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我难忘的灰狗巴士之旅
Greyhound bus paved my journey to Canadian dreams


 
1995年秋季的一个雨天,刚刚获得加国大学毕业证书的我登上前往渥太华的灰狗巴士去迎接我在加国高科技城市的第一份工作。冗长艰辛的巴士之旅可谓痛苦不堪。除了腰酸,腿疼,头晕等身体症状之外,我还承受着更残忍的与刚刚6个月大的儿子分离的心灵折磨。巴士的刮雨器踏着雨点的节拍低声呻吟着,而我的泪水也渐渐涌入眼眶,像秋雨般淅淅落下。

On a rainy autumn day of 1995, I, a foreign student graduating from a Canadian university, boarded a Greyhound bus to Ottawa to start a new job in Canada’s high-tech city. The long, arduous bus travel was a painful ride. Soar legs, back pain and nausea aside, I was suffering from the agony of separation from my 6-months old baby. As the windshield wipers were slapping against the window in sync with the falling rain, tears welled up my eyes and dropped down my face. 

当时对于我们这些急于在加国立足建业的新移民来说,一份工作聘书可谓我们生活,事业转折的契机。 90年代的中国还是一个非常贫穷的国家,那时来加的留学生们生活非常窘迫,大都依赖奖学金,助学金以及半职工来支付学费和维持生计。这些留学生的经济状况根本无力支付私家车这类奢侈品,而灰狗巴士就成了那些为了养家糊口而不得不离家弃子到外乡寻找生计的新移民们的唯一通勤手段。



However, a job offer would bring tremendous opportunities and hopes to newcomers who were eager to establish a new life and a career in the adopted country. Back then, China remained a poverty-stricken nation and students from China were struggling financially.  We were relying on scholarship, bursaries, and part-time jobs to pay for tuition and meager living expenses, and a car became an unaffordable luxury commodity. Greyhound buses thus became the only means of transportation for those who were willing to work long distances to raise a desperate family. 

但几十年之后,渐渐失宠的灰狗巴士成为当代大陆新移民不屑一顾的交通工具。随着中国经济的腾飞,大陆留学生今非昔比,成为财大气粗的富二代。拥有数百万资产身价的父母让他们在北美校园享受着一流的高品质的生活。凭着强大的财力后盾,他们不仅可以选择所喜爱的任何一种奢侈交通手段出行,还可以追求奢侈消费。为满足其虚荣心以及驾名车的渴望,他们在高端汽车市场挥金如土、一掷百万。

But decades later, Greyhound is losing favor and no longer matters to recent newcomers from China. International students are much better off financially as China enjoys a rapid GDP growth. The economic boom has created a wave of multimillionaires, allowing them to provide their children with generous budgets for living expenses in Canada. With their parents’ vast wealth at their disposal, Chinese students live a life of luxury on Canadian campuses, never having experienced the financial hardship and struggles faced by those of my generation. They can access any means of across-city transportation as their favorite choice and are even able to cater to their egoistic needs as well as their driving passion for luxury. 



大量新闻报道显示,今天来自中国大陆的留学生们是开北美跑车的生力军。他们开着总价高于200万加币的兰博基尼,法拉利飙车于温哥华高速路上;而在波士顿校园中开着Nissan GT-Rs和BMW M5型超级跑车者几乎无一例外的都为来自中国大陆的留学生。

Media reports have found that international students from mainland China today are the dominant users of flashy sports vehicles. They drive Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and other supercars worth more than C$2 million on Vancouver highways, and those driving high priced cars, such as Nissan GT-Rs and BMW M5s, at schools in Boston are almost, without exception, students from China.

包括新移民群体在内的加国乘客群的急速下跌对灰狗巴士的商业收入造成严重威胁,使这一联接加国城市的最为便宜和方便的交通工具在几十年内渐渐在市场上消失。七月九日,灰狗巴士宣布将于秋季取消在加西所有巴士跑线,而安省内的城市有幸被保留在为数不多的灰狗交通线路上。



A sharply declined ridership in Canada, including dwindling clienteles from the newcomer demographic, threatens Greyhound’s business bottom line, leaving its intercity services fading away over the decades. On July 9, Greyhound announced that it would stop running buses in almost all of Western Canada this fall, leaving routes in Ontario as one of the last vestiges of bus lines connecting between distant cities in the province.  

这一沉重的消息让我不禁回忆起那些终生难忘的灰狗巴士之旅,在那些岁月里,它曾成为早期移民们实现加国梦的铺路石。虽然颠簸在加国遥远,偏僻小路上的旅途充满艰辛和痛苦,但它却是通向我们自立及成功的未来的必经之路,在我们日后事业发展,家庭的稳定及个人的成长中起着举足轻重的作用。当层层阴霾褪去,蓝天重返天空时,我的心情也渐渐开朗,快乐的阳光透过玻璃窗洒满巴士车厢,它让我满怀勇气和信心去迎接和拥抱生活中的任何困境和挑战。

The sad news brought my vivid memories of Greyhound trips when it served as a lifeline for those striving for Canadian dreams. While the trips on remote Canadian roads were fraught with agony and pain, they have paved a self-reliant path to a promising future and supported our journey of growth -- personally, financially and professionally. Under blue-sky weathers when dark clouds disappeared, joyful sunshine inside the bus would always enlighten my mind, giving me the courage and strength to meet any challenges ahead and to embrace new opportunities in life. 



回首往事之际,我对那些今天中国留学生从未经历,将来也不会经历的灰狗巴士之旅充满感激之情。正是这些难忘的旅行彻底改变了我们,让我们成为今天的自己。它让我们在自强不息的道路上感悟,成熟,使我们成为一名快乐,成功,且骄傲的加国华裔。

In hindsight, I am very grateful for the Greyhound trips that today’s Chinese students have not taken and will never take. These trips have transformed us powerfully, providing a rite of passage that led to who we are today -- proud Chinese Canadians who live a happy, fulfilled and independent life in this adopted country.




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無名氏 (未验证) on 星期一, 七月 23, 2018 - 23:21
苦难就是苦难,不是什么财富,更不是可以用来享受,自豪和炫耀的。我们奋斗,就是为了不再让下一代拥有苦难经历。不能自己媳妇熬成了婆,看着儿媳妇享福,而心情复杂。