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那是谁的脚?谈一谈飞机上的礼仪

更新时间:2013/12/6 21:10:15 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Whose Feet Are Those? Negotiating Air-Travel Etiquette
那是谁的脚?谈一谈飞机上的礼仪

Forget paying extra for more legroom seats. These days I’d pay to sit next to someone who keeps his socks on. On recent flights I’ve had bare feet beside me, on the back of my armrest, on the bulkhead in front of me. Once, upon feeling something push through the sliver of space where the seat back and bottom meet, I reached behind me and grabbed a stranger’s toes.

这里不讨论“多花钱,好伸腿”的问题。这些天来,我宁肯多花点儿钱,保佑自己坐飞机时邻座不脱袜子,因为在最近的几次飞行中,我的身旁、座椅扶手后面以及面前的隔板上都曾惊现其他乘客赤裸的大脚丫。还有一次,我感觉有什么东西穿透了我座椅靠背与椅面之间的细缝,伸手往后一摸,抓住的竟是某个陌生人的脚趾头。

Yet barefoot flying is merely one example of how public space, especially in airports and on airplanes, is rapidly transforming into more personal and intimate territory. From the hoodies and pajama bottoms we wear on board to the magazines, gadgets, creams and eye masks with which we litter our seats, the airplane has become Everyman’s bedroom.

然而,在飞机上光脚仅仅是一个例子,显示了公共空间,尤其是机场和机舱如何变换为一个日益私密的领地。这里有我们登机时所穿的帽衫和睡裤,有随身携带并散落在座椅上的杂志、电子产品、面霜和眼罩,飞机似乎已经成了每个乘客自己的卧室。

“Everybody on a long flight takes their shoes off now,” said David Huberman, who lives in Ashburn, Va., and flies about 20,000 miles a month for work. “And not everybody’s aware of how that smells.”

“如今长途飞行的时候,人人都会在飞机上脱鞋。”大卫·胡伯曼(David Huberman)说,“但并不是每个人都能意识到那有多臭。”胡伯曼住在弗吉尼亚州阿施本,因为经常出差,每个月要飞两万英里。

“The well-educated, well-cultured 65-year-old woman,” he said, “even she does it now.”

“甚至有个受过良好教育、极有修养的65岁女士也这样,”他说。

With the holiday travel season approaching, when patience will be as essential as a passport, the time seems right to seek some understanding about why we behave the way we do on airplanes. Can we chalk it up to a collective exasperation with the ever-shrinking seat? A global spike in thoughtlessness? Psychological and anthropological scholarship suggests it comes down to this: public space isn’t what it used to be. We’re living in an age when smartphones and tablets allow us to have our most personal conversations in extremely communal places. Centuries-old walls between what’s considered private and what’s considered public are crumbling. And as we learn to exist simultaneously in two once-disparate realms, tensions are coming to the fore.

度假旅行季越来越近了。在这个季节里,耐心就像护照一样必不可少。为我们在飞机上的一些行为寻求合理的解释,似乎正是时候。我们是不是应该归咎于座椅空间越来越小导致的集体怒气?或者说,服务行业历来考虑不周,这个问题举世皆然?心理学和人类学研究者认为根源在于:公共空间已经与过去截然不同了。我们生活在这样一个时代,有了智能手机和平板电脑,虽然置身于公共场合,依然可以进行最为私人的交流。数百年来隔开私人空间与公共空间的那堵高墙正日渐倾颓。我们学会了同时存在于这两个曾经泾渭分明的领域,而冲突与忐忑也随之到来。

“People are trying to come up with strategies to make themselves feel comfortable in a world of tremendous mobility,” said Setha M. Low, director of the Public Space Research Group at the City University of New York Graduate Center, an environmental psychology and anthropology professor and a former president of the American Anthropological Association.

