I walked out of the subway with Ezra Pound’s poem in my heart, and then walked to the central shopping mall with my own poem. Hello, Miss Sister, can you give me a minute? A little brother in a blue suit stopped me with a smile. He has a baby face, hair dyed golden yellow, freckles on his cheeks, and a stack of prints under his armpits.
Nowadays, it is popular to call up Miss Sister. Before, I called my sister. Before that, call Miss. This kind of situation has been encountered at the entrance of a large shopping mall or on a flyover. It is not selling hair styles, swimming fitness, and beautifying bodies. I smiled lightly and walked around him.
Sister, wait a minute, are you interested in learning English? He asked, jogging behind me.
Not interested, thank you. I answered politely and moved forward.
You have a very good temperament when you look at it. To tell you, you look very much like my American friend Daisy…
I hesitated in my footsteps. When I was in college, my English name was also Daisy. At the same time, There was a feeling of being touched in my mind, and I suddenly felt that the pearl necklace I wore before going out was a bit old-fashioned.
Perhaps because of that second of hesitation, I heard the little brother in a blue suit say: I have been standing on this street for so long, and I knew at a glance that you were the person we were looking for.
Speaking of it, I am no stranger to English. I majored in English at university, but after graduation, I worked as an accountant, and I returned the knowledge I learned when I was young to my teacher. After my son finished his PhD and stayed in the United States to work, I would visit my son every year and stay there for two months to cook for my son and also invite my son’s foreign neighbors to eat. Every time, I saw my son chatting with the neighbors very happily, but I couldn’t insert a few words. I was ashamed to tell them that I used to major in English.
Do I look like someone who loves to learn?
Haha, that’s it, we have a free course collection activity. His voice sounds very sincere, you might as well experience it, here, the center is there. He pointed to the building on his right.
Okay, I said.
A girl in professional attire and high heels greeted her and introduced herself as a consultant. The little brother in the blue suit said goodbye to me and bowed politely.
The girl enthusiastically took me to visit the teaching and office areas. Some stylishly dressed people, including Chinese and foreigners, walked around or whispered inside. They looked very advanced and somewhat mysterious. On the second floor, it is a large flat floor. The open space is divided into a grid position, and each position has a computer. The girl in high heels led me to the office on the first floor and spoke English to a guy in a striped long-sleeved shirt. The young man introduced himself as Jack, who was the deputy principal of the center. Jack asked me straightforwardly, what is the purpose of learning English. I said: You don’t need to ask for help if you go abroad to see your son. Jack raised his hand, snapped his fingers at me, and said, you have found the right place.
Jack sat under an advertising picture of “Born to be fearless and brave enough to venture into the world” and began to introduce me. He spoke very carefully and eloquently, mixed with many words that I understand or did not understand, and the ballpoint pen in his hand. Write and draw on a piece of A4 paper. The girl in high heels came in and brought me a cup of coffee and a plate of fruit salad. Jack cites a life-changing case of learning a new language, as well as the embarrassment and embarrassment of not knowing a foreign language. I heard all the migraines. The girl in high heels walked in and opened a small bottle of “Dotter” essential oil to give me a shoulder and neck massage. Ten minutes later, my migraine was gone. Jack asked me to say the word “thank you”. After I said it several times, Jack silently shook his head. Then he made a demonstration for me, grinning, showing his teeth and tongue, emphasizing the importance of biting the tongue. This trick is so powerful that it makes me feel ashamed of the “thank you” I have said in the past years. At that moment, it was dusk outside. Jack said you are hungry. I said I am not hungry. Soon, a light dinner of quinoa, chicken and tomatoes was delivered to my table by a takeaway. After eating the chicken salad, I followed the high-heeled girl to the finance room, signed the contract, and paid the two-year tuition. So, I regained this English name: Daisy.
I admit, this is my longest shopping experience in recent years.
Most of the people who come to the center are young people. Some college students who have not graduated soon are looking for or changing jobs. There are various occupations, including nurses, doctors, IT engineers, tour guides, airport security inspectors, as well as private business owners who are engaged in foreign trade, and middle-aged people who are going to accompany them to study.
The second weekend, I met Betty. At that time, she was sitting next to the water dispenser, lowering her head to eat Japanese rice balls bought in the supermarket next door.
I greeted her with a cup of Lipton black tea bags floating.
Hello, my name is Daisy.
She looked up in surprise. I saw a dark yellow, dry, wrinkled face. She leaned on the table, holding a thermos cup filled with wolfberries. On the backrest, there is a canvas bag hanging. At this moment I felt familiar with her.
Hello, my name is Betty. She answered vaguely, trying to swallow the food in her mouth as soon as possible, then took out the napkin, wiped her mouth hurriedly, cleared her throat, and repeated clearly: Hello, my name is Betty.
