Sunday, October 18, 2009

王雪峰事件 An Acquaintance From the Past

This piece of news shocked and saddened me. The woman at the center of this news storm is Wang Xue-Fong. In her heyday, she was once the star Taipei City Councilor, and later, a top Legislator. In April, news surfaced that Ms. Wang was collecting garbage for living. She came out and said that her husband's family is in the "recycling" business and she was just helping her mother-in-law occasionally. Since there is nothing inherently wrong with this line of work, and she said she's very happy and content with her life now, who is to argue otherwise?! I was nevertheless shocked with the disparity in her lifestyle between the time I met her and now. What kind of man can lead a woman down a path of such a degradation of lifestyle change!?

I met Ms. Wang in 1996. One day a friend of mine called me up and asked if I want to have dinner with Ms. Wang. A little naive (and new in town), I had no idea who Ms. Wang was. I readily agreed to the dinner date because the Japanese restaurant my friend chose sounded great (the set menu started at about US$80pp)! There were 4 people at this dinner and 3 of whom were Cornell University alumni. Ms. Wang came with her then boyfriend. Her boyfriend and my friend were buddies. The dinner conversation was pleasant and Ms. Wang was as nice as anyone can be. After dinner, she invited us over to their apartment for a night cap. I knew she entertained us because we were her boyfriend's friends. She was a wonderful hostess. In any case, our paths never crossed again. I left Taiwan in 1997.

The next time I heard about Ms. Wang was on the news. The news of her collecting garbage for living. But soon, with her explanation to the media, everyone left her alone. So when I turned on my computer yesterday, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the headline "Domestic Violence" with Ms. Wang's name next to it! Now, not only do we have to contend with the fact that she collects garbage for living, she is also a victim of domestic violence. The woman fell from heaven to hell in a matter of a decade! Can the situation be any worse?! Yes it can! The latest news is that Ms. Wang had gone back to her husband and they had reconciled. Nobody knows how to decipher the progression of this story. But I have a feeling, this is not the last time we'll hear about this couple.

真害! 王雪峰她又回家了! 夫妻倆之間的事,外人真的無法評論。 可是以她的身世、學歷及經驗,她要離開,甚至遠走他鄉也不是難事。 那為什麼她不願意離開呢? 我想她一定有她的原因。 只是那原因真的是讓人匪夷所思!

十幾年前我曾經在台北安和路上一家有名的日本料理店和王小姐一起吃晚餐。 她那時應該是陪她當時的男友 (不是現在這位先生!) 一起出席這場飯局。那時大概是民國八十五年左右吧 (王小姐那時候應該還是立委)! 那家餐廳的套餐是 $2,500 起跳的。同桌有三人都是美國Cornell 大學的校友。 大家聊得很開心, 王小姐一點名人的味道都沒有。講話和藹可親, 非常 nice 的一個人。後來她還邀請我和朋友到她家坐坐 (我的朋友和她男友很熟)。 王小姐是位很客氣的女孩。 她的年紀跟我差不多。 當時的我們都有點嫁不出去的感覺。可是我的直覺是,就算嫁不出去, 自己一個人也可以生活得多采多姿。 見面一兩次後我就沒有機會再和她碰面了。

再次聽到她的消息竟然是在媒體上--說她在撿破爛! 讓人無法相信人生會有這麼大的轉折! 想說她如果生活得開心、幸福,做資源回收也不是什麼見不得人的事。不偷也不搶,她高興過什麼樣的生活是她的自由及選擇。人世間裏有太多不快樂的有錢人, 但鮮少有像她能從有錢到無錢的還能生活的那麼自在! 我由衷的祝福她!


驚嘆後, 真的無法讓我理解一個女人要如何從天堂掉進地獄裏, 是宿命、人為、還是人的選擇呢?!