Journey in Life: 07/15/20

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

"Ride the gravy train" nghĩa là gì?

Giá trị ảo không bao giờ tồn tại lâu. Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

"Ride (on) the gravy train" hoặc "be on the gravy train" = đi trên một chuyến xe lửa chở đầy nước xốt thịt -> nghĩa là kiếm bội nhờ tài lẻ, hay bỏ một vốn bốn lời, thả con săn sắt bắt con cá rô. Người Mỹ thường dùng thành ngữ này để chỉ việc thụ hưởng tiền bạc hay danh lợi mà không phải làm việc cực nhọc, hay khi mình không đáng được hưởng những lợi lộc này.

Ví dụ
She saw she could do nothing but just let Mrs. Liwayway “ride the gravy train” until she reached retirement.

Today we are in the era of the professional politician, the career lawmaker (nhà lập pháp); and too many of them view public service as a lifetime ride on the gravy train, with taxpayers paying the fare. Turnover in Congress used to be fairly frequent.

Those are the people that can see a nice person coming from a mile away. They'll only do for themselves when they are forced to. They would much rather find someone with a generous nature (bản tính hào phóng), and ride that gravy train till the gravy runs out.

You are quite lucky to write at leisure. But the reality is you pay no rent, no bills - you do keep up the yard and this is your home for as long as you want it, forever, but I'm afraid the lack of monetary responsibility cannot only harm your future life but also make you lazy. Squire, you don't want to ride this gravy-train way too much longer, do you, son.

Thu Phương

"Fuck you and the horse you rode in on" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

"Fuck you and the horse you rode in on" (tiếng lóng) nghĩa là câu chửi thề tỏ ý tức giận, xua đuổi hặc khinh miệt nhắm vào ai.

Ví dụ
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm very busy. And I must return to my work! Have a nice day! Fuck you and the horse you rode in on! Get lost! Get off our fucking land!

Fucking squid, calling the United States Air Force a Boy Scout camp! Well, fuck you and the horse you rode in on–Admiral (đô đốc), sir, his face managed to communicate quite clearly.

Their anger management is satisfied directly through you or the other guards. The only therapy (liệu pháp) they are practicing is in your face “fuck you, and the horse you rode in on baby”.

“Well, fuck you and the horse Fleckles thinks you rode in on,” he replied.
“Okay,” I said, approaching him slowly, with one eye on the disgruntled (bực tức) General, who continued staring at me intensely, without blinking. “My name's Tim. What's yours?" I asked, throwing caution to the wind and extending my hand.

Thu Phương

"Motion to one side" nghĩa là gì?

Đông thì tự động tránh đường mà đi. Photo by Hert Niks from Pexels

"Motion (one) to one side" = di chuyển sang một bên -> nghĩa là tránh đường.

Ví dụ
She saw nothing out of the ordinary and motioned to one side. Brett obeyed, sliding it back and forth to scan the carpet near the other door. Still nothing.

Jim set his teeth. "Is there something I can help you with, Dinah?"
She gave him a sunny smile. "Now that you mention it, yes." She motioned him to one side. "It's about Kate."

“Which apartment is it?”
“On the fourth floor—the apartment in front, on the right,” answered the elevator man .
“I'll go up,” said Dick . He motioned Baxter to one side. “Dan, will you go out and get a policeman or two, just as quickly as you can?" he whispered.

Here Poole motioned him to stand on one side and listen; while he himself, setting down the candle and making a great and obvious call on his resolution, mounted the steps and knocked with a somewhat uncertain hand on the red baize (len bọc bàn ghế) of the cabinet door.

Thu Phương

"It's not the meat, it's the motion" nghĩa là gì?

Thích vừa to vừa ngon có được không? :D Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

"It's not the meat, it's the motion" hoặc "it ain't the meat, it's the motion" nghĩa là điều quan trọng không phải bạn có gì mà là cách bạn sử dụng nó như thế nào hoặc kích cỡ (cậu nhỏ) không quan trọng bằng kỹ thuật. Cụm từ mang hơi hướng tình dục bởi "meat" tiếng lóng chỉ dương vật.

