Boat Trip to Great Barrier Reef

來到Airlie Beach,一定要坐艇出海,我原本網上預訂了過夜艇,臨出發才忽然取消,結果旅行社要我加少少錢,轉搭另一隻「豪華艇」,兼多一晚,旅行社還安慰我說:「船上有中國人啊,放心啦。」當然這個「安慰」絕對令人不放心,而最後,簡直是災難啊……

 

船上一共有十二人,男船長一名,女助船一名,客人十名:中國內地遊客五名、長者夫婦二人、英國同志二人,與我。

 

而這五名中國遊客,有的是公安、有的是大學教授,卻都不太懂英語,船上只有我通曉中英文,結果我還要身兼翻譯,中國遊客坐不慣船,不停輪流暈浪,都躲在船艙睡覺,船長為此大動肝火,說:「暈船最好上甲板,放眼遠望,好過瞓船艙,愈瞓愈暈呀!」

 

我如實翻譯,但中國遊客不滿,回說:「他憑什麼管我們!?我就喜歡休息!」說着就用風衣、遮陽帽等將自己裹得嚴嚴實實,與英國同志們的「除淨底褲」大相逕庭。

 

船長生氣了,但也保持最低限度的禮貌,一句粗口都無爆,但也不掩飾自己的怒火,絕無假笑,生氣得直率,我覺得好羨慕耶,服務業人員也有權生氣,好好呀!

 

不過夾在中間的我就慘啲,左右不是人,我當時直譯太蠢了,應該見人講人話,見鬼講鬼話,無須將中國遊客與船長互駡都直接翻譯,總之勸勸中國遊客,幫幫船長就好了嘛,唉,接待(中國遊客)真難啊……

 

助船一臉無奈,愛莫能助;長者夫婦在旁邊輕笑看大戲,雖然他們聽不懂,但憑各人表情略知一二;英國同志偶爾會給我一個「加油」的表情,但還是你儂我儂最重要。

 

英國同志給我的印象實在是太深刻了,Matthew與Benoit同住一房,從沒掩飾同志身份,日常無親密舉動,動作卻比朋友親密;對人有禮,卻不會主動幫忙,但會回應求救,清楚劃清我者他者界線,從不逾矩。

 

Matthew只有23歲,卻似33歲,他是英國人,是划艇運動員,但在幾個月前的選拔賽,差0.01秒才能擠身英國代表隊出戰奧運,加上傷患纏身,就退役了;然後他在酒吧遇見了Benoit,Benoit從事投資銀行,早在倫敦買樓收租,於是二人就趁着歐洲隆冬,來盛夏澳洲曬太陽、看珊瑚、嘆世界。

 

Matthew才23歲,卻似經歷了一輩子,我問他:「退役後的人生點打算?」

他的眼裏無一絲陰霾,笑而不語。

 

以上訪談環境真的超奇異,黑夜、海水、搖晃、月光、倒影,哇啊~我的邂逅在哪裏啊啊啊啊啊啊~!?

 

離開澳洲、返回香港後,Matthew facebook的更新令人好羨慕:一會飛意大利拍時裝廣告、一會飛日內瓦做同志運動員的講座、一會在倫敦曬肉做健身教練,甜心Benoit永遠在旁。

 

我只有一個問題:如果Matthew是香港人,這些機會可能嗎?

不可能吧,環顧全港,根本無一位主流認可、正面、同志、肌肉、運動員的人,好彩Matthew有幸生在英國,生在香港的話,怎能活得如此光鮮亮麗、自信滿滿?

 

 

It is a MUST to sail on sea if you come to Airlie Beach. I had booked an overnight boat trip on internet days before. But my boat trip was canceled due to some unknown reasons in the very last minutes. The travel agency asked me to give them a little more money and transferred me to another "luxury boat" and gave me an extra night.

The travel agencies comfort me and said: " You will accompany by some Chinese tourists, take it easy, have some rest! "

Well, of course this "comfort" made me even more worry and it turned out simply a disaster……

 

So we have twelve people on board: a male captain, a female boat assistance and ten guests: five mainland Chinese tourists, two elderly couples, two British gay couple, and me.

 

The Chinese tourists said they were police / professor in college in China. But they did not quite understand English. I was the only one who could speak both Chinese and English well on board. So the captain asked me to do translation.

 

The Chinese tourists got sea-sick and hiding in the cabin to sleep. The captain was angry and said: "You have to go up the deck and look far if you get sea-sick. It only made it worse if you keep sleeping inside the cabin! "

 

I translated. But the Chinese tourists dissatisfied and said: "Why should we have to listen to him!? I like to rest!" then they began to wrapped themselves up tight with clothes, sun hat, etc. A big contrast to the nearly-naked British gay couple.

 

The Captain was angry. But he managed to maintain a minimum courtesy. He never said any foul language and yet he did not hide his anger. Wow, nice! The service industry reserved the right to be angry!

 

I was not a good middle man. I should ‘translate’ the proper meaning rather than directly translated their cursing language to each other. Oh, server (Chinese tourists) really hard ... ...

 

The female boat assistant want to help but didn’t know how. The elderly couple sat back and watched our drama. The British gay couple would give me a ‘Cheers!’ look but distance was always kept.

 

The British gay couple is lovely. Matthew and Benoit were living in the same room. They never disguised themselves. They didn’t act intimate in front of us but everybody knew they are a pair. They are polite but will not offer help and yet they would response to help. They drew a clear boundary between ‘us’ and ‘others’.

 

Matthew is only 23 years old but looked like 33 years old. He came from England. He was a rowing athlete but missed the chance to represent British to the Olympic Games for just 0.01 seconds in the selection games a few months ago. He decided to retired and met Benoit in a pub.

Benoit was an investment banker. They traveled to the hot Australia summer in the cold European winter to see the coral and enjoy life.

 

Matthew was just 23 years old but had lived a lifetime, I asked him: "What are you going to do after retiremen?"

His eyes was clear without a trace of haze. He laughed and said nothing.

 

We were sitting in an exotic environment for the above interview: the night, the sea, shaking, moonlight, reflection, wow ah ~~~ where is my Prince Charming!!??

 

I went back to Hong Kong after traveling in Australia and New Zealand. I was always amazed by Matthew’s facebook update: he is flying to Italy to shoot fashion ads, he is flying to Geneva to do a gay athletes lectures, he is in London as a fitness coach…and his sweetheart Benoit was in every photos. They are always together for each other.

 

I have only one question: if Matthew was born in Hong Kong, would he can achieve all these?

I don’t think so…I can’t recall a positive public figure of gay, muscular and athlete in Hong Kong. Hong Kong still had lots to catch up…

七國咁亂The boat...

相機陣亡了...My camera DEAD...

我終於有自己一間房啦! I have my OWN ROOM!

靚到暈(無誤) Beautiful dizzy sea...

夜裏的月 Moon at night

船上黃昏 Sunset on boat

傳奇人物 Legend