Les Interprètes Chapter 50

Qiao Fei is ready to step into another universe- the world of work…

Also sorry for all the grammar stuff and other errors.

Translator: Tranzgeek


Chapter 50

Cheng Jia Yang

When the professional test finished, they began to interrogate Qiao Fei on politics. The Personnel Department had brought out some satisfactory questions. I didn’t want to interrupt her answering her questions so I continued to stay in the testing area doorway.

The person who had went with me to the interview anxiously walked over. He saw me: “Jia Yang, I was looking for you.”

“What is it?”

“This Qiao Fei. We just got news that she used to have a somewhat bad record in school.”

“What?” I looked at her.

“The Ministry received a fax before, saying that this child had previously……”

I heard this and only felt my mood was difficult to set. After he finished I nodded: “Did the Department do a investigation? Was there a conclusion?”

“They didn’t investigate, so of course there was no conclusion.”

“Then isn’t it just like that? Of hearsay matters, we should also consider. Your level is too little, Xiao Li.”

“Wasn’t I just investigating it in the Department. I didn’t record it either, and came here especially to see what to do.”

“What should we do?” I opened the door a tiny bit and saw Qiao Fei answering questions in side. Her face was red and glowing, “The people I want to recall, I’ll take responsibility.”

“Yes, Jia Yang, aren’t I discussing it with you now.”

“I know now. Thank you.” I waved my hand.

I hadn’t waited for Qiao Fei to finish answering her questions, when the phone rang. The director had a few things to clear up with me. I went to go see him. I asked me about this year’s recruitment circumstances. I gave him a brief report and he was pretty satisfied. He told me, next I would have to train my recruits. I said, don’t worry.

When it was almost lunchtime Xiao Hua called me: “Where are you going to eat for lunch? Jia Yang.”

“Cafeteria. You?”

“Cafeteria? You don’t want to eat 鲜奶洋芋[1] and 茶香青虾 [2]?”

[1] Haha too lazy to translate the food names. The first one is made up of taro and fresh milk.

[2] The second one is made up of shrimps and tea leaves.

“It sounds really good, but are you saying now?”

“Why don’t you want it now? I bought it for you and am waiting for you outside your unit.”

I said: “Xiao Hua……”

Some people are so good to you. How can you not be touched?

That day after we finished the movie, and after I ate with her, I only said those two dishes were good at the time casually. She had remembered it in her heart.

“All right, wait, I’ll come down now.”

The senior brother from the same office said: “Your girlfriend came to send your meal over?”

I laughed: “How did you know?”

“Hey, it isn’t the first time.”

Outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I found Xiao Hua’s car. She smiling said: “Quickly grab it. I still have to return to the TV show in the afternoon. This one is yours. This one is for my colleagues. This is iced black tea.”

“You’re leaving like this?” I took the item and looked at her.

“I’m anxious. Oh eat slower. All right I’m leaving.” She said this and was about to start the car when she stopped, looking at me, “Jia Yang.”

“Ah?” I stood outside the car window looking at her.

She reached out her hand to touch my face: “You’re so hot, sweating so much.” As she said this she kissed my mouth.

I had not responded yet when she had already driven away.

I held the light sweet food she had given me in her hand. On my face I still had her hand’s light fragrance, but my heart felt heavy.

After I got off work I picked up Xiao Hua to eat together. At night we went to her place.

When I lay on the bed reading, Xiao Hua grabbed two big books and took them over. She sat next to me: “Today I returned to grab something and found my childhood pictures. Do you want to take a look?”

“All right.” I took it, and flipped it over. On the first page, Xiao Hua’s 100 day picture [3]. A round little girl’s face. Color had been added to the black and white picture. She had a face like an apple.” Right, when I was little, my 100 day picture was also like this.” As I turned the pages, the girl grew up. Her looks grew clearer, and she grew into a maiden, “You’ve been such a good student for so many years? I really admire you.”

  • [3] Chinese do something called the 100 day celebration where you celebrate the 100th day of an infant. Yup. More goes into that (of course)

Xiao Hua laughed: “Cool, right?”

“But.”

“What?”

