As the exams were coming nearer we realized that we had to make a very important decision for our future.

I already had decided that I wanted go back to Holland. My whole life was orientated now on spending my future in Holland. I even had managed to get myself a grant at a Dutch University for another six years of study.

I noticed that my fellow students only could get lousy jobs or no job at all. I wanted to study more. Not only to get a better job but also that I didn't feel ready yet for the working life, and I was homesick. I wanted to go back to my family, to live the Dutch way of life.

My decision to go back to Holland put Barbara in a very difficult situation. She had to make a choice. If she followed me then she had to break with her family, leaving her Chinese culture behind, living in a land where it would be difficult for her to make a career. Also I lived a life that she didn't understand and I had no income to support her. Following common sense Barbara made her choice and decided to stay in England.

We were both not surprised by our decisions. Barbara always knew that I wanted to go back to Holland one day. She also knew that I would feel very unhappy if she managed to persuade me to stay in England for her. I knew that Barbara would never leave her mother for me. I suppose we both knew that one day this moment would come. Still, I think that Barbara was very disappointed in me that I even didnt try to start this new life 'with her, just to give it a chance. None the less we understood and respected each other's choices and we didn't make it difficult for each other. We accepted that our relation was just not going to work; we were too different from each other. Not only were our characters so different but also in the way we wanted to fill in our lives.
Our break up was not caused by another lover, or by fierce arguments, just by pragmatism and being realistic. This time it was a goodbye without emotions (those are the worst I have been told), a merely acceptance of the situation. Just a simple goodbye and a take care, wishing each other the best in our further life.

A few weeks later I left for Holland to start my new life there and a year later Barbara went to Hong Kong to start the life we all know so well.

Many years later my mother told me that she remembered that Barbara had phoned her in the period we decided to break up. Barbara asked her if my parents were prepared to financially support her and her mother if they did come to live in the Netherlands. I never knew that. It does mean that Barbara seriously did consider coming to the Netherlands with me.

1980 wondering

 

再次分手

随着期末考试的临近,我们开始意识到是时候为我们的未来做一个重要的决定。

我已经决定回荷兰,我那时就已把未来人生定在了荷兰。我甚至已经考入一所荷兰大学某个六年课程。那时我的同学们不是工作不理想就是没有工作。我希望能继续学业。不仅仅为了将来更好的工作,当时的我也还没觉得自己准备好了开始工作生活。我很想家,我想回到家人身边,过荷兰式的生活。

我决定回荷兰,这让Barbara的处境很为难。她必须要做出选择,如果她和我一起去,她就得和家人决裂,永远离开中国人的文化,住到一个新的地方,在那里可能很难开始她的职业生涯。同时她并不能理解我当时的生活方式,我也没有收入来养她。根据基本的常理她会选择留在英国。

对方的决定对我们各自都是意料之中,Barbara知道我一直想回荷兰。她也知道如果她说服我为了她留在英国我会不快乐。我知道Barbara决不会为了我离开妈妈。 我想我们都知道这一刻终将来临。当然直至现在我都觉得她当时对我很失望,我甚至都没有尝试一下开始共同的新生活。我们理解并尊重了对方的选择,没有给对方任何麻烦。我们接受了我们的关系不会有结果的事实,我们两个人的差异太大了,个性差异,我们想要的生活方式不同。我们的分手不是因为另有爱人,或是激烈的争执;而更多的是接受现实做了现实的选择。这次的告别是没有什么感情色彩的,只是接受现状而已。仅仅是简单的再见,多保重,祝未来一切顺利。

几周后我回到荷兰开始我的新生活,一年后Barbara回到香港开始了她众所周知的一段生活。

多年后我妈妈告诉我她记得我们分手那段时间Barbara给她打过电话,她问如果她和妈妈来荷兰生活,我父母是否能够在财务上支持她们的生活。我当时不知道这个电话。这表示她曾经认真地考虑过和我一起来荷兰。

 

(thanks to Natalie for the translation)

 

Comments   

# RE: Breaking up againMei Ling Fan 2011-07-06 01:32
Rob, I'm very curious on the last paragraph. A question on my mind at this moment.

Question:

Was it right after Barbara joined Miss Hong Kong and haven't have job offered to her at the moment?