“在一个流动性极强的世界中,人们总是想方设法让自己感到舒适。”纽约市立大学研究生院公共空间研究组主任赛沙·M·娄尔(Setha M. Low)说。他是环境心理学和人类学教授,也是美国人类学学会前任主席。

While this phenomenon is happening everywhere — in parks, restaurants, shopping malls — it’s exaggerated when we travel. One could argue that at a time when flying is an exercise in contortionism, filling a seat pocket with your paraphernalia and putting your feet up is an attempt to create what the environmental psychologist John B. Calhoun referred to in the 1940s as “defensible space” — public territory that you try to turn into personal space (like your office cubicle) to gain some measure of cognitive control.

这种现象随处可见,公园、餐馆、大商场里比比皆是,而在旅行中尤为明显。我们可以为自己辩护,说坐飞机就像是扭曲身体的杂技训练,当你把随身物品塞进座椅后面的口袋,抬起双脚,本质是试图划出一块“防御空间”。这个术语是环境心理学家约翰·B·卡尔霍恩(John B. Calhoun)在二十世纪四十年代提出来的,指的是你把某一块公共领地变成私人空间(就像公司内属于你自己的那块小隔间),借此获得认知上的控制力。

“The gurus say we’re cocooning,” Professor Low said. “You take your private, personal world with you. You embody that space, you make it your own.” Problems arise, though, when some travelers’ efforts to do that impinge on another’s sense of what public space ought to be. None of us perceive space solely in terms of physical distance. Our sense of space is also determined by visual, olfactory, temperature and kinesthetic (the sensation of movement in our muscles) factors, according to research by the anthropologist Edward T. Hall. And our views are further shaped by our various cultures and personal histories.

“灵修大师说,我们就像蚕在结茧,”娄尔教授说。“萦绕在身边的就是你隐秘的私人世界。你为这片空间赋予了意义,它成了你的专属空间。”可是问题出来了。某些乘客试图这样做的时候,挑战了大家对公共空间的共识。我们都不会把空间仅仅视作物理上的距离。根据人类学家爱德华·T·霍尔(Edward T. Hall)的研究,我们的空间感也取决于视觉、嗅觉、温度和动觉(人体肌肉对运动的感觉)因素。塑造我们观点的,更多时候是不同的文化与个人经历。

Like most experienced travelers, Dawn Bozulich, a Los Angeles businesswoman who flies about once a week, has her own mental list of passenger infractions, like loud talking (“Not everybody cares that they got wasted last night and how many Red Bulls they drank,” she said) and “gate lice,” a term frequent fliers use for travelers who besiege the gate long before their zone is called. “Just because you see the door open and people deplaning, that is not your cue to get up and stand around the boarding area,” Ms. Bozulich said. “Just don’t do it. And everyone says, ‘I have priority access.’ Everyone has priority access. It doesn’t mean anything.”

洛杉矶商人朵恩·波祖丽奇(Dawn Bozulich)每个星期都要乘飞机出差。与大多数资深旅行者一样,她的心里也有一份乘客黑名单,包括大嗓门(她说“并不是每个人都关心你昨天夜里有没有喝醉,或者喝了多少红牛”)和“门虱”。长年飞行的人用“门虱”这个词来指代那些还没轮到他们下飞机就早早包围舱门的乘客。“仅仅因为你看见舱门打开,别人开始下飞机,并不意味着你就该站起来,一窝蜂地挤到门口,”波祖丽奇女士说,“不要那样做。大家都在说‘我有权优先通过’。但人人都有。这没有任何意义。”

Her biggest peeve is fliers who use garbage bags as luggage. “Big, black trash bags,” Ms. Bozulich said. “One in each hand. That’s their two carry-ons. I see it all the time. I’m like ‘Really?’ ”

最让她气恼的是有些乘客用垃圾袋当行李包。“巨大的黑色垃圾袋,”波祖丽奇女士说,“一手一个。那就是他们的两件随身行李。随处可见。我的感觉是:‘不会吧?’”

Air travel has gone from being a social occasion in which fliers chatted and ate meals together, to a mass commoditized landscape where travelers shell out for seats and early boarding privileges, eat their food when they feel like it and engross themselves in their iPads. “It’s no longer a social situation,” Professor Low said. “It’s a completely different experience. You put your headphones on and you’re in your own world.”

