Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - Straight from the horse’s mouth.|又中又英

Washington DC is like a second home to me. I lived there for almost seven years during the 1990s. DC, which stands for District of Columbia, is the capital of the US. I left DC many years ago to return to Hong Kong for the 1997 reunification. I then went to live in Seattle, which is also like a second home to me. I am now back in DC after travelling for one year to numerous US cities. Hong Kong, where I was born, is my first home even though I left a year ago. Many parts of DC and the two states that surround it, Virginia and Maryland, have been gentrified.

To gentrify an area means to change it from being a poor area to a richer one, with a higher social class of people moving in. I couldn’t believe it when my DC friends told me how much home prices and rents have gone up but what they said was straight from the horse’s mouth. If you hear something straight from the horse’s mouth, it means you hear it from a person who has direct knowledge of it. Washington DC, like New York and other US cities, has put the coronavirus pandemic behind it. To put something behind you means to try to forget or ignore something unpleasant.

Restaurants in DC are so full but short-staffed that service leaves a lot to be desired, which means it’s not good at all. Twice in the past week I went with friends for dinner and had to wait a long time for the food. At both dinners I ordered a second glass of wine which never came. I had to tell the waiter the wine never came and to cancel it. Both restaurants apologized and said it’s hard to find staff.
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華盛頓哥倫比亞特區就像我的第二個家。我於一九九零年代在那兒住了差不多七年。DC即哥倫比亞特區District of Columbia的簡稱,是美國的首都。許多年前,我為了一九九七回歸而離開哥倫比亞特區回港,然後去了西雅圖居住,它也像我的第二個家。如今我用了一年時間遊歷過美國許多城市過後,又回到了哥倫比亞特區。香港,我出生的地方,是我的第一個家,即使我在一年前離開了。哥倫比亞特區的許多地方,以及圍繞它的兩個州分:維珍尼亞州與馬里蘭州,都已士紳化(gentrified)了。

To gentrify an area的意思是指一個地區隨着一些中產或較高社會階層的湧入,由一個貧窮的地區轉變為一個較為富裕的地區。當哥倫比亞特區的朋友告訴我那邊的樓價和租金大幅上升時,我實在不能相信,但他們所言是千真萬確、straight from the horse’s mouth——若你 straight from the horse’s mouth聽到某件事,意即你是從一個有直接參與、有第一手資訊與消息的人那裏聽來的,並非道聽塗說。一如紐約和其他美國城市,華盛頓哥倫比亞特區已經將新冠肺炎疫情拋諸腦後(put the coronavirus pandemic behind it)。To put something behind you意即嘗試忘記或忽略某件令你不快的事情,將其拋諸腦後。

哥倫比亞特區的餐廳座無虛席但又不夠人手,令服務 leaves a lot to be desired,即大有改進空間、很不濟、不足。上星期我兩度與朋友上餐館吃晚飯,等食物上枱等了好久。兩次晚餐我都點了第二杯葡萄酒,但一直沒有送來,我需要跟侍應說那杯酒從沒到來而需要取消。兩間餐廳都向我道歉,說現在聘請員工實在很難。
mickchug@gmail.com
中譯:七刻
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

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