Ví dụ
After all, I am but a little seal, so what should one expect? Right? Rikwalk is a giant. Proportionately, there is no real difference. Well, maybe a little. Perhaps more than a little. Still, it's the not the meat, it's the motion. Right? That's right, isn't it?

“Not at all,” she said, shifting herself under the covers to accommodate me. “You know where the hole is, don't you?”
“I'm a little bit limp (mềm) right now,” I said. “Hey, baby, it's not the meat, it's the motion. We'll make it happen if we have to poke it in there with a stick."

How many jokes have we all heard about how much "size matters?" And how many retorts (đáp trả) “It's not the meat, it's the motion?” There are so many penis jokes and so much bragging (khoe khoang), it isn't funny. No, it really isn't. Because the fact is that men with smaller penises worry that they will not be virile (sức lực) enough, it may make them avoid sexual interaction or even peeing in a public urinal (chỗ đi tiểu).

Thu Phương

“Know how many beans make five” nghĩa là gì?


“Know how many beans make five” -> nghĩa là láu, thông minh và biết xoay xở.

Ví dụ
"I'm going to market to sell our cow here." "Oh, you look the proper sort of chap to sell cows," said the man; "I wonder if you know how many beans make five." "Two in each hand and one in your mouth," says Jack, as sharp as a needle. "Right you are," said the man, "and here they are the very beans themselves," he went on pulling out of his pocket a number of strange- looking beans. "As you are so sharp," says he, "I don't mind doing a swop (sự trao đổi, đổi chác) with you - your cow for these beans." -Jack and the Beanstalk

No company in the world makes more engines than Honda does. In addition to cars and bikes, Honda makes engines for generators, pumps, outboard-motor boats and a whole host of motorised horticultural tools (công cụ làm vườn). So when it comes to engines, believe me, they know how many beans make five. Moreover, their Formula One power unit is still in the relatively early stages of its gestation (thai kỳ), compared with those of Mercedes and Ferrari especially, and its developmental curve will therefore remain steep for some time yet, which will trigger a series of horsepower increments (sự lớn lên) over the coming weeks and months. And our chassis is already a very good one.

As I say, I’m a racer, a businessman and a marketer. I’ve been around Formula 1 for a long time now, and I know how many beans make five. In my JMI [Just Marketing International] days I did a lot of sponsorship deals for quite a few Formula 1 teams, McLaren included. In fact I was responsible for bringing on board quite a number of McLaren’s current major partners – Johnnie Walker, Hilton, Chandon, NTT – and adding further to that partner roster is one of my first objectives. I’m not going to say who or when or how much, but McLaren has been without a title partner for too long, and I mean to right that wrong if not this year then definitely next year.

Ka Tina

“Every bean has its black” nghĩa là gì?


“Every bean has its black” = mỗi hạt đậu đều có vết đen -> nghĩa là nhân vô thập toàn, người ta ai mà chẳng có khuyết điểm.

Ví dụ
“I’m sure there’s going to be more things that are revealed based on what’s investigated, on both sides. Every bean has its black, there’s training that’s done, and you do the very best you can,” said the elected official.

We all know that every bean has its black. We are all human. We are all sinners and we all make mistakes. We are not looking for perfection. But we are desperate for authenticity (tính xác thực, độ tin cậy) and honesty. We are desperate for authentic parents, teachers, employers, employees, preachers (người thuyết giảng) and politicians.

“I wish all the best for all the teams competing,” he concluded. “I want the tournament to continue, and to have a champion and congratulations in advance to that champion. I know that the league wants to have a taste of soccer and competition and we have to take risks. In life you can’t do anything incredible and great without sacrifices and without risk. Every bean has its black but we have to have faith and try to do our best. And that's our mindset at the moment.”

Ka Tina

“Not worth a bean” nghĩa là gì?


