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驾驶摩托车周游世界的罗伯特.富尔顿

(2009-01-22 13:01:23)
标签:

美国

摩托车

周游世界

人物

文化

分类: 人物春秋

参考译文:

罗伯特.爱迪生.富尔顿驾驶一辆摩托车周游世界

今天,我们向你介绍一位传奇人物,他独自一人驾驶一辆摩托车周游世界,他是一位发明家和制片商,他写了一部最畅销的书,他还是一位诗人、艺术家和飞行员。他的名字叫罗伯特.爱迪生.富尔顿,他这个名字取自美国著名的发明家罗伯特.富尔顿和托马斯.爱迪生。我们今天的故事就从1932年在英国伦敦举办的一个晚会开始。

那年,罗伯特.爱迪生.富尔顿24岁,他毕业于哈佛大学 (位于马萨诸塞州的剑桥),最近,他刚结束了在奥地利维也纳大学建筑设计的深造,当他在返回美国的路上,在英国伦敦停顿,看望他的朋友。在他的一个朋友家举行的晚会中,有一位女士问他是否马上就乘船回家,他回答到:“不,我将驾驶摩托车周游世界。”也许罗伯特.富尔顿在此后的一生中都会问自己,当时为什么会这样说。

参加晚会的一位先生说,驾驶摩托车周游世界是一个非常棒的主意,而且他还说,他是道格拉斯发动机公司的老板,他愿意为罗伯特.富尔顿周游世界提供一辆新型的道格拉斯摩托车。许多年后,富尔顿先生说,这次晚会是他为期十八个月的冒险旅行的开始。他驾驶摩托车周游世界行程四万多公里,经过了22个国家。

在那次晚会后的几天里,罗伯特.富尔顿就开始了他的准备。他收集他将经过国家的地图。在1932年,一些国家的地图是很难找到的。道格拉斯公司为提供给罗伯特.富尔顿的新型摩托车增加了特殊的装备,包括增加一个汽油箱。富尔顿先生将了解到,在不需要更多汽油的情况下,他可以再行驶560公里。这辆摩托车安装的是两只普通汽车的轮胎,这使他能够更容易地找到新的汽车轮胎进行更换和维修,而且,道格拉斯公司还做了一个特殊的工具箱,里面可以装各种工具、相机和摄影机。罗伯特.富尔顿决定将他的周游世界拍成一部电影。

几周以后,罗伯特.富尔顿驾驶他的这辆新摩托车离开了伦敦,他驾车来到了多佛港,他乘船通过英吉利海峡。罗伯特.富尔顿说,他的最初旅行没有什么意思,因为此前他曾经到过欧洲的许多地方,唯一新鲜的是他的这辆新摩托车。他很快驾驶摩托车经过了法国、德国和奥地利,他继续向前经过南斯拉夫、保加利亚和希腊。每到一个国家,他都必须花上几个小时办理越境许可证。通常,边防警察都会认为他是一个精神病,有些人说,他们允许他过去,但不允许他的摩托车过去。但每一次,富尔顿先生都能够凭借他自己的办法通过边境。

罗伯特.富尔顿能够说英语、法语和德语,不过,很快这些语言帮助不了他,但他似乎总是能够与每一个人进行勾通。他是一个英俊萧洒、亲切友善的年轻人,人们总是能够很快就喜欢他。当人们了解他独自驾驶摩托车周游世界时,许多人为他提供帮助。一些小镇上的警察经常让他睡在小镇的监狱里。很快,他到达了叙利亚的大马士革,他下站的目的地是伊拉克的巴格达。他很快就了解到,要从大马士革到巴格达,他必须经过800公里的大沙漠。当地官员们告诉他,驾驶一辆摩托车要想穿越大沙漠是不可能的,而有些人则说,这是可以做到的。

罗伯特.富尔顿决定自己来证明是否能够穿越这片大沙漠。他给他的摩托车备用箱装满了汽油,并准备了充足的饮用水,他要开始穿越大沙漠了。叙利亚人将这片大沙漠称之为“蓝色沙漠”,这是因为这里的天空湛蓝湛蓝,而阳光又非常灼热。他驾驶摩托车离开了大马士革,在十六公里处,他看到了通往巴格达的标志,这里正是这条公路的尽头,前面就是茫茫的大沙漠。罗伯特独自一人经过了他周游世界的绝大多数行程,他所担心的是他的摩托车。如果发动机坏了,他将因缺水而在别人找到他之前死亡;他可能会翻车,断了一条腿或一条胳膊;而炎热也可能致他死亡。但摩托车并没有让他失望,他在炎热的沙漠中活了下来,他安全抵达巴格达。

