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冲浪,其实并不难

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2017年04月21日

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For years, I’ve assumed that surfing is something that other people do. Younger, fitter, people. People who look good in neoprene and have highly developed upper-body strength. In oceans around the world, I’ve swum around surfers, and past them. I’ve observed the mating rituals of surfer dudes and surfer dudettes — the specialised language and elaborate signalling behaviours. And I have bought into the surfing myth: that it is a tough sport for fearless people where only the strong survive.

多年来,我一直以为冲浪是别人玩的运动。它适合身体强壮的年轻人、适合穿上潜水服后形象好,而且上肢力量特别大的人。在全球各大洋,我曾在冲浪者周围游过泳,也曾从他们旁边游过。我也曾仔细观察过男女配对的冲浪动作——具有专门的形体语言与复杂的信息传递行为方式。于是,我对冲浪形成了错误看法:它是无畏者的极限运动,只有身强力壮的人方能胜任。

And then, on the first day of my first surf holiday, I make a key discovery. Five minutes after getting into the water, and on my second-ever wave, I’m standing on my feet and doing a double-handed victory wave as I power towards the shore. My technique consists of belly-flopping on to the board and then somehow scrabbling to my feet. And moments later I’m plunging headlong into the waves. But I have urgent news from the surfing frontline to report and it is this: surfing . . . it’s really not that hard. The surfing myth might be nothing more than ideological propaganda designed to keep middle-aged people like me from making it uncool. Too late. It’s actually a piece of cake, I tell anyone who’ll listen.

然而,在我的首次冲浪假期的第一天,就有了全新发现。入水才五分钟(也是自己有生以来的第二次冲浪尝试),我就成功踏立于水面,并以高举双手的冲浪姿势向着海岸快速冲去。而我受教的技术动作包括了腹部先贴着冲浪板、而后是摇摇晃晃努力站立;再过了一会儿,自己就会一头栽进水里。但我在冲浪一线现场有“紧急军情”向诸位报告,那就是:冲浪……真的不难。冲浪难学也许只是宣传噱头,旨在吓唬住我这样的中年人,让我们觉得这是非同寻常的运动。嘿嘿,一切太晚了!实际上它学起来易如反掌,我来告诉大家这个真相吧。

Sure, I exaggerate a little. I’ve come with my friend, Cath, who jaunts up first thing, pleased with her hired wetsuit until someone points out that she’s put it on back-to-front. When she gets into the sea, she’s beaten back by the waves; an hour later, she trudges back to the beach, dejected, while I attempt, not totally successfully, not to crow.

当然,也许我还是稍有些夸大其辞。我与好友凯茜(Cath)一起来欢度冲浪旅行,她一大早就跑来了,穿着租来的潜水服得意洋洋,最后有人指出她把前后穿反了。她一入水就被海浪打翻;一个小时后,筋疲力尽的她神情沮丧地回到海滩,而我则努力抑制自鸣得意的神情(尽管还是不经意间显露出来)。

“I just don’t think it’s my thing,” she says, only to change her tune entirely half an hour later when she rides her first wave in and is pumping-her-fists-in-the-air jubilant. In truth, both our triumphs have little to do with us and a lot to do with our surfing instructor, Youssef Amzil. He’s there by our sides, choosing the wave and propelling us out on to it on giant, sturdy, spongy beginner’s boards that are not dissimilar to life-rafts.

“我觉得冲浪不是我擅长的。”她说,但半小时后就完全“回心转意”了:她首次成功踏浪,于是高举拳头欢呼雀跃。事实上,我俩的成功与自身毫无关系,功劳首先应归在我俩的冲浪教练优素福•阿姆兹尔(Youssef Amzil)头上。他一直呆在我俩身边,帮我们挑选适宜的海浪,并让我们踩着硕大结实、适合初学者的海绵状冲浪板(酷似救生笺)乘风破浪。

Youssef is a Berber. And, 20 years ago in this part of Morocco, on the Atlantic coast just north of Agadir, he would probably have grown up and become an olive farmer like his father. But in this, the age of budget airlines, he is a surfing Berber. A Berber dude with sun-bleached hair who picks us up in the minibus every morning to drive us to the breaks — oh yes, how quickly I learn the lingo — and plays what sound like Berber surfing classics. It’s the dog days of winter and here, a couple of hours from Stansted, we have stumbled into an Arabic-inflected Beach Boys movie.

