Barbara was dismissed from Allenbrooks hospital that Friday after her suicide attempt. She invited me to come over on Saturday afternoon to formally meet her family. I was relieved that this was going to happen. Finally we could start a normal relation without all this secret meetings.

When I got there that Saturday afternoon Barbara and I were very nervous. Barbara took the initiative and made sure I didn't say or do the wrong things. Her mother and uncle invited me into the living room where we had some tea. I felt very uncomfortable. Barbara mother made no effort to make me feel welcome. I can't remember what we talked about, just a polite formal conversation. Barbara did the translations . After that Barbara showed me around the house and we played with the dogs and cats in the yard.

Then I was told that I had to go because it was time that the fish and chip shop was going to be opened. I was very surprised that Barbara had to help, just one day after she left the hospital. When I asked her about it she said that it was oke. Saturday was the busiest day of the week, she had no choice, her uncle and their English employee couldn't manage that on their own.

As I wanted to make a good impression I offered to help out. They accepted. Then I realized how efficient they were organized. Barbara worked at the counter and her uncle fried the fish and chips, Barbara's mother did the Chinese take away at the back of the shop. I didn't have any experience in this type of work and there was no time to introduce me in into it. At first they put me at work frying the chips. But I was to slow and to clumsy. Therefore they send me to the back where I could answer the phone for the take away orders. This didn't work either. I could take the orders, but I couldn't communicate them with Barbara's mother. After an hour Barbara send me home saying "at least you tried".

When I saw Barbara again, she told me that her family was very negative about me. It would be better if I didn't meet them again. She wanted to avoid discussions about me (which normally ended in violent quarrels ) for this reason she also didn't want to talk about me or have to tell them when she was seeing me. I was very disappointed, we had to go back to the secret meetings again.

 

 

正式介绍

翁美玲周五从艾伦布克医院出了院。她邀请我周六下午去她家做客,并正式将我介绍给她的家人。我心里反而感到很解脱,因为我知道这迟早都要发生的。我们终於能够马上开始正常的恋爱,而不需要再隐瞒什么了。

周六的下午,当我到了她家时,我和翁美玲都很紧张。翁美玲采取主动带头行动,确保我不说错话。她的妈妈和叔叔邀请我去他们的客厅喝茶。我感到十分的不自在。翁美玲的妈妈根本没有让我感到一丝的受欢迎。我不能回想起那天我们具体都谈了什么,只是一些礼貌的,正式的谈话。翁美玲在中间做翻译。在那之后,翁美玲带我参观了房间,我们在院子里和小狗,小猫玩了会。

过了一会,我被告知,我应当离开了。因为翁美玲家的鱼肉薯条店马上要开门营业了。我十分吃惊,翁美玲需要去店里帮忙,毕竟翁美玲离开医院才仅仅一天。当我问她,她到底行不行,翁美玲说行。周六是一周最忙的时刻,翁美玲没有选择,他的叔叔和那些英国雇员不能靠他们自己经营这家店。

因为我想留下个好印象,于是我前去帮忙。他们接受了我的帮忙。很快我意识到,他们组织的十分有效率。翁美玲在柜台工作,她叔叔则在炸薯片和鱼肉,翁美玲妈妈在店后做外送工作。我在这份工作上没有一点经验,并且大家都没时间将这份工作详细的介绍给我该怎么做。最初,他们让我油炸薯条。但是我太慢,太笨拙了。因此,他们将我安排在后台接外卖点餐电话。这同样不适合於我。我能记下点的菜,但是我没法和翁美玲的母亲沟通。一小时后,翁美玲将我送回了家,并给我说,"至少,你努力尝试了。"

当我再次和翁美玲见面时。她告诉我,她的家人对我有很大的不满。如果我们相互不再见面那会更好。她想避免关于我的讨论(这是必然的结局)由於这个原因,她同样不想谈及我,或者告诉她的家人她要来见我。我十分的失望,我们不得不再次像以前那样悄悄地见面了。

(translated by elbc2006)

 

 

 