罗伯特.富尔顿成功地完成了他驾驶摩托车周游世界的旅行。他经过了阿富汗、印度、越南、中国、马来西亚和日本,他乘船通过太平洋,到达了旧金山。从旧金山,他驾驶摩托车回到了纽约市。他到达纽约市是在1933年圣诞节的前一天。当他开始这次旅行时,富尔顿先生说,他想研究沿途所见到的建筑和纪念馆,因为他在学校时就研究这些东西。他后来写到,他对他沿途所遇到的人更加感兴趣。他说,种族或宗教并没有给他带来什么不同,这些人都非常友好。他说,许多小村庄里的人因为他是一个陌生人而对他不信任,但当他们发现他正在驾驶摩托车周游世界时,几乎每一个人都设法帮助他。

在1937年,罗伯特.富尔顿写了一本有关他这次旅行的书,他将这本书取名为《One Man Caravan》(《一个男人的旅行》),书中配有大量他沿途所见到的一些建筑的照片,有些照片非常漂亮,这些照片中有马来西亚的宗教建筑和印度古老的城堡,但罗伯特更喜欢人们那灿烂笑容的照片,这些照片展现了他们所在国家的民族服装的样式、他们劳作和娱乐的情景以及他们好奇地观看他的摩托车的情景。《一个男人的旅行》至今仍在销售,人们可以从书店定购。他为此次旅行所拍的电影叫《Twice Upon a Caravan》,人们也可以书店里定购。

如果罗伯特.富尔顿的这次驾驶摩托车周游世界一直是他一个人完成的话,他也许真是一个非同寻常的人,因为这是一次非常危险的旅行,有些专家说,他能够活下来很幸运。但这次旅行只是他漫长而有趣的人生中的短暂瞬间。后来,他成为了泛美航空公司专业的摄影师。他自学而成为一名飞行员。在第二次世界大战期间,他设计了一种用来训练军事机组人员向敌机开火的机械。美国空军和海军都大量购买这样的机械来训练机组人员。

罗伯特.富尔顿的另一项发明使他在航空历史上获得了一个特殊的位置。他设计和建造了一架飞机,这架飞机又可以叫作是一辆汽车,它和其他飞机一样飞行,但当它着陆时,飞行员可以收起飞机翅膀和螺旋桨,像汽车一样在地面的驾驶。他将这项发明称之为“Airphibian”(飞天汽车)。在1950年,罗伯特.富尔顿驾驶他的飞天汽车飞到了华盛顿国内机场,然后他又驾驶这辆汽车从机场前往民用航空局总部,在那他获得了生产这种飞天汽车的许可证,但飞天汽车的生产一直不成功,因为生产这样一架(辆)飞天汽车的成本太高了。现在,史密森学会拥有唯一一架富尔顿先生这与众不同的发明的样机。

罗伯特.富尔顿拥有七十多个生产制造他的发明的许可证。在这些发明中,有一个特别的轮椅,它可以帮助乘客登机。他还发明了高空吊运车,这是一种为飞机和大型的氦气球的空中救援系统。高空吊运车是一种应急装置,它为人们很难到达的区域,如特工人员在敌区提供救援。这种装置在特工电影《Thunderball》(《雷霆万钧》)中使用,这是一部有关英国特工人员詹姆士.邦德的电影。

罗伯特.爱迪生.富尔顿于2004年5月7日在康涅狄格州牛顿他的家中去逝,享年95岁。他没有给自己复制一架他的飞天汽车,他不再拥有他的众多发明,然而,他拥有一辆摩托车,这是辆摩托车与很多年前道格拉斯公司为他特殊制造的摩托车一样,他把它翻新,看起来就像是新的。罗伯特.富尔顿从来没有放弃他的道格拉斯摩托车,这是他生命的一部分。他曾说,一年半的驾驶摩托车周游世界的经历改变了他的一生。他说,这次旅行给了他勇气去尝试许多东西,并获得了成功。这种经历只是起源于这样几个简单的词汇:“我准备驾驶一辆摩托车周游世界。”

简评:

“我准备驾驶一辆摩托车周游世界”,当罗伯特.爱迪生.富尔顿说出这句话时,他自己都不知道这是为什么?他本来是要回美国的,他在英国只是在回国的路上为了看望朋友而临时停留下来,结果当一个人问他是否马上回国时,他竟然说出这样的话,令谁也没有想到,包括他自己。这再一次说明,一个人在做决定时,充满着变数。

在那个时候,一个人驾驶一辆摩托车周游世界,那是多么令人不可思议的事情。然而,他做到了,尽管有些专家说,他能够完成这次旅行,有很大的幸运在里面。是的,一个人做什么事,怎么会没有幸运和不幸呢?所谓的幸运或不幸就是风险,是风险,就有成功与失败。

他的这次周游世界的经历,正如他自己所说,改变了他的一生。正是这次非同寻常的旅行,给予他无穷的勇气,使他敢于尝试许多事物,因而他能够发明各种各样的东西,如飞天汽车,至今仍然是人们努力的目标,而他早在六十年前就发明出来了,只是由于成本的原因而没能大批量生产。

一个人,必须要勇于冒险,否则,他只能墨守成规,如此,他不可能取得什么成就,就是有,那也是在重复前人所做过的事。同样,一个民族也必须敢于冒险,勇于创新,否则只能固步自封,落后挨打。这不由得使我想起了我们国家。自汉朝以后,我们国家的冒险和创新就几乎没有了。董仲舒的一句:罢黜百家,独尊儒术,使得春秋战国时期的百家争鸣,百花齐放的局面一去不复返,后人只是不停地注释孔孟学说,从而一步一步地禁锢了人们的思想,至今没有太大的改变。这也正是我们国家一直缺乏创新的根本所在。

冒险,是可能会失去许多东西,但不冒险,永远得不到新的东西。我们不能再因噎废食了,我们国家必须来一次真正的思想大解放。我想这次思想解放就从冒险开始,鼓励冒险、提倡冒险,政府和社会要承担国民冒险所带来的后果,从而解除人们冒险的后顾之忧。

 

 

Robert Edison Fulton Rode Around the World on a Motorcycle

 

 

驾驶摩托车周游世界的罗伯特.富尔顿

Robert Edison Fulton

 

Today we tell about an unusual man who traveled alone around the world. He was an inventor and a filmmaker. He wrote a best-selling book. He was a poet, an artist and an airplane pilot. His name was Robert Edison Fulton, Junior. He was named for two of America's most famous inventors, Robert Fulton and Thomas Edison.  We begin his story at a dinner party in London, England in nineteen thirty-two.

Robert Edison Fulton, Junior was twenty-four years old. He had graduated from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He had recently completed advanced studies in building design at the University of Vienna in Austria. He was on his way back to the United States when he stopped to visit friends in London.   At a dinner party at his friends' house, a young woman asked him if he would be sailing home soon. He answered: "No, I am going around the world on a motorcycle."  Robert Fulton would say for the rest of his life that he had no idea why he said such a thing.

Another man at the party said such a trip would be a great idea. And he said he owned the Douglas Motor Works Company. He offered Robert Fulton a new Douglas motorcycle to use on his trip. Many years later, Mister Fulton said this dinner party was the beginning of an eighteen month adventure. His trip would extend over more than forty thousand kilometers and include twenty-two countries.

Within a few days of the dinner party, Robert Fulton began his preparations. He started collecting maps of the different countries he might visit. In nineteen thirty-two, maps of some countries were difficult to find. The Douglas company added special equipment to a new motorcycle. This included a second gasoline tank. Mister Fulton would learn that he could ride about five hundred sixty kilometers without needing more fuel. Two common automobile tires were fitted to the motorcycle. This would make it easier to find new tires or repair the two he had. And the company made a special box to hold tools and a motion picture camera and film. Robert Fulton decided to make a movie about his trip.

A few weeks later, Robert Fulton found himself riding his new motorcycle out of London. He rode to the port of Dover. He crossed the English Channel on a ship. Robert Fulton said the first part of the trip was not exciting. He had traveled in much of Europe before. The only new thing was the motorcycle. He quickly rode through France, Germany and Austria. He also passed through Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Greece. Each time, it took several hours to get permission to cross the border.  Often, border police thought he must be insane. Some said they would permit him to cross, but not his motorcycle. But each time, Mister Fulton was able to talk his way across the border.

