.’’ Cosmopolitan and refined as she is, she knows that travel is, deep down, about the real confirmation of very unreal dreams.

其实,她最想去的是环球影城(Universal Studios),虽然那明明是一座假城,但却能让她想起从小就耳濡目染的“通心粉西部片”(macaroni Westerns),想起《比弗利娇妻》(Real Housewives of Beverly Hills)让全世界人都陷入痴迷的“真实的美国”。尽管她优雅又见闻广博,但她明白,旅行最深处的意义是让很不真实的梦,得到真实的印证。

I know, I know: It’s the heart, the very soul, of vacation travel — especially luxury travel — to serve up the atypical. Tour companies aspire to introduce us to what isn’t ordinary, to what can’t be found back home, to what is in fact as far from the everyday lives of locals as possible. When we settle into our $500-a-night suite in a Taj hotel, surrounded by oil lamps and bangled dancers, the room glittering with tiny mirrors, we couldn’t be further from the ‘‘real India’’ outside, which struggles to get by on $1 a day. Our backpacking kids scorn us for our distance from real life as they settle into a fleapit in Old Delhi, a ‘‘real India’’ compounded of bedbugs and stomach cramps and equally ‘‘authentic’’ travelers from Düsseldorf and Malmo.

我明白,我明白:度假旅行,尤其是奢华旅行的核心实质在于,向游客献上非典型的体验。旅行企业渴望向我们展示非同寻常的,回到家后就再也看不到的景象,实际上那与当地人的日常生活也无限遥远。我们在一家泰姬陵酒店入住500美元一晚的套房,身旁萦绕着油灯和戴着手镯脚镯的舞者,房间里小镜子璀璨发亮,而这时我们距离外面日均生活费仅有1美元的“真实的印度”再遥远不过了。背包旅行的我们的孩子,在住进旧德里满是跳蚤的角落时,是抵达了“真实的印度”。他们会遭遇床上的臭虫、胃痉挛,还有来自德国杜塞尔多夫、瑞典马尔默的同样“正宗”的旅行者。那一刻,我们的孩子会讥笑我们,与现实生活距离遥远。

The ‘‘reality’’ we crave, in short, is itself a fantasy. During the rare weeks when I can afford a holiday, I don’t want to immerse myself in the chaos, the commotion, the hand-extended poignancy of the ‘‘real India’’; humankind, as T.S. Eliot had it, cannot bear very much reality. It’s the unreal India, the surreal India we seek out as holiday-makers, a reality as Photoshopped and curated as a picture in a hotel brochure.

简而言之,我们渴望的“真实”本身,就是一种幻想。在我难得挤出的几周假期里,并不想沉浸在“真实的印度”那种混乱、喧嚣、伸手乞讨的苦楚之中;就像T·S·艾略特写过的,人类没办法承受太多现实。我们作为度假者,追求的是不真实的印度、超现实的印度,我们追求的现实,仿佛是经过Photoshop调整,精心编排到酒店宣传册里的图片。

Yet these days that disconnect is even more acute because so many travelers have been everywhere (if only on-screen), which in turn means that reality — all that is unmediated and nonvirtual — holds a greater premium than ever. Today, we crave ‘‘realness’’ as never before, and in response, the travel industry is trying even harder to provide it. Expert guides take ever more pains to lead us to artisanal secrets in the local marketplace, and fancy restaurants claim to use only what has been grown in the fields nearby. Six-star hotels aspire to resemble the villages around them — though their guests may be comfortable only in proportion to the degree in which they fail.

但如今,这种脱节远比以往更尖锐,因为有很多游客已经到过了所有地方(哪怕只是在屏幕上),这反过来就意味着,未经调整的、非虚拟的现实,拥有了前所未有的附加价值。我们从来不曾像今天这样渴求“真实”,为了回应这种需求,旅游业也付出了更大的努力,为我们提供“真实”。专业导游付出前所未有的努力,指引我们了解当地市场上匠人们的秘密,告诉我们哪些光鲜的餐馆号称只选用附近田地里种植的原材料。六星级的酒店期望能像它周围的村庄一样——尽管越想让客人舒适,它们就越不能真的像旁边的村子。

This increasingly fevered quest for the authentic can in truth be a mug’s game, if only because the visitor’s ‘‘reality’’ is sometimes a local’s canny business plan. That dance in Ubud that’s so hauntingly indigenous might well have been created for (and even by) the tourist market. Those red-robed monks practicing ritual debating — on the nature of reality, no less — at the Drepung monastery in Lhasa are in fact doing so at the behest of their rulers in faraway Beijing, happy to encourage old customs so long as those will bring in dollars. You may encounter a craftsman patiently stitching gold tilla embroidery into an elegant shawl on the back streets of Srinagar, but there’s no less ancient craft involved in his brother down the street beckoning you toward his shop selling ‘‘authentic fake Rolexes.’’