Comments   

# RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-06 23:35
i should stop comming to this site...i always end up feeling miserable :sad:


but i can't...i wanna know what happens next...
Reply
# RE: RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-07 01:04
oh, poor Rob. I felt also sad after reading this new story. Barbara is such a nice girl, but her relatives seemed to be, well, you know. Their behavior was kind of unacceptable even for Chinese. Daughter brought lovers back home to see parents, at least, parents should show their welcome and respect.
Reply
# RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-07 00:41
These must be really small rooms... I was quite shocked at how small the house was when I looked around it (there were two photos of the house's back)... Life's tough and unfair to Barbara... She's courageous though... That's my overall feeling from this trip :sad:
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# RE: RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-07 00:58
Thank you Barfan, appreciate your photoes.
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# RE: RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-07 13:51
hi barfan

did you travel all the way to cambridge to view barbara place or you did live there, and how do you know the inside of the shop layour, just wondering ?
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# RE: RE: RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-08 16:41
May8095: I traveled to UK for business but my stops in London and Cambridge are for visiting Barbara's old dwellings (not just the fish&chip shop, thanks to Rob's information, as you'll see). The inside layout of the shop is not from me. It's probably another treasure Rob dug out from his memory.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-08 20:54
That's right, the stories coming soon will explain why I remember it so well! :-)
Reply
# Formally introduced (Questions)Guest 2010-07-07 02:05
Rob/Others - Please answer
1) Is Barabara's Uncle single or married?
2) Barbara may have help supported her mum/uncle when she became famous.
However, who support them after Barbara died?
3) Does Barbara have relatives/cousins in England besides her mum & uncle?

Rob, U are a great guy. U came from a "well-to-do" family, yet u are willing to help in a kitchen. U did amazingly well. Barbara was lucky to have u those difficult years. So sad that her mum did not realize this.

Thanks
Reply
# RE: Formally introduced (Questions)Guest 2010-07-07 08:29
her family doesnt live at 6 station road, histon. are they running the fish and chips business still?
Reply
# just being noiseyGuest 2010-07-07 13:45
i live in cambridge, just today i needed some rice and went to the local chinese shop, one thing lead to other the shop keeper and i talk about barbara mum, i say after reading rob site, some say her mum move to germany, then the shop keeper say 'no' she still live in cambride and she live in milton and she come in now and again, she is about 80+ years old and in ill health, i love rob story, but i hope barbara mum dont read all this, because she is in ill health she might get upset !
Reply
# RE: just being noiseyGuest 2010-07-08 16:47
Sad to hear this. Hope we can do something for the poor mom. :sad:
Reply
# RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-07 16:07
until now 30 years on in 2010, chinese family those has takeaway business still act the same, i know, i come from one , it about making money, money and more money, it just dont bother giving enought time for their children ! My sister was going out with a white guy and of course my mum dont like it, mum try to arrange a greasy hair takeaway owner to go out with my sister, and of course she wont have it and run away and stay at her white boyfriend house, and of course being chinese, she come home and mum started to accepte him, @we all tell mum to leave her alone@, and of course they got marry, both had good job, two kids, and still he also help out in the takaway buisness at weekend. happyly every after :P
Reply
# if it makes you feel better.Guest 2010-09-13 21:05
Rob,
If it makes you feel better, my parents also treated all my boyfriends with simiar cruelty, up until I married one in 2000. I had complained about my parents hostile behaviors toward my boyfriends for years, but after reading your story I can see that's something subconciously cultural.

Just think of what your stories would have sounded if there no villains and conflicts played by her parents...
Reply
# RE: Formally introduced (1977)Jade 2011-08-27 07:52
wow her mum and uncle should have found some help instead of putting her back to work! If she had gotten some counselling then maybe she would still be alive today!

Its sad reading all these stories but at the same time nice to see how see was back in the day. Now her suicide kinda makes sense because you see how sensitive/emotional she was and how she didn't handle pressure or stress very well. It must have been 10 times worse when she was in HK being in the public eye and everyone talking about her.
Reply
# RE: 11. Formally introduced 正式介绍 (1977)Simon 2019-06-01 14:22
Hi Rob,
Your experience working in the chippy reminds me of the time when my sister's friend's older sister tries to date my older brother. She was a classic blonde hair blue eye 19yrs old beauty who reminds me of Agnetha from ABBA. She ask if she can help out at our shop to get to know my brother, nobody objected not even our parents because we think it will not last but the work will just scare her away. She was put in the counter duty servng customers. Anyway she manages to pull many customers, all males. A couple of them keep comming back until we threw them out late into the night at closing time. She lasted a day, never came back again. She was scared off by the work. I guess Barbara's mother tried to scare you off with the chippy work.
Reply
# RE: 11. Formally introduced 正式介绍 (1977)Rob 2019-06-12 11:50
I don’t think it was a deliberate action of her mother to scare me off. But after only an hours work I decided that I didn’t want to do this kind of work. I understood then why Barbara never wanted to take over the family business. Going to Hong Kong was a much more attractive option for her.
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