⟨ Book ⟩

Furze Chan’s Return

And yours.

Words / Jas Tse
Photography / Furze Chan, Kimio Ng
Translation / Iris Heung

你比我更懂我。什麼時候有過這種感覺呢。通過別人的眼睛看自己,總有那麼一點不符合實情,但又偶爾給發現遮蔽良久的小角落。Furze就是能看見這種。

讀著她的旅日食事,看著美味的畫面吞嚥口水,「味道該沒有高賤之分」,與她一樣饞嘴的便是忠實讀者,我是其中之一。單純享受料理的人很容易快樂,在樸實的生活場所中,而日常其實不太平凡,但吃到美味的時候,紊亂的心便能安穩著陸。如冬日裡的熱湯,撫慰身心的喫食吃喝。某些味道之所以獨特,是憶起了某段時間的自己,也發覺記得的比想像中多。

You understand me more than I understand myself. When did I have such a feeling? Looking at myself through others’ eyes always gives me a somewhat surreal feeling, but occasionally it also exposes some hidden parts of my personality. Furze is exactly the person who lends me such a lens.

Reading her Japan food journal, the beautiful illustrations of the tasty dishes all look so appetizing. “Food should not be classified as high-end or low-end”, any foodie can become one of her loyal readers like myself. People who have a pure passion for food know how to make themselves happy. Like how we can find extraordinary happenings in our ordinary everyday life, delicacies can always calm a disquieted soul, as a warm soup in winter soothes both the body and the mind. Some tastes are unique because they can recall moments that you did not realize they were so vividly imprinted in your mind.

有時她的回憶跟你的會連接起來。她說喫茶店裡深煎咖啡的氣味,登時讓我很想念在京都怎麼也喝不膩的whisky coffee。她說到蒲燒鰻魚的外脆內嫩,讓我想起自己不小心點了中等size的「鰻重」才發覺量太多,但又因為鰻魚太過美味而勢必要吃光的旅人甘願。

Her memory and yours may sometimes cross path. When she talked about the fragrance of the dark roast coffee in the kissatens(喫茶店), I instantly thought of the Whisky coffee that I enjoyed so much in Kyoto. When she talked about the juicy Japanese eel that is crispy on the outside, it recalled my memory of having the medium-sized Japanese eel rice box. Not wanting to waste the chance of enjoying such delicacy, I tried so hard to finish it even the portion was way too big.

有趣是我不斷往回看這書,就想到,Furze是不是也這樣呢,以這書往返那段日本四國之旅,好像不曾離開,偶爾折返遊人之身才嘗到的吃喝滋味。對愛吃的人來說,美味當然重要,一口口吃進肚子都會留下痕跡疊成記憶,點滴回味能拯救低迷,覺得能再走個幾公里。

Reading the book over and over again, I began to wonder, do Furze and I share the same experience? The trip to Shikoku in Japan seems to be continuing; it is a treat exclusive to the taste bud of travelers. Delicacy is certainly important to food lovers, on the other hand, everything you eat would become part of the memory, which can someday save you from the low point of your life and give you the strength to continue moving forward again.

像有時候我不發一言,腦海漂流在記憶中的街道,吸著冷得讓人發抖卻惦念的空氣,在街角的自動販賣機靈活地投入硬幣,喝一口不太對味的罐裝黑咖啡,只想服用夜裡亮著的溫暖。僅此而已。記憶的氣味、溫度,所有內心活動,比現實都更要真實。

那些會讓你雙眼閃爍,自然放鬆焦距,只享受當下的瞬間,也因為到處走走,有時是隨便散步,突然能夠不假思索,寫完多年前說到一半的句子,好像走了很多路之後,感受終變得完整。

Sometimes I would just stay silent and let my memory drift back to the cherished scenes of streets where the air was too cold to breathe. Casually tossing a coin into the vending machine and had a sip of the not-so-authentic canned black coffee, all I wanted was to fill my body with the glittering warmth at night. No more and no less. The fragrance and temperature from my memory, the emotion I had, they are more vivid than reality.

Encounters that catch your attention would let you relax and focus on enjoying the moment. Sometimes while taking a random stroll, you could finish a broken sentence that you began writing a few years back, as though having a walk completes your train of thought.

一直上路,又回家,又填跑肚子,像這樣不斷循環。美食能夠慰藉就足矣,吧?同樣被深深折騰過才了然於心這種快樂。類似於連續加班幾天以後,在盛滿sake的杯子前,什麼都別說,把頭靠近,狠狠呷一口,「啊 —— 」一聲掉落是同路人的默契。那刻才算開始啊!「請多多指教!」總是會這般說了一遍又一遍。

Heading out, going home, filling up the empty stomach — this is a loop that goes on and on. Is delicious food comforting enough? Returning to the peace of mind after an exhausting time, does this feel the same as gulping down a big sip of Japanese sake after working overtime for a few days in a row? Let the alcohol flow down your throat to start everything anew, you would then be ready for another challenge.

日常有時像一顆銀鈴叮叮噹噹在路上滾著,也像片薄得隨風吹起的紙船搖曳半空,跌撞的時候沒留神牆上的鐘,卻終於寫得了幸福的文章。如果有被人撿起、讀著,記得拿自動販賣機的黑咖啡來配。

Everyday life could be like a jingling bell rolling on the road, a weightless paper boat swinging in the air, you have no idea how much time has passed. No matter what it was, life brought me to finish writing a passage of joy. If someone, by any chance, picks up the passage to read, they should read it with a can of black coffee from the vending machine.