人们日益热切地追求真实,但实际上可能只是费力不讨好,一个很重要的原因就是,游客看到的“真实”,有时只是当地人精明的商业企划。在乌布,那场极具当地色彩的舞蹈很可能是为(甚至是由)旅游行业创作出来的。在拉萨哲蚌寺,身穿绛红僧袍的喇嘛们仪式性地辩论经文奥义——何为“真实”的本质,巧不巧——他们这样做实际上是迫于执政者的要求,只要能赚到美元,后者就乐于鼓励旧习俗。在印度斯里那加的一条僻巷,你能看到一个手艺人往一块典雅的披肩上,耐心地刺绣金边。但在巷尾,他的哥哥招揽你走进销售“正宗仿劳力士”的店铺,也同样是一门古老的技艺。

For nearly every traveler, in any case, the prize souvenir from any trip will be the memory of an encounter with (let’s say) a Chinese guide armed with a story not so easily found in Chinatown back home. Very often that story will involve a highly unglamorous childhood in a village, a ‘‘real China’’ that might be the product of manufactured nostalgia and now has become the chance, through a visitor, to draw a little closer to Stanford. To wish that it were otherwise — to hope that the Chinese everywoman you meet wants to live the same ‘‘unspoiled,’’ often imprisoning existence as her father, without the iPhones and Audis and frappuccinos that we find so indispensable — is to practice a kind of imaginative colonialism. Let the rest of the world remain picturesque and quaint — ‘‘authentically’’ undeveloped — so that we can come away with some killer selfies!

几乎对每一个旅行者来说,无论如何,一段旅程中最有价值的纪念品,就是一段特殊的记忆。比如,从一位中国导游那里听到一段在美国的华埠里不能轻易找到的故事。那段故事常常涉及一个村庄里度过的惨淡童年,那个“真实的中国”或许是人为制造的怀旧产物,而如今成为了一种机遇,通过旅行者拉近了讲述者与斯坦福大学的距离。盼望相反的情景——比如,希望你遇到的普普通通的中国女子,也想住在与她父亲的生活相同的“纯粹”环境里,尽管那种环境禁锢着人们,也没有我们认为不可或缺的iPhone、奥迪(Audi)和星冰乐(frappuccino)——就相当于践行某种幻想层面的殖民主义。让世界上的其他地方都保留风景如画的古朴样貌吧,保留在未经开发的“纯粹”环境里吧,这样我们走的时候就能炫耀一些超酷的自拍照了!

When Pierre Loti arrived in Nagasaki in 1885, he commented to a friend, ‘‘Where are we in reality? In the United States?’’ Once he took on a local mistress, he likely realized he wasn’t in Kansas anymore — and that authenticity, like beauty (like truth) lies very much in the eye of the beholder. I hear the same sentences these days when friends disembark in Kyoto’s futuristic train station, to confront a city twice as populous as Detroit, though with fewer sushi bars in evidence.

皮埃尔·罗蒂(Pierre Loti)在1885年抵达长崎时,向一个朋友评论道,“我们实际上在哪,在美国吗?”等他找到了一个本地的情妇后,他可能意识到,自己已经不在堪萨斯了——而且,所谓正宗,像美(也像真相)一样,很大程度上取决于观察者的眼光。如今,我的朋友们来到京都时,无一例外地也会讲出同样的话。他们从京都那颇具未来色彩的火车站下车,看着这座人口两倍于底特律的城市,却发现寿司店比底特律少。

In response, I’ll sometimes take them to a nearby Golden Arches where my chic Japanese stepdaughter in her Paul Smith dress is sipping iced Earl Grey and eating the special Chicken Tsukimi (or ‘‘Moon-Viewing’’) burger that McDonald’s serves up in September in honor of the harvest moon. The ancient capital is supple and sophisticated enough to update its sense of authenticity with every season. The only visitor who’ll come away disappointed is one whose dreams of the Other refuse to take in the Other’s (no less reasonable) dreams of him.

作为回应,我有时会带他们去附近的一家“金黄双弧”,我那时尚的日本继女会穿着保罗·史密斯(Paul Smith)的裙装,喝冰伯爵红茶,吃限时供应的鸡肉月见堡(Chicken Tsukimi)。这是麦当劳为了庆祝丰收季的月亮,在9月份推出的。这座古老都城足够灵活也足够世故,可以随着季节的变化更新它对“正宗”的感觉。进店后感到失望的,只有那些对“他者”怀有幻想,但又不肯接受“他者”对自己的幻想的人,毕竟后者的幻想也同样合情合理。

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