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E-Books (english-e-reader), Breaking Loose (1)

Breaking Loose (1)

Where do we come from, where do we belong, where is home? Easy questions, but the answers are not always so simple. Family, culture, history - all these things connect in different and mysterious ways.

An Asian girl and an African man meet at a university dance in an African country. It is the girl's home town, and the man is a visitor from another country. Who is the foreigner here... and does it matter?

A band called Iblis was playing on the stage. The singer and guitarist was a young Asian with long hair, now singing another popular foreign song. Close to the stage danced a group of fashionable, brightly dressed girls. Their wild way of dancing seemed to say that they were the girlfriends of the four young men in the band.

Yasmin was at the far end of the dance floor with her girlfriends. She and two of the girls were standing, because there weren't enough chairs. Sometimes she looked round at the dancers and the band, hoping to see an empty chair that she could bring over. The band was loud, the room was hot and airless, and everyone was sweating. A well-dressed black man in a grey suit appeared out of the crowd of dancers. He came up to her and asked her to dance. She went.

Of all the girls here, why me? I don't want to dance. I can't dance, she thought. From the centre of the dance floor she looked back sadly at her friends, who were talking and laughing in the distance.

'I'm sorry,' he smiled. 'I took you away from your friends.'

'It's okay... only for a few minutes-' she began, and blushed, realizing that was not a polite answer. After all, I should be pleased, she thought. He's a professor.

It was a dance that did not need any closeness or touching - and she was grateful for that.

'Daniel Akoto. That's my name.'

'I know... I'm Yasmin Rajan.'

It's all so unnecessary, she thought. I'm not the type. Why didn't he dance with one of those girls near the stage?

She looked at him. He danced much better than she did.

She was shorter than him. Her long hair was brushed straight back from her face, and she wore a simple dress. This was the middle of her second year at the university.

'Good music,' he said.

'Yes, isn't it? I know the singer-'

'But too Western, don't you think?'

'I don't know...'

She felt uncomfortable with the conversation. There was the little worry too - why had he chosen her, and would he want to see her again? He was looking at her and still talking.

'... you're too westernized, you Asians. You like Western ways, European ways, even more than we Africans do.'

She didn't know what to reply, and felt very embarrassed.

He went on, shaking his head, 'Just listen to that song! Rolling Stones. What do you call Indian in that? Or am I missing something?'

Oh, why doesn't he stop? she thought. 'What do you mean, we're westernized?' she said angrily. 'Of course we have our own culture. We have centuries-old customs...'

She had stopped dancing and there were tears in her eyes. She felt under attack in the middle of the two hundred people dancing around her. She could feel their eyes burning into her, seeing her embarrassment.

She left Akoto in the middle of the dance floor and, with her back straight and her head high, returned to her friends.

The next day she waited for her punishment. A call to the university's head office, a black mark for her rudeness to a professor who was a visitor from another African country.

During lunch in the university restaurant with her friends, she saw him standing at the door, looking around the room. She took a deep breath and waited. His eyes found her and he hurried forward between the tables, laughing and calling out greetings to people as he passed. When he arrived at her table, he found an empty chair, sat down and looked at her.

'About last night...' he began. The other girls picked up their plates and left.

She laughed. 'You pushed them out,' she said. 'They'll hate you for that.' She wondered where she had found the confidence to speak like that to him. He was in a red shirt - expensive, she thought. He looked handsome - and harmless.

'But not for long, I hope,' he began. His smile grew wider as he looked at her. 'I've come to apologize. I asked you for a dance and then I bored you with all those ideas of mine.'

'It's okay. It's my fault too. You see...'

'I know, I know. An innocent Indian girl having to dance with a man! But tell me - don't you expect men to ask you to dance when you're in a dance hall with music playing?'

She smiled, a little embarrassed. 'Having girlfriends with you usually means that strangers don't come and ask...'

'Oh dear! I'm a foreigner, so I didn't know that! You came to have a good time with your friends but you couldn't, because of me. I'm really sorry. Look, let me show you how sorry I am. I'll take you for a drink. How about that?'