She is indeed very old, but there is a gleam of light in her eyes.
You too… I asked.
Yes, Betty said, I bought ten experience lessons.
I have always opposed judging people by appearance, but this familiar Betty seems to be a little different from the upcoming high-end English course. I felt a little embarrassed, as if let her know what I was thinking. I winked at her, and she winked at me. I smiled at her, and she smiled at me. Seeing a trace of dark green moss leaves on her teeth, I hurriedly turned away.
After the class started, the teachers called her Mrs. Betty, so everyone called her Mrs. Betty. Although no one said it publicly, everyone felt that she had nothing to do with this space. She was wearing dirty old sneakers and loose sportswear, and she seemed to have the smell of a vegetable market.
When she went to the English corner, Mrs. Betty always sat in the middle of the first row, like a Maitreya Buddha, with a canvas bag on her knees and a notebook on the canvas bag.
Some students with a sense of superiority, consciously or unconsciously, also like to brush up on Mrs. Betty’s sense of presence.
——Mrs. Betty, please move a little to the side, don’t block my cell phone signal. Mark said with a smile on his face. Mark is a tour guide and the most joking boy in the class. As a result, Mrs. Betty sat at the end and rarely took the initiative to speak. After a class, no one knows whether Mrs. Betty has been there.
For parties every weekend, you need to find your own partner, in groups of two. Apart from me, few people would like to partner with Mrs. Betty because of her poor spoken language. If other friends asked me to be my partner, Mrs. Betty would be alone, sitting alone in the corner, listening to everyone’s lively conversation with her ears up, and muttering in her mouth as if she was repeating other people’s words. In addition to muttering, his hands were still drawing something on his legs.
That day, it was Miss Anne, a blonde American woman who was always smiling and had a sexy figure.
OK, Miss Anne said, today’s topic is-dreams.
Miss Anne is a very patient teacher, and her voice turns like a lark. She always smiles and says to you: “Is there anything I can do for you?”
Hmm… My name is Anna Sui, and my dream is to make more friends of the opposite sex. Anna Sui is a full-time wife. She has a pair of pursed lips like rose petals. She likes to say “Uh-huh”, “Oh, my God” or exaggeratedly doing some staring and mouth-covering movements. During class, her nose was on her nose. Dior big sunglasses.
My name is Emily and my dream is to be a doctor. Emily is a nurse in the haematology department of the hospital, with two lovely pimples just appearing on her forehead.
My name is Mark, and my dream is to travel the world! Mark, the tour guide, said proudly.
Could you tell me about your dream, Mrs. Daisy? Miss Anne turned her head and said to me.
My name is Daisy, and my dream… well, it should be no dream… I hesitate to say.
Oh, Mrs. Daisy, this sounds a bit bad, I mean, everyone should have their own dreams. Miss Anne nodded at me encouragingly, raised her chin and looked into the distance, staring brightly at Mrs. Betty. Miss Anne has the eyes of a teacher and can discover the most overlooked details.
Then, please tell me about your dreams, Mrs. Betty.
When Mrs. Betty heard that Miss Anne clicked her name, her shoulders shook, her waist tightly around the canvas bag in her arms.
Mrs. Betty, opening your mouth is necessary for learning a language. Miss Anne said in a charming voice.
…Uh…cough cough, my name is Betty… Mrs. Betty was embarrassed and hesitated, then stopped.
The laughter rang, and soon fell like a retreating tide.
…Uh…Uh…My dream…is to travel around the world, ahem… Mrs. Betty’s pronunciation is rather weird, neither American nor English, with a little Ningshao accent.
Oh——My——God——! Anna Sui covered her mouth with an exaggerated exclamation.
What? Mrs. Betty? Mark blinked at the people around him, thinking that Mrs. Betty’s dream shouldn’t be the same as his own.
My dream is to travel the world! Mrs. Betty repeated it quickly, she grinned and she didn’t seem to be crying or laughing.
Sounds good! Mrs. Betty. Miss Anne nodded and looked at the watch on her wrist. Can you be more specific?
Uh… I want to drive from south to north, I want to see the world, I want to go to the South Pole, and I also want to go to the North Pole…
Maybe because of encouragement, Mrs. Betty said it slippery, her eyes flashed Shining, serious looks make people want to laugh.
Mrs. Betty, do you think the penguins of Antarctica will say Hello to you? Mark chuckles. He told us in private that Mrs. Betty walks like a penguin.
By the Qikong Bridge in Binhu Park, there is a Master Wang who has raised a magpie who can only speak English. It is said that it is still a standard Oxford accent. Mrs. Betty seriously said that magpies can speak English and so can penguins?
