2013年6月8日 星期六

June 2013: What's Going On (2013年六月的新鮮事)

This will be my last post this semester.  I cannot say when (and if) I will be posting here again.  I'm finding it harder and harder to say anything "new" about Taitung, and by "new" I mean something that would be fun for me to write about, and fun for you to read.  I will still be writing my other blog, Taiwan 101, and you are welcome to read that.這將是我這學期寫的最後一篇文章, 我無法說什麼時候再跟大家在這裡見面, 因為我發現自己越來越難找到台東的"新", 這裡所謂的"新"昰指對我自己及讀者來說有趣的題材, 我會繼續在我另一個部落格Taiwan 101, 上發表, 也很歡迎您們的造訪閱讀.

I'll be going back to Seattle on June 27, so I'll be away from the computer for a while, too.  We'll be in Seattle until the end of August.  I know many people in Taitung who are making similar trips to the US, in part because the visa requirement for Taiwanese citizens has been lifted. 我將在6月27日回西雅圖, 直到八月底才回臺灣, 這段時間也會離開電腦一陣子, 我知道很多臺灣的朋友也將到美國旅行, 這應該也是因為臺灣人民申請美國簽證簡易化的現象. 

As a prelude to my Seattle trip, I've been trying to go swimming as much as possible.  My parents tell me that Seattle is still COLD this time of year, and swimming over there in July doesn't seem likely.  On the weekends, I divide my time between the Flowing Lake and several beaches in Dulan.到西雅圖之前, 我正盡可能地去游泳, 我父母說西雅圖目前還很冷, 七月在那裡游泳的可能性不大,  所以我在週末把時間分配在活水湖及都蘭附近的海灘游泳.  

While I'm Stateside, there will be several events held in the Taitung area.  The hot air balloon festival began last weekend, and there will also be the "Love 197" bicycle race, a marathon in Li Ji, a bike race in Tai Ma Li and a swimming race in Taitung's Flowing Lake.台東將在暑假舉辦多項活動, 那時我已在西雅圖了.熱氣球活動已經在上周開跑了, 戀戀197的自行車公路賽利吉惡地的馬拉松,也有太麻里的自行車賽和台東活水湖的遊泳比賽都在這段時間舉行.

I can't help but wonder how they're going to hold that swimming race with the water in the Flowing Lake getting lower and lower every day.  I can't say for sure that this is the reason, but I suspect that all the watermelon farming across the river is depleting the aquifer.  If this continues, I'm not sure if there will be enough water left for this event.我懷疑他們要如何在活水湖舉辦游泳比賽, 因為那裡的水位越來越低, 不知道那裡的水位低跟附近的西瓜田有沒有關係?我猜想昰不是西瓜田抽地下水灌溉的關係, 如果水位一直下降, 不知道比賽時會不會有足夠的水?

Development in Taitung is also ongoing.  The sites being developed are too numerous to list here, and those living in Taitung City are all well aware of the new hotels, new houses, and new businesses going up around the city.  Some of these developments are in the public interest, while others seem more inspired by greed and short-term thinking.  The movie theater is coming along nicely, and when finished it will house a Mos Burger, Uniqlo, Mister Donut, and a Cold Stone Creamery.  The park next to this movie theater is also being renovated, and the Taitung County Government has big plans for this area.  As with any large construction project like this, there will be winners and losers.台東的市民都很清楚台東目前各地的發展, 例如新飯店, 新房子和新商店,  一些建設發展符合公共利益, 而有些則顯得貪婪與短視, 電影院昰個很好的主意, 等它完成時將會有摩斯漢堡, Uniqlo, 多拿滋甜甜圈和 Cold Stone 冰淇淋, 電影院旁的公園也正在翻新整建, 台東縣政府對這個區域有許多的新計畫, 計畫進行的同時也影響了許多人, 

Note to all government officials: Taitung City needs more trees.  Whatever you are planning, plant more trees.  Our air will be better, and our city will be more pleasant to live in!給台東政府的建議: 台東市需要多一點的樹, 無論您對台東有什麼樣的發展計畫, 請種多一點的樹, 這樣空氣會更好, 我們的城市也會更適合居住.