'But I don't drink... alcohol, I mean.'

'Don't worry. We'll find something for you.'

It was wrong of him to ask her, of course, but she found she had accepted his invitation without any worries.

When they met, as arranged, later that afternoon, he said, 'I'll take you to The Matumbi.' The Matumbi was a tea shop under a tree, half a mile from the university. It had a roof but no walls. She went in slowly, feeling a little shy. But Akoto was well known there, and the owner pulled up two chairs at a table for them.

'Are you hungry?' Akoto asked.

'No. I'll just have tea... perhaps a small cake...'

'Right! Two teas, one cake and one sikisti!' he called out. 'What's a sikisti?' she asked.

'It's a hot egg sandwich. It's called sikisti because it costs sixty cents!'

She laughed.

'It's true, believe me!'

Akoto was a professor of sociology, from Ghana.

'What are you studying?' he asked her, after their tea.

'Literature.'

'Do you read any African writers?'

'Yes. Soyinka... Achebe...'

'Things fall apart...' he said.

'The center cannot hold.' She finished the words for him.

He laughed. 'What about Ngugi? Palangyo? Omari?'

She shook her head. She hadn't heard of them.

'New, local writers. You should read Nuru Omari. Wait for Me, that's her first book. I could lend it to you if you want.'

'It's okay. I'll borrow it from the library.'

He looked very surprised. 'But it'll take a long time for the library to get it.'

'I'll wait... I don't have much time right now.'

'All right.' He was annoyed.

At last, when he saw that she was a little restless, he said, 'Well, now that I've apologized, I hope... Well, perhaps we can go.'

I am studying literature and I have no time to read the most recent books, she thought. She felt ashamed.

When she saw him again several days later, he did not appear to notice her.

He knows I'm not interested, she thought. So why did I go to the tea shop with him?... Because he's so different, so confident, so intelligent... He's a real gentleman! Ah, that's it! He said we Asians are westernized, but what about him? He's a perfect English gentleman himself! I'll tell him that!

'Dear Professor Akoto,' she wrote, 'I wanted to tell you something. You called us Asians westernized. Well, have you looked at yourself recently? Your language, your clothes - a suit even in hot weather - you are just like an English gentleman yourself! Yours sincerely, Yasmin Rajan. P.S. Could I borrow Omari's Wait for Me from you after all? Thanks.' She put the note under his office door.

The next day he came to find her at lunchtime again. 'You're quite right,' he said. 'Although I'm not sure I completely agree... But let's not argue. Let me show you my library. You can borrow any book you like.'

He took her to his house, and when he opened the door of his sitting room, her eyes opened wide in surprise. Three of the walls were covered with books. She had never before seen so many books which belonged to one person.

'You've read all these books?' she asked.

'Well... I wouldn't...'

'Lucky you. You must know so much!'

'Oh, not really.'

'Do you also write?'

'Yes. But none of my writing is published yet.'

He had ideas about African literature. 'Today's writers are going back to their beginnings, digging deep. And that's what I'm trying to do - dig. So you can understand why I worry about what's real and what isn't.'

They went to The Matumbi that evening. She had her first sikisti, and talked about her family.

'My father had a pawnshop, but pawnshops are no longer allowed, so now he has a shop which makes men's clothes. Tell me, do you think pawnshops are a bad thing?'

'Well, I think they're bad for poor people. They have to pay an awful lot to get their things back.'

'But where can poor people borrow money from? Not the banks! And you should see the kind of things they bring to the pawnshop. Old watches, broken bicycles, sometimes clothes. We have three old gramophones that we can't sell.'

'Is that right? Can I look at them? Perhaps I'll buy one. I like unfashionable old things.'

So one afternoon Yasmin took him to her father's shop to show him the old gramophones. He entered the shop alone, while Yasmin went round to the back of the building, where the family lived. Her father came to meet Akoto.

'Come in, Bwana. What can I get for you?'

'I came with Yasmin,' Akoto explained in his bad Swahili. 'For a gramophone...'

'Ah, yes! The professor! Sit, Bwana, sit.'

