Les Interprètes Chapter 40

When will they reunite?

Translator: Tranzgeek and Jeslyn


 

Chapter 40

Qiao Fei

But this afternoon, Zu Zu Ferlande received a command to go to Paris. His break ended early, and he had to go back immediately.

When he received the phone call, we were sitting on a wall of the farm, watching the workers gather the grapes. He received a line, and was very conflicted: “Really! I hadn’t yet strolled in Avignon with you yet.” He thought and had another good idea, “I’ll tell my cousin, and let them bring you around. After all, it’s the weekend right now.”

“Of course not.” I said, “I will return with you.”

He looked at me, really very happy, his mouth said: “That would be pity.”

“What pity? Later I’ll come again. I’ll wait for you to get another break.”

He was even happier.

I said goodbye to Zu Zu’s relatives with Zu Zu  and we took the night train back to Montpellier. He went home to pack up. I went home to sleep.

The next day when I woke up, I prepared to go to the train station to send him off. I opened the window to take a look. Damn this weather sure does change according to the occasion. This year-round sunny Mediterranean city actually began raining today.

Using an umbrella is out of fashion here.

Therefore, even though the rain was not very heavy, it was enough to make me all wet.

When I arrived, Zuzu who was wearing his uniform waited for me on the platform. I looked at him from a distance. He was like the first time I saw him, tall and vigorous, wearing a dark blue uniform, a sailor’s hat on his head. Zu Zu Ferlande is very handsome.

I walked over and he looked at me.

I should say something, however at this moment I became speechless.

We could only hug each other until he boarded the train.

I thought in my mind: He sure is nice and warm.

After a week, I received the postcard he sent from Paris. The picture was of the Eiffel Tower which I mentioned to him before was what I liked the most. At the back, Zuzu only wrote a sentence: I really miss you.

I also ended my short-lived holiday and started on my second phase of learning. The teacher was a lady from Hong Kong, and her surname was Wang. She was once a United Nations simultaneous interpretation officer and her Chinese was so good I felt mortified.

The first lesson then started on simultaneous interpretation training.

The teacher played a French recording of around 5 minutes. We interpreted as we listened and recorded our interpretations at the same time.

I listened to my own final recording. It was incoherent and it even inserted English, French and some of my pet phrases from my hometown in the middle. Teacher Wang asked me: “Qiao Fei, explain what is “That something”. What do you mean by always saying this sentence?” I wanted to find a hole to hide at this moment.

Professor Wang said: “Do you know where the problem is?”

Everyone said: “Where?”

“After hearing something, you feel that you have understood it and immediately blurt it out. However, you do not realise that you have already left out some of the related content at the back. It is not possible to do a good job of simultaneous interpretation without listening to the completed translated language and organizing it. Also, look at all of you. Why is nobody taking a pen out to write down anything? Have I taught you guys shorthand for nothing?

Hence just like this, I went through the first round of hell training however the second round would be more horrible. We continued attending lessons in the morning, listening to a lot of tapes, as a form of training for simultaneous interpretation. Afternoon was still our free period. Everyone grabbed each other and fought at close quarters, and listening to this continuously made people feel dizzy and lightheaded, inducing vomit.

When people face great stress, they will then feel suspicious about the meaning of their jobs.

Why was I so daring? I had a pretty good life. Why did I choose such a hard path?

Why did I have to suffer this kind of hardship from the West? I was learning until I started losing my hair. Everyday was like I was suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, interpreting all the French I hear to Chinese.

Considering my capabilities now, I could find a pretty decent job after I graduate if i wanted to earn money to feed my parents. I would have no problem doing so.

I do not have very high expectations, really.

What else would it be if not for money?

Someone’s shadow started to revolve around inside me.

He is full of energy when he is working. He was so calm and cool-headed and his looks were deeply etched in my mind. 

Cheng Jia Yang.

Thinking about him, it felt as if i really saw him. However he did not have a good attitude, using his hand to hit my face left and right saying, “Idiot, not even learning, stupid and lazy.”

He hit so hard, I felt the pain.

After struggling hard to get up, I realised it was the dog Zuzu that was using his paws to hit me.

He ran happily after I gave him the chips.

I stretched my waist and continued listening to the radio.

Cheng Jia Yang

Xiao Hua’s show began filming all over again. On the TV, she looked very noble and beautiful. Because her news show reopened again after an interruption, Xiao Hua invited many famous celebrities to support.

The leader faced the camera and said:”This is a show that will be facing the future and the public.”

A famous CEO in the city said:”Having an interview here makes me feel happy.”

The famous director said:”I admire the show’s cultural atmosphere the most.”

The basketball star that came back from America said:”I love this show.”

The budding star said: “Hello everyone, i am Si Jiang Man Yu, please continue funding such a warm and romantic show.

Apart from its value.

I saw her show in the department’s coffee shop. I did overtime at night, the big shot wanted to have talk with the foreigner over the phone and exchange some opinions about the gulf issue. I was standing on standby here. Next to me were several colleagues in the Information Department, discussing about something. I heard them say: ” Sigh, such a pity, such a pity.”

“What’s unfortunate?” I asked.

A reply: “One of my colleagues went to the Gulf to do an interview. He lost a leg from an explosion. Right now, I don’t know how he is going to return.”

I froze for a second.

“His children are still little. He gave them to his ex-wife to take care of. He said not to tell his parents in Qinghai.”

“Isn’t the surname Zhao? From the Hua News Agency?”

“Oh right. Jia Yang, you also know of this?”

“I heard it before.”

My phone rang. It was Xiao Hua. Her program had just ended.

“Jia Yang guess what our ratings were today.”

“How many?”

“20%. A record high of all the talk shows. Isn’t it great?”

“Congratulations.”

I wanted to talk to her, about her colleague, Lao Zhao. My words were on the edge of my lips but I didn’t say it. I heard the other side of the phone. Someone said, Congratulations, congratulations. At this happy time, why should I pour cold water on her?”

“When do you get off work? Come over to pick me up.”

“Me?” I looked around everywhere, “I’ve had to prepare a lot of things today, I slept on duty.”
“Then that’s good. Give me a call.”

In the nighttime I returned to the room I had lived in with Qiao Fei. After she left, I had spent very little time here.

I bathed, drank water, went online. It was very coincidental, “I just don’t believe I can’t register for it” was also on.

I asked: “How’s your novel going?”

“I’m about done, I am currently finishing it. Are you not busy?”

“I finished work, I’m going home to rest.”

“You don’t have any women by your side?”

“Haha”

“Why haha?”

“I don’t have any women by my side.”

“That’s weird, I thought you had entered a relationship?”

“Why did you think like this?”

“You haven’t come in a long time. Really? Fallen in love? You’ve finally decided to fight another battle [1]?”

“You can say it anyway you would like.”

“What kind of reply is this?”

“I do have a woman…..but only……”

“Only, she isn’t the original one that you had?”

She was really an author. Even across the internet, she could guess another person’s heart clearly. I didn’t reply to her.

“You know that,” she typed it word by word, “people cannot step in the same river twice [2]. What was the one before like? Do you know what she is like now? How has she changed?”

I pressed “Leave” in an instant.

Then I lay on my bed and smoked marijuana.


[1] You’ve finally decided to fight another battle: You’ve finally decided to open yourself up again?

[2] People cannot step in the same river twice: You can’t have the same chance you had before.


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