中英对照版 2018年第3期 慧婷 2018-08-28
Chinese-English No.3 2018 SHANNON TINGLING2018-08-28
The “Silk Road” was first mentioned in China - meine Reise - Ergebnisse，a book written by a German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen and published in 1877. The “Silk Road” was a land passage blazed by Zhang Qian during the West Han Dynasty and by Ban Chao during the East Han Dynasty. It started from Chang’an (present Xi’an) and Luoyang, cut across Central and Western Asia to Mediterranean countries by way of Gansu and Xinjiang. The road got its name for the major influential merchandise transported to the west.
Many people knew that the "Silk Road" was a passage for trade, but it was also associated with romance. The love story I want to share happened on this road. The protagonists of this story were my great grandparents.
I was told that my great grandfather was an American and he came to Chang’an long ago. Once, my great grandmother excitedly looked into the mirror to see herself in her new silk dress, then she noticed a man smiling at her in the mirror. She blushed and turned to him. At that moment, my great grandfather made up his mind to find out everything about her. He went over to her, introduced himself, and began their talk. After then, they found that they had a lot in common. One day, at a tea house, an explosion suddenly occurred, and many people began screaming. Then my great grandfather was taken away by his friend, and since then, they have been separated. Afterwards, he returned to the US. She had never heard from him again, suffering lovesickness day by day. He also was eager to go back to China but due to the lack of money, he never made it. He later married another woman in the US. Ten years later, his wife died. After saving enough money, he was able to go back to Chang’an. In the same tea house, he saw a girl, my great grandma, in the same silk dress. He could not believe his eyes but he came over to her, asking himself, “Is that the girl I met years ago?” Nothing had changed. He talked to her and found that everything was exactly the same. It seemed that they had returned to the year when they were sixteen. My grandmother told him that every year she wore the same dress, waiting for him. She travelled to a lot of places along the Silk Road. They talked about her journey over the tea. In the end, they got married and had two children afterwards. One of the children is my grandmother. This story has been passed down from generation to generation.
There were many countries along the Silk Road. Via this trade route, China brought silk into many countries. Other countries also sold their products, such as olive oil in the Mediterranean, cotton and ivory in India, and spices in Arabia, to other parts of the world. Along this new Silk Road, we Jamaicans are major consumers of foods, clothes and other necessities made in China. I must go and have a look at the place where our great grandparents first met!