英语学习杂志 2016-02-04 11:30





By Amirah Ahmad

黄湘淇 注

Whenever my mother took me to the grocery store, my favorite part was the last step in the process, checking out. I used to be completely mesmerized as the cashier clicked on his screen, scanned the box of cereal, and bagged the goods. I distinctly remember once whispering into my mother’s ear, remember once whispering into my mother’s ear, “I want to do that when I grow up.” To appease my desires, my mom instead bought me a toy cashier and fake fruits and vegetables with which I played with until the very end of its toy lifetime. I loved it. Wanting to work a cashier is a strange wish to have, and I’d be lying if I said I got over that feeling. Years later, however, I finally was able to fulfill this “dream.”

With a group of my peers, I went to a local amusement park on behalf of an organization called GlobeMed. Each of us worked at a different location, whether that was a souvenir shop, a funnel cake stand, a game booth, or a candy shop. Instead of paying us the wages we each earned working an 8-hour shift, the wages were instead donated to GlobeMed.


Though it may seem trivial, my day in the candy shop opened my eyes to a harsh reality. It all started when the manager walked me over to the candy store that I would be working at. It looked like the typical candy shop in an amusement park: magical outdoor decorations with an even more enchanting interior that was clad with colorful figures and filled with delicious treats. He introduced me to the team: Maddie, Zoe, and Chanel (*names have been changed to protect the identity of these individuals). Zoe was my age, and I was surprised to hear she was the supervisor. Chanel was also my age, and Maddie was 17. From the get go, Maddie began to show me the ropes. She taught me how to use the cash register (which was undoubtedly the most thrilling part), how to cut fudge samples, the process of checking out the special gourmet desserts, and more. The three of them were incredibly nice and welcoming. Even better, my first ever transaction on the cashier was smooth and hassle-free.

I loved interacting with the customers and weighing their bulky candy bags filled with chocolate gold coins, gummy bears, and Skittles. Even when I wasn’t using the cashier, it was entertaining to simply watch the customers explore the depths of candy shop. The children were especially fun to watch, as they ran from one corner of the store to another, trying to get all the candy their tiny hands could hold. The extremely candy-obsessed children would be unwilling to relinquish their candy so that I could weigh the bag or scan the barcode.


Sometimes I would be shocked at the sheer amount of candy people would be willing to purchase. Because the candy shop was in an amusement park, it was obviously significantly more expensive than buying candy at the grocery store. That didn’t stop some customers. Some families would come to the register lugging around pounds of candy, which often totaled to more than $75, which left me speechless. I realized the families were having a fun day out, but to purchase over $50 of candy they can buy at their local grocery store was completely nonsensical to me.

What’s more, the amount of food waste that occurs in these shops is astronomical and absolutely repulsive. At one point, I saw Zoe making chocolate-dipped cookies while complaining about how useless it was that she was making them. When I asked her why, she explained how her boss had ordered her to make a certain number of cookies even though they would have throw them out the same day due to health regulations. Essentially, she was unnecessarily making cookies she would have to most likely throw away at the end of the workday. This apparently happened a lot. Zoe told me about how she would often throw away boxes of apples, candy, and other treats. In order to curb the food waste, Zoe said she usually began to give away the treats for free near closing time, but even this wasn’t enough to make the food waste acceptable. I was truly shocked to hear this, especially when I know how much people suffer from hunger in America and across the world. 。 A few customers in, Chanel asked me if I liked it so far and I said I was really enjoying it. When I asked her the same thing, however, she simply made it seem like it was another, rather dull , day at work. I asked Maddie how she liked working at the candy shop and she excitedly told me today was her last day. Zoe teased her saying, “You’re going to come back! I know it.”

“No, I’m never coming back,” Maddie replied with a sincerity that made me feel uneasy, cutting the conversation short.

