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葡萄牙“豪宅”引无数游客竞折腰

更新时间:2017/10/21 10:32:59 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Portugal's mansion of intriguing guests
葡萄牙“豪宅”引无数游客竞折腰

When I heard the knock on my bedroom door, I was in my 50-shades-of-purple room at Casa Grande in Burgau, Portugal – a quirky bed-and-breakfast run by the quirkier matriarch, Sally Vincent, who expatriated from England 40 years prior. I was moping, chin on elbows, gazing out of the wood-panelled window at the bougainvillea drooping overhead.

听到卧室敲门声时,我正在葡萄牙布尔高大豪宅的紫色房间内,这家风格怪异的家庭旅馆由一位个性古怪的女主人萨莉•文森特经营着,她于40年前从英国迁居于此。双手托着下巴,我独坐木制窗前,望着窗外耷拉着脑袋的三角梅发呆。

“Hi,” Sally exclaimed excitedly, her tone du jour. “You ready to go?”

"喂,"萨莉激动地大喊,一如既往的语调。"你要走了吗?"

Burgau sits on the southern tip of the country, the second-to-last southernmost town in the sparsely populated Algarve region. The village has a permanent population of about 450 that barely doubles with tourists in the summer months, and is built of mostly white, sea-washed buildings smooshed together on narrow cobbled streets with a handful of bars and restaurants.

布尔高坐落在葡萄牙南端,是人烟稀少的阿尔加维地区中第二大南部城市。城镇常住人口大约450人,夏季游客数量使人口数目增加一倍。大部分建筑都是白色,受到海水冲刷,鳞次栉比地分布在鹅卵石铺成的路面,零星点缀着几家酒吧和餐馆。

Long before Sally found herself the unwitting ‘Queen of Casa Grande’, she was a burgeoning young actress in 1950s London. She worked as a directors’ assistant at the famous London film production centre Pinewood Studios in between acting gigs, and brought scripts and coffee to the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Charlton Heston. And when she was 21, she married – as many young women of that time did.

在成为"大豪宅的女王"之前,萨莉曾是20世纪五十年代伦敦红极一时的年轻演员。她曾是英国著名电影制作中心松林制片厂的导演助理,在拍摄期间,负责给伊丽莎白•泰勒和查尔顿•赫斯顿等演员送剧本和咖啡。二十一岁时,像当时的许多年轻女性一样,她开始了婚姻生活。

John Vincent was a bohemian adventurer, and the two left London in a whirlwind romance. They lived in Malta for a bit, then bought a rusty Land Rover to travel on a cargo ship full of goats to Libya. From there, they drove through the desert to Morocco, took the ferry to Spain and journeyed up through France, eventually returning to England where John worked in organising conventions. Not long after, he got a job offer to do the same in Chicago, and the two settled in the Midwest for five years. Sally followed as the dutiful wife and wasn’t sure if her acting could continue, but it turned out that being a British actress in the US made her a hot commodity. Their first two children were born there, but by the time they were two and four, the Vincents were feeling the pull back to Europe.

约翰•文森特是一个放荡不羁的冒险家,婚后夫妇二人选择离开伦敦,迅速踏上人生浪漫之旅。他们先在马耳他住了一段时日,然后买了一辆旧路虎,乘坐一艘满载山羊的货船前往利比亚。到达利比亚后,驱车穿越沙漠抵达摩洛哥,随后走水路前往西班牙,一路北上经法国最后返回约翰在英国的工作地。没过多久,约翰收到芝加哥的工作邀请,于是夫妇二人赴美国中西部定居长达5年。身为人妻,萨莉一直贤惠本分,曾犹豫是否要放弃自己的演艺生涯。但在当时,英国演员在美国非常受欢迎。后来,他们在那里迎来了两个小生命。等到孩子分别长到2岁和4岁的时候,文森特夫妇产生了返回欧洲的念头。

“Portugal was one of the least developed countries in Europe at the time,” 74-year-old Sally explained to me over tea and biscuits in her formal sitting room decorated with Victorian wallpaper and furniture to match. “We felt like rich Americans and went in search of a castle.” They drove around for a year in a converted campervan, landing in Burgau and spending all their savings on their ‘castle’ – a rundown mansion.