Thank you.
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# Breaking up againBystander 2011-07-06 04:42
Rob, I think u did the right thing to choose the 6 years study grant than continue in England.
>> Barbara will always be "attached" to her mom as her mom is a single parent. Barbara is a filial/obedient daughter. If u married her, your marriage might not have worked out because "her mom" will a "thorn" in your marriage as she cannot emotionally accept you. Barbara is a good girl looking for real true love BUT there are "too many other factors" that affect your relationship with her. When you marry a girl, you marry her. It is not easy to be "financially responsible" for her parents, her family as well! That's a big load to carry for the rest of your life.
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# RE: Breaking up againHannah 2011-07-07 10:15
I am surprised to hear that Barbara called and asked your mother that question. She must have felt very comfortable around your parents and had a close connection with them to even ask such. May I ask what your mother's response to her was?

I find the mutual break up very mature.
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# RE: RE: Breaking up againRob 2011-07-08 07:35
My mother offered to help but they never talked about details. Barbara was just exploring the possibilities.
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# RE: Breaking up againHey 2011-07-07 14:12
Interesting note that Barbara didn't mention her stepfather at all. Only herself and her mum. Since she was not willing to leave her mum alone yet she went to HK to become an actress and later in years, she committed suicide to leave her mum alone in the world. Makes no sense to me.
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# RE: Breaking up again — HeyFairchild 2018-12-12 06:54
Well said, never thought about that! There's an interview with her mum in this website. Her mum said she didn't want her to enter Ms Chinatown, but Barbara still went ahead; she didn't even tell her mum when she entered Miss HK. By the time her mum found out, she's already in the semi-final. Her mum also paid the endowment for her flat in HK whilst Barbara worked for TVB.
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# RE: Breaking up againVictor 2012-04-24 16:48
This is the first time to knowing about her boarding life in Europe.

I'm just 34 years old now and I did impressed when she was an artist in Hong Kong and I always listen to an old records that she was accessed by DJ in 1985 (the year she died). The link is as follow:

http://www.rthk.org.hk/classicschannel/audio/80s_0025.asx

What she said is what you said...she was an inpendent girl, wise enough, talkative and cheerful.

Maybe you don't know about Cantonese but hope this can recall your sweet memories with Barbara.

Cheers Rob,

Victor
Hong Kong
25 April 2012
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# RE: RE: Breaking up againRob 2012-04-24 21:36
Hello Victor,
Thank you for this contribution.

Is this the complete radio interview with DJ Tang Oi-lin Tang of which parts are translated on this website (menu internet/radio interview) of which the last 2 parts still have to be translated?
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# RE: RE: RE: Breaking up againVictor 2012-04-25 06:51
Hi Rob,

Yes this is the complete interview. I am afraid it wasn't translated in English but let me translate a bit.

In this programme Barbara told us she had a good friend (but most of us believe he is her bf at the moment, Tong chun-ip) but just a brief. She was asked about her career from 1983 - 1985 as she had been a well-known actress in Hong Kong becuase of her beautiful appearence and good performing skill.

She said she belive the world doesn't have any bad people and she could forgive and forget them becuase she thought she can met them again. LOL she didn't like make-up becuase she wanted to keep her life as she was.

Rob I don't know how do you feel when you listen her voice again but I believe this may recall your memories up again...and like a movie.

http://www.zgjrjw.com/Files/news/2008032910201435992.jpg

This is her last photo :(
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Breaking up againRob 2012-04-25 08:40
Thank you again, does the site with the radio interview ook show television shows?
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Breaking up againVictor 2012-04-25 09:46
This is just the radio show.
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# RE: RE: RE: Breaking up againCara 2014-10-18 05:47
Thanks Victor for sharing the link to the photo. It saddened me further when I saw it. Remembered how much I had enjoyed her tv dramas. It wasn't easy to get to watch all the dramas back then as only those with VCR players would have the luxury. And we never had one till I was much older. So I never got to watch LOCH.