Hope you have a good summer vacation.  I'll see you on the other side of August.祝你有個美好的暑假, 開學見囉!

Related Entries 相關的文章:

望夫島 - 火燒島 Why Green Island is Called "The Burning Island"
來去台東 Come to Taitung
Good Times in Taitung 台東的好日子
The Li Ji Badlands 利吉惡地

P.S. - Want to help keep Taitung green this summer?  Drive less, buy fewer packaged items, don't buy coral, and discourage your neighbors from littering.  By doing so, you will be setting an example for others to follow.  Taitung isn't just a source of revenue, or a place to dump our garbage.  It is our home, and with everyone's help, we can insure that our home is a place worth living in.想要讓台東"綠"嗎? 少開車, 少買很多包裝的物品, 也不要買賣珊瑚, 也鼓勵你的鄰居不要亂丟垃圾, 當你自己做到這些事情時,  也同時為他人建立了一個模範, 台東不只是一個讓大家賺錢的地方或是一個垃圾場, 它是我們的家, 有大家的幫忙, 我們才能確保台東昰一個值得大家居住的地方.

2013年5月17日 星期五

望夫島 - 火燒島 Why Green Island is Called "The Burning Island"

The following passage was taken from 台灣地名故事 ("Stories of Taiwanese Place Names").  This book was published by 風車圖書 (Windmill Illustrated) in 2013, and the Chinese text was written by 張青史.  This story was translated (into English) by me.

 望夫島 - 火燒島
The Island Where She Kept Vigil for Her Husband - The Burning Island*

 "火燒島" 就是我們現在所稱的綠島.  由於它孤懸於海上的地理位置, 使它一度成為監禁, 管束政治思想犯與黑道大哥的天然監獄, 同時也塑造了它與世隔絕, 海上監獄的印象.  其實, 浪漫的 "綠島小夜曲" 旋律, 使綠島恍若銀色月光下搖盪的輕舟, 引發人們產生椰林, 海潮與兩情相悅的想像.  "The burning island" is a name we use for Green Island.  Due to its isolated location upon the ocean, it was formerly used as a prison for gangsters and political prisoners.  The presence of this prison further isolated Green Island from the outside world.   

However, the melodious "Green Island Serenade", [a popular song], reminds one of the silver light of the moon, of swaying boats, of alluring coconut groves, of ocean waves, and of romantic fantasies.

這麼美麗的綠島與, 為甚麼會有 "火燒島" 這種不相稱的名稱呢?  這就必須從很久以前發生的一則妻美故事說起了.  But why is the beautiful Green Island called by another name?  Why is it also called "the burning island"?  The explanation must begin with the story of a wife, set a long time in the past.

綠島在地質上是一座火山島, 海岸環繞著珊瑚礁, 地形相當崎嶇.  山多田少, 不利於農耕, 所以, 大部分的居民都以出海捕魚為生.  Green island is a volcanic island, surrounded by coral.  The terrain is very mountainous, and not good for farming.  For this reason, the residents must go to the ocean and fish for their food.

很久以前, 島上住著一對恩愛夫妻, 他們結婚幾十年, 卻沒有生下一南半女.  丈夫平時駕著一艘破舊的小船, 在離岸邊不遠的淺海捕魚為生, 雖然所得不多, 但勉強可以維持一家溫飽.  A long time ago, a happy couple lived upon the island.  They had been married for over ten years, but they had no children.  The husband, a fisherman, usually piloted an old, creaky boat along the shore, not far from the island in order to catch fish for their meals.  Although he did not catch many fish, it was enough for them to subsist on.

一天晚上, 丈夫對妻子說 "今年的飛魚季快要來臨了, 我想趁著段時間出海去多捕一些飛魚, 這樣才可以讓妳過更好的生活."  One evening, the fisherman said to his wife, "This year's flying fish season is approaching.  I want to go upon the sea for a short time and catch more fish.  In this way I can give you a better life."