“Not worth a bean” có bean là tiền đồng -> cụm từ này nghĩa là không đáng một xu, không có giá trị.

Ví dụ
Pony-tailed, one gloved? Hill of beans is a cute expression, came from the ancient use of “not worth a bean” and prevails today, I would guess, due to the creative who gave it to Rick in Casablanca.

“So many albums have stories behind them.” Mark once bought a rare copy of Vertigo’s Dr Z album for £200, selling it on for four times as much. He later discovered that it later was sold on for £4,500. But the 48-year-old says most records “are not worth a bean”. “Some things are no longer in fashion. Nowadays that’s things like country and western, classical, easy listening,” he said.

The Mayans and Aztecs traded with cacao; forgeries (giả mạo) made from clay were a problem in the first century BC with fake beans made from clay in circulation. Our phrases “bean counters” and “not worth a bean” are derived from these early transactions (cuộc giao dịch). A porter’s daily pay amounted to about 100 beans, a fresh avocado cost three beans, a rabbit cost eight beans, a turkey or a slave cost 100 beans and a feather cape 1,000. In 1526 in his Chronicle of America reported that “there are women that give their bodies for a price…those who wanted [these women] for their libidinous (dâm đãng) use gave 8 to 10 cacao beans.”

Ka Tina

“Not to have a bean” nghĩa là gì?

Photo by Joshua Hoehne

“Not to have a bean” có bean là tiền đồng -> cụm từ này nghĩa là không một xu dính túi, rất nghèo.

Ví dụ
IT is difficult not to be sympathetic (đồng cảm) to Karla Elliott's plight (hoàn cảnh khó khăn). Her reputation (danh tiếng) is on the line, her life in tatters. She doesn't have a bean to her name. She is on the dole (sống nhờ vào sự bố thí, tiền trợ cấp thất nghiệp) in a rented house.

“Favelas bulldozed (dọa dẫm), people displaced, all for the Olympic Games? And what’s going to happen after? They don’t have a bean and venues (nơi gặp gỡ) were built that will serve no use afterwards . . . you can understand the anger from the locals’ point of view. That’s why all the venues were empty, there was no atmosphere at anything.”

"These kids don't have a bean, they have nothing, it is a flipping ordeal (sự thử thách, thử tội) for them to get there," says Duncan. Once viewed as an archetypical (nguyên mẫu, nguyên hình) working-class sport this is no longer the case, according to Eric Donovan. "It is a disadvantaged sport." Until the Covid-19 lockdown Daina Moorehouse worked part-time in the kitchen of a hotel in Enniskerry.

Ka Tina

"Hands are clean" nghĩa là gì?


“(one’s) hands are clean” = bàn tay sạch -> nghĩa là không dính dáng tới việc xấu, không làm bất kỳ việc phạm pháp nào cả.

Ví dụ
A task easier said than done (nói thì dễ, làm mới khó) since Matthew can’t help but blow up at his wife about her affair with George. Not that his hands are clean either, what with his gambling and frequent lies.

Domelevo, a man of integrity (tính chính trực, liêm chính), has become a leading light for citizens who aspire to build the Republic and put Ghana first. His hands are clean. Akufo-Addo rode to the Jubilee House on the high horse of an anti-corruption crusader (người tham gia cuộc vận động chống tham nhũng). It’ll dent his credentials (phẩm chất) if, unquestionably, the most upright citizen in public service is forced out of office.

The lawyer who organised bail for a suspected jailbreaker who has been linked to an alleged plot to spring former Thai junior minister Lieutenant Colonel Banyin Tangpakorn from prison has met with senior police officers including the Head of Metropolitan Police Division One in Bangkok, to brief them on his actions and has underlined his clean hands in relation to the affair. During nearly five hours of interrogation (sự thẩm vấn, chất vấn), he told them that this was simply a normal bail application that he had undertaken when requested by a fellow legal practitioner.

