寫在前頭|Preface|はじめに

清水五条-到埗京都第一次看到的櫻花|The first Sakura I see at Kiyomizu Gojo, Kyoto|清水五条で初めての桜

清水五条-到埗京都第一次看到的櫻花|The first Sakura I see at Kiyomizu Gojo, Kyoto|清水五条で初めての桜

 

來到京都已經第六天,才終於靜下來寫這第一篇。原本還打算每天都寫,但在日本想做(和要做)的太多,我要慢慢學懂放下執着,隨遇而安。如果說我辭掉了喜歡的工作,拿着所有積蓄隻身跑來日本一年工作假期是為了要獲得甚麼的話,那心態的改變應該是第一樣。

走之前跟身邊的人說我要去日本工作假期一年,得到的第一個反應十居其九(包括家中兩老),都是「那你在日本打算做甚麼工作?」

我深深吸一口氣,然後說(視乎對方是誰):「我不打算工作/先到處遊玩,遲些再找。」

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?」

工作假期=工作,那是普遍香港人對工作假期的認知。可能是因為工作假期的「工作」是放在「假期」之前的緣固吧。但其實申請過工作假期簽證的人都會知道,工作假期的目的是假期,而工作只是讓持證者能確保自己有充足生活費和旅費完成一年海外假期的手段而已。

再者,如果我在香港時人在打工,來到日本時人又在打工,那麼我為甚麼要千辛萬苦的去申請一個工作假期簽證做同一件事,又人生甚麼時候才可以真正的放假呢。

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.

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