Make friends with the world-Southern Europe 和世界做朋友-南歐篇

<<中英對照 Text in English & Chinese>>

2018年10月1日 Corfu Island, Greece 希臘科孚島

With Elena

Our Greek guide Elena, very educated with enthusiasm about world cultures and history. She was once in a volunteer program in Japan. And there in Greece, I was the volunteer sent from Japan. We just switched places after these years?!
She also told me about her private life, including a love story which took place during those months in Japan. However there was no happy ending. She left broken hearted back in Greece but after many years, she is in a much better place.

Oh, there was another side story!
Right after visiting a monastery, we got back on the bus with 4 passengers MISSING!!! It was before lunch time, people started to get a little impatient and we were already behind schedule. The staff asked the bus driver to call the restaurant while Elena and I went looking for the missing lambs. We went shop by shop, shouting our car number out loud for their attention but without success (We use car number to identify to tour group). We started to walk up again into the mountains, only then we saw two of them and were informed that the other two were even far behind. They blamed the staff for not explicitly indicating the turn outside the monastery. Although it was quite simple as we just had to follow the same street down but they went up into the mountains instead. While the staff and those passengers were shooting arrows at each other, Elena and I were just felt relieved that they have made their way back and that we can move on to our next destination…



2018年10月3日 Dubrovnic, Croatia 克羅地亞 杜布羅夫尼克

Our guide, Magda or Maggie, our bride-to-be (was getting married in November, I asked because she was wearing her engagement ring). There we experienced the vibrant life in Konavle region and did some sightseeing in Dubrovnik old town.

The weather so sunny and beautiful in every way. We visited the winery, tasted local wine and cheese, followed by local lunch at a traditional house. It was a very lovely tour that brought smiles on people’s faces (Maybe because they could drink all the wine they want?! ).

However, not everything was perfect. At times, I could sense some tension among the Peace boat staff, passengers and the guide. There was an episode about whether water that was served was drinkable. The staff asked whether it is tap water, if it is safe. From the boat’s side, they wanted to make sure it wouldn’t upset the stomachs of the passengers as they have been drinking only the filtered water on the cruise for a while. But for the host, they simply offered what they drink locally. There was really no right or wrong from either sides but I personally wouldn’t want to offend the locals. Certain way of questioning, would make them feel like we are implying that their drinking water is not safe. I think it would have been perceived better if we could explain upfront that the passengers are not used to drinking tap water and there was different type of water in Japan and on the boat.

Also for the coffee, it was mentioned to be Turkish “black coffee”. But it came with the type of coffee that has way too much sugar in it. Not many people could drink that but then again we were told that it was the local flavor. So it’s all part of the experience. 😉
I mean people travel to appreciate foreign landscapes and cultures so who could blame on those differences? It is for those differences, our world is beautiful, isn’t it?

That day I learned to make friends with everyone, the guide, staff, the hosts and try to keep a friendly connection among everyone. As an interpreter, how you say things could totally change a person’s perception about the very same matter. The communication could go beyond languages. A long face or a tensed face, for some people might find it rude. I understand that most people are not looking for troubles and their requests might most likely be reasonable. If they feel heard, whether things go as their way or not, it would be better appreciated. So as a CC (Communication Coordinator), we don’t have to interpret everything. The important thing is to share the same goal with the team and for the better, we shouldn’t have to interpret everything literally. There are times to leave things out or add more explanation. 🥰





2018年10月4日 Kotor, Montenegro科托爾,黑山共和國

With our guide Neda on the left and the other guide
on the right for a group of Japanese guests. Thanks to the girls, I got my free coffee and biscuits (I ate one and share one with my roommate on the boat)!

Nada is a mom of two kids, recently separated from her husband. She’s relatively new in the travel business as she made a career change from a tax officer to a job she loves, now with two years experience or so. I felt she was more like a friend and in case you ask about something she’s not sure, she would look it up instantly to give you the correct answer. It was like catching up with a friend over a cup of coffee, that kind of feeling. Very relaxing.😊



2018年10月6日 Palermo, Italy 意大利 巴勒莫

Our guide, Francesca

Francesca was a typical Sicilian girl according to her. “Sicilians are arguably ethnically distinct from Italians, due to the heavier Greek ancestry and also the presence of Phoenician/Arab ancestry, Sicilians are known for being somewhat darker than most other Italians, and have more pronounced Mediterranean facial features (i.e. fuller lips, thicker eyebrows, larger noses, etc.).”

Together we did some sightseeing in Palermo and Monreale.
The tour with her was a bit rushed. She was friendly but seemed somewhat nervous partially due to the malfunction of the “whispering” interpreting devices and partially because it was a busy Saturday and she wanted to make sure we were on schedule.



其中有一件有趣的事,有一個一起走过的景点『四首歌广场(意大利語:Quattro Canti),因为前一天恶补了旅游书上的资料,我问为什么叫这个名字。她说:「嗯?哪里有歌?虽然Canti字意也有歌的意思,但也有角落的意思,这正指的是四个角落。」我恍然大悟,原来所有旅游书都是抄来抄去,只要第一个人翻错了,之后就全都错了。翻译果然是个神圣的工作!

Oh, there was something interesting. As I studied the tourist information the day before, I remember a tourist site called Quattro Canti, in Chinese it was translated as “the square of 4-songs” I then asked the guide why it was given a name like that. She said: “What song? Although canti can be a song, it also means corner so here’s a square of 4 corners. I suddenly realized why all the info I found referred to that square as being musical 🤭. It’s because when the very first translator got the meaning wrong, all the rest simply copied and without questioning. Haha, the job of a translator couldn’t be more sacred, we might need to carry the cross for all generations to come😂 .


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