炼金术士

By , July 31, 2008 8:12 pm

作者: (巴西) 保罗·科埃略
译者: 孙成敖
出版: 上海译文出版社

很不错的一本书,咪咪在儿童文学的架子上淘到的。我们两个在不到一个星期的时间内相距看完,算是创下了一个小小的记录。不想太早地做任何评论,因为它引起了我们太多的思考。

卖废铁

By , July 31, 2008 8:08 pm

4 月份的时候向广州的某个公司订购了一套水汽蒸馏设备,原计划是7 月初进行安装调试的。对方在6 月初的时候通知我已经通过物流公司发货,结果到现在也没有收到。原来那个负责运输的物流公司欠了合作伙伴的款项,一套价值十几万的设备竟然被人家卖了废铁抵债。其实那个炉子不过一吨多,当废铁卖最多不过两三千人民币,却害得我迟迟不能够开始小试。经过无数次电话交涉之后,广州的那家公司最终答应重新给我打造一套设备,但是安装调试时间已经变成了9 月份。原先的计划,是希望这个夏天能够出一点实验性结果的,看来计划实在是赶不上变化啊。

如果你打算创业的话,你能想像的到你订购的设备会被物流卖了废铁吗?

What Are Prohibited During The Beijing 2008 Olympics?

By , July 29, 2008 9:37 am

Many people are interested in what are prohibited during the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Well, below is a list of the things that I know of.

First, the mailing of dangerous packages are prohibited at China Posts. In theory, you can mail anything that can be recognized and determined to be safe by the attendants at the post office. In practice, you can’t mail anything that can not be recognized and determined to be safe by the attendants at the post office. I myself tried to send a book with a CD from the post office at Tsinghua University, and was denied service because the attendant was not able to determine whether the CD inside the book was safe or not. During this special period you can’t mail packages containing solid, liquid, or gas. This policy knocks down the e-business across China, because you can’t deliver any orders by China Posts.

If your air conditioner or refrigerator is not working, you can still call the service company, but they will have difficulty in coming to provide meaningful service. To service an air conditioner or a refrigerator, the service workers need to carry with them some necessary chemicals which are now prohibited in all public transportations. Unless they are driving their own Benz-Mercediz to your apartment, your air conditioner or refrigerator will have to remain shut down during the summer.

Strictly speaking moving is not prohibited during the game. However, trucks are prohibited in Beijing from July to September. So, the moving companies are now out of business. This is also true for the renovation companies. Starting from July 15, all residents in Beijing are required to terminate their renovation work, and renovation workers are prohibited to enter residences from July 20.

Canine-based cuisine is also prohibited during the game. All local hotels and restaurants have been told by the municipal food safety office to stop serving dog meat to both foreigners and local residents. For an ordinary Chinese person like me, we might accept the idea that animals also have animal rights, but they will certain have difficulties in understanding why dogs are superior to cows, pigs, and chickens. So, there have been suggestions that local government should also respect the muslims, or even the vegetarians.

Peking University is one of the most esteemed advance education institutes in China. Many people would like to visit its beautiful campus while in Beijing but obviously they are going to have bad lucks. At the entrance a guard will politely stop you, ask for your purpose of visit, and inform you that you will need an internal “sponsor” to escort you through out the trip. What? You don’t know of anybody working at Peking University? They can do you a favor by allowing you to have a quick peek at the gate, but don’t assume that they will be kind enough to let you sneak in.

Many gyms and dancing clubs that I know of have been ordered to shutdown because of safety concerns. Gyms are dangerous because the exercise equipment can be used as lethal weapons. Dancing clubs are dangerous because terrorists can easily launch an attack in a dark and noisy environment. After several bus booming accidents in Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Kunming, the whole country are scared, just like the US after 911. Don’t go to places where there are a lot of people — this is what the residents in Beijing are told (implicitly).

Human beings are not the only species subjected to these strict policies. Weather armies are now ready to shoot down any rain clouds approaching Beijing, causing unusual precipitation in adjacent areas. Peonies in the city of Luoyang, as well as chrysanthemums in Beijing, are prohibited to bloom in season. Rather, they are instructed to bloom around the game, outside of their ordinary biological life cycle. Many Chinese people are familiar with the female emperor Wu Zhetian in the Tang Dynasty. To celebrate her birthday she ordered flowers of all species to bloom on the same day. However, the peonies refused because that was not the right time for them to bloom. As a result, the peonies were exciled to Luoyang. For thousands of years, the peonies have been a symbol of free spirit that does not surrender to authorities. However, in 2008, for the so-called Beijing Olympics, the lovely peonies finaly lost their dignity.

You might ask, what else are prohibited during this ridiculous Beijing 2008 Olympics? Well, why don’t you try Google for a complete list? I myself actually did that and obtained the answer: according to local laws and policies, some of the search results can not be displayed (据当地法律法规和政策,部分搜索结果未予显示。).

