2010/07/08

Might I Enquire As to the Time?

Might I Enquire As to the Time?

Heard this story from a friend from the states.

He was walking on Nanjing West Road of Shanghai. That is a street loaded with upscale shoppes. An old lady was sweeping the street. As my friend passing by, she asked him with perfect British accent:

"Might I enquire as to the time?"

My friend replied:

"But of course. It is a quarter past three."

The eyes of the innocent bystanders were wide. Their jaws dropped as my friend walked away, and the lady wore this smile of satisfactory.

We reckon that lady's situation is likely to be a part of aftermath from the culture revolution.



這個故事是從一位來自米國的阿凸仔新住民那兒聽來的。

有天,他走在上海的南京西路上。那裡多的是精品店跟崇洋媚外,自以為高級的「人」。當我朋友經過時,有位掃街的老婦人用純正的英國腔口音問我朋友:

"Might I enquire as to the time?"

那種句法是古維多利雅式的英文。現在沒人那麼說話了。我朋友答道:

"But of course! It is a quarter past three."

也是那時代的遣詞用字。

那位老婦臉上帶著心滿意足的微笑繼續掃街。我朋友繼續往前走。留下一大海票目瞪口呆的旁觀者。

我們估計,那位老婦的處境,很可能是文化大革命的結果。

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