Ka Tina

“Poor but clean” nghĩa là gì?

Photo by Shail Sharma

“Poor but clean” -> nghĩa là nghèo cho sạch rách cho thơm; 'giấy rách phải giữ lấy lề'.

Ví dụ
Most black families focus on being poor, vulnerable and marginalised (ra rìa) and forget to better their lives. We might be poor, but clean, vulnerable, but strong-willed, marginalised, but innovative. We believe in social coherence (sự đoàn kết, chặt chẽ) and family unity and through this, many of us who are between rocks and hard places can be encouraged to build their lives in amazing ways.

"This is what we did. I mean, kids now have videogames. This is what we spent our time doin'," Thomas remembers. The house he lived in is long gone, but the oak tree (cây sồi) that was behind it still there. Asked what kind of house it was, Thomas says, "We used to like to say it was poor but clean. There wasn't much to it. There was no electricity." And there was also no indoor plumbing. "There was an outhouse that we shared with some other families," he explains.

“We provide training, loans and tools for these people need to start businesses,” she says. “The people that we help are from Somali, Bosnia. There are Iraqis, Liberians, some from every African country.” For some evidence of how that integration would play out, Sherry Pawelko, the executive director of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, points to a neighborhood in Lincoln, Neb., where the organization is headquartered. Called the South Bottoms, the neighborhood became home to thousands of German-Russians during the same wave of immigration (làn sóng nhập cư) that helped first populate the Dakotas. It was poor but clean, she says. As the United States fought two world wars and suspicion grew, residents of the South Bottoms were routinely called “dirty ‘rooshians’.”

Ka Tina

"Give them hell" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by: Jon Tyson on Unsplash

"Give them hell" = đưa nó đến địa ngục -> nghĩa là quở trách ai đó rất gay gắt hoặc khiến mọi thứ xung quanh họ trở nên khó khăn/khó chịu.

Ví dụ
Charlottesville is now the epicenter (tâm chấn) of the struggle for white America, Dodson told me. And just because Saturday’s violence seemed to have been contained, the alt-right will continue to “give them hell” in the city.

Police Minister (bộ trưởng) Bheki Cele didn’t give that directive — it was Steve Tshwete, a former safety and security minister. In 1999, he launched “a war on crime” when he said: “We are going to deal with criminals in the same way that a bulldog deals with a bull … We are going to give them hell. But the police were already giving people hell back then. And they never stopped.

He complained in a June 27 interview with the Greensboro News & Record, "They went on my website and contacted all my sponsors (nhà tài trợ). They found pictures of race cars here, and said they'd contact anyone who sponsors the racecars and give them hell."

Ngọc Lân

"Fall on stony ground" nghĩa là gì?

Một mình vẫn thích hơn. Photo by: Hunter Newton on Unsplash

"Fall on stony ground" = ngã xuống đất đá -> nghĩa là không được ai để ý tới, bị lờ đi.

Ví dụ
Not intentionally, say Saracens’ solicitors (luật sư), but still enough to cop an unprecedented fine of £5.3 million and a draconian (khắc nghiệt) 35-point deduction should their appeal, which is already under way, fall on stony ground.

But he also appeared to accept (chấp nhận) much of what Ms Onwurah said, telling the Commons: "Her point (quan điểm) is well made and does not fall on stony ground.

But if the most experienced Wales side in history try a similar ploy (mánh khỏe) at Twickenham it is likely to fall on stony ground with team-mates primed to intervene and Sinckler a much more mature figure.

Ngọc Lân

"As hot as blazes" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by: Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

"As hot as blazes" -> nghĩa là rất nóng nực, khó chịu.

Ví dụ
You would never know it was as hot as blazes outside based on the long sleeve (tay áo), embroidered (thêu) Giambattista Valli dress Nicole Kidman wore to the Met on Monday. But many people, as you well know, make certain sacrifices (hi sinh) for fashion, comfort being relatively high on that list.

