又中又英——Numb With Disbelief

  On September 11, 2001, when I was living in the US, I turned on the TV to watch the news. What I saw made me numb with disbelief. Terrorists from al-Qaeda had used two hijacked planes to separately crash into both World Trade Centre buildings in Manhattan. The planes flattened both skyscrapers. If your body is numb, it means your body cannot feel anything. But if something makes you numb with disbelief, it means you are so shocked or frightened you are unable to feel any emotions or think carefully. The word “flatten” (or raze) used this way means to completely destroy a building. Powerful storms flatten buildings.

  I clearly remember that day even now. America was in shock. I went down from my apartment to see how people were dealing with the shock. The streets were almost empty. People who went out seemed numb with disbelief. Where I lived I could sometimes hear planes but I could not hear even the noise from a single plane. The government had grounded all civilian planes. To ground a plane means to prohibit or prevent it from flying. The streets were eerily quiet. The adverb “eerily” means in a strange and scary way. There was a surreal atmosphere across the US on September 11 and the following days. The word “surreal” means very strange, unreal, and like a dream.

  Little did I know at the time that I would be back in the US on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The expression “little did I know” used this way means I did not know or could not have guessed something would happen. Seeing President Joe Biden and ordinary Americans on the TV news commemorating (remembering and showing respect for) 9/11 brought back sad memories of the day terrorists attacked the US. My brother-in-law drove me around Indianapolis last Saturday, the 20th anniversary of 9/11. We saw people collecting donations for the families of those who died on 9/11. I donated too.

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  二○○一年九月十一日,我還在美國居住,當日我開電視看新聞。我眼所見的,令我難以置信,整個人驚呆(numb)了。阿蓋達的恐怖份子用上兩架騎劫的客機,分別撞向曼克頓世貿中心的兩棟大樓。客機最終令兩棟摩天大樓摧毁,夷為平地(flattened)。若你的身體是numb,意即你的身體麻木了,失去了知覺;但若某事令你numb with disbelief,意即你震驚得發愣,已經沒有感覺或不懂好好思考了。Flatten(或raze)在這裏解作完全摧毁一棟大廈。威力強大的風暴可將建築物夷為平地(flatten)。

  即使事隔多年,現在我仍很清楚記得那一天。全美國大為震驚,我從我住的單位下樓到街上,看看人們怎樣應對這個巨大的衝擊。街道差不多是空的,那些外出的人看來都驚呆(numb)了,面露難以置信的神情。我在我住的地方有時會聽到飛機飛過之聲,但當天我連一架飛機飛過的聲音也聽不見。政府停飛了(grounded)所有的民航客機。To ground a plane意即禁止或阻止一架飛機起飛。街道是詭異地(eerily)寧靜。副詞 eerily是指怪異恐怖的。九月十一日和打後一段日子,整個美國都籠罩着超現實的(surreal)氛圍。Surreal意即離奇、荒誕、如在夢中般不現實的。

  當時我壓根兒也沒有想過(little did I know),我會在九一一恐怖襲擊二十周年的當兒,重返美國。習語“little did I know”在這裏是指我對某事一無所知,又或猜也猜不到某事會發生。在新聞報道上看着總統祖‧拜登與一般的美國平民紀念(commemorating)九一一,勾起了我恐怖份子襲擊美國的憂傷回憶。上星期六,即九一一二十周年當天,我的姐夫載我於印第安納波利斯遊逛,我們看見有人在為九一一死者的家庭募捐,我也有捐獻。

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

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