揭秘生活在中国式潜规则中的人们(双语)

The first rule I taught my children when we moved to China was that green doesn't mean “go”. Don't walk when the green man says walk, and don't stop when the red one says halt. I think we all found it wonderfully liberating.

搬来中国后,我教孩子们的第一条规则就是绿灯不意味着“行”。绿灯亮时不要走,红灯亮时也别停。我想我们都觉得这样非常自由。

China has its own rules — and they are not the ones I learnt in kindergarten. In fact, after seven years as a pedestrian and several forays as a driver, I have not yet figured out exactly what they are — but they seem to work. So you are better off making your own deal with the oncoming traffic (or any of the other challenges of living and working in China) than expecting “stop, look and listen” to apply. China has 5,000 years of history and that means 5,000 years of knowing instinctively that pedestrians have no right of way. That green man may look just like the guy in London or Los Angeles, but he is not the same. He has been localised.

 

 

 

 

中国有自己的规则——和我在幼儿园学到的那些不同。实际上,在中国当了7年行人并尝试开了几次车以后,我仍然没弄明白这些规则到底是什么——但这些规则好像还挺管用。所以,面对迎面而来的车流(或者在中国生活和工作时遇到的任何其它),你最好还是自己看着办,别指望“停、看、听”那一套能帮到你。中国拥有5000年的历史,这就意味着5000年来人们都本能地明白行人在路上是“靠边站的”。交通灯上的绿色小人看起来或许和伦敦、洛杉矶的并无二致,但却是另一个人。他已经本地化了。

So I tell my kids what I would tell anyone coming to do business in China: don't expect rules to protect you, but don't worry that they will thwart you either. And read Tim Clissold, the British businessman whose book Mr China: A Memoir (2004) is probably the best I have ever come across about China. Now he has written another: Chinese Rules: Mao's Dog, Deng's Cat,and Five Timeless Lessons from the Front Lines in China ; it's about what makes China tick —for foreigners who can clearly hear it ticking but can't quite figure out why.

所以同样的话我既告诉我的孩子们,也告诉那些来中国做生意的人们:别指望规则能保护你,但也别担心规矩会阻碍你。英国商人祈立天(Tim Clissold)的书《中国通》(Mr China: A Memoir, 2004)可能是我读过的关于中国的书中最好的一本。现在他又写了另一本书《中国规则》(Chinese Rules: Mao's Dog, Deng's Cat,and Five Timeless Lessons from the Front Lines in China)。这是一本有关中国运转机理的书——外国人能够明显感觉到中国运转自如,但却弄不清楚缘由。

Rule one in his book is that China does not play by anyone else's rules so stop wishing that it would. To which I would add: you can make that work for you. My children love never having to wait for the lights to change to cross the street. That is certainly one way to celebrate what others might call lawlessness.

他书中第一条规则就是:中国不会按照任何别人的规则来运转,所以就不要对此抱以希望了。关于这个我想补充一句:你可以让这条规则为你所用。我的孩子们非常喜欢过马路从不用等变灯。这无疑是别人口中“无法无天”的一点好处吧。

In the big picture, lawlessness has receded monumentally since we moved here in 2008. New laws, closely guided by western models, have been passed in virtually every area of business life in China, from intellectual property to competition law. But old habits die hard, and it may take decades for the habits of legality to trickle down to the average wage slave. So I still have plenty of daily opportunities to see people ignoring rules I thought were written in stone and to teach my kids how to make that work for them. Often, this happens in hotels, perhaps because“the customer is always right” is another one of those rules that China most definitely does not play by.