优素福是柏柏尔(Berber)人,20年前,在摩洛哥阿加迪尔(Agadir)北边的这片大西洋海域长大,他原本是子承父业:成为一名种植橄榄的农民。但在如今的廉价航空时代,他却成为了一名教授冲浪的柏柏尔人。这位因常年日晒而头发变白的小伙每天一大早用中巴车接我们去游玩(没错,我很快学会了当地方言),并弹奏着酷似柏柏尔风格的经典冲浪乐曲。炎炎冬日里,在距英国斯坦斯特德(Stansted)几个小时航程的摩洛哥,我们仿佛置身于一部阿拉伯风情的“海滩男孩”(Beach Boys)影片中

Surf Maroc, the company we’ve come with, more or less invented the Moroccan surfing holiday. Ollie Boswell and Ben O’Hara, its founders, friends from Swansea University who bonded over their love of surfing, came to Morocco in the early 2000s, stumbled upon Taghazout and set up their first surf camp with five boards in a rented villa.

我们签约的旅行社Surf Maroc算是创推了摩洛哥冲浪度假模式。其创始人奥利•博斯韦尔(Ollie Boswell)与本•奥哈拉(Ben O’Hara)都来自英国斯旺西大学(Swansea University),因酷爱冲浪而成为密友的他们于本世纪初来到摩洛哥,无意中发现了Taghazout这片迷人海滩,于是在当地租借了一幢别墅,用五块冲浪板建起了他俩的首个冲浪训练营。

“I was in Portugal and I saw these people pull up in a bus, get out and surf,” Ollie tells me. “And I rang Ben and said, ‘Surf camps. They’re a thing. This is what we have to do.’ Our theory was that Morocco would be for Europeans what Central America is for Americans, and that’s more or less what’s happened.”

“我当时呆在葡萄牙,看到游客坐着大巴去冲浪。”奥利对我说,“我于是给本打电话,‘冲浪训练营大有可为,咱俩就干这行吧。’我们觉得:摩洛哥对于欧洲人就如同中美洲对于美国人,成功几乎是铁板钉钉的事。”

They’ve gradually grown the business with accommodation across several villas and apartments and, along the way, spawned a mini-industry. I too came to Taghazout in the early 2000s and it was a tiny ramshackle village that had been a hippie outpost in Morocco’s 1960s countercultural heyday — Jimi Hendrix once visited — with smelly rooms to rent, and the only facility a standpipe tap. It’s still pretty ramshackle — but now it’s ramshackle with a surfing theme. Dozens of other operators have aped the surf-holiday formula. But this winter Surf Maroc changed the game again when it opened its first purpose-built boutique hotel, the Amouage.

他俩租用多幢别墅与公寓接待游客,生意就慢慢做大了;随着时间推移,逐渐打造出了一个微型产业。我在本世纪初也曾去过Taghazout,当时这里是个破败小村落:出租屋房间臭气熏天,唯一的设施是竖管式水龙头。在上世纪60年代摩洛哥反文化运动全盛时,Taghazout曾是嬉皮士的前哨阵地,美国著名乐手吉米•亨德里克斯(Jimi Hendrix)也曾造访过它。如今的Taghazout仍旧破败不堪——但现在的它有了冲浪这个旅游主题。几十家旅行社争相推出“冲浪度假”模式。但Surf Maroc今冬又别出心裁:开设了首家专门服务于冲浪度假客的精品酒店——Amouage。

I’m somewhat conflicted about this before I arrive. I’m not sure I want upmarket when it comes to surfing. Isn’t that somehow against the whole surf-camp spirit? Counter to the fundamental dudishness? I’ve seen enough “boutique” hotels to treat the word with caution. But then I walk through the front door, catch a waft of woodsmoke, and succumb instantly. It’s stunning — a modernist, light-filled space that’s been done with real flair and style, the first hotel I’ve been to that looks better in real life than it does in the photos. Cath has arrived on an earlier flight and I find her in a state of overexcitement down in the bar. The floors are poured concrete overlaid with cosy Berber rugs, and there’s a roaring fire burning in the grate — it’s warm and sunny in the day but chilly at night — interesting modern art on the walls and a fabric-covered egg-shaped chair suspended from the ceiling. There’s even alcohol.

抵达Amouage前,我对其定位仍持矛盾看法,自己玩冲浪时需要高档服务吗?这不是与整个冲浪训练营理念相冲突吗?它是否与冲浪运动赖以为本的讲究背道而驰?我见过太多“精品酒店”,定位“精品”时慎之又慎。然而,当我走进酒店前门时,映入眼帘的是柴烟袅袅,立马就被折服了。酒店让我震撼:风格现代、采光充足,既时尚又新潮,这是本人见过的首家实际效果胜过照片形象的酒店。凯茜比我先抵达酒店,我看到坐在酒吧的她异常亢奋。混凝土地面铺着温馨惬意的柏柏尔风格地毯,壁炉中火光熊熊(酒店白天阳光明媚、暖意融融,但晚上却是阵阵寒意),墙上挂着有趣的现代艺术作品,罩着蒙布的蛋形椅子从天花板悬垂而下。酒店还提供酒。

A week or so before departure we’d received an email that had warned us that Taghazout was dry. “Stock up in duty free,” it warned ominously. “But then our licence came through,” says Ollie. And the Amouage now boasts the first bar in Taghazout. “And it’s only taken us 13 years.” Building the hotel was a whole other nightmare, he says, five years of trying to get permissions. “Our default position is to trust people until proven wrong. Here it’s the complete opposite. In business you have to distrust everyone and assume that they are all trying to rip you off. Which they probably are.”

