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我的Uber司机
My Uber trip brings racial intolerance into perspective



编者按: 在加拿大本土出生的青少年大多认为种族歧视和文化排斥现象与己无关,但Katie Jia所遇到的一名Uber司机,一位来自巴基斯坦的移民却改变了她的看法 。
Editor’s Note: Racial discrimination and cultural intolerance would be seen as largely irrelevant by native born youths like Katie Jia, until she met her Uber driver – an immigrant from Pakistan. 

 
“真正的自由是来自于被接受的感受。”当我听到这句伤感的话语时顿时心感沉重。我虽忘记了那个男人的名字,甚至已经记不得他长什么样子,但是,在短短20分钟里,他向我讲述了在加国被接受的心路历程。而这20分钟却让我终生难忘。

“I felt what it truly meant to be accepted.” My heart sank as the sorrowful words washed over me. I don’t remember the man’s name, and I can barely even remember his face. However, those short 20 minutes are 20 mins that I will never forget, the story of his acceptance into Canada. 


凌晨两点时分,空荡荡的街道上路灯散发着昏暗的黄光,而只有零星的车辆疾驰而过。此刻,这座繁忙的城市终于进入了梦乡。我拿出手机叫了一辆Uber,不到两分钟我的Uber司机就到了。

2 am in the morning, the street lights glared an unsightly yellow on the empty roads. The occasional car continuing their drive, as the busy city was finally put to sleep. I took out my phone to call for an Uber service. Within two minutes, my Uber driver had arrived. 


这个半夜还在大街上驾车奔驰的Uber司机年龄大概在40大几到50小几岁之间。我们打过招呼后就上路了。由于车程不短,我便和这个看起来很和蔼的司机攀谈起来,此时,他开始向我讲述他的故事。

He was probably around his late 40s early 50’s, still working in the middle of the night. We said our hellos and began the drive. Since it was going to be a while, I decided to strike up a conversation with the seemingly nice man, in which he started to tell me about himself.

 
他是名巴基斯坦移民,在15年前离开了祖国,但他当时是去的美国而不是加拿大。他在美国当了七年医生,赚的钱比在巴基斯坦多得多,足以让他的家人都过上好日子。他称:“我在那里赚了很多钱,但我却缺少一样很重要的东西,那就是我的幸福。”七年后,感到灵魂遭到美国文化扭曲的他逃到了加拿大。

He left his home country of Pakistan over 15 years ago, not to Canada but to the United States. Spending 7 years in America working as a doctor, he was making more than enough to support his family unlike when he was in Pakistan. “I was making a lot of money there, but I lacked something important. My happiness”. After seven years, the American culture broke his soul, and so he fled to Canada. 


他问了我一个奇怪的问题,“对你来说什么是自由?”我脱口而出答道就是拥有言论自由和宗教信仰自由等。 “但拥有言论自由和宗教信仰自由的真正的意义是什么?没有自由会怎么样?” 他接下来又问了一连串让我措手不及的问题。但对我这名自打出生起就一直生活在加拿大的年轻人来说,我何曾失去过自由?

 He struck me with an odd question, “What is freedom to you?” the immediate answer that I had was having the freedom of speech, religion, etc. “What does that mean though, to have freedom of speech and religion? What is it to not have it?” The question hit me like a curve ball. I’ve lived in Canada my whole life, but was there ever a time I didn’t have freedom?


可他这名来自穆斯里过度的移民却并非每时每刻都能享受到这种奢侈的自由。他原本所抱的美国梦却变成了一场白日噩梦。由于来自巴基斯坦,他一直面对种族歧视、憎恨、指责和排斥。尽管他尽力融入美国文化,但他的面孔却一直昭示着他是一个“丑恶的穆斯林”。

But he as an immigrant from a Muslim country did not have this luxury all the time. What should have been the American dream became a waking nightmare for him. Coming from a Pakistani background, he faced racism, hate, judgement and disgust. Despite well adapted into the American culture, his face would always represent him as nothing more than “a dirty Muslim”. 