The weather could turn bad, and it’s probably going to be as hot as blazes. Somebody could always get hurt. When you put 50,000 people in one place, all sorts of things are possible.

It always seems to be as hot as blazes when we visit Clendening Lake, so fish early and late in the day. Tie on a topwater lure at dawn or dusk and cast it to the shallows (nông, cạn).

Ngọc Lân

"With all guns blazing" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by: HIZIR KAYA on Unsplash

"With all guns blazing" = với tất cả các khẩu súng đỏ lửa -> nghĩa là với quyết tâm lớn và năng lượng dồi dào, thường không màng hậu quả.

Ví dụ
Miley Cyrus comes with all guns blazing against America: ‘Ain’t no party in the USA'. As America delved into the celebratory (tôn vinh) spirit on the Fourth of July, Miley Cyrus came forth in protest (phản đối) of the human rights that have been getting neglected (bị lờ đi) in the country.

Gear up (lên đồ) with Sam Stone and set off (bắt đầu cuộc hành trình) on yet another rampage (cơn thịnh nộ) with all guns blazing against aliens in the classic Serious Sam fashion. The graphics have visibly improved since the 2017 release of the third title. Even with improved visuals, the game managed to retain (giữ lại) the old-school feel of the game.

21 Grams, the cosy-chic Balkan bistro (quán rượu nhỏ) on Jumeirah Beach Road, will be firing up the pans again from July 20. And it’s coming out of lockdown with all guns blazing, with a revamped (tân trang lại) menu and revised opening hours.

Ngọc Lân

"Keep a stiff upper lip" nghĩa là gì?

Poker face. Photo courtesy: Gianni Giatilis

"Keep a stiff upper lip" có từ "stiff" là cứng rắn, kiên quyết = giữ cho cái môi cứng rắn -> tỏ ra kiên cường, không lộ vẻ sợ hãi hay lo lắng trên mặt.

Ví dụ
The teenager kept a stiff upper lip in school, but he didn’t hide his pain from his family.

So let’s see if we understand each other. The British press, and jealous British white women, want Prince Harry to tolerate (chịu đựng) their venom and vitriol (lời nói cay độc) against his wife and family. He’s to keep a “stiff upper lip” for the benefit of “being royalty.” If he speaks out, he’s delusional (hoang tưởng) — and if he doesn’t, he’s “whipped (sợ vợ).”

I held my grandma close – dear, sweet Grandma, who always kept a stiff upper lip, but not today – and we wept (khóc) in each other's arms for half an hour. I knew I was breaking her heart, but had no choice. The awful, incomprehensible (không bao hàm) reality of being true to yourself is that sometimes it means hurting those you love most dearly.

Ngân Nguyễn

Bài trước: "In his black books" nghĩa là gì?

"In his black books" nghĩa là gì?

Nãy thằng Toàn ghẹo mình, cho vào luôn. Photo courtesy: Makayla♬Williams

"In someone's black books" = có tên trong sổ đen -> bị ghét bỏ, chán ghét; hoặc không tán thành.

Ví dụ
Nobody likes the feeling of being in the black books; making a mistake and hurting the one you love is never a pleasant moment.

Depending on one’s political bent (năng khiếu), there is a host of reasons to dislike the current Australian prime minister. Scott Morrison landed solidly in my black books in March 2019 when he used International Women’s Day as an opportunity to assure Australian men that they should not have to make way for women’s empowerment — completely missing the point that the only men that women wish to replace in the workforce are the incompetent (thiếu trình độ) and/or violent ones, and eliciting (gây nên) my enduring sympathy for his daughters.

The Sacred Games actor, in an exclusive interview for mid-day's special segment, Sit with Hitlist, spilled beans (vô tình hay cố ý tiết lộ bí mật) on his struggle and his relationship with his parents. He said, "So I went to a really academic, school — the oldest in England — Winchester. The idea [of being there] was obvious. You go to Oxford [or a similar place] thereafter. That hadn't worked out. I was in the black books of my parents, what with Delhi, partying and Ghungroo. I was getting scared. Because there was nothing I was interested in."

