Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - Pass|又中又英
When people in the West go out to dinner, it is common to start with an aperitif, wine, or a cocktail while they look at the menu. It is also common to have wine or a cocktail during dinner. People who enjoy drinking even have a cognac after dinner or a nightcap. For me, that’s too much alcohol. I have either wine, whiskey, or a martini before and during dinner. I always pass on a cognac or a nightcap. An aperitif is an alcoholic drink before dinner. A nightcap is a drink some people have before going to bed.

The word “pass” has many meanings but if you pass on something it means you choose not to do it. Most restaurants in the West serve alcohol. Hong Kong restaurants also have alcoholic drinks except for small ones or cha chaan tengs. But you will be hard-pressed to find a restaurant in Taiwan that serves alcohol. The expression hard-pressed used this way means having a lot of difficulty doing something. When I first arrived in Taipei I went with friends to a restaurant for dinner. I wanted a whiskey before dinner but was told the restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol.

Another time I went to an American-style restaurant that serves steak, pizza, and hamburgers. Words failed me when I realized the restaurant didn’t serve alcohol. If words fail you, it means you are so shocked you don’t know what to say. How can a restaurant that serves steak not have wine? My friends laughed and said people in Taiwan who like to drink go to a bar after dinner. Luckily, I found a few bars that also serve pizza and several other dishes.
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西方的人外出晚餐時,看餐牌普遍都是以開胃酒(aperitif)、葡萄酒又或雞尾酒開始。用餐期間佐以葡萄酒又或一杯雞尾酒,亦很常見。喜歡喝酒的人,甚至會來一杯晚餐後的干邑白蘭地,或一杯睡前夜酒(nightcap),但這對我來說是太多酒了。我會於晚餐前及用餐期間,要一杯葡萄酒、威士忌又或馬天尼,而干邑又或夜酒(nightcap)我則總會謝絕(pass)。An aperitif是晚餐前的開胃酒;a nightcap則是一些人在睡前喝的夜酒。

Pass一字有許多意思,但若你 pass on something意即你選擇不去做。西方大部份餐廳都會供應酒類飲品。香港的食肆都會有酒類飲品供應,除了小店或茶餐廳。但在台灣,要找一間可以喝酒的餐廳你會很 hard-pressed——習語 hard-pressed在這裏是指做某事時要面臨很多困難。當我初到埗台北時,跟一些朋友上餐館吃晚餐。我想在晚餐前要杯威士忌,卻被告知餐廳並不供應酒類飲品。

另一次,我去了一間吃牛扒、薄餅和漢堡包的美式餐廳。當我知道這間餐廳照樣不賣酒時,實在是words fail me——若 words fail you,意即你驚訝得說不出話來。一間吃牛扒的餐廳怎麼可能不賣酒?我的朋友們笑了,說在台灣喜歡喝酒的人會在晚餐後去酒吧。還好,我找到幾間也有供應薄餅和其他幾款菜餚的酒吧。   中譯:七刻
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