My first sight of England was on a foggy March night in 1973 when I arrived on the midnight ferry from Calais. For twenty minutes, the terminal area was aswarm with activity as cars and lorries poured forth, customs people did their duties, and everyone made for the London road. Then abruptly all was silence and I wandered through sleeping, low-lit streets threaded with fog, just like in a Bulldog Drummond movie. It was rather wonderful having an English town all to myself.
The only mildly dismaying thing was that all the hotels and guesthouses appeared to be shut up for the night. I walked as far as the rail station, thinking I’d catch a train to London, but the station, too, was dark and shuttered. I was standing wondering what to do when I noticed a grey light of television filling an upstairs window of a guesthouse across the road.
1973年三月，一个雾气弥漫的午夜，我从加来乘渡轮赴与英格兰的初面。靠岸片刻，客货车涌入落客区，又经海关引导开赴伦敦。顷刻间万籁俱寂，留我徘徊在昏暗、薄雾的街道上，正如置身 Bulldog Drummond 的电影中。唯独此时，整个小镇能为我独占，乐哉。