大约动身前一周,我们接到了电子邮件:提醒我们Taghazout气候干燥。“备足免税货品。”邮件提前预告我们,“但当时我们的营业执照到期了。”奥利说。如今的Amouage精品酒店自诩拥有Taghazout首家酒吧。“开设酒吧前前后后花了13年时间。”他又说,建造酒店则是另一场“梦魇”,光申请手续就花了五年时间。“信任对方是我们的默认立场,但事后证明这是错的。在Taghazout,事实与想象完全南辕北辙。在商界,你不能相信任何人,设想对方想方设法坑蒙拐骗。对方往往是如此。”

It was worth it, though. Upstairs, our room is perfect: white, spare with a large wooden decking area and views out to the garden, with its hammocks and loungers and infinity pool, and out to the Atlantic shipping lanes beyond. And, for all the concrete floors, it’s really not a boutique hotel — its surf-camp roots show through: all meals are eaten communally, and there’s even a dorm room. It’s a boutique-ish dorm room, split into mini-cubicles, but a dorm room nonetheless. It was a last-minute addition, Ollie says, but it’s a stroke of genius: it means it avoids the dead-eyed atmosphere you get in places where only couples congregate — where the slightly forced nature of romantic mini-breakdom can result in passive-aggressive outbursts with the breakfast condiments. At Amouage, it’s genuinely friendly and convivial and boasts a revolving cast of old-time surfing pros; people there for a quick blast of sun; long-term guests such as Bertrand, a contractor based in Iraq who uses the place as his home-from-home when he’s back from Helmand; and a large group of friends from Bristol and London on what is their annual surf trip.

然而,这一切努力都是值得的。我走到楼上,看到房间无可挑剔:白色主调,辟出大片木质装饰区域,楼下花园景致尽收眼底:吊床、躺椅以及大泳池,远处大西洋上的运输船一览无遗。尽管是酒店混凝土地面,但它并非真正的精品酒店——冲浪训练营风格显露无遗:每顿饭都一起享用,甚至还有一个集体宿舍。但这是精品酒店风格的宿舍:辟成多个小隔间,然而却是真正的集体宿舍。奥利说,这是最后才隔出来的,但它是灵光乍现的产物:这意味着这儿可避免那种夫妻云集场所直勾勾盯着对方的窘境出现——浪漫小长假那种稍显逼仄的氛围,有时在使用早餐调料时都可能酿成被动性(或主动)冲突。而Amouage酒店的气氛则真正融洽而欢快,它自诩是昔日职业冲浪运动的重现。游客来这里享受短平快的阳光浴,伊拉克承包商伯特兰(Bertrand)这样的长住嘉宾从赫尔曼德省(Helmand)返回此地时,把这里当作第二故乡;而我那些来自英国布列斯托及伦敦的大批友人则每年来此欢度冲浪假期。

James, a sound director in the film industry who lives in south-west London, claims that it’s quicker for him to come surfing here than it is to go to Cornwall. It’s a good line, I tell him, but it’s about as truthful as my surfing-is-a-cakewalk claim. “It is! I’m half an hour from Gatwick. It’s a three-hour flight. And then it’s half an hour in a taxi to the hotel. It’s less than five hours, door-to-door. Plus, it’s cheaper, the weather’s better and you don’t have to sit in a jam on the M5.”

生活在伦敦西南部的电影音效师詹姆斯(James)认为,相比本国的康沃尔(Cornwall),来这里冲浪耗时更短。我说他真会说话,但它与我的冲浪易如反掌的说法一样在理。“对!我住的地方距盖特威克机场(Gatwick)仅半小时车程,坐3小时飞机,再搭半小时出租就能抵达酒店。从伦敦家里到入住酒店,总耗时不到5小时。此外,来此旅游的费用要便宜得多,气候也比康沃尔要好得多,而且无需开着宝马M5忍受一路交通拥堵之苦。”

Their group has grown older with Surf Maroc. But then the surfing demographic has grown older and more affluent as the company has, though Taghazout still has a rakish charm. Amouage is on the fringes of the town, which is a plus-point, because while the tiny beach is an Instagrammable jumble of whitewashed houses and fishing boats, the infrastructure hasn’t quite kept up with the pace of change, and when the wind turns, there’s a faint but undeniable whiff of sewers in the air.

