這答案十居其九可以換來對方奇妙的靜默。一位友人回應道：「那不是defeat 了working holiday 的purpose 嗎？」
當我在籌備人生第一次的長假時，不時想起十八世紀時歐洲學識份子間流行的Grand Tour。為此我把這個遊記取名為A Sentimental Journey to the East（取自Laurence Sterne A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy）。中文雖然叫東遊記，我想在途上遇到的不會是甚麼妖魔鬼怪，而是風光明媚－－或者外加幾隻龍貓和鬼太郞吧（笑）。
This is already the 6th day since I arrived at Kyoto, and I finally got a chance to write this first piece. There are too many things to do (and be done) in Japan, and I shall have to learn to take things easily and slowly. If ever there is anything that one should achieve in a working holiday, a change of attitude must be among one of the first things.
Before I set off, I told numerous people that I am going on a working holiday in Japan. The most frequent response I got was: “Then what work are you going to do there?"
Slowly I took my breath, and replied (depending on who was asking), “I am not going to work/I will travel a bit first and decide later on."
This would lead to an amusing silence at the other side. One acquaintance responded, “Then wouldn’t that defeat the whole purpose of a working holiday?"
Working holiday = Work. Such is the general perception of working holiday among Hong Kong people. Perhaps it is because ‘working’ comes before ‘holiday’ in working holiday. But for those who have applied for a working holiday visa, they know that the chief purpose of the visa is holiday, and the working part is just a means for the visa holder to ensure he/she has enough funds to sustain they extended holiday overseas.
Furthermore, if what I do in Hong Kong is work, and what I do in Japan is work, then why do I have to go through all the troubles getting a working holiday visa just to do the same things in Japan? And when in our short life can we ever have a real holiday?
While I was planning my long vacation, the Grand Tour fashionable among the European upper-class young men in the 18th century kept coming up in my mind. And thus I name my travelogue after Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy.
So let my grand tour begin.