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四处游荡的艾小柯

四处游荡的艾小柯

My Little Travel World


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两万里逃难记(34)—— 中国殖民地


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2005年12月18日 

            

位于洛杉矶市中心的老中国城实在是一块神秘又奇怪的土地。

            

仅有几街之隔,洛杉矶市中心商业区是高楼林立,夜晚华灯璀璨,那绝对是走在时尚的最前端;而老中国城却是一片红香绿玉的旖旎风情,时光上仿佛倒退了数十年。据说,这里的华裔大概有20万,大部分来自广东与四川,在中国城里经营餐饮业与小商品贸易。

               

沿着北Hill Street与北Spring Street慢慢逛下去,街边是一个个的小店铺,卖的是刺绣与镶着塑料闪光片的俗气绣花鞋,大小红绿蓝塑料盆,开箱散装花旗参,大小河海干货海鲜,一盒一盒从中国进口的中药西药。靠近公车站是街头报刊摊,摆满了香港明报壹周刊,大陆台湾的各种杂志。街对面一个小火车站,建的是飞檐翘角,外贴红黄琉璃瓦。这里的的街名在英文下面都是中文注释,连美国的银行橱窗里的广告全部都是中文。

             

早起与大伟去吃早点,穿过一片仿佛南京夫子庙商业区的红墙绿瓦。南方风格西饼店外聚集着几十位闲逛的中年与老年人。他们大都穿着蓝黑长裤,毛线织的马甲,围着一个象棋盘谈笑风生。和国内捧着小茶壶溜早的老头们唯一的区别在于,他们大多喝的是纸杯的咖啡。小区中心花池子边坐着许多老头老太在唠嗑,也有年轻点的男人,穿着仿佛中山装的深蓝套装,脚上一双白色球鞋,手里拎个塑料袋,双眼茫然,不知道是等待开工还是纯粹发呆。

             

穿过小区拐个弯是个潮州小饭馆,早点正卖豆浆油条。窗户上贴着彩色电光纸剪成的“米饭、炒面”字迹,有些地方字迹脱落了,露出常年缺乏清洁沾满尘土的黑边。小饭馆里面桌凳还算清洁,靠近后堂供着关公神龛,红色长明灯幽幽的亮着,香炉里有几根残香。

             

老板娘是潮州人,已经在这里生活经营了17年。大概是店里没人,她乐得跟我们聊天,顺便拼命推销店里的招牌炒河粉。来美国几年,小柯与大伟哪见过如此热情拼命推销的仗势,不得已点了个炸鱼丸,算不辜负老板娘的一番苦心。店里人少,除了老板娘,还有一位年约五十的大妈,黑色九分筒裤,黑色宽根皮鞋,露出白白的一截袜子,上罩一件红粉小夹克,明明是七十年代装扮。她不时走到门口,讲起带着浓重潮州口音的英文向过往行人招徕生意。小柯吃着油条,喝着装在塑料红花大碗里的甜豆浆,一时间突然时空错乱,我难道穿越了时空隧道,回到三、四十年代的上海小镇?

                

老板娘话多,拼命问我们哪里来的,到洛杉矶做什么。临走顺便推销朋友代卖的便宜毯子,吉祥话一句接一句。我和大伟几乎是逃一样跑出来,总算吸两口新鲜空气。路边的小学里小孩正在早操,满眼都是中国小孩,隐隐有广东话传进耳朵,仔细听,又好像是英文。

              

大伟说:“这哪里是美国?明明就是旧中国,是美国里的中国殖民地。”这话总结得真好。老中国城里的移民都来得早,在这里几十年。他们会讲英语的少,整个社区里自给自足,所有新闻消息要么人传人,要么来自过期了的香港台湾报纸杂志。与改革开放后的大陆相比,这里消息其实更为闭塞。近年来移民政策收紧,新来移民减少,年轻人更不愿意到如此传统乃至落后的地区生活,老中国城缺乏新鲜血液的供给。在这种情况下,这里如同把几十年前的中国原封不动搬到洛杉矶,封闭起来,原汁原味到底。

              

老中国城里是吃不到新近流行的四川水煮鱼,内蒙小肥羊或者麻辣小龙虾的。这里只有传统的海鲜,清蒸鲈鱼,姜葱龙虾的味道倒也新鲜可口。要吃好的,就要去洛杉矶周边的新中国城,比如San Gabriel大街。这里的中国城离传统很远,店铺崭新,中国字的超级霓虹灯闪耀着北京上海广州一样的蓬勃生机。随便一家饭馆,四川湖南天津北京,各地美食味道都是一等一的超级顶呱呱。在这里,英文是不必讲的,中文足够。

             

 洛杉矶,旧金山,还有加州的广袤土地,实实在在是移民的天堂。从文化上讲,这里就是新意义上的中国殖民地,是无数人梦想开始的地方。         

                

老中国城里的美龄路

 

潮州小馆


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December 20th, 2007
Posted by aixiaoke | 两万里逃难记, 短篇游记 | no comments

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