While Yasmin's father showed Akoto the gramophones, Yasmin was inside the house, talking to her mother.

'How can you bring him here like this?' said her mother angrily. 'What will the neighbours think? I'm so ashamed!'

'But Mummy, he is a professor!'

'I don't care if he's a professor's father!'

By the time Akoto had left the shop, with his gramophone, Yasmin's mother was wild with anger. 'You do not have friendships with men - not with men who we don't know.'

'The world is not ready for it,' said Yasmin's father quietly.

'You stay out of it!' his wife screamed. 'This is between Yasmin and me!'

Yasmin knew her father would discuss things sensibly, but her mother never stopped warning her, and punishing her, and expecting the worst, just because she was a girl. Yasmin's three brothers did not have this problem.

'What do you know of him? With an Asian man, even if he's very bad, you know what to expect. But with him?' Her mother went on shouting and screaming like this for hours.

By the end of the day Yasmin felt half dead with tiredness.

It was more than a week before she and Akoto met again.

'Where do you eat lunch these days?' he said, smiling. 'You're the perfect salesman. You sell me an old gramophone and disappear. Are you afraid I'll return it?'

She said something polite, and walked quickly away. Later she returned the books that she had borrowed from him, and refused an invitation to The Matumbi. She did not go to the end-of-year dance, but her friends told her what happened there. Professor Akoto sat alone at a table for a while, and drank quite a lot. He got into a fight with Mr Sharp of the Boys' School. Then he left.

India was not just the past, or the close circle of family, neighbours, and friends. India was a place, a culture, one of the great nations of the world. And during the holidays Yasmin discovered India. She read endlessly, and asked her father about it. Here in Africa she was an Asian, an Indian.


Breaking Loose (1) ブレイキングルーズ(1) Вырваться на свободу (1)

Where do we come from, where do we belong, where is home? 私たちはどこから来たのか、どこに属しているのか、どこに住んでいるのか? Easy questions, but the answers are not always so simple. 簡単な質問ですが、答えは必ずしもそれほど単純ではありません。 Family, culture, history - all these things connect in different and mysterious ways. 家族、文化、歴史-これらすべてのものは、異なる神秘的な方法でつながります。

An Asian girl and an African man meet at a university dance in an African country. アジアの女の子とアフリカの男性がアフリカの国の大学のダンスで会います。 It is the girl's home town, and the man is a visitor from another country. 少女の故郷であり、男性は他国からの訪問者です。 Who is the foreigner here... and does it matter? ここの外国人は誰ですか...そしてそれは重要ですか?

A band called Iblis was playing on the stage. イブリースというバンドがステージで演奏していました。 The singer and guitarist was a young Asian with long hair, now singing another popular foreign song. 歌手兼ギタリストは髪の長い若いアジア人で、今では別の人気のある外国の歌を歌っています。 Close to the stage danced a group of fashionable, brightly dressed girls. ステージの近くで、ファッショナブルで明るい服を着た女の子のグループが踊りました。 Their wild way of dancing seemed to say that they were the girlfriends of the four young men in the band. 彼らのワイルドなダンスの仕方は、彼らがバンドの4人の若い男性のガールフレンドであると言っているようでした。

Yasmin was at the far end of the dance floor with her girlfriends. ヤスミンは彼女のガールフレンドと一緒にダンスフロアの遠端にいました。 She and two of the girls were standing, because there weren't enough chairs. 椅子が足りなかったので、彼女と2人の女の子が立っていました。 Sometimes she looked round at the dancers and the band, hoping to see an empty chair that she could bring over. 時々彼女はダンサーとバンドを見回し、彼女が持って来ることができる空の椅子を見たいと思った。 The band was loud, the room was hot and airless, and everyone was sweating. バンドは騒々しく、部屋は暑くて空気がなく、みんな汗をかいていた。 A well-dressed black man in a grey suit appeared out of the crowd of dancers. 灰色のスーツを着た身なりのよい黒人男性がダンサーの群衆から現れました。 He came up to her and asked her to dance. 彼は彼女のところに来て、彼女に踊るように頼んだ。 She went. 彼女は行きました。

Of all the girls here, why me? ここにいるすべての女の子の中で、なぜ私なのか? I don't want to dance. 踊りたくない。 I can't dance, she thought. From the centre of the dance floor she looked back sadly at her friends, who were talking and laughing in the distance. 彼女はダンスフロアの中央から、遠くで話したり笑ったりしている友達を悲しげに振り返った。

'I'm sorry,' he smiled. 'I took you away from your friends.'