Have always like her characters in those dramas that I have seen. Witty, charming, pretty, not pretentious, good acting skill, alert, strong girl, independent, etc. All these skills which is lacking in many new actresses.
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# RE: Breaking up again 再次分手 1981Fei 2012-10-22 03:30
How sweet are these memories to you, how hurtful they were to Barbara. You never should have let her go.
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981SANDY 2012-10-22 07:59
some people are not capable to love, selfishness coated with 'do the best to each other', i've seen a lot of this type.
i think the Dutch ppl's realistic character would appear on the surface when facing such thing. bread always win over love. my interest always win lover's.
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# =kk 2012-10-29 13:46
How long did Barbara spend in the University? 78-81 or 78-82 ? Some reports said she spent 4 years in the University. If that is the case, her studies should finish in 1982 and then went back HK right after for the beauty contest. But it didn't look right because Barbara said that she had worked a while before returning HK.
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# RE: =Rob 2012-10-29 14:05
Barbara started at the Central School of art and design in september 1978 and she finished in june 1981. After that she worked as an assistant designer in London till april 1982.
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# RE: =kk 2012-10-29 15:08
Thanks for your prompt reply. So it was 3 years. Another timeline about Barbara. Did you know where and when Barbara studied her O Levels ? Was it a A Levels or a Foundation course that Barbara spent the two years at CCTA ? I asked because there are just too many different stories about it and I had similar path as Barbara did.
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# RE: =Rob 2012-10-29 15:27
Barbara never did any A-levels, she finished her O-levels in 1976. Then she started her art foundation course at the CCAT in september 1976, she finished it in june 1978.
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# RE: =kk 2012-10-29 15:44
Thanks ! Picture is much more clear now. One more thing. Barbara arrived England in 1974 so she had gone a high school before CCTA. Do you which High School she went.
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# RE: =Rob 2012-10-29 16:51
In 1974 and 1975 Barbara lived in Barkingside, Ilford (London). I am not entiry sure but I think she went to Caterham high school.
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# RE: =kk 2012-10-29 17:22
Thanks Rob. I enjoy very much reading your stories which has brought out many memories not only about Barbara but myself as well. People nowadays is just too busy to look back the past. But once they do, they'll find many lovely things and people that made up their life through the years.
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981kk 2012-11-10 11:23
Just watched a TV programme in which Barbara said that her first school in England was Ilford County High School where she did her O-Levels. Then a two-year foundation course at Cambridge and then 4 years with Central College of Art and Design. That really confuses me.
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981Rob 2012-11-10 14:40
I think I got the high school wrong and that Barbara went, like she said, to the Ilford County high school for girls. I hope that you are not confused any more.
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981Rob 2012-11-10 17:18
And she did only 3 years at the Central School of Art and Design. Maybe she made the mistake that she lived 4 years in London. Or else I am confused as well. By the way where can I find that TV-programme?
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981kk 2012-11-10 23:28
What also confuses me is that she was 15 when she first arrived and started school in England in 1974. In England, it's age not ability to decide what year you're in. That means she should start her studies in Year 10. O-Levels was only for students who was over 16 and didn't qualify for A=Levels in their CSE exams in Year 11. Here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpHTgqsNnxM&feature=related
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981kk 2012-11-10 23:32
I meant over 17, not 16
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981Rob 2012-11-11 02:06
Generally in England (in my time) you did your CSE when you are 15 or 16, then a year O-levels and then (if the O-levels are good enough) you start A-levels (mostly at 17 or 18). But you can do O-levels also together with your CSE. I did some O-levels when I was 15 and a few more when I was 16. Therefore I started A-levels when I was 16.
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981kk 2012-11-11 12:56
I made myself much confused. What I meant was 15 for year 11, the last year at high school and 16 for O-levels. I think you're right that year 11 also could do O-levels although all my friends in year 11 did CSE because it was much easier than O-levels which we only did when we didn't do well enough in our CSE for A-levels. Now,I may know why Barbara said her first year in school was O-levels. In the clip she said that her teacher in 1974 asked her not to do O-levels but a "lower year". This lower year meant CSE. She preferred a harder O-levels to the easier CSE. That comes to term with Barbara's character. Having said that, we still have had no a clear timeline for Barbara's profile. 1. What she did during 75-76 ? Did she repeat O-levels ? And 2 how many years did she spend in the University? She did say in the clip that she had spent 4 years in Central College of Art and Design.
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# great storiesazinmm 2013-07-22 15:11
Great stories! Sad to know that Barbara actually committed suicide for more than one time. She was always so happy, at least in the films. We grew up with her films. Thank you for sharing the stories.
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981David 2013-09-27 10:33
Barbara是一个非常好的女孩,真挚善良,重视家庭,对感情很认真。