“When you were little, your nose didn’t seem to be as good looking.”

“Really?” She grabbed the album and looked at it herself, “Who said this, I always had this authentic hanging lamp nose.”

I laughed and said: “What authentic nose? Isn’t it a fake silkworm nose?”

Her hand stretched out into my armpit: “You aren’t making jokes about me now aren’t you?”

I laughed and flipped on the bed. Xiao Hua was pressed on my shoulders, her mouth into my ear, the air that it spit out itchy: “My mom said, she would treat us to a meal.”

I froze, and slowly sat up, I said: “I’ve been busy for these past few days. After these days, after these days. Plus, if you want to eat, I should treat us.”

Xiao Hua said: “Right, I also said this to my mom. Alright, you look at the pictures. I’m going to bath.”

I saw her go to the bathroom. My heart absent-mindedly drank water, smoked.

  Qiao Fei

Next, was a busy time.

I was hired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the last few days before graduation, I held a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get various stamps from different school bodies, transferring my relationship over (TL: The relationship with the school is transferred to the Ministry), checking my body.

Then, I busily found a house. Because there were more new graduates, the Ministry didn’t care about housing. In the future, with monthly subsidies, everyone would solve it themselves. In the hot weather, I ran to many places. I finally found a house by the subway. The person who was with me and had been in this city for a long time was a girl, white-collared worker, Xiao Deng, who would be using the same public kitchen and bathroom as me.

The second day I moved out from the school, was the graduation ceremony.

Later when I recalled it, that day was pretty sensational. Everyone took pictures, listening to the head teacher’s lecture, people even cried.

It must have been that people couldn’t bear to leave the best four years of their life. When I thought of it again, through these four years, busyness, enriched, thrilling, excitement and a little eclectic. Wow, just like stepping on a cliff, foot by foot. Looking back on it, my whole body filled with cold sweat.

In this big and bustling city, I was very fortunate my two best friends still stayed here for work. Ever since Bo Bo had stabilized her work at the French airlines, she began to train in business. The third day after she graduated, she went to Paris for the first time. She called to tell the world asking: “What do you want to bring for you guys from from Paris?”

Xiao Dan said: “Why don’t you hit us?”

Xiao Dan’s work in the travel agency immediately began. She was in her office, making travel arrangements; airplane tickets, hotel room prices, etc. It sounded like a very complicated job.

She called me in the night: “I’m really regretful that when I was in high school I didn’t learn my math well.”

The weather was very hot.

After the test, I didn’t see Cheng Jia Yang again.

All of my basic plans had been stalled. Before I could go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs I had two weeks of break.

I returned home for a while.

Originally I was only a little famous. This time i returned from France, and immediately got a job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All the neighbors came with their children to pay their respects.

The head of the neighborhood who had always taken care of my parents wanted to give me a little classroom in the small district’s kindergarten, and wanted me to tell the children all of my experiences. Education, personal education, it wasn’t only that age group but it ranged from kindergarten to primary school, high school, university. Anyone who could read was to attend. If the age was too small, and the child spoke out of turn, he also asked the parents to accompany them.

I bit the bullet [4]. I knew the high notes all right [5]. My parents had a lot of face [6].

  • [4] Bit the bullet- Endured
  • [5] Knew the high notes all right- I knew my way around this situation all right.
  • [6] Face- refers to reputation.

I hadn’t returned home for a long time. At night, I slept together with my mom.

She knew the moment I returned I would have to work at the Ministry, and said that she would definitely buy me a high-end Western suit.

I said I didn’t want it. I had just begun training, and I still didn’t need to attend any occasions. Plus, I had a Western suit. I bought it when I was attending school.

That one is not good, too old. My mom said, are you afraid we are going to spend money? Fei Fei. Don’t worry. The money you gave us is still left. I opened a small canteen with your dad, selling vinegar and soy sauce. Our business is pretty good.

Really? I said.

Of course.

All right you two. I laughed, You guys didn’t work for nothing.

Right, did you do the thing I asked Auntie to tell you last time? She asked me.

What thing?

Letting you thank that senior brother that came to our house.