'It's okay... only for a few minutes-' she began, and blushed, realizing that was not a polite answer. 「大丈夫です...ほんの数分です-」彼女は始めて顔を赤らめ、それが丁寧な答えではないことに気づきました。 After all, I should be pleased, she thought. 結局のところ、私は喜ぶべきだと彼女は思った。 He's a professor. 彼は教授です。

It was a dance that did not need any closeness or touching - and she was grateful for that. それは親密さや感動を必要としないダンスでした-そして彼女はそれに感謝しました。

'Daniel Akoto. 'ダニエルアコト。 That's my name.' それは私の名前です。'

'I know... I'm Yasmin Rajan.' 「わかっています...私はヤスミン・ラジャンです。」

It's all so unnecessary, she thought. それはすべてとても不必要だと彼女は思った。 I'm not the type. 私はタイプではありません。 Why didn't he dance with one of those girls near the stage? なぜ彼はステージの近くでそれらの女の子の一人と踊らなかったのですか?

She looked at him. He danced much better than she did. 彼は彼女よりずっと上手に踊った。

She was shorter than him. Her long hair was brushed straight back from her face, and she wore a simple dress. 彼女の長い髪は彼女の顔からまっすぐにブラシをかけられ、彼女はシンプルなドレスを着ていました。 This was the middle of her second year at the university. 大学2年生の半ばでした。

'Good music,' he said.

'Yes, isn't it? 「はい、そうではありませんか? I know the singer-' 私は歌手を知っています-」

'But too Western, don't you think?' 「でも西洋的すぎると思いませんか?」

'I don't know...'

She felt uncomfortable with the conversation. 彼女はその会話に不快感を覚えた。 There was the little worry too - why had he chosen her, and would he want to see her again? 少し心配もありました-なぜ彼は彼女を選んだのですか、そして彼は彼女にもう一度会いたいのですか? He was looking at her and still talking. 彼は彼女を見て、まだ話していました。

'... you're too westernized, you Asians. '...あなたはあまりにも西洋化されています、あなたはアジア人です。 You like Western ways, European ways, even more than we Africans do.' あなたは私たちアフリカ人よりも西洋の方法、ヨーロッパの方法が好きです。

She didn't know what to reply, and felt very embarrassed. 彼女は何に返事をするべきかわからず、とても恥ずかしい思いをしました。

He went on, shaking his head, 'Just listen to that song! 彼は頭を振って続けた、「その歌を聞いてください! Rolling Stones. ローリングストーンズ。 What do you call Indian in that? その中であなたはインド人を何と呼びますか? Or am I missing something?' それとも私は何かが足りないのですか?」

Oh, why doesn't he stop? ああ、なぜ彼はやめないのですか? she thought. 'What do you mean, we're westernized?' 「どういう意味ですか、私たちは西洋化されていますか?」 she said angrily. 'Of course we have our own culture. 「もちろん、私たちには独自の文化があります。 We have centuries-old customs...' 私たちは何世紀も前の習慣を持っています...」

She had stopped dancing and there were tears in her eyes. 彼女は踊りをやめ、目に涙が出ました。 She felt under attack in the middle of the two hundred people dancing around her. 彼女は周りで踊っている200人の人々の真ん中で攻撃を受けていると感じました。 She could feel their eyes burning into her, seeing her embarrassment. 彼女は彼女の恥ずかしさを見て、彼らの目が彼女に燃えているのを感じることができました。

She left Akoto in the middle of the dance floor and, with her back straight and her head high, returned to her friends. 彼女はダンスフロアの真ん中にアコトを残し、背中をまっすぐにし、頭を高くして、友達に戻った。

