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惊心动魄:我的南卡州之旅
My frightening ordeal in traveling to SC




尽管有人抱怨美国人粗鲁傲慢,但我却不以为然,反而我认为美国人非常友好和善,热情好客。美国人会用其特有的方式让你感觉宾至如归,并在你陷入困境时伸出温暖的双手。

Despite complaints that Americans are rude and arrogant, I have seen little evidence of it. They are nice, friendly and hospitable. Americans would go out of their way to make you feel at home, or extend a warm hand to someone in trouble.

在宗教信仰的驱动下,美国南部居民对待陌生人更加热情友好,而南方待客之道也因此闻名遐迩。在我最近自驾前往南卡罗来纳州时就亲身体验了当地人的热情友好。

Driven by religious beliefs,warm and kindness to strangers are better manifested in Southern part of the US, which is often described by the Southern Hospitality mantra. I witnessed that warm and kindness through my recent road-trip to South Carolina.



先生和我计划从多伦多自驾前往南卡州的美特尔海滩旅游,期间车程大约16小时,中途在西弗吉尼亚州过夜。在我们于下午5点左右抵达俄亥俄州后,我的导航显示还需要再行驶4个小时才能抵达我们在西佛吉尼亚州查尔斯顿预订的酒店。

My husband and I planned a 16 hr drive from Toronto to Myrtle Beach SC, with one night stopover at West Virginia.  After we reached Ohio at around 5 PM, my GPS indicated it would take another 4hrs to reach our hotel in Charleston, West Virginia.

但是这一路上的冰雪和危险路况却完全出乎我们的预料。由于我们不得不放慢车速,行程也因此耽搁。在我们离开俄州不久后,山路就变得漆黑一片。随着驾驶条件越来越恶劣,迫在眉睫的危险也扑面而来。但是作为是着丰富雪地驾驶经验的加拿大人,我们觉得完全可以应付。

What we didn’t expect was the icy and treacherous road conditions. As we slowed down our speed, our arrival was delayed. Not long after we left Ohio, the mountain road became pitch dark. Imminent danger lurked as driving conditions got worse. However, having driven in snowy conditions as seasoned Canadians, we felt we would make it.



晚上8点左右,我们遭遇了一场突如其来的暴风雪,但是我们的汽车仍以高速穿行在风雪中。但是在暴风雪中跋涉了数公里后,厄运不期而至。由于车胎打滑,汽车突然偏右驶向山壁并且车身开始左右摇摆。虽然我们竭尽全力想要恢复对车的控制,但一切为时已晚。在车身在山路中任意地转期圈之际,不祥的预感向我袭来。

Around 8.pm, we were hit by a sudden snow storm. But our car was still racing through the snow at a high speed. A few kilometers into the stormy road, our luck had run out. As the tires failed to grip the ground, it pulled to the right towards the mountain and began fishtailing. Frantically, we tried to regain control, but it was too late. The car had become disobedient as it spun around.--I thought I was going to die.

最终,我们的车跌进公路左侧的雪堆里才停下来,我们才意识到自己躲过了致命一劫。假如当时我们后面有辆卡车行驶,后果则不堪设想。

We eventually landed in a snow bank to the left of the road and we realized we had survived a deadly accident. Had there been a truck behind us, we would have surely been killed.



随着暴风雪越来越强劲,我们渐渐被积雪和黑暗吞噬。在数次尝试爬出雪坑但均告失败后,我惊慌失措地抓起电话拨打911。

The storm got heavier and we were swallowed by sheets of snow and darkness. After a few failed attempts to climb up from the ditch, I grabbed the phone in a panic mode and called 911. 

但是当时我根本无法向巡警说明我们所处的位置,除了我们所在的公路号码,很难向巡警提供详细信息。

But I couldn’t provide our location to the patrol officer, and I had no clue of where we were except the highway number we were on.

眼看我的手机就快要没电,但巡警不知过很久才能找到我们。如果他们找不到我们将会怎样?我们会不会冻死在这条神秘的山路上?我们会不会被厚厚的积雪埋葬?

My phone was now nearly dead, and it seemed that it would be an eternity for the police to reach us. What if they would be unable to locate us? Were we going to be freeze to death in this mysterious mountain road? Would we be buried by the deep snow?



但我们在绝望中却看到了希望,助人为乐的美国人随时随地可见。不断有路过的驾驶者注意到我们的困境,大约有五六名司机停下车询问我们是否受伤,是否需要帮助。虽然我们的位置很快被确定,但他们当中没有人携带能够将我们的汽车拉出雪堆的设备。

But we found hope amid despair. Americans never lack random acts of kindness. As our plight has drawn the attentions of drivers on the road, about 5 to 6 drivers stopped their vehicles, asking if we were injured and need help. While the location was quickly determined, none of them carried the equipment that could pull our van out from the snow.

在我们向巡警提供我们所处的确切位置后,我们被告知由于当晚高速公路上发生大量事故,因此可能需要等待“一段时间”才能为我们提供救援。

When we provided the position of our van to the patrol officer, we were told that it would take “a while” before they could reach us, due to the high number of accidents on the highway that night.



当我们目送一辆又一辆车离我们远去,我们的希望又逐渐消失,同时也陷入了深深的焦虑之中。那越来越黯淡的车灯似乎成为我们存在的唯一标志。

As we watched every vehicle pull away from us, our hope diminished and our anxiety level skyrocketed. The dwindling car light seemed to be the only indication that we still existed.

当我们走投无路时,一辆卡车突然停了下来,同时司机也给我们带来了令人振奋的消息。

When all looked lost, a truck suddenly pulled over and the driver brought us amazing news.

司机透过暴风雪向我们喊道:“我有拖车链能把你们拖出来!”

“I have a chain to pull you out!” yelled the driver through the storm.



这一消息令我们振奋。几分钟后,我们的车再度回到了公路上。

We were thrilled. A few minutes later, our car was back on the road again.

随后这名司机告诉我们,他们做的就是拖车业务,是在回家的路上碰巧遇到我们。但是当我们要付钱时,他们却拒绝了。

The driver told us that they were in tow truck business and they spotted us on their way back home. As we offered to pay for the service; they refused.

我们对他感激万分,能够碰到他实属万幸。但是像这样的助人为乐之举在我们的旅途中不胜枚举。在沿途的服务中心、加油站甚至在麦当劳里处处都洋溢着热情和友善的气息。

We were very grateful and very lucky to meet him. But this wasn’t an isolated case of Good Samaritans.  The spirit of warmness and hospitality was abundant at service centers, gas stations and even at McDonalds.



在以爱心、同情心与关怀交织的美国社会中,无论你是白人、黑人还是亚洲人都会得到热情款待。美国带给我的宾至如归之感超过我走过的其他任何地方——包括我的家乡中国。

As love, compassion and care iswoven into American society, it sends a strong message that all visitors are valued– regardless of whether you are White, Black or Asian. I received the warmest and kindest treatment in America than anywhere else I’ve traveled  – including my home country China.

编注:本文曾在2015年3月《大中报》上发表。
Note: The story was published in Chinese News in March, 2015.




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