妻子反對說 "我們現在不是過得滿好的嗎?  你何必去冒險呢?  我並不是貪圖榮華富貴的人, 這輩子, 只要能和妳平平安安的生活在一起, 我就心滿意足了.  何況你那艘破舊的小船, 怎麼禁的大浪呢?" The fisherman's wife countered by saying, "Don't we have enough now?  Why do you need to risk your safety?  I am not accustomed to living in luxury, and to live peacefully with you is everything I could want.  What could possess you to take that old, creaky boat upon the ocean?  How can it withstand the big waves?"

丈夫解釋: "我原本也沒有打算出海捕魚, 昨天在街上遇到蔡先生, 說剛建造完成一艘新船, 需要幾個人手, 邀我加入, 我就答應她了."  The fisherman explained: "I had not originally planned to catch fish upon the ocean, but yesterday I ran into Mr. Tsai upon the road, and he told me that he had just built a new boat, and that this boat needed another hand So I agreed to go."

妻子聽了, 說: "既然你已經答應蔡先生, 而且又是一艘船, 你就安心去吧!  反正幾天後就可以回來了."   When the fisherman's wife heard this she said: "Since you have already told Mr. Tsai that you will go, and because he has a boat, you should go with my blessing.  Anyway, you'll be back after a few days."

妻子為丈夫準備了幾套乾淨的衣服, 又叮嚀幾句, 才放心的去睡覺.  The fisherman's wife prepared many clean clothes for him, and told him to be careful.  Then she fell into a peaceful slumber.

第二天, 丈夫跟隨蔡先生的漁船出海捕魚.  妻子到港口送行, 望著漁船出海, 她站在岸邊不停得揮著手, 直到漁船消失在起伏不定的海面, 才依依不捨的回家.  After two days, the fisherman joined Mr. Tsai's crew as they took to the sea on their fishing expedition.  The fisherman's wife sent him off at the port, and watched the boat sail out into the ocean.  She stood at the port waving and waving, until the boat disappeared into the farther reaches of the water.  Only after the boat vanished completely did she return home.

三天過去了, 許多漁船已經陸續返港, 可是始終不見蔡先生的新漁船回來.  妻子開始著急了, 不斷向反港的漁民打聽.  有人說, 兩天前還有看到蔡先生的漁船在海上捕魚; 有人說, 蔡先生的漁船向南方駛去; 更讓妻子擔心的是, 有人說: "最近海上出現專門搶劫漁船的海盜船, 手段殘忍, 如果不將魚獲交給他們, 恐怕性命難保."  After three days, many of the fishing boats had already returned to port.  But Mr. Tsai's new fishing boat was not seen among them.  The fisherman's wife began to worry, and she listened to the other fisherman as they returned from the sea.  Two days before, some had seen Mr. Tsai's boat catching fish upon the ocean, and this boat had been seen sailing upon the waters to the south.  What truly frightened the fisherman's wife was the news that pirates had recently been seen in that area, and that these pirates used cruel means to threaten the lives of local fisherman in order to steal their fish.

妻子聽了, 內心非常焦慮, 但是她仍然相信丈夫會平安回來.  白天時, 妻子就在港口癡癡的望著茫茫大海, 期盼能看到丈夫搭乘的漁船平安返港.  When the fisherman's wife heard this her heart was very troubled, but she still believed that her husband would return peacefully.  During the day she stood by the port, staring nervously at the ocean, hoping to see her husband's boat returning safely.

由於以前並沒有燈塔可以為晚歸的漁船指引方向, 所以到了夜晚, 妻子就在島上的高處燃起熊熊大火, 希望能為丈夫的漁船島航,  以免找不到進港的方向.  熊熊的火焰把夜空照得通紅, 使得整座島像火在燒一樣.  In past times, there was no lighthouse to direct the boats back into port during the evening, so during the night the fisherman's wife tended a great fire on a high place.  She wished to show her husband's boat the way back to shore.  The great fire blazed red in the night, and made the whole island look like it was burning.