The next day she waited for her punishment. 翌日、彼女は罰を待ちました。 A call to the university's head office, a black mark for her rudeness to a professor who was a visitor from another African country. 大学の本部への電話、他のアフリカの国からの訪問者であった教授への彼女の無礼のブラックマーク。

During lunch in the university restaurant with her friends, she saw him standing at the door, looking around the room. She took a deep breath and waited. 彼女は深呼吸して待った。 His eyes found her and he hurried forward between the tables, laughing and calling out greetings to people as he passed. 彼の目は彼女を見つけ、彼はテーブルの間を急いで進み、通りかかったときに笑いながら人々に挨拶をしました。 When he arrived at her table, he found an empty chair, sat down and looked at her.

'About last night...' he began. The other girls picked up their plates and left. 他の女の子は皿を手に取って去りました。

She laughed. 'You pushed them out,' she said. 「あなたはそれらを押し出した」と彼女は言った。 'They'll hate you for that.' 「彼らはそれであなたを憎むでしょう。」 She wondered where she had found the confidence to speak like that to him. 彼女はどこで彼にそのように話す自信を見つけたのだろうと思った。 He was in a red shirt - expensive, she thought. 彼は赤いシャツを着ていた-高価だと彼女は思った。 He looked handsome - and harmless. 彼はハンサムに見えた-そして無害だった。

'But not for long, I hope,' he began. 「しかし、長くはない、私は願っています」と彼は始めました。 His smile grew wider as he looked at her. 彼が彼女を見たとき、彼の笑顔はより広くなった。 'I've come to apologize. 「お詫びするようになりました。 I asked you for a dance and then I bored you with all those ideas of mine.' 私はあなたにダンスを頼みました、そしてそれから私は私のそれらのすべての考えであなたを退屈させました。

'It's okay. 'それは大丈夫。 It's my fault too. それも私のせいです。 You see...' 分かりますか...'

'I know, I know. '分かってる。 An innocent Indian girl having to dance with a man! 男と踊らなければならない無垢なインドの女の子! But tell me - don't you expect men to ask you to dance when you're in a dance hall with music playing?' しかし、教えてください-あなたが音楽を演奏しているダンスホールにいるとき、男性があなたにダンスをするように頼むことを期待しませんか?」

She smiled, a little embarrassed. 彼女は微笑んで、少し恥ずかしかった。 'Having girlfriends with you usually means that strangers don't come and ask...' 「あなたとガールフレンドがいるということは、通常、見知らぬ人が来て尋ねないことを意味します...」

'Oh dear! 'まあ! I'm a foreigner, so I didn't know that! 私は外国人なので、知らなかった! You came to have a good time with your friends but you couldn't, because of me. あなたは友達と楽しい時間を過ごすようになりましたが、私のせいでできませんでした。 I'm really sorry. Look, let me show you how sorry I am. ほら、ごめんなさい。 I'll take you for a drink. 私はあなたを飲み物に連れて行きます。 How about that?'

'But I don't drink... alcohol, I mean.' 「でも私は飲まない…お酒、つまり」

'Don't worry. We'll find something for you.' 私たちはあなたのために何かを見つけるでしょう。」

It was wrong of him to ask her, of course, but she found she had accepted his invitation without any worries. もちろん、彼が彼女に尋ねるのは間違っていたが、彼女は心配することなく彼の招待を受け入れたことがわかった。

When they met, as arranged, later that afternoon, he said, 'I'll take you to The Matumbi.' 彼らが会ったとき、アレンジされたように、その日の午後遅くに、彼は言った、「私はあなたをマトゥンビに連れて行きます」。 The Matumbi was a tea shop under a tree, half a mile from the university. マトゥンビ族は、大学から800 m(0.5マイル)離れた木の下にある喫茶店でした。 It had a roof but no walls. She went in slowly, feeling a little shy. 彼女は少し恥ずかしがり屋でゆっくりと入った。 But Akoto was well known there, and the owner pulled up two chairs at a table for them. しかし、あことはそこでよく知られていて、所有者は彼らのためにテーブルで2つの椅子を引き上げました。

'Are you hungry?' Akoto asked.