Yes, definitely, Mark imitated the figure of a penguin and said in a weird voice: Mrs. Betty, hello.
Anna Sui said, um, Mrs. Betty, in order to better communicate with Penguins, I suggest you make a penguin suit.
Then you will get along with the penguins, Mark said.
Everyone laughed, and the atmosphere in the classroom suddenly seemed very lively.
You’ve seen me when I was young, so you won’t say that! Mrs. Betty said sharply.
The laughter ceased. Everyone opened their mouths in surprise, looking at Mrs. Betty as if there were two horns growing on her head.
Mrs. Betty took out a wallet from the canvas pocket, took out a photo from the wallet, and shook it before everyone’s eyes.
have a look! Mrs. Betty held her neck up and passed me the photo. In the photo, a young girl with short hair is standing in front of a statue full of hope.
I handed the photo to Anne, Anne to Mark, Mark to Anna Sui, Anna Sui to Tom… The photo came back to me, and I returned it to Mrs. Betty.
I gave Mrs. Betty a thumbs up. Everyone also gave her a thumbs up.
What a beautiful woman! Mrs. Betty, Miss Anne said, your performance today is amazing! Each of us needs to have our own dreams. The biggest regret in a person’s life is not having a dream. We must minimize regrets. Please remember every one of you forever-
Do yourself! Miss Anne said loudly.
Do yourself! Mrs. Betty murmured.
Because the ear roots were too soft, I couldn’t stand the soft and hard foam of the consultant. One month later, I was upgraded to a VIP member. After I moved from the large classroom to the VIP room and became a VIP member, the consultant said that there are VIP courses and private customized courses, and the learning effect will be better. I said sorry, I have no money.
The VIP room and the large classroom are separated by transparent glass. There are big red first-class seats, water dispensers, coffee machines, and small snacks such as biscuits and bread. Most VIPs can’t see the end. Most of the time, it is very empty. I often greet Mrs. Betty through the transparent glass, and I often see her either muttering to herself, with headphones on her head, like a female pilot, the round headphones are like panda ears; or a blue one on her shoulders U-shaped pillow, head napping with open mouth, half-eaten bread, notebooks and a thermos cup filled with wolfberry are spread out on the table.
The theme of the English corner that day was: family. Everyone chatted again.
The family atmosphere I like is that my cat squats by my side and watches TV with me. Single nurse Emily said.
Uh-huh, the family atmosphere I like is that I go to golf with my husband every week…Uh-huh, we have been a babysitter for many years, and I often give her old clothes to wear… Anna Sui said in a voice change.
The family atmosphere I like is that it’s raining outside, my mother is cooking in the kitchen, and I’m sleeping late. Tom stammers a bit in Chinese, but he speaks English very smoothly.
Haha, Tom, you mommy boy! As soon as Tom’s voice fell, there was a roar of laughter.
However, when a hoarse laughter also sounded, the laughter of the whole class stopped abruptly. That was Mrs. Betty’s laughter. Mrs. Betty stopped her laughter, and she knew that everyone’s eyes were on her. At this moment, there was a hustle and bustle at the front desk, and a five-and-three rough man rushed in regardless of obstacles.
This is a middle-aged man with rough skin and loose fat in a suit and shorts. He saw Mrs. Betty at a glance and rushed over.
Go home and cook for me. The man roared.
I didn’t cook and wash you all my life. Mrs. Betty was sitting still, motionless.
The man waved and slapped Mrs. Betty. Mrs. Betty fought with him. Someone went to help. Someone hit 110. Five minutes later, three police officers arrived. The police reprimanded the men for disturbing public teaching order. The man walked away cursingly.
Mrs. Betty was pale with tears in her eyes. Miss Anne came over, handed Mrs. Betty a glass of water, and asked softly, Mrs. Betty, is there anything I can help? Mrs. Betty shook her head.
I invited Mrs. Betty to sit down at the “Blue Frog” next door. We found a quiet corner in the lobby, and I ordered potato wedges and macaroni.
The piano music is played in the room, the tone is soft and loose, like a free stream, the low voice of a male singer, like an autumn river flowing slowly:
everything is cracked,
that’s where the light comes in,
Mrs. Daisy , I made you laugh. Said Mrs. Betty.
It doesn’t matter, I said, every family has hard-to-read sutras.
I know, they all look down on me, but you are an exception. She said, in fact, I don’t care, to make everyone happy, I am willing to play a stupid penguin.
I said, Penguin is not stupid at all.