他们这么多年来一直是Surf Maroc旅行社的老主顾。然而,来此冲浪度假的游客也成了多年的回头客,而且也与Surf Maroc一样经济实力大增,尽管Taghazout仍有着不拘俗套的迷人魅力。Amouage酒店位于小镇边上,这算是闪光点,原因是,这片海滩面积很小,尽管遍布的白色房子和渔船很值得在Instagram炫耀,但小镇的基础设施仍差强人意,每当刮海风时,空气中总飘着污水的臭味。

But change is coming. The coast is mile after mile of sandy beaches but the Moroccan government has earmarked it all as a tourist development zone. I walk back from the break each day after our surf lesson — 5km along an empty shore — and all the way there are cranes and half-built hotels, though much of it looks stalled, a development bubble that’s waiting for better economic times.

但小镇正在发生沧桑巨变。这段海岸有着绵延的沙滩,摩洛哥政府已把它全部辟为旅游发展区。我每天上完冲浪课后步行回酒店时(5公里的空旷海滩),一路上看到的尽是吊车与正在兴建的酒店,尽管很多像是烂尾楼,这些泡沫经济时代的产物正等待着经济恢复景气。

Amouage is undeniably slick but it feels a million miles from the corporate hospitality industry. Ben and Ollie both have young families they’re bringing up in Taghazout, and everything about the operation has been done with love and care, from the vintage Arabic found objects interspersed through the hotel with works made by a series of visiting artists, to the plentiful meals — chicken with harissa and yoghurt, and great bowls of salad — eaten, family-style, staff and guests together. And there’s such an enjoyable rhythm to the holiday: the surf lessons give it structure, and the feel-goodness of being outside in the sun doing something active in the middle of winter has the power of a drug. A drug with side-effects: bruised ribs, battered shoulders, pulled muscles. I can feel every one of my intercostal muscles — all sore.

Amouage酒店无疑很漂亮,但距离商务接待行业标准还有很大差距。本与奥利都是刚在Taghazout成家立业,无论是酒店布置的阿拉伯老古董(用造访酒店的艺术家设计的作品穿插点缀)、还是全家享用或员工游客共用的丰盛美食(哈里萨辣酱鸡、酸奶以及大碗沙拉),他俩都用心去经营。整个冲浪假期安排得有趣又愉快:冲浪课是主线,在隆冬时节炎炎烈日下的冲浪实战让人欲罢不能。但这种上瘾有众多“副作用”:肋骨瘀青、肩膀磨损以及肌肉拉伤。每次冲浪后,我感觉自己每块肋间肌肉都在酸痛。

Which is where the yoga comes in. There are lessons twice a day at sunrise and sunset and, despite the late nights, it’s not hard to get up for 7am to go up to the roof and watch the sky turn pink while a pack of feral of dogs howls in the background. Though I enjoy it at sunset even more. Cath grumbles but I like what I think of as the teacher Rebecca’s brutal existentialism. Her yoga isn’t about mixy-matchy Sweaty Betty outfits. “You are born alone,” she says at one point as the sun drifts down over the Atlantic and the dogs start to yowl. “And you will die alone.”

此时瑜伽就能大显身手了:每天早晚各练一次;尽管练得很晚,但第二天早上7点仍能起床到酒店顶上练瑜伽——同时欣赏日出美景,而此时一群野狗在四处吠叫。然而,我尤其喜欢在日落时分练瑜伽。凯茜对此颇有微词,但我却很喜欢教练里贝卡(Rebecca)的所谓野蛮存在主义(existentialism,强调个人、独立自主和主观经验)。她的瑜伽课并非穿完美混搭的Sweaty Betty运动装。“人都是孤零零来到世界,”看到太阳慢慢消失在海平面下、并开始听到野狗的吠叫声,她这样说道,“也都是孤零零离开人世。”

Well, yes. But before then, there’s sea and surf and Moroccan red wine. Are there many people like us, I ask Ollie. The mid-life surfers? “Tonnes. At least half the people who come are trying it for the first time.” First time, but certainly not the last.

没错。但离世之前,自己却大可欣赏海景、享受冲浪以及尽情享用摩洛哥红酒。我问奥利:我们这样人到中年的冲浪者是否有很多?“数不胜数。来这里旅游的人至少有一半都是平生第一次玩冲浪。”首次玩冲浪,但肯定不会是最后一次。

Details

详情介绍

Carole Cadwalladr was a guest of Surf Maroc, which offers a week’s accommodation at the Amouage in an ocean view room from £574, including surf guiding, transfers from Agadir airport, breakfast, yoga sessions and packed lunches.

卡洛尔•卡德瓦拉德是Surf Maroc旅行社游客。Amouage酒店海景房一周最低费用574英镑,其中包括了教习冲浪、阿加迪尔机场接送、早餐、瑜伽课以及提供盒饭。
 


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