What was I doing in 1996? Where was I? What restaurants did I like? What bands was I listening to? What kind of car was I driving? Who was I dating? 我1996年的時候在做什麼? 我在哪裡? 我喜歡在什麼餐廳吃飯? 我聽哪些樂團? 我開什麼車? 我在和誰交往?
Twenty years is a long time, but in many ways it seems like yesterday. If I think hard, I can remember most of the important details from that time, but some of the smaller ones elude me. There are, after all, so many years, months, and days between now and then. 二十年真是很長的時間, 可是卻彷彿昨天才發生的事. 我努力回想, 還記得那時候許多重要的事, 只是一些無關緊要的事就沒辦法想起來了. 畢竟是經過多年, 期間包含了許多個月和那麼多的天.
In 1996 I was 21. I was three years out of high school, and fully independent of my parents. I visited them often for the purposes of doing laundry and catching up, but otherwise I was pretty much my own person. 我1996年的時候是二十一歲. 結束了三年的高中生涯, 我已經完全可以自立了. 所以我回家通常是回去爸媽家洗衣服或是和他們聊天, 那時我已經完全靠自己生活了.
1996 was also three years before I moved to Taiwan. At that time I had never been abroad, unless you count Canada. I was a college student, I was in the midst of a series of part-time jobs, and I had received my first credit card. 1996年也是我搬到台灣的前三年, 我那時候除了加拿大之外, 沒有去過任何其他的國家. 當時我是個大學生, 也忙著好幾個兼職工作. 我那一年我申請到第一張信用卡.
I must have been living in Kirkland. Kirkland is one of Seattle's many suburbs, though it's not technically part of the city. It's across the lake from downtown Seattle, and there are many nice parks in that area. I remember renting a room in the basement of a house at that time, and sharing this basement with two other guys whose names I can't remember. One of these guys was cool, but the other one was crazy. 我那時候應該是住在柯克蘭. 柯克蘭是靠近西雅圖的社區, 可是它不算在西雅圖市裡. 西雅圖市東邊有座華盛頓湖, 柯克蘭就在湖的另外一邊. 那個社區裡有很多漂亮的公園. 我在那裏租了一個地下室的房間, 和另外兩個室友共用客廳
、 小廚房和洗手間. 其中一位室友不錯, 但另一位怪怪的.
If I was living in Kirkland, I must have also been a student at Bellevue Community College (BCC). Bellevue Community College is in the city of Bellevue, about a half hour south of Kirkland. I was completing my transfer degree at BCC, and a year later I would attend the University of Washington. 我如果住在柯克蘭的話, 那時候應該也在貝爾維社區大學讀書. 貝爾維社區大學位於柯克蘭南邊的貝爾維市裡面. 我在那裡完成轉學學位, 一年後轉到華盛頓大學.
And if I was living in Kirkland and going to school at BCC, I must have been working at UPS. Back then I was a "loader" at their Redmond plant, which means I was loading boxes into trailers. It was an exhausting job, but it paid well. I also had a job as an office temp on the weekends, and that paid even better. 那時我住柯克蘭, 也在BCC讀書, 我同時一定是在UPS工作. 我在那裡的工作是loader. 工作內容是把包裹裝進去拖車裡. 那種工作很累, 可是薪水不錯. 周末的時候我也在很多公司當臨時工. 那種工作的薪水甚至更高.
I had a girlfriend at the time, a Japanese woman who was much older than me. If I was 21 then, she would have been about 30. I would break up with her that same year, and I wouldn't see her again until much later. I remember a lot of arguments we had, and a few good conversations. I also remember her cheating on me. Not a good memory. 我那時候有女朋友. 她是日本人, 我們年紀差很多. 我那時候二十一歲, 她應該是三十歲. 我們也在那一年分手, 很久之後見了她一次. 我記得我們我們經常吵架, 有時候聊得很愉快. 我也記得她劈腿別人. 這是個不好的回憶.
I ate a lot of teriyaki back then. There was also a Wendy's on my way to UPS, so I ended up there a lot, too. I drank gallons of Mountain Dew. Most of my friends were coworkers at UPS, with a sprinkling of other friends from other places. 我那時候常吃韓式鐵板燒. 我上班的路上有一家Wendy's美式餐廳, 所以我常在那裡吃飯. 我也喝了大量的Mountain Dew汽水. 我當時的朋友大部分是我UPS的同事. 也有些在其他地方認識的朋友.
My clearest memory of BCC is watching people play Street Fighter vs. X-men, an arcade game which was HUGE then. I also have a strong memory of this Indian girl I was chasing after. She never turned out to be girlfriend material, but I did get pretty good at Street Fighter. 我對BCC最深刻的回憶就是看同學玩快打旋風對X戰警. 那個電動玩具當時很受歡迎. 我也記得我那時追的一位印度女同學. 我沒有追到她, 可是我的快打旋風技術進步很多.
I was listening to a weird mix of music that time. I had a pile of cassette tapes in my Jeep Comanche, and in the course of a week I'd cycle through Buju Banton, Captain Beefheart, Arthur Brown, and various thrash metal bands. I miss that truck sometimes. It was very comfortable. 我那時候聽很多不同種類的音樂. 我的卡車裡有許多錄音帶, 所以一個禮拜內我會聽到Buju Banton, Captain Beefheart, Arthur Brown和多種的重金屬樂團. 我有時候會想念那輛卡車. 坐在裡面很舒服.
I don't recall worrying much about the future then. I think I was more concerned with girls and having a good time. I briefly considered studying abroad, but I never filed the paperwork. I did well in my classes, but not because of any particular goal. I hoped that I would eventually find a job that would require me to use my brain, but I had no conception of what that job might be. 我那時候對我的未來沒有想太多. 我比較關心的是女人或是讓自己開心. 我有一陣子想去國外留學, 可是我都沒有申請. 我當時沒有什麼特定的目標, 但我的學校成績不錯. 我希望未來可以找到需要動腦的工作, 可是我還不知道那會是個什麼樣的工作.
It's funny to think about all of that now. Twenty years later, and in some ways I'm not so different. I still listen to Arthur Brown, I still eat teriyaki when I'm back in the States, and I still like to have a good time (of course). But it's been a while since I drove a truck, or studied in a university, or played Street Fighter Vs. Anyone. I suppose I might do one or all of these things again in the future, but it seems unlikely now. 現在回想當時蠻好玩的. 現在的我跟二十年前的我沒有那麼不同. 我還在聽Arthur Brown, 還是喜歡吃美國的韓式鐵板燒, 當然還是會尋找樂子. 可是我很久沒開卡車了, 離開學校生活也很久了, 更沒有玩快打旋風. 可能我以後還是會做這些事情, 只是可能性不大.
Twenty years. How can it be so long ago, when it feels like it happened yesterday? 二十年的時間. 怎麼會這麼久了? 可是那時候的事都好像昨天才發生的!
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*Is half of the truth enough truth? Not sure, but I can't be too forthcoming here because I'm worried about who might read it. A lot of crazy s*&t happened that year!