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“魅力老外”潘维廉的厦门情缘 Rolling stone finally settles

He's a traveler with incurable wanderlust, but he finallymet a city he really liked. Sun Li meets up with a long-time resident of Xiamen in Fujian province.
Before he moved to Xiamen in 1988, William Brown hadalready lived in over 30 cities. This American bitten bythe travel bug had no intention of staying in Xiamenlonger than a year or two and he never imagined hewould still be here more than two decades later.
Brown is also Fujian's first official foreign permanentresident.
Now a professor of management at Xiamen University'sMBA Center, Brown has taught business studies forgraduate students since 1989. He tells us that his bondwith China started as far back as 1977, when he wasserving with the United States Air Force in Taiwan.
在威廉·布朗1988年来到厦门之前,这个热爱旅行的美国人已经在30多个城市里生活过。他原本没想过在厦门常住,更不会想到自己在这座福建的海滨城市一待就待了20多年。
如今,威廉·布朗的中文名字潘维廉早已在厦门当地家喻户晓。自1989年开始,潘维廉教授开始执教于厦门大学MBA中心。在追溯起自己的中国情缘时,潘维廉不由的谈起在台湾当大兵的日子。

"It was a time of mainland-Taiwan hostility and one daymainland propaganda leaflets dropped onto the air forcebase. Police warned us not to touch them, which mademe only more curious," Brown says.
As Brown secretly looked at some, he was amazed by the photos of happy farmers andtumbling acrobats.
"I've never imagined people on the mainland being real people like people in Taiwan. I thoughtthey were enemies. The photos sparked my interest on the other side of the Taiwan Straits."
1977年,年轻的潘维廉驻守于美国在台湾的空军基地,当时,经常有从大陆飞来的气球撒宣传单。有一次,宣传单正好撒到了基地上。当时,台湾警察警告说这些传单不能碰,不然得坐牢。
“你跟一个二十多岁的小伙子说不准看,他肯定得看。”潘维廉说。于是,潘维廉偷偷地藏了一些传单,回去一看便被里面杂技演员的照片惊呆了。
“我从来没有想过大陆那头的人是如此真实,跟台湾人一样,当时我只有‘敌人’的概念,这些照片让我对海峡对岸的人们充满了好奇,”潘维廉说。

After Brown finished his forces career in 1978, he returned home for college and career. Theidea of visiting China again lingered, but it took calls from two strangers to draw Brown'sattention to Xiamen.
"A guy from Thailand and a man in California phoned me. I didn't know them and they didn'tknow each other. Both asked me: 'Since you'd like to go to China, have you ever heard ofXiamen,'" Brown recalls.
Brown started to find out more about Xiamen and discovered that in the 1980s, Xiamen University was the only university in China that allowed foreigners to study Chinese while bringing their family members.
1978年,潘维廉回到美国,求学深造并开始创业,在此期间,他的脑海中始终没断过再回中国的念头。然而,最终选择了厦门,却是因为两通陌生人的电话。
“因为我当时的公司运营的很好,很多人认识我,也知道我有去中国的想法,”潘维廉解释道。
“一个在泰国的人和一个在加州的陌生人分别给我来电,这两人彼此也不认识。他们都对我说,‘听说你要去中国,那你知道厦门这个地方吗’,”潘维廉回忆道。
尽管非常意外,潘维廉还是开始去了解厦门,他发现在上世纪80年代,厦门大学是国内唯一一所招收外国学生学中文并允许他们携带家属的高校。

Brown thought studying Chinese was the first step, and so he arrived in Xiamen with his family -his wife Susan, an American who was born and raised in Taiwan, and his two sons.
He was surprised once again when he was invited to teach at the university's MBA center.Brown had graduated from Walden University with a PhD in business administration andmanagement.
"Xiamen was the right place and the right time for me," Brown says. But it was also hard toadapt in the beginning.
在潘维廉看来,初到中国,学习中文是必须的事情。于是,1988年,时年32岁的潘维廉带着全家——他的夫人玛丽,一个生长在台湾的美国人,和两个儿子来到了厦门。
来到厦门大学后,潘维廉又惊喜地发现,厦大是国内最早开设MBA课程的高校之一。而拥有瓦尔登大学管理学博士学位的潘维廉随后又收到厦大MBA中心的邀请为该中心教授课程。
“在当时而言,厦门是在正确的时间里出现的正确的地点、正确的选择,”潘维廉说。
然而,潘维廉坦言一开始在厦门的日子并非那么容易。

"Xiamen in the 1980s was not a nice place to live in. People burned coal and the air waspolluted. I had to carry candles to the bookstore because the electricity was awful. It took memonths to register and buy a tricycle."
Brown says what made him stay was the people in Xiamen.
"In the 1980s, during the planned economy, Chinese people used food coupons to get meat,vegetables and oil. But foreigners had no such tickets, and we could not use cash, which wascrazy," Brown says. "Many Chinese teachers sold their tickets to me, not to make any profit, justthe cost it should be.
"During such festivals as Spring Festival and Mid-autumn Festival, the Chinese faculty wouldinvite my family to their homes. Even though they were not rich, they shared everything with us.Just one year after, I had already decided to live here permanently."
In 1992, Brown became the first foreigner in Fujian province to be granted permanentresidence.
“80年代的时候厦门并不算个宜居的地方。那会儿老百姓烧煤,空气不大好。水电供应很差,我去图书馆看书得准备蜡烛以防停电。还有,我用了很长时间才登记成功买了辆三轮车。那时候的生活对老外而言各种不方便,”潘维廉说。
但即便生活条件艰苦,潘维廉仍然选择留在了厦门。而把他留住的,是可爱的厦门人。
“计划经济年代,老百姓买肉买油啊什么的都要票。但是我们外国人没有这种票,又用不了现金。很抓狂,”潘维廉回忆道。
“看到我们的窘境,很多中国老师把他们的票卖个我们。他们不谋求任何利益,该多少钱就多少钱。”
“逢年过节的时候,中国教职工还会把我们一家邀请到他们的住处。尽管他们都不富裕,但是他们乐于跟我分享一切,”潘维廉说。
“厦门的人是如此的热情、善良、好客。我被他们深深打动。所以其实在厦门住了一年之后,我便想长久地待在这里了。”
1992年,潘维廉如愿以偿,成为了福建第一位获得永久居住权的外国人。