I then asked each of them how long they had been working at this candy store. Maddie had started in March, Chanel had started in July, and Zoe had been there for four years—and all of them were ready to leave. All of them were in school, and the commute for Chanel was roughly 2 hours in total. Slowly, I began to unweave the seemingly idyllic innerworkings of the candy store. As I talked to each of these girls and dug deeper into their stories and then turned around to see a beaming child eager to purchase candy was so bizarre to me. I remember being that child who was obliviously only concerned with what type of candy I’d be able to munch on instead of eating a real meal. The harshness of reality was suddenly settling in at a place where my childhood dreams came true, and I found that so metaphorical and empowering. Real life isn’t just about sugar drops and dum-dums like children think it is to be. Even I’m guilty for believing, or wanting to believe, that life can be perfect. Nothing, however, is perfect—not even a candy store and every thing inside of it.


1. grocery store: 杂货店;check out: 结账。

2. be mesmerized: 着迷;cashier: 收银员;click on: 在……点击;cereal: 麦片;bag: vt. 装袋。

3. distinctly: 清楚地;whisper: 耳语。

4. 为了满足我的渴望,妈妈给我买了个收银机玩具和仿制的水果和蔬菜,我一直把它们玩到寿终正寝。appease: 使……满足。

5. get over: 克制(感情)。

6. peer: 同伴,同辈;amusement park: 游乐场;on behalf of: 代表;GlobeMed: 一家组织美国大学与不发达地区草根医疗机构一对一合作的机构,意在推进全球健康与社会公正。

7. souvenir shop: 纪念品商店;funnel cake stand: 煎饼摊;game booth: 游戏摊。

8. trivial: 不值一提;harsh: 严酷的。

9. 这家看起来就是游乐园里典型的糖果店:外面装饰魔幻十足,内饰更加令人着迷,墙上画满了五颜六色的图案,摆满了美味的糖果。decoration: 装饰;enchanting: 迷人的; interior: 内部;be clad with: 被……覆盖着。

10. from the get go:从最 开始;rope: 规矩。

11. 她教我怎么使用收银机(这无疑是最激动人心的部分),怎么切软糖试吃品、特定美味小食的结账过程等等。cash register: 收银机;thrilling: 激动人心;fudge: 软糖;check out: (商家等)计价收款;gourmet desserts: 美味甜点。

12. transaction: 交易;smooth: 顺利的;hassle-free: 毫无麻烦。

13. interact with: 与……打交道;bulky: 体积大的;chocolate gold coin: 金币巧克力; gummy bears: 小熊软糖;Skittles: 彩虹糖。

14. explore the depths of: 对……深入探索。

15. 这些对糖果极度上瘾的孩子都不愿意放开糖果让我给袋子称重或扫条形码。candy-obsessed: 对糖果上瘾的;relinquish: 让与,交给;barcode: 条形码。

16. sheer: 极大的。

17. lug: 用力拉或拖;total to: 总共达到;speechless: 无语,无话可说。

18. 我意识到 ,这些家庭欢乐了一天,但在这里购买五十美元以上数额的糖果,我却不能理解——这些糖果明明在他们当地的杂货店就能买到。nonsensical: 毫无意义的。

19. astronomical: 天文数字的,数量天大;repulsive: 令人厌恶的。

20. 当我问她为什么时,她解释道,她老板让她做一定数量的饼干,即使那些饼干当天就会因为卫生法规全部扔掉。

21. 为了避免浪费食物,佐伊说她在快关门前就会免费分发这些点心,但这样也不足以让人接受食物的浪费现象。curb: 避免。

22. suffer from hunger: 忍饥受饿。

23. dull: 无趣。

24. tease: 逗,打趣。

25. sincerity: 真诚。

26. commute: 通勤。

27. unweave: 解开;seemingly: 表面上看来; idyllic: 悠闲的;innerworkings:内部工作。

28. beaming: 两眼发光的;bizarre: 奇怪的。

29. obliviously: 遗忘地;munch on: 津津有味地咀嚼。

30. metaphorical: 隐喻性的;empowering: 给人力量的。

31. sugar drops: 糖雨; dum-dums: 笨笨棒棒糖。

32. be guilty for: 对……感到愧疚。

(来源:英语学习杂志 编辑:丹妮)

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