总的来看,自我们2008年搬来中国以来,法制缺位的状况已经得到了极大改善。从知识产权到反垄断法,中国已经通过各项紧密参考西方模板的新法律,几乎覆盖到中国商业活动的每一个方面。但积习难改,可能需要几十年的,遵纪守法的观念才能逐渐深入老百姓心中。所以在日常生活中,我还有大把机会看到人们无视那些我原以为每个人都必须遵守的金科玉律,并教我的孩子们怎么利用这一点。这常常发生在酒店里,也许因为“顾客总是正确的”这条规则也属于在中国几乎肯定没用的规则之一吧。

Recently, I took the kids to a five-star hotel for one of those quintessential parent-teen bonding excursions that involve letting them lie in a hotel Jacuzzi and order room service all day. When we got there, the hotel clerk calmly informed us that he had rented out our pre-paid room to another guest who really, really wanted to stay there.

最近,我带孩子们前往一家五星级酒店,想来一个标准亲子游,让他们躺在酒店的按摩浴缸里享受一整天的客房服务。当我们抵达那里的时候,酒店前台很平静地告诉我们,他已经把我们预付过的房间给了另外一名非常非常想住在这儿的客人。

Armed with my kindergarten rule book, I began to splutter about having booked through Priceline and paid with a credit card, which made it a binding contract, surely? But I didn't know how to say Priceline in Chinese and he wasn't having it anyway. Someone else was in our bed; that was the long and short of it.

脑子里装着幼儿园里学到的规则,我气急败坏地和他理论:你开玩笑吧,用Priceline预定过了、也用信用卡付款了,难道不是就已经达成了有效合同?但是我不知道怎么用汉语说Priceline,不过反正他也不明白。总之,别人睡了我们的床,说什么都于事无补。

Of course, in the end they found us a suite instead, and the kids celebrated by inviting several classmates to share the Jacuzzi and sleep over — in a room with a maximum official occupancy of two. So that is the teen version of the green man “don't walk” rule: if the other guy breaks the rules, so can you. You may get the better end of the bargain.

当然,最后他们给我们换了个套间,我的孩子们邀请了几个同学共享按摩浴缸并且一起过夜来庆祝——尽管按规定该房间最多入住两人。于是这就成了绿灯“不通行”规则的青少年版:如果别人破坏了规矩,你也能。说不定你占的便宜还更多。

Clissold's fourth rule (I won't tell you the others; buy the book) is that given the choice between the right result and the right rule, China will always choose pragmatism. That one has worked in my family's favour, too: like the time when the police allowed us to license two dogs — in the same week that the law changed, making owning more than one dog illegal.

祈立天的第四条规则(我不会告诉你其它规则是什么;去买书吧):在好结果和好规则之间选,中国总会选择实用主义。这一点也让我们家受益:比如有一次警察允许我们给两条狗上狗证——而那个星期法律刚改,养狗超过一条就算违法。

Being an inveterate stickler for the rules, I tried to point out to the accommodating cop that what we were doing was against the law. He indicated that, being a policeman and all, he was aware of the new law — so could I please stop looking my gift dog in the mouth and just go home.

作为一名积习难改的守法者,我试着向那位好心通融的警察指出,我们这样做是违法的。他说,身为一名警察,他当然清楚新的法规——所以你就别得了便宜卖乖了,赶紧回家去吧。

My message to my kids, and to anyone else who wants to live a happy life in China, is not to get hung up on rules; nobody else does. And you must ditch the kindergarten morality. It is too simple for this place.

我想对我的孩子们,以及任何想在中国快乐生活的人们传达的讯息是:不要在规则上吊死;没人那么干。你必须抛开幼儿园里学到的道德观,对于这儿来说那种道德观太天真了。

  本文摘自《

声明: 除非转自他站(如有侵权,请联系处理)外,本文采用 BY-NC-SA 协议进行授权 | 智乐兔
转载请注明:转自《揭秘生活在中国式潜规则中的人们(双语)
本文地址:https://www.zhiletu.com/archives-5887.html
关注公众号:智乐兔

赞赏

wechat pay微信赞赏alipay pay支付宝赞赏

上一篇
下一篇

相关文章

在线留言

你必须 登录后 才能留言!