Time to Go Away after My English Learning
My UK Trip, a precious experience, Hsu
作 者 Author: 許小姐 電子業 上班族
Ms. Hsu, EET Student (Office Worker in Electrics)
刊登日期 Published Date : 2017年8月16日
中英對照 (Chinese-English Bilingual Version)
這位原本英文一句話都不會說也寫不出來的電子業上班族許小姐 (關於她如何學習和適應學習瓶頸，請見前篇發文：我的英文家教學習體驗 )，上了四年 (每週一次2小時) 的私人英文家教課後，決定出國走走，從一開始很想去法國，到最後決定去英國.........
本文章末，也包括了許小姐本篇旅遊記事的中文後記、以及 EET 黃老師的評語 (請見第3頁)
EET 黃老師表示: 「許小姐 4年來的學習成長，帶給了我很大的教學成就感，我想這是身為任何一位英文老師，都會感動至極的！ 從剛認識她時，英文的啞口無言，到上課 1~2年自己悄悄去參加了全民英檢考試，卻不在意通過與否，到2~3年時可用全英文在課堂上把我逗笑，到 4年後，自行飛了近一萬公里到英國旅遊，我見證著這些過程，就像我看著自己的小孩從牙牙學語到自己買好機票出國旅遊讀書一樣，每當想起許小姐，我總是像個為人父母小孩長大出國，為她感到極度驕傲！」
I’ve been dreaming of traveling in European countries for many years, especially France. I love its romantic atmosphere. However, it wasn’t easy because I couldn’t afford the whole fee a few years ago. So, it would have been only a dream in my mind.
Last year I strongly felt I needed to go away. I had to meet different people and learn about other cultures to inspire myself. France could have been my first choice. But I wasn’t sure about it after seeing the London Fireworks on TV. They looked so fabulous and sparkling.
I didn’t make up my mind for a long time. Then I immediately texted my sister to tell her I decided to get a New Year’s journey in UK, no matter someone could go with me or not. She was a bit surprised about my decision because she knew how I felt about France. But the funny thing was my sister replied to my message very fast. And she said she would ask her Boss to approve her annual leave. She thought she also needed to try different things last year. She was definitely going to be my best trip partner.
We are used to be self-help travelers because we could control our waking time. It is really hard to be an early bird for us. Being a self-help traveler is a nice way to understand a new city deeper as we collect the information, histories, etc., about the cites. So we decided to plan our UK journey by ourselves.
It was a long, nervous, but very interesting preparation. I searched a lot of websites, blogs, and backpacker forums because I wished it would be a perfect journey. I tried to plan every detail for our trip; however, there were so many things uncontrolled. I couldn’t exactly predict how long we could stay there and when we should go. It really made me a little anxious for a period of time. But I figured out that I was going to be an explorer, not a passer-by after all. So, I decided to give up most of my plans I’d done, and only kept a few schedules that we were really interested in. My sister called it “A real free UK visit”.
Some of our friends and colleagues were really curious about our UK trip. They wondered how we planned our trip ourselves, and they worried how we would communicate clearly with the locals as well. Although we were not very fluent in English like a native speaker, the communication problems never concerned us on our journey when we were in the UK.
準備過程漫長而緊張，但非常有趣。我搜索了很多網站、部落格和背包客論壇，希望這將是個完美的旅程。我試圖計劃著我們旅行的每一個細節，然而，總有那麼多事情無法控制。比如說，我無法準確預測我們可以待在每一個景點多久，還有到底該哪一個時間去每個景點 ！？........ 這真的讓我挺焦慮了一段時間。但是，我想到我將是一個探險家，而不是走馬看花。所以，我決定放棄我所做的大部分計劃，只保留了我們真正感興趣的幾個行程。我妹稱這趟旅行為 “真正自由的英國旅”。
Learning is like building a building. I am glad I made it.
We were not afraid of speaking to a local because of our tutor, Miss Huang, who has been my English tutor for nearly four years, and she was my sister’s too. It’s hard for me to specify her teaching. “Surprising” is my feedback for her lessons. I am surprised that I didn’t need to memorize vocabulary anymore, but I started to remember and pronounce words naturally after her lessons. I also can understand the meaning after hearing sentences without looking at my English listening books and what’s more is I can give Miss Huang a nice summary lately in her lessons. She is just like an architect. She teaches me useful grammar like building a basement, asks me to do homework like stabilizing the structures, and she trains my listening and speaking like decorating the building. In the end, my English became a firm building. So why should I be afraid to talk to the locals?
我想我們不害怕說英文的原因，是因為我們的英文家教黃老師，我上她的課近四年了，而且她也是我妹的英文家教。我很難對她的教學做出具體形容， “令人驚訝” 是我給她的課的反饋。我很驚訝，上她課後，我不再須要背英文單字了，但是我卻開始能記起許多單字，且能自然地發音。聽完許多句子後，不用看我的英文聽力課本，我也可以理解意思。而且我最近還可以在課堂上針對每篇文章用英文說出不錯的個人總結。
We didn’t feel very excited when we arrived at Heathrow airport in London, honestly. We just wanted a comfortable bed to rest after an 18-hour fly! Thank Goodness, we had picked up the hotel which could be reached easily from the airport and Tube. So we could get a nice rest in our first night in London.