他称:“每天都会有人对我吼叫,说我应滚回自己的国家而别在这里糟蹋美国。我努力学习英语,我开始看橄榄球,我甚至放弃了我的宗教祈祷。我希望的只是被接受,但我却一直被拒之门外。我多么想实现人人都在谈论的美国梦,但梦想对我来说一直可望不可即。”后来,带着心中尚存的一点信念,他来到了加拿大,放弃医生职业改行做了工程师,他决定在加拿大重新开启新生。

“Everyday people would yell at me to go home to my own country, to stop ruining America. I learned English for them; I started watching football; I stopped praying for my religion; All I wanted was to be accepted, but all I was faced with was rejection. I wanted the American Dream we all talked about, but that dream never happened to me.” It was then that he came to Canada. He dropped his job as a doctor and became an engineer, with little faith left, he decided to start anew in Canada.


他对加拿大的热爱激起了我的好奇心,我问他:“在享有免费教育和健保,宗教自由的加拿大,你最喜欢的是什么?”我原本预期他会说言论自由和宗教信仰自由,但他的回答却带给我感触良多。“是被接受!”当我要求他做进一步解释时,他称:“美国也有自由,没有人能阻止我表达我的宗教情感,或是禁止我说出自己的想法,但这并不意味着我不会成为别人指责和痛恨的对象。”

He peaked my curiosity for his love of this country, raising the question, “We have free education, health care, and freedom of religion. What is it about Canada you love the most?” I expected that he would say his freedom of speech and religion, but his answer touched me even more. “Acceptance.” I asked him to clarify in which he replied, “My dear, America too has freedom. No one could stop me from expressing my religion or stop me from speaking my mind, but it didn’t mean that I wasn’t being judged and hated for it.”


突然间我明白了。当我在多伦多的皇后街上看到一些人在修习他们的宗教或是表达他们的政治观点时,我会欣然接受他们的选择。无论他们是否持有与我相左的观点,还是信奉我并不了解的宗教,我都会对他们的选择不加指责。他称:“在加拿大,没有人会对我的生活方式指指点点,或是因为我的族裔背景而对我施以白眼。我终于找到一个不仅让我自由发表言论,同时也能对我的族裔背景接受的国家。”

And then I understood. I could walk down Queens Street in Toronto, see someone practicing their religion or their political views, and accept that was their choice. Regardless of whether it was different from my views or a religion I don’t understand, I would applaud them for doing so. “In Canada, nobody judged me about my way of life or gave me dirty looks just because of my background. I finally found a place that not only let me say what I want, but accepted me for who I was.”


我从中认识到拥有言论自由和接受言论自由有所不同。我可以想说什么就说什么,却不会因此遭人指责。我可以选择在明天穿上中国传统服饰,而不用担心遭到他人的公开白眼和谩骂。

I realized there’s a difference between having the freedom of speech and having your speech being accepted. I could proclaim anything that I wanted and I would barely get judged for it. I could choose to show up tomorrow in traditional Chinese ware and not to fear of being publicly called out. 


我忍不住又问道:“你后悔离开家人来加拿大么?”他毫不犹豫地回答:“我一点都不后悔,我的女儿现在已经14岁了,可正是因为这个国家她才能够开心地生活。”

I had to ask, “Do you regret leaving your family and coming to Canada?” Without a second of hesitation, “I regret nothing. My daughter is 14 now and it is because of this country that she can smile.” 


当我还在回味他的话时,我们已经到了目的地,我该下车了。他对我说的最后一句话我永远都不会忘记:“亲爱的,永远不要将这个美丽国度所赋有一切视为理所当然。很多东西只有失去了你才会知道有多宝贵。”我下车后和他说了再见并祝他好运,然后看着他暗淡的车尾灯渐渐消失在路灯的光芒下。虽然我和他相处的时间很短,但这名我日后再未曾相见的Uber司机却给我上了一堂让我终身难忘的课。

Before I even realized it, we arrived at my drop off point and it was time for me to take my leave. The words he left me, “don’t ever take this beautiful country for granted my dear. You never truly value something until its gone” stay with me forever. I said my goodbye and wished him luck as I got out of the car. I watched his taillights slowly fade away as the street lights dimmed a low yet luminescent light. I never did see him again. Although my time with him was short, the lesson he taught me was forever. 
 
 
 
 
 

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