"当时,葡萄牙是欧洲最不发达的国家之一,"74岁的萨莉边吃着茶点边向我解释,客厅摆设正式,维多利亚风格的壁纸和家具搭配得恰到好处。"我们如同赴葡萄牙寻找城堡的富有美国人一样。"夫妇二人在改装的房车中游历了一年,最后在布尔高定居,花光所有积蓄购买了一个简陋不堪的房屋作为"城堡"。

“There was no water, no electricity and we spent a year fixing it up,” she said.

"房屋缺水缺电,我们花了整整一年时间修整,"她说。

After a hefty renovation and camping inside, the 1912 house began to resemble its former self. With no intention of returning to England, the Vincents settled into their Casa Grande and began renting it out as a B&B. Sally also ran a restaurant out of its converted adega (an old wine storehouse).

经过大规模翻修和屋内露营,直到1912年房屋才渐渐恢复如初。文森特夫妇丝毫没有再回英国的打算,决定在大豪宅定居,并且开始以家庭旅馆的形式对外出租。萨莉将翻修后的酒库(破旧的藏酒室)改为餐馆运营。

I came to know about Sally through her eldest son; we sat next to each other on a short flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, and as I try to often do, I struck up a conversation with my seatmate. After the normal Q&A session began to wane and more pointed questions began to fall out of my curious mouth, he mentioned growing up in southern Portugal. I was so intrigued by the five-minute version of his upbringing that I asked if he’d put me in touch with his mother. I already had plans to be in the United Kingdom for three months over the following summer, and I knew I’d need a beach vacation. The serendipity of it was not lost on me.

我是通过萨莉的大儿子才认识萨莉;当时我们同乘拉斯维加斯飞往洛杉矶的短程航班,相互挨着坐。乘坐飞机时,我通常都会同邻座乘坐交谈聊天,就这样我认识了萨莉的大儿子。一开始我们聊一些基本的交流话题,渐渐熟络之后,他提到在葡萄牙南部长大,出于好奇我就问了一些更具体的问题。仅仅5分钟的攀谈,我被他的教养深深地吸引,希望能够通过他认识他的母亲。我早有计划,要在第二年夏季过后3个月前往英国,因为我觉得自己需要一次海滩度假。但这次奇妙的意外深深地牵盼着我。

On my third night there, as I sat moping in my window seat because of some solo-travel loneliness, Sally took me and two other guest couples – one from Berlin and the other from the Netherlands – to hear fado, the traditional music and dinner experience that Portugal is famous for. Sally, who often plays tour guide with her guests despite not being paid extra for it, kept the conversation going when language barriers presented themselves. Her laugh was raucous and her curly silver hair looked like a halo in the dim restaurant light. It was hard not to believe Sally when she was speaking, no matter how outrageous the tale; her expert storytelling slid easily in between sets of soulful fado and sizzling Portuguese meat and seafood dishes.

在那儿的第三天晚上,我独坐窗前,沉浸在孤身一人旅行的寂寞之中。萨莉邀请我和两对入住的夫妇,一对来自柏林,另一对来自荷兰,共同欣赏法多,传统音乐和晚餐体验的结合令葡萄牙蜚声世界。萨莉总是为旅馆客人充当免费导游,若是客人沟通遇到语言障碍,还会从中调和保证交流顺畅。萨莉的笑声粗犷,银色的头发卷卷的,在旅馆昏暗的灯光下发出一阵阵光晕。萨莉讲得故事无论多么夸张,只要是她讲的特别容易让人相信;她非常擅长讲故事,伴随着法多深情的乐声,葡萄牙肉类和海鲜滋啦啦烧烤声,萨莉的故事讲得丝丝入扣。

She told us that a decade after their move to Burgau, John left her and their now four children. He had been going back and forth to the US for work and “created another life with someone else,” as Sally said pointedly. He left them with no warning, no savings, no financial assistance whatsoever and no goodbye to the children.