空中旅行,过去是乘客聚众聊天吃饭的公共场合,而今变成了这样一个集体性的商业化景观:乘客们一哄而上,抢先登机,争夺座位,不管什么时候想吃就吃,低头沉浸在自己的iPad里。“机舱内不再是社交场合,”娄尔教授说,“完全不同了。戴上耳机,你就进入了自己的世界。”

Except that we’re all still hurtling through space together. There have to be some basic principles, no? In Emily Posts’s 1922 book, “Etiquette,” she wrote that “to do nothing that can either annoy or offend the sensibilities of others, sums up the principal rules for conduct under all circumstances — whether staying at home or traveling.”

只有一件事除外:我们仍然在同一片空间内冲来撞去。必须有一些基本的原则。难道没有吗?艾米丽·普斯特(Emily Post)在她1922年出版的《礼仪》(Etiquette)一书中提到,“总而言之,在任何环境中,第一行为准则都是不做任何激怒或冒犯他人情感的事。无论是在家里还是出门旅行。”

Still sounds good to me. But it’s been 90 years, so for a decorum update I turned to Lizzie Post, Emily’s great-great-granddaughter and the co-author of “Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition.” Naturally I asked her about feet.

这个原则在我听来依旧十分合理。不过,那本书已经有90年的历史了。为了了解最新的礼仪规范,我专程拜访了莉琦·普斯特女士(Lizzie Post,她是艾米丽·普斯特的玄孙女,也是《艾米丽·普斯特礼仪书》第18版的共同作者之一)。自然而然地,我请教了在飞机上光脚的问题。

“Personally I think the biggest difference comes from: Do your feet smell or not?” Ms. Post said. “Bare feet are a bit inappropriate.”

“就我个人来讲,我觉得最大的差异是:你的脚臭不臭?”普斯特女士说,“光脚确实有点不妥当。”

Now, there are people who like to go barefoot as often as possible and who will not only take offense at my offense but who put forth a thoughtful argument as to why bare feet ought to be acceptable. You can read more in “A Case for Bare Feet” on the Society for Barefoot Living’s Web site, barefooters.org. “If some people have a problem with bare feet, tough,” the document says, “it’s their problem.”

目前,有许多人在生活中能光脚就光脚,还有人因为我为此生气而生我的气,并提出翔实的论据证明我们应该接受赤足的生活方式。这个话题如果你想深入了解,可以在赤足生活协会的网站barefooters.org阅读《赤足生活的争议与研究》。“要是有人觉得光脚有问题,别担心,”文章中说,“那是他们自己有问题。”

Indeed. And should you delve into anthropological literature about the human body, symbolism and societies, you’ll find theories suggesting that feelings about bare feet or hair or certain bodily functions are tied to broader ideas about control, intimacy and pollution. Professor Low speculated that Mary Douglas, the British social anthropologist who died in 2007, would say people who take their socks off have a more “Wild West” attitude than their shod counterparts.

的确如此。只要深入研读几本关于人体、象征主义和社会的人类学著作,就会发现一些学说认为,人们对待赤足、毛发或某些身体功能的情感与一些更开阔的观念如控制、亲密感和污染息息相关。娄尔教授指出,玛丽·道格拉斯(Mary Douglas,英国社会人类学家,2007年去世)会说,脱下袜子的人比穿鞋的同类更具“西大荒”情怀(“西大荒”指的是美国拓荒之前的西部地区,“西大荒”情怀指勇敢、冒险与开拓精神——译注)。

“I can hear my mother yelling at me,” Mr. Huberman joked. “I don’t want to disappoint my mother, so I keep my shoes on.”

“我能听见妈妈对我吼叫,”胡伯曼先生开玩笑说,“我不想让妈妈失望,就没脱鞋。”

But enough about feet. There were dozens of other potential friction points to discuss with Ms. Post.

不过,关于赤足问题的讨论够多了。我和普斯特女士又探讨了另外几十种可能招致摩擦的行为举止。

What about scents, like cologne and perfume? “Even the lightest perfumes can actually be amplified, especially when you’re in travel situations,” Ms. Post said. “Stress levels are elevated, and when that happens you do tend to perspire more.” In other words — lay off the Drakkar Noir. And personal grooming like hair brushing and nail filing? “They’re inappropriate when you have to be this close to someone,” Ms. Post said. “So take it to the restroom or wait until you get off the plane.”