半個月過去了, 丈夫還是沒有回來, 他絕望了, 就跳海殉夫而死.  島上的居民為了紀念她, 從此, 就把這座島稱作 "火燒島".  Half a month passed, and still her husband did not return.  She gave up hope, and jumped into the sea in order to join her husband in death.  The residents of the island began calling this place "the burning island" in remembrance of her.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

來去台東 Come to Taitung
Good Times in Taitung 台東的好日子
The Li Ji Badlands 利吉惡地 
Guanshan 關山

*This phrase in Chinese, "火燒島", could also be translated as "Fire Island."  I just find "The Burning Island" more evocative. 

**This probably isn't the only story about why Green Island is called "the burning island."  There are usually many explanations for such things, and variations on similar themes.  This story also bears a strong resemblance to another story concerning the goddess Matsu 馬租, and the fires she kept burning for the fishermen.
  

2013年5月4日 星期六

Good Times in Taitung 台東的好日子

I've had many good times in Taitung.  They weren't all good of course, but I like to think that the good times outweigh the bad.在台東是好日子多過於不如意, 所以我在這裡度過許多美好的時光.

In 2000 I visited Taitung for the first time.  I remember walking around downtown, and wondering where all the people were.  At that time the train station was still in the center of the city, and the bus stations around the "old" train station were a lot livelier than they are now.  There were still cows wandering around that area, and only a handful of 7-11s.  No Eslite, no Starbuck's, no Railway Art Village.  Just Li Yu Mountain, the occasional train, a few buses, and a lot of Quiet.我第一次到台東昰西元2000年, 我記得走在市區的街道上並懷疑人都到哪裡去了, 當時舊火車站還在營運, 旁邊的公車站也顯得比現在有朝氣多了, 附近也可以看到牛, 並且沒有那麼多的7-11, 沒有誠品書店, 沒有星巴克, 也沒有鐵道藝術村, 只有鯉魚山, 偶爾進站的火車,  幾輛公車和寂靜.

In 2006 I was hired by the Taitung County Government as a foreign English teacher.  I flew over here from Taichung, bewildered by the sudden reality of it all.  Mr. Alex met me at the airport, and showed me a bit of the city before my (somewhat stressful) job interview.  I couldn't believe how big the Flowing Lake was.  I couldn't believe how good my lungs felt after Taichung.  After the interview I had an extra day to walk around the city, and I was so happy that I walked all the way from the Teacher's Hotel to the Forest Park, and from there to the Taitung Airport.  I didn't even feel tired afterward.2006年我到台東來教書, 來之前, 我從台中坐飛機到台東面試, 周老師到機場接我並在面試前帶我參觀台東市, 我很驚訝, 活水湖居然那麼大, 我的肺也很喜歡這裡新鮮空氣. 面試後, 我有一整天的時間認識台東, 所以我高興得從教師會館走到森林公園, 再從那裡走到台東機場, 那時完全不覺得累.

In 2007 I went to a big barbecue in Jin Luen with my coworkers at Tung Hai Junior High School.  We drank and ate and talked, and the weather was very good that day.  That was the first time I'd been so far south in Taitung, and the scenery was giving me a natural high.  2007年, 我和東海國中的同事去金崙烤肉, 那天的天氣很好, 我們吃吃喝喝聊得很開心, 那是我第一次到台東的南部, 那裡的風景讓我的心情很愉快.

In 2009 I started work at Tung Hai Elementary School.  After two years of junior high this was a refreshing change of pace.  I'm well into my fourth year now, and I still enjoy seeing the students in the morning. 在國中教了兩年後, 在2009年, 我開始在東海國小上班,  這是一個很新鮮的轉變, 我在東海國小四年了, 我依然很高興在每天早上見到我的學生.