I thanked him I said. I turned around and stuck out my tongue. Yea, I had really forgotten, but I hadn’t seen Jia Yang again.

Is that boy interested in you? Mom asked.

I looked at her, Oh, probably.

What about you? Fei Fei?

I don’t know. Mom, his family has too much money. His parents are all great officials.

Really?

I nodded.

Then you better tell him earlier. Fei Fei, we can’t match with him, so don’t walk this path. I’ll give you the money and you can return it to him.

I know, mom, how can I not know?

But the moment Cheng Jia Yang was mentioned, I was very chaotic. Return his money? I owed him too many things: studying abroad, work- he had always been good to me. Even if I tried to return it, it would never amount to much

My sign language was pretty fast. I said to my mom, Don’t worry, nothing can’t be explained. He has a girlfriend, well matched. I’m closing the light. Let’s sleep.

I closed the light and used the blanket to cover my head. My eyes only had that woman ahead of me. Was it knowing that it should not happen or was it that from head to toe, the other party was stronger than me in everything.

My mom yanked the towel on my face down.

I returned to the big city.

That day, I ate a hearty breakfast, energetically heading to the Ministry to report.

In the high turn meeting room, I saw many peers that were with me this year. They were all different high level talents that tested in from different Departments and excellent schools.

I found a place to sit, and greeted the people around me.

A boy said: “Aren’t you the person that came in late to the testing?”

He really was bold. I looked at him: “Ah, what’s wrong?”

“You also tested in?”

“Or else why would I be here?”

“Don’t be unhappy.” The boy laughed, “I’ll say your business is pretty good. I’m called Zhao Peng Yuan. English.”

“Qiao Fei, French.” I shook hands with him.

At this time a few more people came in. Cheng Jia Yang stood at the front.

He wore a white short shirt and black long pants, very lean. He also saw me, no expression.

Jia Yang spoke: “I am the high level senior translator, Cheng Jia Yang. I represent the Ministry in welcoming and congratulating everyone. After all the selection we go through, everyone here are all talents of their own languages. From today on in two months time, we senior translators will coach everyone, and chose again. Only the best French and English students will stay in the elite translation bureau. The other students will be put into different ministries, embassies, and consulates abroad. In this time, before everyone officially enteres the Ministry, I think you already have a certain understanding. So without further ado, I will first wish all you success. Now I will introduce the different teachers of the different languages in charge of training you……”

The people in charge of training us, new people, were all because of age or health reasons that they were unable to continue being the original talented interpreters they would have become.

Me and the 15 other French students, under the tutelage of Teacher Wu became a new class.

At night I called Xiao Dan and said: “It turns out I have to continue being a student. Throughout this lifetime it can be considered that I will never be able to be a teacher.”

“Damn,” she gave a yawn, “I admire you to death, everyday my work is so tired that I could die. I can’t talk anymore. I’m tired.”

I hunt up, and stood on the balcony, looking at the summer night sky. The night wind blew into my nightskirt. The hot receded and it was slightly cool.

I thought of the morning. Cheng Jia Yang finished our training, we left the meeting room. Downstairs when we were going to class, he was behind me and said: “Did you find a good house?”

I looked back at him and nodded.

“Is it far?”

“Yuquan Road, near the Academy of Social Sciences.”

“It’s a little far.”

“It’s pretty good, next to the subway.”

He didn’t reply again, and only stood beside me.

“Ah I forgot to say thanks to you.”

“Thanks for what?”

“This work. My exchange student opportunity. I laughed as I looked at him, “I returned home two days ago and showed off a lot.”

I didn’t mention the matter of him going to my house.

Jia Yang smiled: “Qiao Fei, you are exceptional, this is what you deserve. From now on you should work hard.”

Yes, I was working, I was an adult now.

Jia Yang said it right, graduation, this was a ridge. I stepped over it, and everything had passed. Everything sad, happy, pressuring, indulgent, what I should do, and what I should not……

I’ll just leave it like this, never mind then. (TL: To the best of my knowledge, Qiao Fei is talking about the thing where her mom asked her to thank CJY)

I put my palms together.


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