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许行《抻面条》英译

2015-12-23    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

许行《抻面条》英译

抻面条

许行

他特别喜欢吃面条,一天三顿也不厌,不过这可不是粮店里卖的那种面条。

小时在家里母亲给他擀面条,一碟鸡蛋酱,一盘芽葱,或者黄瓜,水萝卜等小菜,他吃得真香!以后结了婚成了家,妻子摸到了他的脾气,比母亲还下力给他做面条吃。她能擀、能抻。抻出来的面条要粗有粗,要细有细,比从模子里轧出来的挂面还匀溜,吃起来硬实、筋叨、口感好,就是到了肚子里也觉得舒服。

不幸,妻子比他先走了。他也六十大多了,但身板硬实,牙口好,还是爱吃抻面条。现在续了个后老伴,这个五十刚过的小老太太,就只给他买挂面吃,吃起来真败口!

星期天女儿回来了,一看爸爸瞅着挂面条眼晕、不下筷,她把爸爸的饭碗端过去说:“你等一会吃。”便扎起围裙下了厨房。和面、揉面、饧面、抻面。大约半个多钟头后,一碗面条端到了爸爸的面前。他一惊,女儿什么时候也学了母亲的手艺?这回他吃着嘴里香,肚里苦,他想起前妻,眼泪含在眼眶里……

这一切后老伴都看在眼里,心中很不是滋味。第二天,她吃罢早饭,便提了一盒点心,到饭馆去向抻面师傅学习。学和面,学揉面,学饧面,学抻面。抻面这道关最难过。她人老了,手脚笨了,力气也小了,怎么也弄不到抻面师傅那么灵巧,不是粘连,就是断条,二斤面未抻完便一身汗了。她不得不出个高价,买了一斤抻面条回去。

老头子离休后搞史志,天天到班上去。午间回来,一碗抻面摆在面前。

“啊,小凤(他女儿)来了?”

“没。我给你抻的。”

“你也会抻……?”

“你别隔着门缝看人。”

老头子吃得很香,这面条跟过去妻子抻的差不多。

“想不到你还有这两下子,这跟她过去抻的一样……”老关子一高兴,有点说走了嘴。老太太听了当然有点不是味,这老家伙总想着他的前妻……不过,这毕竟是赞美她,把她说成跟他前妻一样,有啥不好?于是,也很高兴。

第二天老太太练抻面就更来劲了,她先到饭馆去学一通,又在家里自己和面苦练。可翻来覆去还是抻不好,这大概得费点功夫,不到十天半个月出不了徒……眼看就该做午饭了,没办法还得跑到饭馆去匀人家抻好的面条。好话说了一筐,勉强按成碗的面条价格匀了一斤回来。呵?一上楼房门开着,老头子回来了。

这回露馅啦!“唉,没想到吃一口饭,给你添了这么多麻烦……”老头子明白了后有些过意不去。

抻面条煮好后,老头子只吃了半碗。

不知怎么的,他心里老觉得这抻面条味道有点不对了……他说:

“以后咱们吃烙饼吧!”

这天夜里老太太偷偷抹了半宿眼泪。

又一个星期天,老头子女儿回来了。她又要动手给爸爸做抻面条,老太太一把揽过去说:“我来!”

老头子和女儿都睁大了眼睛,惊讶地看着老太太熟练的抻面表演。

老头子这晚心情激动,喝了两盅洒,不免亢奋起来,上床后毛手毛脚帮老太太脱衣服,待脱下衬衫,他怔住了,天哪,老太太两条胳膊肿得像发面馒头了……他一切全明白啦。心中震动非常,紧紧地搂着老太太,眼含热泪,不胜爱怜地抚摸她的胳膊。

“唉,这该死的抻面条呵!”

译文:

Hand-Pulled Noodles

Xu Xing

He loves noodles and was never tired of them, even if he had them for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. They were not the type of noodles sold in the grain store.

When he was a child, his mother had made noodles for him. For his noodles, she would also prepare some thick sauce mixed with eggs and a plate of tender green onions or cucumbers, or pickled radish, or some other side dish. What a delicious meal he would enjoy then!

