Happiness on a budget
好生活没有那么贵
www.i21st.cn
BY 悠久の翼 from 21st Century
Published 2011-11-25
乔小刀
乔小刀分享自己的经验
导读:从1998年北漂的农民工(migrant worker)到2008年 “微薄之盐”的创始人,乔小刀一路走得很艰辛。如今他拥有艺术家、歌手、设计师、展览策划人等多重身份。他在新书《好的生活没有那么贵》向人们诠释着快乐生活的真谛。

Can you imagine treating 12 friends to a meal with only 35 yuan to spend?
你能想象只用35元钱就能款待12位朋友吗?

Or could you take a trip to Tibet with only 500 yuan in your pocket? Can you imagine producing a short film on a budget of 3,000 yuan?
你能在兜里只揣着500元钱就完成一趟西藏之旅吗?你能想象到只用3000元预算来制作完成一部短片吗?

Well, you might say it’s impossible because these things require loads of money.
当然,你可能会说这根本不可能,因为做这些事都需要花很多钱。

But Qiao Xiaodao, a 36-year-old folk artist, proves it’s all possible in his book The Good Life Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune.
但是36岁的民间艺人乔小刀在自己的书《好的生活没有那么贵》中证明了这一切皆有可能。

“People like to say that ‘I will do something once I have got enough cash’, but you should never let money become an obstacle to enjoying a happy life,” he said.
“虽然人们总喜欢说‘等我有钱了我会做什么,’但你绝不应该让钱成为享受幸福生活的阻碍。”他说。

Qiao, a migrant worker who came from a village in Heilongjiang province to Beijing in 1998, has led a cheap but fascinating life.
作为一名外来务工人员,乔小刀1998年从黑龙江省的一个小乡村来到北京。他过着花钱不多但很有意思的生活。

The welder-turned-artist has put on his own design work exhibition, started a rock band with his (then) 8-year-old nephew, and released his own CD record.
从电焊工蜕变为艺术家,他开了自己的设计作品展,还与当年只有8岁大的侄女组建了一支摇滚乐队,并发行了自己的唱片。

Qiao has demonstrated how “a little bit of thrift, ingenuity and creativity” can go a long way, to creating a good life even without a big budget.
乔小刀用亲身经历展示了“几分勤俭,机智和创新”是如何在没有充足预算的情况发挥作用创造美好生活的。

“There’s a misconception that nothing can be done with little money, but actually things can still be accomplished,” he explained.
“一直以来都存在一种误解,就是没钱万事难,而实际上有些事没钱也能做。”他解释道。

Qiao’s recipe for success includes finding discarded resources and “doing the most with the least”.
乔小刀的成功秘诀包括搜罗废品,以及“用最少的钱做最多的事”。

Take buying furniture as an example. If you consult Qiao he will ask you to analyze your situation first.
就拿买家具这个例子来说。如果你咨询乔小刀的话,他会首先让你先分析一下自己的情况。

If you’re extremely short of funds, he may advise you to go to the 27 secondhand and flea markets that he frequented in Beijing.
要是你实在是囊中羞涩,他可能会建议你去北京他常去的那27家二手市场和跳蚤市场。

That’s just how Qiao furnished his own faddish art studio, with each piece of his furniture costing below 20 yuan on average.
乔小刀就是这样装饰自己的时尚艺术工作室的,每件家具平均花费不到20元。

Anyway, a combination of antique pieces provides a stylish environment for him, his friends, and clients to meet up.
总之,搭配了古玩的装饰风格为他自己,朋友及客户的会面提供了一个别具风格的场所。

Once he gave life to some junk and turned it into art work.
他曾经赋予一些废旧物品新的生命力,将它们变成了艺术品。

Another time, he laid a table at home and served a dozen, home-cooked dishes. The ingredients, vegetables and meat, cost 35 yuan in the grocery market.
一次,他在家中设宴请客,做了12道家常菜。他在杂货市场购买的这些原料,蔬菜和肉,一共花了35元。

Qiao hopes to make clear that he’s not promoting a cheap life, or asking young people to live like monks.
乔小刀希望人们明白,他不是在提倡过廉价的生活或是告诉人们要像苦行僧一样生活。

“I just want people to have the chance to enjoy a comfortable life which is within their reach and costs no more than the money in their pockets,” he said.
“我只是希望人们能有机会去享受力所能及的舒适生活,而且不会掏光口袋。”他说。

In Qiao’s eyes, those who have the idea that it requires a lot of money to live a good life, have misunderstood the meaning of happiness.
在乔小刀的眼中,那些认为“过好日子,需要很多钱”的人们误解了幸福的涵义。

As for himself, a good life could be stripped down to its simplest form.
对他来说,美好生活可以精简成最简单的形式。

“A happy life in essence means that you are able to feed yourself every day, to have spare money to make your recent dream come true, and to get along well with family members,” said Qiao.
“幸福生活的本质就是每天你可以喂饱自己,还有闲钱去实现自己近期的梦想,并且能和家人相处融洽,”乔小刀说道。

He reckons those who find it hard to be happy have raised the bars too high.
他认为那些苦于找不到快乐的人们其实是把幸福门槛设得太高了。

He also warned young people not to put off their dreams for lack of money, since many people spend years struggling to get their career and social status established first.
大多数人为了先成就事业及社会地位而苦苦奋斗多年,因此他提醒年轻人不要因为缺钱而放弃梦想。

“After years of struggle, they’ll regret not having taken the opportunity to enjoy life,” he said.
他说:“多年打拼后,他们会后悔当初没有抓住机会享受生活。”

Now, as the founder of Tiny Salt (Weibozhiyan), a café chain and a platform for emerging musicians and artists to showcase their talent in Beijing and Shanghai, he’s giving speeches in 20 colleges nationwide to promote his idea.
如今,作为连锁咖啡店品牌微薄之盐的创始人,他在国内20所高校发表了演讲推广他的理念,微薄之盐同时也是京沪两地新兴音乐家、艺术家展示才艺的平台。

Although many students are enchanted by his ideas, some still question if his time or labor consuming low-cost plans have feasibility for all.
尽管他的理念令很多学生神往,但也有一些人仍然质疑他的时间或者耗费人力的低成本计划是否对于所有人来说都具备可行性。

Chen Wei, 21, is a junior majoring in German at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
21岁的陈微(音译)是北京对外经济贸易大学德语专业大三学生。

She thinks Qiao provides a novel way of thinking.
她认为乔小刀提供了一种新颖的思考方式。

“His story of surviving the life of the capital is encouraging and warm. It shows that everyone can earn self-esteem with a creative mind.”
“他在北京的生存故事鼓舞人心,给人温暖。它说明人人可以通过创新思维而获得自尊。”

(Translator & Editor: 21英语 Penny AND Aaron)
http://www.i21st.cn/story/1316.html
辞海拾贝
obstacle  障碍
   
migrant worker  农民工
fascinating  迷人的,醉人的
   
welder  电焊工
thrift  节俭
   
ingenuity  独创性
misconception  误解
   
recipe  处方
discard  丢弃
   
flea market  跳蚤市场
faddish  流行的,趋于时尚的
   
junk  垃圾
ingredient  材料
   
strip down  脱去,剥开
reckon  认为
   
showcase  展示(才华)
enchant  陶醉,使喜悦
   
feasibility  可行性,可能性
self-esteem  自尊