In Beijing, 20 millions people pretend to live

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Tags: hsk 5 lifestyle
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北京2000万人萬人假装假裝生活
In Beijing , 20 Million People Pretend to Live


Editor’s note (on beijingcream.com): On July 23, the writer Zhang Wumao published an essay called “In Beijing, 20 Million People Pretend to Live” to his public WeChat account. As of the following morning, it had accumulated more than 5 million views and nearly 20,000 comments.
What follows is Megan Pan’s translation of that now-censored essay.

北京没有沒有人情味.

Beijing has no human warmth.

经常經常外地朋友批评批評北京热情熱情城市一起交情送到机场機場事实上事實上北京外地人一样一樣热情熱情——接送全程陪同北京真的很难得到

I am often criticized by nonlocal friends: Beijingers have a lot of money and act unfriendly. We’ve all made it to the same city, why don’t we get together? A few decades of friendship, and you won’t even send me to the airport? In reality, it is hard for Beijingers to be as friendly as outsiders – picking up and dropping off, accompanying all the way, these things truly are hard for Beijingers to do.

北京晚上11环路環路北京社交时间時間成本真的,高到石景山通州吃饭吃飯不如天津来得快;北京真的,大到根本城市

Beijingers are very busy, busy all the way until 11 o’clock at night, and even then they are still stuck in traffic on the Third Ring Road; the time cost of socializing in Beijing is too high, so high that it is faster to go to Tianjin than it is to go from Shijingshan to Tongzhou to eat; Beijing is really too big, so big that it isn’t like a city at all.

北京到底相当于相當於2.5上海8.4深圳,15香港,21纽约紐約,27首尔首爾。2006先生北京地铁地鐵只有12,13号线,现在現在北京地铁到底多少条线,不用百度记不住記不住。10年前公交工作拒绝拒絕四环公司面试面試现在現在,京东、腾讯騰訊百度这些這些公司五环五環

How big is Beijing? It is equivalent to 2.5 Shanghais, 8.4 Shenzhens, 15 Hong Kongs, 21 New Yorks, and 27 Seouls. In 2006, when Mr. Zhang [referring to himself] came to Beijing, the subway only had Lines 1, 2, and 13; if I didn’t use Baidu, I really wouldn’t be able to remember just how many lines the Beijing subway has now. Ten years ago, I took the bus to look for work and refused to go beyond the Fourth Ring for job interviews. Now, big companies like JD, Tencent, and Baidu are all outside of the Fifth Ring.
外地朋友北京以为以為我们我們实际上實際上咱们咱們同一个城市咱们咱們可能若干个城市它们它們中国中國海淀海澱中国中國国贸國貿中国中國通州中国中國石景山……如果时间時間尺度通州石景山谈恋爱談戀愛就算异地異地北五环来趟亦庄亦莊可以出差

When nonlocal friends came to Beijing, they thought we were closer, but we weren’t actually in the same city, we may have been in a number of cities: they are Haidian, China; Guomao, China; Tongzhou, China; Shijingshan, China… If we use time as a measure, then someone from Tongzhou dating someone from Shijingshan would count as long-distance, and going from North Fifth Ring to Yizhuang can be called a business trip.

十年间,北京一直控房控车人口这块大饼大餅越摊越大,以至于以至於西安同学同學打电话打電話自己北京北京哪里哪裏北京十三

For the last ten years, Beijing has been controlling housing, controlling cars, and controlling population, but this large flatbread continues to sprawl and grow larger, to the point where my Xi’an classmate called me and said he was also in Beijing, and when I asked where in Beijing he was, he said: I’m in Beijing’s Thirteenth Ring.

北京肿瘤腫瘤没有沒有人能控制发展發展速度北京河流划清劃清边界邊界北京信徒,只有雄安能超度

Beijing is a tumor, whose speed of development no one can control; Beijing is a river, whose boundaries no one can draw. Beijing is a disciple, and only Xiongan can release it from purgatory. [Editor's note: Xiongan is a recently established state-level development hub in nearby Hebei province.]

北京人情淡薄只是针对針對外地朋友同处一城北京朋友同样同樣适用適用每次外地同学同學来京,聚会聚會外地同学会你们你們北京应该應該经常經常你们你們一年几次幾次北京我们我們差不多几次幾次

Beijing’s coldness is directed not only at nonlocal friends, it is also similarly applied to Beijing friends who live in the same city. Every time a nonlocal classmate comes to Beijing, when we all get together the classmate will say, you guys in Beijing often meet up, right? And I will say, however many times you guys come to Beijing is about how many times we meet up.

