【澳門異鄉人】這裡就是我的家 —專訪來自比利時的Catherine

走在澳門街上總會碰到很多在澳門生活的外國人,有時甚至好奇他們為甚麼會在這裡生活,當我們都在控訴這個地方各方面都不好,常常嚷著要到外國生活的時候,有些外國人卻認為在澳門生活很安穩,更認定這裡是他們的家。

Walking on streets of Macau, we see foreigners everywhere. Sometimes, we wonder why they choose to stay here when we’re so dissatisfied with this place and are keen to live abroad.

A1

Catherine在比利時出生和長大,雖然很多在澳門長大的葡人都會說廣東話,但看著一個完完全全中北歐面孔的外國人,總不會想到她的廣東話能夠如此流利。Catherine的母語是法語和荷蘭語,除了母語和英語外,她還學過德語、俄語、普通話和韓語等。對於我來說,比利時從來都是都市人夢想的退休勝地。我主觀地想,在這種仙境般的地方長大,怎麼能適應澳門的擁擠生活呢?

Before she came to Macau, Catherine grew up in Belgium and spent two years in Russia. Although there are many Portuguese in Macau who speak Cantonese, looking at Catherine who has a beautiful Northern-Central European face, I have no idea why she speaks Cantonese so fluently. Her native languages are French and Dutch. Moreover, she speaks English, German, Russian, Mandarin, and Korean as well. For many urbanites, Belgium is a desirable place to live. So how could people who have been living in that dreamy place then get used to living in Macau?

A2

她的丈夫是澳門人,他們在比利時認識,大仔和二女都是在比利時出世。大概六年前當她有了第三位小孩,便決定跟丈夫一起回到澳門生活。Catherine說,因為在歐洲長大的關係,常常有機會去遊歷歐洲其他國家,成長時又在俄羅斯住過兩年。所以來到澳門後,對於文化和種族差異反而沒有太大的不習慣。她覺得在這裡生活很舒服,因為地方很小。「在這個小城生活,好像到處都會碰到認識的人。這個感覺好像在家鄉一樣,只是這裡的人在街上碰到的時候很少會走過來打招呼,但幾天之後會在網上跟我說前幾天在哪裡見過我,我覺得很有趣。」可能這是現今社會的交際方式。

Her husband is a Macaoese; they met each other in Belgium. Their first son and second daughter were born in Belgium as well. Six years ago, she came to Macau accompanied by her husband. As Catherine says, it’s easy to go to other countries in Europe when she lived in Belgium; that made her travel a lot. So she has gotten used to her life in Macau very smoothly without being disoriented. Instead, she thinks it’s quite pleasant to live in Macau as it’s so tiny and cosy. “I feel like home because I always meet someone on the streets, but they don’t usually say hello to me; they’d text me a few days later to tell me that they have met me somewhere. That’s funny." Maybe it’s the way people socialise in today’s world.

A3

澳門是一個很多外國人來工作的地方,Catherine主修旅遊,來到澳門時選擇了當一位教師。對於不少來到澳門生活的歐洲人來說,教英語是一個非常熱門的行業。Catherine曾於一間中文學校任教英語。全校的職員中幾乎只有她一位外國人,「最初時其他老師、學生和家長對我很好奇,常常問我很多問題。但『外國人』這個身份也會帶給我一點好處。中學生的煩惱不比大人少,但往往沒有渠道宣泄。他們覺得我是一位『外國老師』,思想就會比較開放、不會責備他們。所以經常在下課時,學生們都會來到我的辦公位跟我聊天。試過因為這樣騷擾到其他老師,校長得知後就給我提供了一間辦公室,讓學生來找我的時候可以在辦公室內傾訴,又不怕騷擾到其他職員。校長的要求就是學生找我聊天的時候要講英文,我認為對於我和學生們來說,這都是一個很好的溝通和學習機會。」學生們的信任對於一位老師來說尤其重要,而這件事亦是她在澳門其中一件很感動和難忘的事情。

Macau is an easy place for foreigners. Catherine studied tourism in university, but instead of working in the tourism industry, she works as a teacher. For many English-speaking foreigners, teaching English is a popular job in Macau. She taught English in a Chinese middle school. Being the only foreign teacher in the school, she was questioned about everything. “But sometimes it made my work easier. Some secondary students used to come to my desk to share their problems with me, because they think a foreign teacher must be open to their thoughts, and that’s true. Then the students came more often to my desk, and it disturbed the teachers who sat close to me. Someday the principal noticed and offered me an office, so I could communicate with the students without annoying the other teachers. Also, the principal told the students that they could only speak English when they talked to me. It was a good opportunity to communicate and learn for both the students and me," Catherine says. For a teacher, trust from students is essential, and that became a very remarkable and touching factor for me.

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一位有三個小孩的在職媽媽,平常的生活定必很忙碌,她的丈夫是一位時裝編輯,能夠在家工作也可以處理家中的事務。假日時他們夫婦會去看電影和逛街。或者帶小孩去竹灣海灘玩耍,Catherine說他們很喜歡竹灣,好像離開了繁忙的澳門,整個環境都很舒服。也會帶小孩到公園遊玩,讓他們可以隨意奔跑。

The life of a working mom with three children can be exhausting, Catherine’s husband is a fashion editor who works at home, so he’s able to take care of the homework. During their days off, the couple usually go shopping and watching movies. The kids love to go to Cheoc Van Beach. That’s their favourite place in Macau. “In Cheoc Van, I feel like I’m somewhere else," she says. Going to parks is also a perfect activity to keep the kids happy all day.

以前在比利時的屋外面有個小花園,小朋友都能在那裡亂跑一通。而每戶相鄰的花園也能給不同家庭的小朋友們一起遊玩。「在比利時的時候,我們和鄰居都很熟稔,小朋友一起玩,大家也常到鄰居的家裡一起用餐,大人要外出時,會把小孩帶到鄰居家中看顧。」Catherine剛到澳門的時候曾經有位鄰居跟她一樣是一位教師,大家的小朋友年紀也差不多,她們也會把家門打開讓小孩一齊玩耍。「我喜歡融洽的社區,就像前陣子的天鴿風災,看到街上的人在派水互相幫助,我感動得幾乎哭了出來。」她認為,澳門這樣的小城,人與人之間的關係應該可以更加密切。

Our house in Belgium had a small garden so that the neighbourhood kids can play together in it. “In Belgium, we’re very close with our neighbours; kids ran between each others’ houses, played together. We had some other neighbours over for a meal. When the adults needed to go out, we took care of each others’ kids," she continues. “My first neighbour I met when I moved to Macau was a teacher; when I’m working as a teacher as well, we talked a lot and let the kids play together with the door opened. I like living in a close-knit community; it reminds me of Typhoon Hato, I saw people distributing bottled water on the streets, and some organisers also went door-to-door to hand out water to the elders and families with kids. I was moved to tears; her voice becomes sentimental. Catherine thinks that people can always have a closer relationship in a small city like Macau.

Catherine深知道溝通的重要性,亦知道她要在這個地方生活就要尊重這個地方的文化和語言。來到澳門只有六年便能夠完完全全以粵語來對答整篇訪問。在我眼前的她,是一個完全融入了的澳門人,也是一個愛著這片土地的人。

She knows the importance of communicating and the value in respecting the different cultures and languages when moving to a new country. Catherine has lived in Macau for only six years, yet she can understand and answer my questions in Cantonese; her words are sobering. The European woman who’s sitting in front of me is someone who fully assimilated into Macau’s culture, and she also loves it.

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