We stayed in two cities in UK, London and Edinburgh. We chose two hotels in London and one B&B in Edinburgh to be our home in UK. The hotels were both in zone 1, the central zone of London and just a 5 minutes walk from the Tube. The hotel staff were all nice and friendly. They told us clearly about the travel information that we confused. And the beds were comfortable and perfect to lie down after a tiring day. Especially there were a lot of pillows on the bed, you could fall asleep easily.
But I think the B&B in Edinburgh was the best stay on our UK journey. The B&B is located right in the city center, a great location near all sights. It was like the apartment which I saw in the movies, stylish decorations and useful facilities for self-help travelers, a washing machine, an oven and kitchenware, a lift, etc., although it was in an old building.
That was an amazing feeling! We really felt like a local who had been living there for a long time. We were as locals who went to groceries, went for a walk along the historic streets at sunset and went hiking in the morning. My sister and I both agreed that was one of the enjoyable experiences in UK that we’d had.
我們打算到英國的倫敦和愛丁堡二個城市，因此我們選擇了倫敦的兩間飯店和選了愛丁堡一間民宿，成為我們在英國的落腳地。二間飯店都在 倫敦 1 區；倫敦市中心裡，距離地鐵僅有 5分鐘步行路程。飯店的工作人員都很友善，清楚地為我們旅行困惑的資訊解疑。在疲憊的飛行之後，有張舒適的床，真是太完美了！特別是床上有很多顆枕頭，讓你可以輕鬆入睡。
St. Pancras railway station
Most of the famous landmarks in London and Edinburgh are near the public transport, so we traveled by Tube, the underground in London, and on foot a lot.
By the way, the transport price in UK is a bit expensive. For example, it cost ₤4.9 to buy a ticket from King’s Cross station to Angel station, only one stop, by cash. It would be better and cheaper if you book the tickets earlier, or buy a travel card or an Oyster card, a plastic smartcard. My sister and I had decided the journey was going to be flexible. So we only booked the train return tickets in advance from London to Edinburgh very early instead of ordering other transportation tickets. And next we bought Two Together Railcard, 7 Day Travelcards and Oyster cards after we arrived in London.
Basically, taking Tube by 7 Day Travelcards and Oyster cards was enough and it was a fit way for us to move in London.
Tube is the oldest public transport in the world, and it doesn't seem to be changed in some Tube stations. Long and long escalators, curved channels, dim lights and old coaches showed its long histories. We could imagine the old time when we took it. There was one thing very interesting. We saw some mouse running on the platform. It shocked us! But everyone looked so natural and calm as usual. They made our shocks look wired.
順便說一下，在英國搭地鐵的價格有點貴。例如，從國王十字車站坐到天使站，只有一站，現金購買要4.9 英鎊 (台幣195元)。如果之前就預訂票，或購買儲值的旅行卡或 Oyster 卡，就會比較便宜。由於我和我妹已經決定旅程是很彈性的，我們只預訂了從倫敦到愛丁堡的火車回程票，而沒有先訂其他交通的地鐵票。到達倫敦後，我們才買了 「二人同行」鐵路卡、7 日旅遊卡和 Oyster卡。基本上，買 7日旅遊卡和 Oyster 卡就足夠我們在倫敦移動了，很適合我們。
King’s Cross Station Platform 3/4
We chose to move to Edinburgh by train because we wanted to see the different views between England and Scotland. That was a terrific experience. It was a 4.5-hour journey from King’s Cross station to Waverly station, about 600 km. I guessed the train speed was between our Tze-Chiang train and THSR. The train company offered quiet coaches for passengers, so we felt very peaceful on the journey. My sister and I never felt bored, although it was long travel. We enjoyed the winter sunshine kissing our faces and looked out the window to see the sceneries, from closed buildings to a huge grassland with several flocks of sheep. We had never seen sceneries like these, it was a new experience for us.
But I thought walking was the best way to explore the cities. We didn’t insist on seeing all the famous sights of the travel guides and we didn’t hurry to the next place after sightseeing. It would be too busy and too tiring for us. My sister and I loved to have a look round everywhere in the city. We enjoyed all the time although we got annoyed because we got lost in alleys. But we both thought getting lost was great fun on the journey. Sometimes we just walked along the rivers and bridges to see the people who also walked on the streets. Or we would walk into a cafeteria to get a cup of coffee and we exchanged our impressions in the day.
St. Pancras railway station
我們會選擇乘坐火車前往愛丁堡，是因為我們想看看英格蘭和蘇格蘭之間的不同景色，那真是個令人難忘的經驗。從國王十字車站坐至 Waverly 車站約有六百公里，4.5小時車程，我覺得火車的速度是在我們的自強號火車和高鐵之間。英國鐵路公司提供了安靜的車廂，所以我們在這長程車途中感覺很平靜，但卻從來沒有感到無聊，我們很享受這冬天的陽光親吻著我們的臉龐，窗外的風景，有封閉的建築、有很多群綿羊的一大片草地........ 我們從未見過這樣的風景，這對我們來說是一種新的經歷。
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