Robert,我认为当时你没有好好珍惜她。你本可以给她一个幸福的一生的。
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# Ignore those negative commentsPeng Juan 2014-05-07 15:24
As Barbara is so deeply loved by fans, it is not surprising that some very fanatic fans choose to put all the blame on you. Hope you are not upset by these negative comments.
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# wonderCLY 2014-10-18 05:03
Sorry, if you don't mind more questions. Could BY's decision to break off with you got to do with what your mum said?
If you don't mind, who paid the bills when both of you went out or went on holiday?
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981123 2018-05-28 05:33
rob如果你真爱她,你不会放弃。
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981fans 2018-06-03 14:53
Rob thank you for telling your moving story. But I still have an opinion of you. The essence of your breakup is to throw it away. Do not make excuses. Can't go to school in the UK? There are many solutions. Why Barbara was finally disappointed. You hurt her too much. Barbara didn't contact you when she died. The reason is that you hurt her too deeply. You didn't try hard to find Barbara. Of course, you are honest and do not hide the facts. Barbarara is trying so hard to live a good life with you after you get married and to have an economic foundation in the future. When you are greedy, you just throw it away. You did not do your best. There are many ways to solve this problem. You have not done your best. Barbara did her best. We would rather not know Barbara than make it happen. You don't really care about Barbara in the end.
r
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981zilian 2018-06-09 07:27
Quoting fans:
Rob thank you for telling your moving story. But I still have an opinion of you. The essence of your breakup is to throw it away. Do not make excuses. Can't go to school in the UK? There are many solutions. Why Barbara was finally disappointed. You hurt her too much. Barbara didn't contact you when she died. The reason is that you hurt her too deeply. You didn't try hard to find Barbara. Of course, you are honest and do not hide the facts. Barbarara is trying so hard to live a good life with you after you get married and to have an economic foundation in the future. When you are greedy, you just throw it away. You did not do your best. There are many ways to solve this problem. You have not done your best. Barbara did her best. We would rather not know Barbara than make it happen. You don't really care about Barbara in the end.
r

You are right
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981fans 2018-06-03 14:57
ob谢谢你讲了你们动人的故事。但是我还是对您有看法。您的分手本质是始乱终弃。不要找借口。在英国不能上学吗。有多种解决方法。芭芭拉为什么最后那么失望。你对她伤害的太深了。芭芭拉到死都不跟你联系,原因就是你伤她太深了。你也没努力寻找芭芭拉。当然你很诚实,没隐瞒事实。巴巴拉拉这么努力就是想和你成家以后把日子过好点,将来能有经济基础。你贪玩就罢了竟然始乱终弃。你没有尽力。解决的办法打多种多样,你并没有完全尽力。芭芭拉完全尽力了。我们宁可不认识芭芭拉也不愿意让悲剧发生。您最后都不太在乎芭芭拉了。
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981zilian 2018-06-09 07:31
Quoting fans:
ob谢谢你讲了你们动人的故事。但是我还是对您有看法。您的分手本质是始乱终弃。不要找借口。在英国不能上学吗。有多种解决方法。芭芭拉为什么最后那么失望。你对她伤害的太深了。芭芭拉到死都不跟你联系,原因就是你伤她太深了。你也没努力寻找芭芭拉。当然你很诚实,没隐瞒事实。巴巴拉拉这么努力就是想和你成家以后把日子过好点,将来能有经济基础。你贪玩就罢了竟然始乱终弃。你没有尽力。解决的办法打多种多样,你并没有完全尽力。芭芭拉完全尽力了。我们宁可不认识芭芭拉也不愿意让悲剧发生。您最后都不太在乎芭芭拉了。

确实是这么回事,其实ROB也配不上阿翁…… 如果阿翁不是大明星,他或许早就把她忘记了。
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# # RE: Breaking up againBHK 2019-05-31 02:37
Dear Rob,
If you guys didn't break up this time. you could properly save her life?
but, on the other hand, she won't become famous in Hong Kong.
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# RE: 44. Breaking up again 再次分手 1981Tina 2020-06-26 19:27
Rob, thank you for sharing your stories. Base on what you recall, I learned that you could not give Barbara what she wanted, but you hoped she would meet the right person.....
Rob, you used to love Barbara, but you couldn’t lose yourself for her, Barbara died by suicide, not only she's disappointed in life, the most important thing which she was disappointed in love..............After so many years, the answer was found......................
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