又中又英——A pain in the butt

  In my previous column I wrote about an American non-government study which found Hong Kong to be one of the most walkable cities in the world. As I explained, the word "walkable" used this way means an area that is safe and suitable for walking. Hong Kong came first in the category which studied the number of people living within 100 metres (328 feet) of a car-free place, such as parks or pedestrianised streets. As I explained, a pedestrianised area is an area where only pedestrians are allowed. Even though the study was done by a reputable (having a good reputation) organization, I must pour cold water on the finding that Hong Kong is the world's most walkable city in one of three categories.

  It was not in the top five in the other two categories that measured closeness to healthcare, schools, and direct routes to destinations. I must pour cold water on the findings because I live in Hong Kong. To me, walking in areas such as Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, or Mong Kok is a pain in the butt. It is true that Hong Kong people live close to parks. But most parks are tiny. There are only two full-time pedestrianised areas in crowded Central. One is Theatre Lane. This is a joke because Theatre Lane is tiny. Lan Kwai Fong is only a part-time pedestrianised area. To "pour cold water on" something means to criticize an opinion or idea.

  The word "butt" is short for buttocks. The expression "a pain in the butt" means a person or situation that is very irritating, annoying, or unpleasant. To me, walking in many areas of Hong Kong is a pain in the butt because the streets are overcrowded, the air is polluted, and traffic lights give priority to vehicles, not pedestrians. Our government cares more about vehicles by making pedestrians walk up to walkways or down to subways to cross streets, wasting their time. In fact, the study said almost all cities give priority to vehicles, not people.

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  在上一篇專欄中,我寫到美國一個非政府組織研究發現,香港是全球最walkable城市之一。正如我所解釋的,walkable在這裏是指一個地區是安全的、適合人走路的。在研究有幾多人住於無車地區,例如公園或pedestrianised道路的一百米(三百二十八呎)之內的項目中,香港排於首位。亦正如我解釋過的,a pedestrianised area就是行人專用的區域。即使這個研究已經由一個信譽良好的(reputable)的機構所做,但在那三個類別中,在其中一項之下說香港是全球最適宜步行的(walkable)城市,我仍要給這個研究結果潑冷水(pour cold water on)。香港在另外兩個類別中五甲不入,就是衡量跟醫療健康設施及學校距離有多近,以及可直接到達目的地的路線。我必須給那研究結果潑冷水(pour cold water on),因為我住在香港。在我而言,於中環、尖沙嘴或旺角走路,實在令人極之厭煩(a pain in the butt)。

  確實,香港人跟公園住得很近,但大部份的公園都是小得可憐。在擁擠的中環,只有兩條全日的行人專用(pedestrianised)區,其中一條是戲院裏。但這是相當可笑的,因為戲院裏很短小。蘭桂坊則只有部份時間才是行人專用的(pedestrianised)區域。To“pour cold water on”something意即去批評一個意見或想法,給它大潑冷水。

  Butt是屁股(buttocks)的簡寫。習語“a pain in the butt”意即一個人或處境令人非常厭惡、惱人或不舒服。對我來說,在香港的許多地方行走都是a pain in the butt,因為街道都是人滿為患、空氣污濁,交通燈又總是以汽車而非行人優先。我們的政府只會關心汽車,總是要行人走上天橋、通道,又或走行人隧道去過馬路,浪費大家的時間。事實上,研究指出差不多所有城市都將道路優先使用權給了汽車,而非行人。

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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