As a veteran expatriate, Brown was bombarded with questions by new foreigners who wanted toknow where to buy cheese, and where to buy toilet tissue that was soft on the posterior.
In 1993, tired of answering the same questions again and again, Brown spent eight hourscompleting a 24-page handbook called Survival Guide for Foreigners in Xiamen.
It became very popular and Xiamen University began to distribute it to all newly arrived foreignteachers. It took years before Brown realized that even the Xiamen city government wascopying "the terrible little book".
"My god, it was only a work done within hours," Brown says.
由于有着在厦门生活多年的经验,潘维廉时常被刚来厦门的外国人询问诸如“哪儿能买到奶酪啊”和“什么牌子的厕纸比较软啊”等各种问题。
在一遍又一遍地回答同样的问题之后,潘维廉终于“不堪其烦”,花了8个小时整理出了所有问题的答案,一气呵成了24页的《外国人厦门生存指南》,并打印出来分发给需要的外国人。
令潘维廉意想不到的是,这本小册子大受欢迎。不久厦门大学开始复印这本书,将它发给所有新入职的外国教师。厦门市政府也随后参与了复印的行列。
“我的天哪,这本‘糟糕’的小书写出来只花了几个小时啊,”潘维廉说。

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Brown started to edit and expand it in 1999, and the next year, he published the 160-page Amoy Magic, adding more content about Xiamen history and culture. All 500 copies were sold within two weeks.
He wrote more books after this initial success, including Mystic Quanzhou - City of Light and Magic Fujian.
To write the books, Brown threw himself into research on the Internet, bought enough books to create a private library and drove himself out into the field to interview local people.
1999年,潘维廉开始重写此书并扩充内容。2000年,160页的《魅力厦门》问世,潘维廉在其中加入了很多关于厦门历史和文化的章节。500本在两周之内一售而空。
当年的那本小册子也开启了潘维廉华丽的著书生涯。随后的几年中,潘维廉不断拓展视角,相继出版了《魅力泉州》、《魅力厦大》、《魅力福建》等书。
为了编写这些书籍,潘维廉做了大量的准备工作。除了在网络上搜集相关资料,潘维廉还会购买大量书籍和文献,多年积存,已建成了自己的私人图书馆。此外,潘维廉还会亲赴实地采访当地的老百姓。

All this not only make him a resident expert on Fujian province, but also helped him deliver abrilliant presentation for Xiamen in the international Nations in Bloom competition in Stuttgart,Germany.
Now known as the LivCom Awards, this is the world's only competition for local communities that focus on environmental management and the creation of livable communities.
Xiamen will host the final round of this year's LivCom Awards at the end of the year.
Sun Jianhui, a Xiamen official involved in organizing the event, says the reason Xiamen was chosen as host can be attributed to Brown's great performance 11 years ago.
"Dr Brown really treated Xiamen as his second home. He spared no effort in publicizing the cityand is the only foreigner I know who understands the culture here even better than some localresidents," Sun says.
这些著作不仅使潘维廉成为了真正的“福建通”,也让潘维廉在为厦门准备国际花园城市大赛的演讲时游刃有余。国际花园城市大赛是世界城市建设与社区管理领域的最高荣誉,每年举办一次,分别在全世界不同的城市举行。2002年,国际花园城市大赛在德国斯图加特举行,潘维廉的精彩发言为厦门一举获得金奖立下汗马功劳。
自斯图加特首战告捷之后,潘维廉先后收到多个中国城市和地区的邀请,让他帮忙在国际花园城市大赛中演讲。在潘维廉的参与下,包括福建泉州、上海松江区、江苏常州武进在内的多个地区相继获得金奖。
今年年底,国际花园城市大赛总决赛将在厦门举行。厦门市国际花园城市大赛组委会官员孙建辉表示,厦门从参赛城市到主办城市,仍离不开潘维廉在多年前的完美表现。

Looking back, Brown says the changes to Xiamen have been impressive.
"I knew the difficult times would pass, but I didn't expect the city change so fast," Brown says ofa city that now has a good transportation infrastructure and a bustling nightlife similar to LasVegas.
Over the past decade, Brown has taken his family traveling across China, amazed by the sheerscope and variety of China's natural beauty, but in his eyes, nowhere is more impressive thanhis hometown, especially when the hometown is Xiamen.
回顾在厦门的这些年,潘维廉对厦门的变化感到由衷欣喜。
“我知道那些苦日子会过去的,不过我没想到厦门变化速度如此之快。如今的厦门空气清新、景色宜人、交通便利、夜晚亮丽的好像拉斯维加斯,”潘维廉说。
这些年潘维廉也没有停下旅行的脚步,1994年,他带着全家开始了一次环游中国之旅。一路开着车走过了宁夏、甘肃、西藏等地。
虽然潘维廉深深感叹于一路的壮美广阔山川,但是他觉得家才是最美好的地方,尤其是那个家是厦门的时候。

"I dreamed of Xiamen becoming an international city and I will live here forever, until they buryme," Brown says.
“我梦想着厦门在未来变成一座更加国际化的城市,而我打算永远地生活在这里,直到我被长埋于此,”潘维廉说。