'No. I'll just have tea... perhaps a small cake...' 私はお茶を飲むだけです...多分小さなケーキ...」

'Right! Two teas, one cake and one sikisti!' お茶2杯、ケーキ1杯、シキスティ1杯!」 he called out. 彼は声をかけた。 'What's a sikisti?' 「sikistiとは何ですか?」 she asked. 彼女は尋ねた。

'It's a hot egg sandwich. 「それは熱い卵サンドイッチです。 It's called sikisti because it costs sixty cents!' 60セントかかるのでsikistiと呼ばれています!」

She laughed.

'It's true, believe me!'

Akoto was a professor of sociology, from Ghana. アコトはガーナ出身の社会学の教授でした。

'What are you studying?' '何を勉強しているの?' he asked her, after their tea. 彼はお茶を飲んだ後、彼女に尋ねた。

'Literature.' '文学。'

'Do you read any African writers?' 「アフリカの作家を読んでいますか?」

'Yes. Soyinka... Achebe...' ソインカ…アチェベ…」

'Things fall apart...' he said. 「物事はバラバラになります...」と彼は言いました。

'The center cannot hold.' 「センターは保持できません。」 She finished the words for him. 彼女は彼のために言葉を終えた。

He laughed. 彼は笑いました。 'What about Ngugi? 「グギはどうですか? Palangyo? パランギョ? Omari?' おまり?」

She shook her head. She hadn't heard of them. 彼女はそれらのことを聞いたことがありませんでした。

'New, local writers. '新しい地元の作家。 You should read Nuru Omari. ぬるおまりをお読みください。 Wait for Me, that's her first book. 私を待ってください、それは彼女の最初の本です。 Жди меня, это ее первая книга. I could lend it to you if you want.' よろしければお貸しします。」 Я могу одолжить его вам, если хотите.

'It's okay. I'll borrow it from the library.' 図書館から借ります。」 Я возьму его в библиотеке.

He looked very surprised. 彼はとても驚いたように見えた。 Он выглядел очень удивленным. 'But it'll take a long time for the library to get it.' 「しかし、図書館がそれを入手するには長い時間がかかるでしょう。」 — Но библиотеке потребуется много времени, чтобы получить его.

'I'll wait... I don't have much time right now.' 「待ちます...今はあまり時間がありません。」 — Я подожду… У меня сейчас мало времени.

'All right.' 'わかった。' He was annoyed. 彼はイライラした。

At last, when he saw that she was a little restless, he said, 'Well, now that I've apologized, I hope... Well, perhaps we can go.' とうとう、彼女が少し落ち着きがないのを見て、彼は言った。

I am studying literature and I have no time to read the most recent books, she thought. 私は文学を勉強していて、最新の本を読む時間がない、と彼女は思った。 She felt ashamed. 彼女は恥ずかしい思いをした。

When she saw him again several days later, he did not appear to notice her. 彼女が数日後に再び彼に会ったとき、彼は彼女に気づいていないようでした。

He knows I'm not interested, she thought. 彼は私が興味がないことを知っている、と彼女は思った。 So why did I go to the tea shop with him?... それで、なぜ私は彼と一緒に喫茶店に行ったのですか?... Because he's so different, so confident, so intelligent... He's a real gentleman! 彼はとても異なっているので、とても自信があり、とても賢いです...彼は本当の紳士です! Ah, that's it! ああ、それだけです! He said we Asians are westernized, but what about him? He's a perfect English gentleman himself! 彼は完璧な英国紳士です! I'll tell him that! 私は彼にそれを伝えます!

'Dear Professor Akoto,' she wrote, 'I wanted to tell you something. 「親愛なるアコト教授」と彼女は書いた。 You called us Asians westernized. あなたは私たちを西洋化したアジア人と呼んだ。 Well, have you looked at yourself recently? さて、最近自分を見ましたか? Your language, your clothes - a suit even in hot weather - you are just like an English gentleman yourself! あなたの言語、あなたの服-暑い日でもスーツ-あなたはまるでイギリスの紳士のようです! Yours sincerely, Yasmin Rajan. よろしくお願いします、ヤスミン・ラジャン。 P.S. Could I borrow Omari's Wait for Me from you after all? 結局、オマリの「私を待って」を借りてもらえますか? Thanks.' She put the note under his office door.

