Amadeo Robiolio:倫敦,一座沒有共同靈魂的城市。

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(翻譯內容以英文版本為準)

走訪英國倫敦,幾乎成為國際公民的必然義務,就像真正的穆斯林必須要走訪一次麥加一樣。

正因如此,每日有成千上萬的遊客從四方八面而來。他們乘坐鐵路或巴士,穿梭於白金漢宮、大英博物館與大笨鐘之間;一睹倫敦眼、倫敦大橋與碎片大廈的風貌;在特拉法加廣場、皮卡地里圓環與聖保羅座堂逗留一會後,再往牛津街、哈洛德百貨與塞爾福里奇百貨出發。

可惜,他們大部分還未看到作為旅遊區以外的景觀便已匆匆離去,倫敦真正的靈魂成為一個謎。

在羅馬,你能看到充滿永恆的帝皇與教皇,她嘈雜、凌亂而美麗,每一個角落都充滿歷史;巴黎有著光明之城的精神,她莊嚴、快樂而又憂鬱;紐約則是主宰著一個世紀西方文化的瘋狂熔爐。而倫敦,她看似沒有任何鮮明的特徵。

然而在肯辛頓,你或會覺得這是一片頌揚古代英國人富裕之地,在倫敦之中她猶像一個盛載未來財富的廟宇;在西敏市,毗鄰劍橋與牛津的國會大廈,蘇豪區演活了中央資本的活力。斯皮塔佛德區的多元背景防止了分化的情況。要不是親眼看見,沒人會相信沃克斯豪(Vauxhall)與康登鎮(Camden Town)一個現代、一個寧靜的社區,居然是來自同一個城市。

從柯芬園走到唐人街不消一分鐘,卻能帶來從維也納徒步到香港的感覺。以上處處看似不一致的地方,讓人覺得整個城市只是隨意的混合物,而這正正讓倫敦予人一種迷人的感覺。

倫敦沒有一個共同靈魂,因為她是由上百個完全不同的靈魂所組成。因此,在此分享一些小建議予打算到倫敦旅遊的人:往攝政街、倫敦塔、史丹福橋球場與本初子午線時的途中,不妨在錯誤的車站下車,環顧遊客不至之地,你會訝異於數百米之差帶來的巨大轉變,驚覺倫敦呈現了人類生存的其中一個奇蹟:我們有著上千種辦法,做同一樣的事。


London, a city without one soul.

A journey to London is nowadays an obligatory passage for everyone who considers himself a true global citizen, no less so than visiting Mecca is necessary to think oneself a true Muslim.

Hence, everyday, thousands of tourists are carried, by tube or bus, back and forth between Buckingham Palace, the British museum, and Big Ben, glancing at the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and the Shard, with a brief stop at Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and St. Paul’s Cathedral, before having their trip culminate in the ode to consumerism of a walk along Oxford street, Harrods or Selfridges.

It really is a pity, however, that most of them will leave London never having seen beyond its monumental and touristic surface, because its real soul is a true enigma.

If in Rome one sees the eternal city of emperors and popes, loud, messy, beautiful, with history in every corner, Paris has the spirit of the Ville Lumière, solemn, joyful and melancholic at the same time, and New York is the frantic melting pot of western cultures that dominated a century, London defies any sweeping definition.

In Kensington one thinks it is a quiet celebration of ancient English affluence, in the city it looks like the temple of the future money. Westminster, behind the Houses of Parliament, could easily be a neighbourhood in Cambridge or Oxford, Soho has the vibrancy of the mitteleuropean capitals.

Spitalfields by itself is such a varied background that it prevents categorization, and nobody would believe Vauxhall, modern and tranquil, and Camden Town are in the same city, unless they saw for themselves.

One can walk from Covent Garden to China Town in minutes, and feel to have gone all the way from Vienna to Hong Kong. It is this seeming incoherence, the impression that the whole city is but the random concoction of unrelated neighbourhoods, that gives London a fascinating feeling, the absence of one common soul, if not one made up of hundred entirely different ones.

Therefore, some advice to any future tourist in London: on the way between Regent’s street and the Tower of London, or the Chelsea stadium and the Greenwich meridian, get off at the wrong stop, look around the places tourists don’t get to see, and be amazed by how a few hundred meters can change everything: in this London portrays one of the miracles of human existence, that our species finds a thousand different ways to do just one same thing.

※ 此欄文章為作者觀點,不代表本網立場。 ※
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意大利人,正修讀倫敦大學國王學院哲學系,精通鋼琴、英法文和拉丁文。曾獲得牛津大學主辦的全國中學界散文寫作冠軍。