His wife found out about his favorite food soon after they were married, and put even more effort than his mother did into his noodles. She not only rolled out noodles, she also hand-pulled them. She could hand-pulled her dough into noodles of whatever size she wanted, thick or thin. Her noodles were even better done than machine-made fine dry noodles. They were kind of chewable and stringy, with good texture, and they even felt better in the stomach.

Unfortunately, his wife died before him. Though he was well past sixty, he was still in great health, with good teeth, and he still loved hand-pulled noodles. Then he married another woman, in her early fifties, who only bought dry noodles for him from the grain store. How tasteless they were!

One Sunday, when his daughter came to visit him, she found him frowning at the noodles in his bowl, refusing to touch them. She took over the bowl and said, “Dad, just wait awhile.” With this she put on the apron and went into the kitchen, immediately staring to mix some flour with water to knead the dough. Then she let it stand and soften before hand-pulling it into noodles.

About half an hour later she brought him a bowl of hand-pulled noodles. He was surprised. “When did she learn these skills from her mother?” This time, though the noodles tasted delicious in the mouth, he felt bitter at heart. When he thought of his first wife, tears welled up in his eyes.

His second wife had seen everything and felt really bad about herself. After breakfast the next day, a gift box of fine pastry in hand, she went to see a hand-pulled-noodle chef in a restaurant, asking him to teach her the tricks. There she learned to mix flour, knead the dough, control its softening, then hand-pull it into noodles. The last step was the hardest. Somewhat clumsy, she was too weak for the job. No matter how hard she tried, she could never be as skillful as the cook. Her noodles would either stick to each other or break. She was sweating all over well before she could pull a kilogram of dough into noodles. Giving up, she bought five hundred grams of such noodles at a higher price from the cook instead.

When the retired old man, who had been working on a book of historical records, returned home for lunch from his daily seminar that day, he saw a bowl of hand-pulled noodles placed before his seat at the table.

“Oh, did Xiao Feng [the daughter] come today?”

“No. I did it for you.”

“You can pull …?”

“Don’t look at me with strange eyes!”

The noodles were almost the same as what his first wife had made. The old man enjoyed them to his heart’s content. “I never knew you were so good at this. It tastes just like what she made in the past.” He was so happy that he was somewhat carried away.

His wife was not too happy to hear his comments, thinking, “This old man never forgets his first wife!” But it was a compliment, after all. What did it matter to compare her to his first wife anyway? So thinking, she became quite happy too.

The next day she made still greater efforts to practice noodle-pulling. First she went to the restaurant for her instructions, then she practiced hard at home. She tried again and again, but just could not pull out the noodles properly. It looked like it would take some time, at least then or fifteen days.

Realizing it was time to cook lunch, with no hand-pulled noodles made, she could not but run to the restaurant to buy some. Only after much tactful flattery did she manage to buy 500 grams of hand-pulled noodles, charged by the bowl.

“Oh?” She saw the door open when she returned upstairs. The old man was home.

The cat was out of the bag now.

“Oh dear! I didn’t know my food had got you into such trouble!” The old man felt quite guilty as he learned of the game.

This time, he only ate half of the noodles she had cooked for him. Deep down in his heart, somehow he found the noodles did not taste right.

“Let’s just have laobing [flapjacks] instead from now on!” he said.

The old lady’s tears quietly wet her pillow for half that night.

It was another Sunday when the daughter came to visit her father. Again she wanted to make hand-pulled noodles for him, but the old woman stopped her quickly and said, “Let me do it!”

The old man and his daughter stared at her with their eyes wide open as she skillfully pulled her dough into noodles.

That night, the old man was every excited. He had two cups of whiskey and was naturally aroused. In bed, he clumsily helped his wife remove her clothes, but he was astonished when he saw her arms. God! They were swollen like leavened mantou! Finally, he learned about all her pain and suffering. His heart quivering, he held her tightly against him as he fondled her arms with tender affection. Loving tears filled his eyes.

“Jesus! Those god-dammed hand-pulled noodles!”

(黄俊雄 译)



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