She smiled bitterly and said, thank you. To tell you the truth, I haven’t had a good life for a few days since I was born. My parents passed away early. I have two younger brothers. We lived with my grandmother since we were young. Grandma is patriarchal and gives her brother first what is good. I have to rush home after school to cook, take care of my younger brother, and often get beaten and scolded by my grandmother. When I was eighteen, I hurriedly married myself out. After marriage, I found that he is not only selfish, but also likes to be a master, screaming around at home, and cursing if he is upset. As long as he is at home, I have to be careful when I talk, walk, and do things. I can’t decide anything at home, even watching TV, I have to wait for him to fall asleep. Two years later, we had a daughter. For a year and twelve months, he would only occasionally go out to work for two to three months, usually playing mahjong and playing mobile games, and his daughter would not be picked up after school. Later I was laid off, went to work in a supermarket, went to a construction site to build a house with someone, carried cement and moved bricks like a man, he also ignored me, and went out to go fishing and playing table tennis with friends during the rest. Drunk crazy. Later, he developed hands, and once choked my neck. I say divorce. He said, why should I leave? Even if he is dissatisfied with me, once he is divorced, his peace and stability will come to an end. He has to find someone to serve him. This is what scares him, because he is like a snail, and the shell on his back has grown with the meat. Together, he is determined not to divorce. As for the emotional needs, just look for them outside, as long as the shell is still there. At that time, my daughter was still young, and I was afraid that my daughter would be looked down upon when she grew up, so I didn’t mention divorce again. After finally pulling my daughter up, I started to bring children to my daughter again, still completely without a life of my own. My daughter gave birth to a girl in the first year and a kid in the second year. After the two children were born, I helped bring them together. I had depression, I couldn’t sleep all night, and I took a lot of medicine. When both children went to kindergarten, my daughter quietly gave me a sum of money and said, Mom, you are liberated, go find something you like to do. I thought for a long time, but I couldn’t think of what I liked to do. The more I thought about it, the more sad I felt. I felt that my whole life was really useless. That day, I was walking aimlessly on the street and saw an advertisement for learning English. I know that I don’t have anything to do with this course, but I just want to fight against myself. I learned a lot here and found myself still a person with dreams. Daisy, I think I will be free one day. She shook a fist at me and said, I have already signed up and learn to drive. The more I will, the smaller the world will be.
I stood up, opened my arms, walked up to Mrs. Betty and hugged her tightly.
You are right, Betty.
After the epidemic, the center was closed for nearly a year and reopened.
The changes here are quite big, the foreign teachers have left a lot, and Miss Anne has also returned to the United States.
At the beginning, the coffee machine in the large classroom was withdrawn. After a few days, the coffee machine in the VIP room was also withdrawn, and there were no biscuits and bread. Later, even Lipton tea bags were also cancelled, and business became increasingly sluggish. Because it was closed for so long, the school hours for each student was extended by three months.
On the weekend, I once again experienced the joy of being a student. However, I never saw Mrs. Betty again.
That fall, I turned into the coffee shop on the corner of the street, ordered a cup of osmanthus cappuccino, and flipped the phone at random. I read a piece of news on the website
-a woman in her fifties traveling by car, ran more than 20,000 kilometers and left a mark in more than 60 cities. I was surprised to find that the lively and cheerful woman with short hair standing in front of the Potala Palace in the picture turned out to be Mrs. Betty. She is being interviewed by reporters in the video, telling her story. She is in good spirits, her hair style has also changed, and her hair is cut. She said: Last fall, I drove a small car, took a tent and cooking utensils, and started a self-driving trip. The first stop was Xi’an, from Xi’an to Chengdu, and stopped in Chengdu for nearly a month. Because there are many friends in Chengdu, I got together with friends and stopped for a month. I went to Yunnan again, all the way to Kunming, Lijiang, Dali, and Shangri-La. I passed through most of Yunnan, from Xishuangbanna to Zhanjiang, and took the ferry to Hainan. In March this year, I went from Hainan to Guangxi. Together with my two fans, I went all the way to Tibet. Come here. Along the way, I made a lot of like-minded friends. I took my story into a video, tried surfing and webcasting, but I didn’t expect it to become
popular … The reporter asked: What is your next goal?
Travel around China first, then travel around the world.
I saw Mrs. Betty saying in the picture as if she was reciting a line: Life is like going through a barrier. Regardless of whether it is rainy or sunny, you must maintain a good attitude and keep jumping… The biggest prison in the world is the human heart. To listen to the call of the heart, live for yourself, life belongs to you, you have to try something that excites you… In this increasingly closely connected world, we must learn to tolerate each other, love is wise , Hate is stupid…
When the picture of the video freezes on Mrs. Betty’s familiar round face, she said: There is no wrong way, only the way you walked-sisters, Do yourself!
After speaking, Mrs. Betty spread her hands and shrugged her shoulders exaggeratedly. I know that this action was also learned in our English class.