From 2000 to 2013, at various bars, barbecues, and restaurants around Taitung County.  A lot of the people I've met have already gone on to other places, but the memory of the good times we shared remains.  Late night beers at Kasa or 7-11, parties held in people's backyards, and even camping trips with friends.   All of these memories serve to remind me that Taitung is a good place, and moreover a place well worth living in.從2000年到2013年, 大部分我在台東的酒吧, 烤肉餐會, 及餐廳認識的人都已經離開了,  但美好的記憶仍舊留存, 夜晚在 Kasa 或 7-11的啤酒, 朋友家後院的聚會或是和朋友去露營, 這些回憶都再ㄧ次地提醒我: 台東真是一個好地方, 一個值得居住的地方. 

Perhaps I'll see YOU at the next get-together.  One never knows.  Taitung is very small, and such things are known to happen!或許我們會在某一個聚會碰面, 台東很小, 這樣的事發生的機率很高.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Summer Plans 暑假計畫
December 2012: What's Going On (2012年十二月發生的事)
Foreign Friends of Foreign Friends 外國朋友的外國朋友
Old, Old Photos 很久以前的照片

* Thanks to my wife Jean 林靜怡 for the translation help on this one.

2013年4月20日 星期六

The Li Ji Badlands 利吉惡地

My school's second graders recently took a field trip to the Li Ji Badlands, which is an area just west of Taitung City.  The easiest way to get there is using the road that passes by the baseball station, and it is only about ten minutes from downtown Taitung.  我學校二年級的戶外教學去利吉惡地. 那裡靠近台東市.  從台東市區開車走棒球場後面的那條路只要十分鐘.

Firstly, we stopped at the place with the steps for a bathroom break.  Second graders need to use the bathroom a lot.  This is the Li Ji Visitor's Center, I believe, and it is right inside the town of Li Ji.  I have never been inside of it!  二年級的小朋友超愛上廁所, 所以我們先在利吉遊客中心讓小朋友上廁所 .  這個遊客中心在利吉村裡面.  我還沒進去過.

After our bathroom break we backtracked a bit, and took a tour of this farm.  At this time of year they were growing guava, which is not a fruit I am overly fond of.  The kids had a great time picking their own guavas, and after we were done I had a big bag of guavas to take home.  上完廁所後, 我們走去一座芭樂園.  目前正是芭樂的產期.  我不是很喜歡這種水果.  但是小朋友很愛自己樂, 他們採完後, 我反而有一大袋的芭樂可以帶回家.

From there, the bus took us up to Shin Li Farm, where they raise boer goats, imported from South Africa.  This place is very famous for its views of the Li Ji valley, and also for the goat milk it produces.  I was a bit surprised not to find any goat meat for sale, but there are plenty of yang rho lu (goat stew) restaurants along the highway up to this place.  從那裏我們坐車到新麗農場.  他們那邊養從南非進口的羊, 並且產羊奶,   這裡的風景也很有名, 從農場可以看到利吉惡地的地形.   有點驚訝的昰他們不賣羊肉, 可是那附近有好多羊肉爐餐廳.

While inside, the kids had a chance to chase some of the goats around, and a good time was had by all.  This field trip only lasted half the day, so we were back on the bus again before 12 o'clock rolled around.  I'm looking forward to going back to Li Ji when the weather gets better.  I have a foreign friend there, whose daughter is celebrating a birthday!  在農場裡,  小朋友可以去追羊.  那真是最好玩的部分.  這一次的戶外教學只有半天, 所以我們趕在十二點前回去.  我很期待天氣好的時候去利吉惡地.  我在那邊有個外國朋友.  他的女兒下個禮拜過生日.  生日會也是我去利吉玩的好機會.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Guanshan 關山
Inside Dulan's Sugar Factory 在都蘭糖廠裡面
Taitung City's Central Market 台東的中央市場
Lantern Festival in Taitung 元宵節

2013年4月13日 星期六

Summer Plans 暑假計畫

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to summer!  In exactly 11 weeks and 1 day I am going back to Seattle for two whole months.  I plan on doing a whole lot of NOTHING while I am there, and between periods of doing NOTHING I will probably be camping, or drinking, or eating foods that I've been missing for almost exactly two years.  我不知道你今年暑假有什麼計畫, 可是我很期待今年的暑假.  再11個禮拜又1天, 我們全家就要去美國西雅圖玩兩個月.  這次我計畫好好地放鬆.  我兩年沒回去了, 所以我很想念露營, 喝啤酒和美國料理.而這也是我暑假要做的事.