她告诉我们,搬到布尔高十年后,约翰离开了她,他们现在育有四子。由于长期往返于美国工作,约翰"同另一个人重新建立了家庭生活,"萨莉毫不掩饰地说道。约翰一声不响就走了,没有留下任何积蓄,也没有给予萨莉其他形式的经济补偿,甚至都没有跟孩子们道别。

“By this time, the children had many friends and a good community here,” said Sally, who’s been the manor's matriarch ever since, “So they didn’t know the agony and the struggle of it – running a restaurant, running the guesthouse and bringing up four children.”

"那时,孩子们认识了许多朋友,有非常友好的交际圈,"萨莉说,自那以后她成为了家里唯一的家长,"所以他们没有感受到太大的离别痛苦-我经营着餐馆、旅馆,养育4个孩子长大成人。"

Casa Grande holds a maximum of 16 guests at a time, and it’s generally full between May and September every year. Each morning, Sally holds court around the 150-year-old dining-room table spattered with un-matching teacup sets and fresh fruits, meats and cheeses set out by her housekeeper, the 40-something Felicidad, who’s been working for Sally for more than 25 years. Guests hail from the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, South Africa and beyond. And while breakfast isn't mandatory, it may as well be since you'll get a half-joking finger wag and a shake of the head if you're not in attendance. And I should know; Sally – who’s got seven granddaughters ranging from four months to 29 years, one of whom she said I reminded her of – gleefully tsk-tsked me the morning after the night of fado.

大豪宅一次最多可容纳16位客人,通常在每年5月和9月都会住满。每天早上,萨莉就会按照皇室礼仪,吩咐女仆费莉西坦在有着150年历史的古老餐桌上,摆满极不搭调的茶盏、新鲜水果、肉类和奶酪。费莉西坦四十岁左右,在萨莉身边工作时间超过25年。旅馆客人遍布美国、荷兰、德国、西班牙、南非等全球各地。旅馆的早餐并不是强制性的,这就好像你半开玩笑的摇动手指,或者缺勤时摇摇头。我理应知道;萨莉有7个孙女,年龄4个月到29岁不等,我还记得,其中有一个在我听完法多的第二天早上兴高采烈地向我发出啧啧声。

After dinner, my loneliness had led me to one of the three bars in town. Not surprisingly, Sally encouraged her guests to socialise – to party, if you will. I ordered my new favourite drink vinho verde (Portuguese white sparkling wine) as two young British men sat to my left and slapped down cards of a game I didn’t know. The taller of the two invited me to join, and then let me tag along on their three-bar bar-crawl. Over the next four days, as our time in Burgau overlapped, our one night grew into a solid holiday dalliance (and more than a year later we’re in love, happy partners on a new adventure living together in London).

晚饭后,我感到非常寂寞,去了镇上仅有的三家酒吧之一。如果客人要去参加社交活动或聚会,萨莉总是表示支持,这一点不足为奇。我点了最喜欢的葡萄牙绿酒(一种白色的葡萄牙起泡葡萄酒),两个年轻的英国男人在我的左边坐下,玩着一种不知道什么名字的纸牌游戏。个高的那个邀请我一起玩,跟他们一起串酒吧。接下来的4天,因为在布尔高的时间重合了,有一晚硬是演变成了假日调情(一年多之后,我们相爱了,开开心心地结为伴侣,开启在伦敦的冒险之旅)。

Over that morning’s breakfast – where my hangover throbbed and my loneliness subsided – she regaled her guests with Casa Grande's ghost stories, guest gallivants and even buried treasure. This is a time-honoured tradition where she delights in telling of her A-list patrons, like the Queen’s beautician who, before her passing, summered there for 20 years during her annual two weeks off from royal duty. The billionaire hotelier Vikram Oberoi spent a month there with his family a few years back and never let on who he was or what he did; Sally suggested he come work for her because of his handy skills around the house. Billy Idol and his family summered there a couple of years ago, and his 86-year-old mother continues to visit. She’s been teaching Sally how to use Facebook.