The next day he came to find her at lunchtime again. 翌日、彼は再び昼食時に彼女を見つけるようになりました。 'You're quite right,' he said. 「あなたはまったく正しい」と彼は言った。 'Although I'm not sure I completely agree... But let's not argue. 「私が完全に同意するかどうかはわかりませんが...しかし、議論しないでください。 Let me show you my library. 私の図書館をお見せしましょう。 You can borrow any book you like.' 好きな本を借りることができます。」

He took her to his house, and when he opened the door of his sitting room, her eyes opened wide in surprise. 彼は彼女を彼の家に連れて行きました、そして彼が彼の居間のドアを開けたとき、彼女の目は驚いて大きく開きました。 Three of the walls were covered with books. 壁の3つは本で覆われていました。 She had never before seen so many books which belonged to one person. 彼女はこれまで一人の人が所有する本をこれほど多く見たことがありませんでした。

'You've read all these books?' 「あなたはこれらの本をすべて読んだのですか?」 she asked.

'Well... I wouldn't...' 「まあ...私はしません...」

'Lucky you. 'あなたはラッキーです。 You must know so much!' あなたはそんなに知っている必要があります!」

'Oh, not really.' 「ああ、そうではない。」

'Do you also write?' 「あなたも書きますか?」

'Yes. But none of my writing is published yet.' しかし、私の執筆はまだ公開されていません。」

He had ideas about African literature. 彼はアフリカ文学についての考えを持っていました。 'Today's writers are going back to their beginnings, digging deep. 「今日の作家は、深く掘り下げて、彼らの最初に戻っています。 And that's what I'm trying to do - dig. そして、それが私がやろうとしていることです-掘ります。 So you can understand why I worry about what's real and what isn't.' だから、私が何が本当で何がそうでないかを心配する理由を理解することができます。

They went to The Matumbi that evening. 彼らはその夜マトゥンビに行きました。 She had her first sikisti, and talked about her family. 彼女は最初のsikistiを持っていて、彼女の家族について話しました。

'My father had a pawnshop, but pawnshops are no longer allowed, so now he has a shop which makes men's clothes. 「父は質屋を持っていましたが、質屋はもう許可されていないので、今では紳士服を作る店があります。 Tell me, do you think pawnshops are a bad thing?' 教えてください、質屋は悪いことだと思いますか?」

'Well, I think they're bad for poor people. 「まあ、彼らは貧しい人々にとって悪いことだと思います。 They have to pay an awful lot to get their things back.' 彼らは自分たちの物を取り戻すためにひどいお金を払わなければなりません。

'But where can poor people borrow money from? 「しかし、貧しい人々はどこからお金を借りることができますか? Not the banks! 銀行ではありません! And you should see the kind of things they bring to the pawnshop. そして、あなたは彼らが質屋にもたらすようなものを見るはずです。 Old watches, broken bicycles, sometimes clothes. We have three old gramophones that we can't sell.' 販売できない古い蓄音機が3台あります。」

'Is that right? 「そうですか? Can I look at them? それらを見ることができますか? Perhaps I'll buy one. たぶん私が買うでしょう。 I like unfashionable old things.' ファッショナブルな古いものが好きです。」

So one afternoon Yasmin took him to her father's shop to show him the old gramophones. He entered the shop alone, while Yasmin went round to the back of the building, where the family lived. Her father came to meet Akoto. 彼女の父はアコトに会いに来た。

'Come in, Bwana. 「入って、ブワナ。 What can I get for you?' 私はあなたのために何を得ることができますか?」

'I came with Yasmin,' Akoto explained in his bad Swahili. 「私はヤスミンと一緒に来ました」とアコトは彼の悪いスワヒリ語で説明しました。 'For a gramophone...' 「蓄音機の場合...」

'Ah, yes! The professor! 教授! Sit, Bwana, sit.'