Robert Fulton spoke English, French and German.  Soon, these languages did not help him.  But he always seemed to be able to communicate with almost everyone. He was a nice-looking, friendly young man.  People liked him almost immediately.  Many people offered him help when they learned what he was trying to do. Police in small towns often let him sleep in the town jail at night. In time, he reached Damascus, Syria. His next stop would be Baghdad, Iraq. He quickly learned he would have to cross almost eight hundred kilometers of the great Syrian Desert. Officials told him it would be impossible with a motorcycle. Other people said it could be done.

驾驶摩托车周游世界的罗伯特.富尔顿

Robert Fulton decided to find out for himself.  He loaded the motorcycle with extra cans of fuel and water and began his trip across the desert. Syrians called this desert "the Blue." This was because all you could see was the very blue sky and the very hot sun. He rode sixteen kilometers on the road out of Damascus.  Then he saw a sign showing the way toward Baghdad. It was here that the road ended. In front of him was the great desert. Robert Fulton was alone for most of the trip. He worried about his motorcycle. If the engine failed, he could die of lack of water before anyone could find him. He could fall off and break a leg or arm. The severe heat could kill him.  But the motorcycle did not fail him. He survived the fierce heat. He arrived safely in Baghdad.

Robert Fulton successfully completed his trip.  He traveled through what are now Afghanistan, India, Vietnam, China, Malaysia and Japan. He crossed the Pacific Ocean on a ship, and arrived in San Francisco. From there, he rode his motorcycle home to New York City. He arrived one day before Christmas, nineteen thirty-three. When he began his trip, Mister Fulton said he wanted to study buildings and monuments because that is what he had studied in school. He later wrote that he became much more interested in the people he met. He said race or religion did not make a difference.  The people were almost always very friendly. He said many people in small villages did not trust him because he was a stranger. But almost everyone tried to help him when they found out that he was riding around the world.

In nineteen thirty-seven, Robert Fulton wrote a book about his trip. He called it "One Man Caravan." It included many photographs of buildings he had seen. Some were very beautiful. They included religious buildings in Malaysia and old military forts in India. But Robert Fulton liked the photographs of people's faces best. The photos showed people in their native dress, working, playing and examining his motorcycle.  "One Man Caravan" still sells well today. People can order it from bookstores. The movie he made of the trip is called "Twice Upon a Caravan." People can also order it from some bookstores.

Robert Fulton would be considered an unusual man if this long trip was all he did. It was a dangerous thing to do. Some experts said he was lucky to survive. But the trip was only a small part of his long and interesting life.  Later, he became a professional photographer for Pan American World Airways. He taught himself to be a pilot. During World War Two, he designed a machine used to train military aircraft crews to fire guns at enemy aircraft. Both the United States Army Air Corps and Navy bought many of these machines.

 

驾驶摩托车周游世界的罗伯特.富尔顿

Robert Edison Fulton with his Airphibian at a public exhibition in New York City in 1998

 

Another invention earned Robert Fulton a special place in aviation history. He designed and built an airplane that was also a car. It flew like any other aircraft.  But when it landed, the pilot could take off the wings and propeller and drive it like any other car. He called this invention the Airphibian. In nineteen fifty, Robert Fulton flew his Airphibian to National Airport in Washington, D.C. Then he drove the car from the airport to the headquarters of the Civil Aeronautics Administration. There he was given the legal documents needed to produce the vehicle. But it was not a success. The costs to develop the Airphibian were too high. Now, the Smithsonian Institution owns the only remaining example of Mister Fulton's unusual invention.

Robert Fulton owned more than seventy legal documents that protected his inventions. Among these was a special wheelchair that helped people enter passenger airplanes. He also invented the Skyhook, an air rescue system that involved an airplane and a large helium balloon. The Skyhook was an emergency device designed to rescue people in areas that were hard to reach, such as spies in enemy territory. This device was used in the spy movie "Thunderball" about British secret agent James Bond.

Robert Edison Fulton, Junior died at his home in Newtown, Connecticut at the age of ninety-five on May seventh, two thousand-four. He did not own a copy of his flying car. He no longer had many of the inventions he had made. However, he did own a motorcycle. It was the same special motorcycle made by the Douglas Motor Works so many years ago. He had had it rebuilt to look new. Robert Fulton could never give up his Douglas motorcycle. It was a part of him. He once said the year and a half he spent traveling around the world was the experience that changed his life. He said it gave him the courage to try many things and succeed.  It was an experience that began with a few simple words: "I am going around the world on a motorcycle."

http://www.wwenglish.com/m09/voa/spec/2009/01/wwenglish.com_exp090114.mp3

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