吃早餐的时候-我还处于宿醉之中,但孤寂感已然退去-萨莉就给客人讲述大豪宅里发生的鬼怪故事、客人寻欢作乐之事以及埋藏的珍宝。萨莉总是非常乐意与头号主顾保持联系交流,这就像是历史悠久的传统。女王的美容师在去世之前的二十年里,即使履行完了王室职责,还会每年花上两周时间在王室过夏。酒店老板维克拉姆•奥拜罗是有名的亿万富翁,隔几年就会带着家人去那里待上一个月,但从来不会透露自己的身份和职业;萨莉说他非常擅长修修补补,还帮忙干过一些活计。几年前,比利•爱多尔带着家人去那里过夏天,他的母亲虽然86岁高龄,还是经常前往拜访。她还一直教萨莉如何使用脸谱网。

Sally has no intention of stopping work at Casa Grande anytime soon, despite her age, but does admit that she’d like more help to run the business and perhaps open the restaurant again, which closed four years ago. For the time being, she brings together small groups of strangers who otherwise would never have met, much less shared stories of babies to come, old crushes to get over and other tales of loss and love – and new love, as it was with me – that flow easily around the breakfast table here.

年迈的萨莉不想这么快就结束在大豪宅的工作,直言还想继续帮忙经营,如有可能甚至想重开4年前已经关掉的餐馆。现在,在萨莉的帮助下,一群素未谋面的陌生人才能齐聚一堂,分享未来孩子的点点滴滴、过去经历的艰难困苦,讲述失去和爱的故事-以及新的恋爱,当时我刚好开始一场新的恋爱,于是就成了早餐时的谈资。

“I went to a concert in Nottingham [about 10 years after John left us],” Sally told me as conversation wound down in the living room. “It was The Irish Tenors and they sang songs that he used to play and sing. It brought back all these amazing memories of the good times we'd had, because I'd just blocked them out.”

"我去诺丁汉听过音乐会 [约翰离开我们十年后],"萨莉在客厅同我谈话结束时这么说。"是爱尔兰男高音组合,演唱的歌曲是约翰过去常常弹奏演唱的。一瞬间,我们曾经拥有的美好时光涌上心头,之前我只是刻意屏蔽了这些回忆。"

Spurred on by the memories and the music, not long after the concert Sally wrote to John and thanked him for the adventures and for their children.

难忘的音乐与美好的回忆,令萨莉不能自已,在音乐会结束后不久给约翰写了一封信,感谢有约翰陪伴时度过的冒险人生之旅,感谢约翰赐予了可爱的孩子。

“Apparently he cried,” Sally said, “And he called the children. He talked to me and it was just wonderful. It’s the music that did it. He’s passed away now, but I'm so glad that we made up and that I realised how wonderful our lives were and that [he brought us] to a brilliant place to bring up the children. If we had followed him when he left, then it would not have been as it was [and we] did really well.”

"约翰看到信一定哭了,"萨莉说,"他还给孩子们打了电话。"他也跟我通了电话,感觉真好。这都得感谢那场音乐会。如今约翰已经去世,我很高兴我们的关系已经改善,让我意识到我们过去的生活多么美好,多亏了约翰我才能在这么棒的地方将孩子们抚养长大。如果当时我们跟着约翰一起离开,那现在可能就不是这样了,我们生活得真得很不错。"

As Sally told me over FaceTime when we reconnected for this story from my flat in London with my partner, it’s those magic moments that make the harder times worth it. “Those magic moments,” she repeated, eyes twinkling.

我和伴侣当时在伦敦的公寓里,萨莉通过FaceTime同我聊天,讲述了这个完整的故事。就是这些奇妙的时刻使任何艰难困苦都不值一提。"真是奇妙的时刻啊,"她一遍遍重复着,双眼闪烁着光芒。

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