如何看待香气,比如古龙水和香水?“哪怕是最轻微的气味也会在实际中增强,特别是飞行环境中。”普斯特女士说,“因为压力水平增加了,这个时候,人们确实更容易分泌体液。”换言之,放弃你的黑色达卡香水吧。那么,梳妆打扮的行为呢,比如梳头、修甲?“如果距离别人很近,那么,这些举止就很不妥,”普斯特女士说,“所以,要在盥洗室里做,或者等下了飞机再说。”

Need to stretch? Do it by the bathroom, not in the aisle. And just because your seat can recline doesn’t mean you should indulge, she said. Instead, ask the person behind you if it’s all right. (A risky tactic, but Ms. Post insists.) If she needs to change position she turns around and says, “If you don’t mind I’m going to put my seat back but I won’t do it the whole flight.”

想伸懒腰?请到盥洗室附近,而不是过道上。此外她还说,座椅靠背有倾斜功能,并不意味着你可以随心所欲地躺下。放倒椅背之前,必须征得背后乘客的同意(会有遭拒的可能性,但普斯特女士执意要求这样做)。如果你需要改变姿势,应该转身对后排的乘客说:“如果您不介意的话,我想放倒椅背,但不会整个航程一直这样。”

“I think it’s really unfair to close somebody into the seat that way,” she said.

“我觉得把后排的乘客封闭在座位里,太不公平了。”她说。

Also: keep conversations low. “No one wants to hear it,” Ms. Post said. “The guy behind you might be trying to sleep.”

还有:交谈时请小声。“没人想听你在说什么,”普斯特女士说,“坐你后面的人也许只想好好睡一觉。”

When you get up to use the bathroom, “don’t grab the headrest on the seat in front of you,” she said. “Ever.” And don’t get into elbow battles. “I try to put my arm very far back on the armrest or very far forward,” she said. “That way there’s room for someone else to get their arm in there.” And if you have a problem with another passenger’s behavior, always get a flight attendant, Ms. Post said.

如果你需要起身上洗手间,“不要抓住面前座椅的头垫,”她说,“绝对不要。”也不要卷入肘部战争。“我会尽量把肘部放在扶手上特别靠后或者特别靠前的位置。”她说,“这样才能给别人留出足够的空间放胳膊。”如果你对某个乘客的行为不满,永远记得要找空乘解决,普斯特女士说。

So in the spirit of the coming season, let’s all be a little more mindful of one another. As for those who regularly find themselves vexed by the actions of fellow travelers, I would love to offer a neat solution. But I can’t because there isn’t one. You can travel at off-peak times so you encounter fewer people. Or, if you must fly this season, cocoon yourself with sunglasses and a playlist of Gregorian chants. And remember that we don’t just take our newspapers and neck pillows onto the plane. We take on all kinds of cultural and social expectations, too. No one is perfect. Not even you.

因此,在旅行季节到来之际,我们要处处留心,不给别人添麻烦。如果他人的行为总让你烦恼,我多么希望能给你一个立竿见影的好点子,但我爱莫能助。或许你可以错峰出行,人会少得多。或者,如果这个季节你必须飞来飞去,那就全副武装,戴上墨镜与耳机,陶醉在格里高利合唱团的歌声里。千万要记住,登机时我们随身携带的不止是报纸和颈枕,还有参差多态的文化与社会期待。没有谁十全十美,你也不是。

Ms. Bozulich of Los Angeles recalled a time she found herself seated next to a nun. How great, I said, adding that a nun must be a model seatmate.

来自洛杉矶的波祖丽奇女士记得在一次飞行之旅中,她的身旁坐了个修女。那多好啊!我说,修女肯定是模范邻座。

“You would think,” Ms. Bozulich said. “She was hogging the middle armrest.”

“你想得美,”波祖丽奇女士说,“她一直霸占着我们中间的扶手。”

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