Ngân Nguyễn

Bài trước: "Full of the joys of spring" nghĩa là gì?

"I don't want to wear out my welcome" nghĩa là gì?

Luôn luôn được chào đón mà, đừng ngại. Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

"I don't want to wear out my welcome" = không muốn làm mất đi sự chào đón -> nghĩa là câu mà khách (nói) không muốn trở thành gánh nặng của chủ (sợ bị đuổi vì đến quá nhiều) dù rất muốn tiếp tục ở đó.

Ví dụ
The gal there has been great but I have a dog and I need to get him out of there. She is doing me a favor by allowing him to stay but I don't want to wear out my welcome.

He stayed with them for two weeks, and then he said, "I don't want to wear out my welcome here. I should go home to my brothers — maybe they'll have forgiven me." His sister told him not to forget to say goodbye to her husband.

I smiled and swallowed my last bite of bacon. “Thank you but that isn't why. I can't just move in here. It would crimp (ngăn cản) Cage's life and he'd eventually get annoyed with me. He doesn't see it that way but I don't want to wear out my welcome."

They walked out of the restaurant together. “I'm going to start looking for a place to live,” Ryan blurted (buột miệng). “I don't want to wear out my welcome here.”
“You are more than welcome to stay here for as long as necessary, Ryan. We have some guest rooms that are only for staff."

Thu Phương

"For XYZ reasons" nghĩa là gì?

Lấy chồng đẻ con hay không cũng là quyền của người ta mà. Photo by Quang Anh Ha Nguyen from Pexels

"For XYZ reasons" nghĩa là bởi cả tá lý do khác nhau (không cụ thể).

Ví dụ
Get a short letter of recommendation (often called testimonials (giấy chứng nhận)) that simply says the customer recommends the product for xyz reasons.

This is a very good investment (đầu tư) for X-Y-Z reasons or this is a very bad reason, bad investment for other reasons. There may fall, for example, a board discussion and a vote on that particular investment.

I really wanted to do this, but for XYZ reasons I can't, and give very compelling (thuyết phục) reasons, and he will be awarded his part of the money. I would urge that you reconsider that business of counting commitments (cam kết) in a given fiscal year.

Why do women have to be like “I take birth control for xyz reasons, not just to prevent pregnancy” to try and defend it and play into respectability politics like I straight up take it bc I’m a woman and I have sex and I don’t want to get pregnant and I don’t feel bad about it.

Thu Phương

"So bad you can taste it" nghĩa là gì?

Đã làm là phải làm cho thật tốt, đó là điều tôi muốn. Photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels

"So bad (that) one can taste it" nghĩa là thực sự, rất, vô cùng (cảm xúc mạnh).

Ví dụ
I know what you want, want so bad you can taste it, like a little puppydog can taste the bone held out to tease him.

It's when you have focus that the work begins, and there will be lot of it. You have to want it so bad you can taste it.

I'm a pilot. I know what it's like. You want to get off the ground so bad you can taste it, so bad that you're willing to sling (quăng) ten thousand plates of hash trying to save up enough money to get your wings.

After I left the hospital, I was ready to bail (bảo lãnh) D.C. out like I'd promised I still felt guilty about him being there, even though I wanted to get with his woman so bad I could taste it. I was gonna do one last good deed for him and that was it.

Thu Phương

"Be in the best possible taste" nghĩa là gì?

Chuẩn gu bạn trai chưa? Photo by Spencer Selover from Pexels

"Be in the best/good possible taste" nghĩa là chuẩn "gu", hoàn toàn phù hợp, chấp nhận được.

Ví dụ
Then his dress, his ' turn out , 'all his appointments, without being costly, were in the best possible taste, and the best possible taste can only be obtained from the best sources , and ať the best prices.

The ploughmen (thợ cày), some of the most substantial and respectable farmers in the county, were neatly and clearly dressed, in the best possible taste, with every thing appropriate to the business in which they were engaged.