5 Best Places in (or around) Seattle 西雅圖附近五個最好的景點

1. The Waterfront
 2. The Pike Place Public Market
3. Alki Beach (on a sunny day)
 4. Washington State History Museum (in Tacoma)
 5. Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (also in Tacoma)


It's always good to go home, but I am even happier about going home this year.  Last time my wife stayed in Taiwan while I brought our two daughters back to the States, but this year the whole family is going.  This means NO sad phone calls between me and my wife while I'm in America.  This means that she gets to enjoy Seattle too!  回家探親很好, 而且這一次回去特別好, 因為這一次我太太跟我們一起回去.  上次她留在台灣, 我自己一個人帶我們兩個女兒回去.  所以這次不用相隔兩地的打電話了.  我太太也可以快快樂樂地在西雅圖玩.

5 Best Northwest Beers 西雅圖最好的啤酒

 1. Elysian's Dragontooth Stout
 2. Whatever IPA Hale's is selling
 3. Pike Place Kilt Lifter
 4. Maritime Pacific's Salmon Bay ESB
 5. Bridgeport's IPA


Each member of my family is looking forward to different things.  I'm looking forward to beer, and swimming, and concerts, and friends I haven't seen in a while.  My wife is looking forward to a much-needed rest, and also to some of the restaurants we used to go to.  My daughters are looking forward to shopping malls, and parks we used to frequent, and barbecues in my parents' backyard.  We are all looking forward to seeing other members of our family, and reconnecting after a long absence.  我們家每個人都有自己期待和想做的事.  我期待啤酒,游泳, 音樂會, 和很久不見的朋友.  我太太期待的是在那邊好好的休息, 和我們以前去過的餐廳.  我們孩子期待的是美國的購物中心, 公園, 和在我父母的院子裡烤肉.  我們都很想念西雅圖那邊的家人, 也很期待跟他們在一起的時光.


5 Best Seattle Parks 西雅圖最好的公園

 1. Discovery Park
 2. Alki Beach
 3. Seward Park
 4. Green Lake
 5. Jack Block Park


While we are there, one of my Taiwanese coworkers will be visiting us.  He has lived in America for many years already, but this will be his first time in Seattle.  I am looking forward to showing him and his wife around.  Introducing people to your hometown is always a satisfying experience, and it is interesting to see "home" through another person's eyes.   我一位台灣的同事也要在暑假期間去西雅圖玩.  他之前住在美國幾年, 但這昰他第一次去西雅圖.  我也很期待介紹他跟他太太西雅圖的風光.  我覺得介紹自己的家鄉是件有趣的事情.  這麼做也幫自己看到自己家鄉的不同面貌.


5 Best Seattle Restaurants 西雅圖最好的餐廳

 1. The Crab Pot. (on the waterfront)
 2. Snoose Junction Pizza
 3. Blue Moon Burgers
 4. Cedar's Indian Restaurant
 5. Hale's Ales Restaurant and Brewpub


After Seattle, we'll also be happy to be back in Taitung, with lots of stories to tell about our trip back to the States.  I hope that EVERYONE has good stories to tell after summer comes and goes.  Life is short (you know?), and if you have no summer plans you might want to make some.  If nothing else, be sure to have a good tomorrow, before today becomes another yesterday!  我們從西雅圖回來之後, 會很快樂地把"我在西雅圖"的故事與大家分享.  暑假過後, 希望每個人都有"快樂的暑假"的故事可說.  人生苦短, 如果你現在對暑假還沒有任何計畫, 你應該開始做.  但是不管有沒有暑假計畫, 毎一個明天一定要過得快快樂樂, 因為今天很快就會變成最新昨天.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

December 2012: What's Going On (2012年十二月發生的事)
Foreign Friends of Foreign Friends 外國朋友的外國朋友
America 美國
Pizza in Taitung City 台東市的比薩