她是我在布里斯班的第一个学生,她说那你教我中文,我用法语跟你交换。第一次见面,我们约在公园旁的咖啡厅,那是一个日照辉影的傍晚。修长的身影,棕黄色的卷发,迷人的笑容,优雅不失风趣的谈吐,我们很愉快地上了第一堂课。后来,我们又约了几次。

二十六岁的她,几年前离开法国,已经走过了很多城市。在南非的约翰内斯堡住了一阵子,她说她喜欢那里的人。她说,来到澳洲工作很不好找,因为竞争。她告诉我,澳洲的女人很没安全感。她在一个晚餐,听到一位岳母在帮女婿找私人助理。她很积极地问,可不可以去应征呢。那女人上下打量了她,然后说,可是我的女婿是结了婚的人。她说,我只是想应征一份工作。为什么女人,必须要如此才能够捍卫家庭,难道男人都就这点水准?

过一阵子她要离开了,去香港。问她,工作找到了吗?她笑笑说,去到再找吧,可能我改变主意跑去另一个国家呢。

那你的男朋友呢?我问。她的男朋友是在澳洲认识的一个法国男人,一开始就爱得炽烈。她投我一个无奈的表情,和我看过所有旅居者一样,拼命隐藏撕裂般的悲伤。她说,没办法,路还是要走下去,我终究还是会离开的。

那个节庆缤纷,城市里烟火喧闹的晚上,她匆匆给我打个电话,我们一起在拥挤的小店吃了西班牙churros,给了彼此最后的拥抱,不想走的人,终究还是离开。

 

She was my first student in Brisbane. I was supposed to teach her Mandarin for free, but she said let's swap with French. She has this brown, wavy hair, and captivating eyes. She looks really nice, I thought, when we first met. We chatted the whole lesson, and did a few more lessons on and off over the next few months.

She left France few years back, and have been living in a few other countries. She liked South Africa a lot. Johannesburg, according to her, was the most mesmerizing city.

She told me she would leave soon, maybe to Hong Kong, and she hasn't found a job there. What about your boyfriend? I pried. She met this french guy in Australia whom she fell in love immediately. She tried to smile. I have seen that bitter-smile so many times, on the faces of traveler friends who want the best of both world. We all know how this agony marked our hearts again and again. What to do? She winced, I can't stay forever.

The night before she left, we went to have some churros. I hugged good bye my beautiful and courageous friend from France, a world traveller.

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