While Yasmin's father showed Akoto the gramophones, Yasmin was inside the house, talking to her mother.

'How can you bring him here like this?' 「どうやって彼をこのようにここに連れてくることができますか?」 said her mother angrily. 彼女の母親は怒って言った。 'What will the neighbours think? 「隣人はどう思いますか? I'm so ashamed!' 私はとても恥ずかしいです!'

'But Mummy, he is a professor!' 「でもミイラ、彼は教授です!」

'I don't care if he's a professor's father!' 「彼が教授の父親であるかどうかは気にしない!」

By the time Akoto had left the shop, with his gramophone, Yasmin's mother was wild with anger. アコトが蓄音機を持って店を出る頃には、ヤスミンの母親は怒り狂っていた。 'You do not have friendships with men - not with men who we don't know.' 「あなたは男性と友情を持っていません-私たちが知らない男性とは友情を持っていません。」

'The world is not ready for it,' said Yasmin's father quietly. 「世界はそれの準備ができていません」とヤスミンの父は静かに言いました。

'You stay out of it!' 「あなたはそれを避けます!」 his wife screamed. 'This is between Yasmin and me!' 「これはヤスミンと私の間です!」

Yasmin knew her father would discuss things sensibly, but her mother never stopped warning her, and punishing her, and expecting the worst, just because she was a girl. ヤスミンは父親が物事を賢明に話し合うことを知っていたが、母親は彼女が女の子だったという理由だけで、彼女に警告し、彼女を罰し、最悪の事態を予期することを決してやめなかった。 Yasmin's three brothers did not have this problem. ヤスミンの3人の兄弟はこの問題を抱えていませんでした。

'What do you know of him? 「あなたは彼について何を知っていますか? With an Asian man, even if he's very bad, you know what to expect. アジア人の男性の場合、たとえ彼が非常に悪いとしても、あなたは何を期待するかを知っています。 But with him?' しかし、彼と一緒に?」 Her mother went on shouting and screaming like this for hours. 彼女の母親は何時間もこのように叫び続けました。

By the end of the day Yasmin felt half dead with tiredness. その日の終わりまでに、ヤスミンは疲れて半分死んでいると感じました。

It was more than a week before she and Akoto met again. 彼女とアコトが再会するのは一週間以上前だった。

'Where do you eat lunch these days?' 「最近、どこでお弁当を食べますか?」 he said, smiling. 'You're the perfect salesman. 「あなたは完璧なセールスマンです。 You sell me an old gramophone and disappear. あなたは私に古い蓄音機を売って消えます。 Are you afraid I'll return it?' 返品するのが怖いですか?」

She said something polite, and walked quickly away. 彼女は礼儀正しいことを言い、すぐに立ち去った。 Later she returned the books that she had borrowed from him, and refused an invitation to The Matumbi. その後、彼女は彼から借りた本を返却し、マトゥンビへの招待を拒否しました。 She did not go to the end-of-year dance, but her friends told her what happened there. 彼女は年末のダンスには行きませんでしたが、彼女の友達はそこで何が起こったのかを彼女に話しました。 Professor Akoto sat alone at a table for a while, and drank quite a lot. アコト教授はしばらくテーブルに一人で座って、かなりたくさん飲んだ。 He got into a fight with Mr Sharp of the Boys' School. 彼は男子校のシャープ氏と喧嘩した。 Then he left. それから彼は去った。

India was not just the past, or the close circle of family, neighbours, and friends. インドは過去だけではなく、家族、隣人、友人の親密なサークルでもありませんでした。 India was a place, a culture, one of the great nations of the world. インドは場所であり、文化であり、世界の偉大な国の1つでした。 And during the holidays Yasmin discovered India. そして休暇中にヤスミンはインドを発見しました。 She read endlessly, and asked her father about it. 彼女は延々と読んで、それについて父親に尋ねました。 Here in Africa she was an Asian, an Indian. ここアフリカでは、彼女はアジア人、インド人でした。