Question: Does the difference affect your own taste when you write?
Simon: My taste is constant. I always try to write in the best possible taste, even though it is stretched sometimes. Some people would not agree that it's the best possible taste, but I try to write with a certain amount of quality all the time.

Thu Phương

Sài Gòn trước thách thức nước biển dâng

học hà lan nhé, thuận theo "Mẹ thiên nhiên", để nước chảy vào bất kỳ nơi nào có thể, sống chung với nước chứ không phải cố gắng chống lại sức nước: các ao hồ, công viên, quảng trường và thậm chí là những bãi đỗ ô tô có thể dễ dàng trở thành những nơi trữ nước khổng lồ khi có lũ,

ứng dụng quốc gia có tích hợp GPS để người dân Hà Lan luôn luôn có thể biết chính xác đất nước của họ đang ở dưới mực nước biển bao nhiêu. trẻ em Hà Lan phải có chứng chỉ bắt buộc công nhận khả năng bơi mà không cần cởi quần áo và giày (kỹ năng cơ bản như đi xe đạp) để có thể sử dụng các bể bơi công cộng không hạn chế,

dự án Measlantkering (hoàn thành năm 1997) với hai cánh cửa ngăn triều hình rẻ quạt, mỗi cánh cao 22m, dài 210m, nặng 6.800 tấn, (như tháp effel nằm ngang) Measlantkering bảo vệ cảng Rotterdam và thành phố triệu dân phía trong; đây là hạng mục cuối cùng trong dự án Delta Works với 16.500km đê chính và phụ, hệ thống cống thoát nước, cửa ngăn triều và nhiều công trình phụ trợ khác...
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It is, in essence, to let water in, where possible, not hope to subdue (chinh phục, khuất phục, đánh bại) Mother Nature: to live with the water, rather than struggle to defeat it. The Dutch devise lakes, garages, parks and plazas that are a boon to daily life but also double as enormous reservoirs (hồ trữ nước khổng lồ) for when the seas and rivers spill over (tràn).

Dutch consultants advising the Bangladeshi authorities about emergency shelters (trú ẩn khẩn cấp) and evacuation routes (đường tránh nạn, di tản) recently helped reduce the numbers of deaths suffered in recent floods to “hundreds instead of thousands,”

Dutch thinking changed after floods forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate during the 1990s. The floods “were a wake-up call to give back to the rivers some of the room we had taken,” “We can’t just keep building higher levees, because we will end up living behind 10-meter walls,” he said. “We need to give the rivers more places to flow. Protection against climate change is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain, and the chain in our case includes not just the big gates and dams at the sea but a whole philosophy of spatial planning, crisis management, children’s education, online apps and public spaces.”

a national GPS-guided app created so that residents always know exactly how far below sea level they are. To use public pools unrestricted, Dutch children must first earn diplomas that require swimming in their clothes and shoes. “It’s a basic part of our culture, like riding a bike,”

...That would be the Maeslantkering, built near the mouth of the sea, about a half-hour drive west from downtown Rotterdam — the city’s first line of defense (tuyến phòng thủ đầu tiên). It is the size of two tubular Eiffel Towers, toppled over.

In the 20 years since it opened, the Maeslantkering hasn’t actually been needed to prevent a flood, but it is tested regularly just in case. Picnickers line the shore to watch. The trial closings are a little like the Dutch version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The Maeslantkering is a consequence of repeated historic calamities (thiên tai mang tính lịch sử). In 1916, the North Sea overwhelmed the Dutch coastline, inaugurating a spate of protective construction that failed to hold back the water in 1953 when an overnight storm killed more than 1,800 people. The Dutch still call it the Disaster. They redoubled national efforts, inaugurating the Delta Works project that dammed two major waterways and produced the Maeslantkering — the giant sea gate, completed in 1997, keeping open the immense waterway that services the entire port of Rotterdam.