椰风昨夜来入梦 (13)

By , July 28, 2008 8:50 am

阿飞的小学边上有一条公路。小孩子们喜欢坐在路边看车,尽管大人们一遍又一遍地告诫那是一件危险的事情。那时侯经常有成队的军车从路上通过,阿飞就会和小朋友们满怀激动地冲着军车挥手欢呼,而车里的士兵也会冲着孩子们挥手致意。当拉着大炮的战车疾驰而过的时候,孩子更是按捺不住满心的欢喜与赞叹,只恨自己不能够长出翅膀飞到那威风凛凛的战车上去。

小学五年级的时候,阿飞的学校里来了一个通讯班。他们在学校的院子里架起了高高的天线,汽车里各种不知名的仪器在阳光底下反射出耀眼的光芒,并且时不时发出嘀嘀嗒嗒的声响。那声响就仿佛是一块巨大的磁石,将阿飞和其他的小朋友们牢牢地吸引在车辆的周围,探头探脑,叽叽喳喳。有时候士兵们会允许小孩子们登上汽车近距离参观那些神秘的盒子,可以看,但是不可以动手。大人们对这些绿色的车子和设备也充满好奇,但是士兵们似乎并不愿意让他们靠近。

这些通讯兵在阿飞的学校呆了两个星期左右。他们有一幅奇妙的地图,上面不但有阿飞的学校,还标明了水井的位置。他们和学校里的人一样从这口井里挑水做饭洗衣服,晚上就住在绿色的帐篷里,有空的时候还给小朋友们讲军队里的故事。等到他们必须离开的时候,他们当中的好多人已经和小朋友们结成了好朋友,并且互相留下通讯地址继续交往。阿飞班里的一位女同学坦言自己已经喜欢上了某个士兵,等到她长大的时候就会嫁给他。他们的来往信件情话绵绵,小朋友们经常从那位女生的抽屉中偷出来相互传阅。

那时节阿飞也和一位士兵成了笔友。在阿飞的信中,总是使用这样一个落款:明天的战士。

椰风昨夜来入梦 (12)

By , July 28, 2008 8:49 am

在阿飞的学校附近,有两处历史遗迹。一处叫做铁屎,另外一处叫劳大井。

所谓铁屎,是三四堆乌黑的圆柱状石墩子,一米多高,三四个小孩子拉起手来都抱不过来。石墩子湮没在一片广袤的香茅与芦苇当中,风吹草动的时候便露出黑黝黝的脑袋来,面目狰狞。很小的时候,阿飞和伙伴们都不敢到那个地方去玩。孩子们之间流传着一个恐怖的故事:在森林里住着一群衣着奇怪的人,晚上的时候能够看见飘忽不定的灯火。他们打扮成乞丐的样子沿村打探,专门拐骗落单的小孩子,捉到了之后就要把身上的某种器官割下来卖掉。大人都嘱咐孩子们如果要到离家比较远的地方去玩一定要成群结队的一起去,如果掉队了就要大声的叫唤让伙伴们知道自己的位置。阿飞算是小孩子当中胆子比较大的,经常带着伙伴们到处掏鸟窝摘野果拣柴火,但是始终与那些黑黝黝的石墩子保持安全的距离。

大概是小学三年级的时候,学校组织所有的学生打某种预防针。当时农村里的计划生育工作正进行得火热朝天,孩子们时不时地目睹身边的某个妇女哭着喊着被一伙穿着制服身强力壮的男子强行推进车子拉走,回来的时候泪流满面地哭诉自己被人按在手术床上罨掉的悲惨遭遇。有传言说因为我们这个国家的小孩子太多了,需要用打针的方法来处理掉一部分 -- 要是挨了这一针,过几天就会自个死掉。阿飞班上的孩子们商量好一起跑到铁屎那里躲上一天,哪怕是被那伙神秘的人捉走,也比立马就要死掉强好多。这一次避难使得阿飞有机会近距离地观察这堆神秘的石墩子。它们棱角分明,看起来就是一陀巨大的没有完全融化的生铁。后来阿飞才从大人的口里得知那本来就是铁。在自己还没有生出来之前的某一年,方圆几十公里范围以内的铁制锅碗瓢盆都被集中到这里来。人们把它们投进砖头围起来的高炉里,底下用树桩点起熊熊烈火要把它们炼成钢铁。问题在于这些锅碗瓢盆十分倔强,尽管被烧得面目全非互相黏结但是并不肯融化。人们最终决定放弃,于是这个地方从此被称为高炉坡,多出了这些面目可憎的叫做铁屎的墩子 -- 它们本来就是铁,但是现在已经跟屎一样毫无用处。

阿飞曾一度考虑过要将这些铁屎卖给收废品的 -- 那个时候生铁的价钱是一分钱一斤,如果能够把它们卖掉的话,那可是一笔难以想像的财富。问题在于根本就搬不动。经过几次失败的尝试之后,阿飞彻底地放弃了这个疯狂的想法。

所谓劳大井,是一口废弃的水井,之前阿飞并没有意识到它的存在。大概是小学五年级的时候,阿飞所在的地区遭遇了一场空前的大旱,学校常用的那口井便见了底。父亲突然想起附近原来还有一口更深的水井,于是带着师生们一起去清理。那口井就在一片稻田的边上,被高高的野草所覆盖,里面满是树枝和瓦砾。青砖砌成的井圈基本完好,将井里的杂物和浮土挖出来之后,果然冒出清澈的泉水来。父亲说这个地方原来叫做工农兵劳动大学,那时侯海南有三五所这样的大学。学员们从各地的中学毕业生选拔而来,一边上课,一边劳动。这一口深井,为当时劳动大学提供了生活用水和灌溉用水。父亲就是这个学校的学生,在他毕业的同时学校被宣布取缔。于是父亲在失去文凭的同时失去了分配工作的资格,最终成为那所小学代课的民办教师 -- 小学的语文、音乐和图画,还有初中的英语,都是父亲负责的课程。

父亲的一生,只能够用“怀才不遇”这个词来形容。小时候阿飞和哥哥妹妹最经常听到的故事是一对家境贫寒的兄弟沿着铁道一路拣煤渣走到北京上了大学,最终当大官成大业挣了大钱,最后用大车拉着各式礼物衣锦还乡。兄弟两个将礼物送给了村头一位曾经接济过兄弟一家的老头,那些长期对兄弟一家冷讽热潮的亲戚什么都没有得到。

阿飞深深地明白父亲这个故事的含义,并且为此感到困惑和迷茫。

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