北京交换交換名片就算认识認識;一年几个幾個电话電話就算至交如果还有還有愿意願意城东城西,一顿不谈可以生死之交至于至於那些天天见面見面天天聚在一起午饭午飯只能同事

In Beijing, exchanging business cards counts as recognition; calling a couple times a year counts as best friends; if someone is willing to go from the east to the west side to have a meal with you without talking business, then you could be called friends for life; as for the people you see every day, eat lunch with every day, they are only coworkers.

北京其实其實外地人北京

Beijing is actually the outsider’s Beijing.

如果中国中國评选評選一生中必城市相信大多数大多數人会选择選擇北京因为因為这里這裏首都这里這裏天安门天安門故宫故宮长城長城几百家大大小小剧院劇院话剧話劇歌剧歌劇传统戏,相声小品二人转二人轉不管阳春白雪,还是還是下里巴人,可以北京找到属于屬於自己精神食粮。这些這些东西東西其实其實北京没多关系關係

If you let Chinese choose their must-go cities in this lifetime, I believe that most people would pick Beijing. Because here is the capital, here is Tiananmen, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the hundreds of theaters, big and small. Drama, opera, traditional drama, crosstalk, two-person skits, whether you like highbrow or popular art, you can always find what your spirit needs in Beijing. But these things actually do not have much to do with Beijingers.

走进走進北京各大剧院劇院里面裡面口音各异各異外地人还有還有刚来北京新鲜新鮮文艺文藝青年最后最後剩下坐在角落手机手機时间時間北京地陪

Walking into Beijing’s various big theaters, I see that among ten people, six are outsiders with differing accents, three are young literary types that have just arrived in Beijing and haven’t gotten enough of the novelty, and the last remaining one is the local guide sitting in the corner, playing with his phone to kill time.

来京11去过11长城長城,12故宫故宮9颐和园頤和園,20鸟巢鳥巢这个這個城市建筑建築悠久历史歷史完全无感。登上长城長城,只会想起孟姜女,很难升腾升騰世界奇迹奇跡民族豪情;走进走進故宫故宮,看到空房子,老家猪圈生动有趣。

In the 11 years since arriving in Beijing, I have gone to the Great Wall 11 times, the Forbidden City 12 times, the Summer Palace nine times, and the Bird’s Nest 20 times. I feel complete indifference for this city’s awesome structures and long history. Climbing the Great Wall, I only think of Lady Meng Jiang, finding it difficult to stir up that lofty pride for the wonders of the world once more; walking into the Forbidden Palace, I see only one empty building after another, which is even less lively and interesting than my hometown’s pigpen.

[Lady Meng Jiang, according to folklore, wept bitterly at the Great Wall for her dead husband, who helped build it.]

很多一提北京首先想到故宫故宮后海798,历史歷史文化高楼大厦高樓大廈这些這些东西東西好不好自豪自豪自豪这些這些东西東西不能当饭北京感受更深拥堵雾霾霧霾高房价,出门出門不能动弹動彈,在家不能呼吸

When bringing up Beijing, so many people think first of the Forbidden City, Houhai, and 798 [Art Zone], of how Beijing has history and culture and high-rises. Are these things good? They are good! Am I proud? I am proud! But these things cannot be what we live off. What Beijingers experience more deeply is the congestion, the smog, the high housing prices; it is how, when leaving the house, you cannot move, and when at home, you cannot breathe.

北京终归是北京北京

Beijing, in the end, is the Beijingers’ Beijing.

如果北京还有還有那么那麼一点一點烟火煙火的话的話那么那麼烟火煙火属于屬於那些祖孙三代居住这个這個城市北京烟火煙火是从北京鸟笼子钻出来,是从晚饭晚飯气定神闲氣定神閒芭蕉扇出来出來,是从出租车出租車司机司機傲慢腔调腔調扯出来……

If Beijing is said to have that hint of the smell of smoke, then that smell of smoke belongs to the old Beijingers who have been living in this city for generations. This smell of smoke curls out of old Beijingers’ birdcages, fans out from the leisurely palm-leaf fan after dinner, is pulled out from the taxi driver’s haughty tone of voice…

北京正在努力这个這個城市保留生活气息,这个這個城市看起来看起來,像是人类人類居住地方

Old Beijingers are currently trying to preserve a bit of breath of life for this city, in order to make this city look like a place where humans live.

北京这点生活气息是从基因传下来是从屁股下面五套房子升腾升騰起来起來西城金融白领白領沉浸年终奖年終獎