2017年12月13日 星期三

My First Time on Taiwanese TV

1999.  Man, that was a while ago.  I was just off the plane from the States, I was a few weeks into my first teaching job in Taiwan, and I was acclimating to the island in general.

At that time I spoke maybe four words in Chinese: xie xie (thanks) and ni hao (hello).  I could also recognize the characters for "beef," "chicken," "pork," "noodles," and "rice" from local restaurants.  That was about it.

I had a girlfriend named Catherine.  I met her in a bar in Taichung, where I was living, and if it wasn't love, at least it was lust at first sight.  It was that kind of intense affair that young Taiwanese girls have without the approval of their parents, and I was about as emotionally uninvolved as it was possible to be.  

At one point Catherine got tickets (she was invited?) to sit in the audience for a TV show.  To this day I have no idea what the name of the show was.  The host was that curly-haired man with the beard, and several other Taiwanese celebrities who I'd probably now recognize if I could only recall what they looked like then.  It was one of those forgettable variety/game shows, where people talk endlessly, sing songs, and make (bad) puns in Taiwanese.

Catherine asked if I wanted to attend the taping with her.  I said "Sure," not really having any idea what I was in for.  I don't even know if I'd seen any Taiwanese TV shows at the time.  We had no television in the apartment where I lived, and aside from that apartment, the school where I worked, the 7-11, and a handful of restaurants I really hadn't been anywhere.

A week or so later we were on a bus headed to Taipei.  The bus took us straight to the TV studio where the show was being taped, and I assume that Catherine bought the ticket (was invited?) as part of a much larger group.  Soon after we were sitting inside a studio, in the midst of hundreds of other people, and the two hosts of the show were talking on the stage beneath us.  Catherine said they were talking about me, but what they said she never told me.  "Keep smiling," she said, "Look happy."

In case you've never been inside a Taiwanese TV studio, let me tell you that they look a lot worse in real life.  On television the shows look very shiny and new, but when you're in the studio you quickly realize how much mileage those studios have on them, and how many programs are filmed in the same space.  From the bleachers I could see how cheaply constructed everything was, and how the paint was peeling off some of the walls.  When filming a TV show, of course, they're only concerned about one or two angles, and if the imperfections in a set don't show up in those one or two angles they're overlooked altogether.

It was also really hot.  The lights had me sweating within minutes, and I began to realize what an act of endurance hosting a TV show must be.  Wearing a suit and standing beneath those lights without sweating your makeup off wouldn't be easy. 

The show continued on, and an hour or so later it was done.  On our way out Catherine told me that we were invited to meet the hosts backstage, and a stagehand led us to where various stars were having their makeup removed.  

I had a short conversation with a man I later saw on many other shows.  I also said "hello" to the curly-headed man, though he seemed more preoccupied with his twenty-something girlfriend.  The celebrity I talked with spoke perfect English, and mentioned that he'd gone to school in Canada.

After returning to Taichung, a lot of coworkers told me they'd seen me on TV.  They said I looked good, even though I was sweating like a bastard at the time.  I figured that if I'd managed to look "happy" through an hour of not understanding what the f*ck anyone was saying I'd done a pretty good job.

Catherine and I broke up a month or so later.  If she's somehow reading this (it's possible), I'm sorry for being such a dick at that party, but I knew your parents were never going to be ok with me.  Besides that, I was already dating someone else by then.  Just the same, thanks for inviting me to be on the TV show.  I can't say it was entirely pleasant, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless.

I've been on TV (and in the newspaper) a few times since, but it was always work-related, and never particularly memorable.  Being a foreigner and showing up on TV happens sometimes, and often for the most random reasons.  I've known foreigners who try to be on TV as much as possible - some for money, some for the fleeting sense of fame it offers - but that whole endeavor can get pretty silly.  Taiwanese people - through the media - are always aggrandizing foreigners for their own reasons, and one can't take too much credit for being the one foreign person within easy reach of a reporter, television executive, or aspiring politician.

Still, being on TV can be fun.  If you have the chance, and you can do it without compromising yourself too much, I'd recommend it.  If, however, they're asking you to ham it up, act "foreign," and otherwise conform to stereotypes I'd give it a hard pass.

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2017年12月11日 星期一

台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (4 of 4)

The information below was taken from 台灣西方文明初體驗 ("The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan").  The Chinese was written by Chen Rou-jing, and the English was written/translated from the Chinese by me.  以下的內容來自台灣文明初體驗這本書.  下列中文的部分是從陳柔縉作者的書裡節錄的.  英文的部分則是我寫的.

輪船 Ships

快一百年前, 台中清水海邊長大的少年說他 "對於海是司空見慣的, 並不稀罕, 可是浮在海上的東西, 以前曾經見過的卻只有漁民用來打魚的竹筏而已."  在學校, 岡村校長卻跟他說起 "輪船" 這種新鮮名詞, 他很驚疑; "據說輪船比我們的房屋還大, 這麼大的東西, 怎麼能浮在海上走呢?"  有一天, 他就要前往東京留學, 他將看見校長口中神奇的 "輪船", 行前疑惑還在心裡反覆: "這麼大的一座城, 怎樣能弄到海裡呢?"  "鐵造的城怎能浮在海上?"  Almost a hundred years ago, a young person who'd grown up in Chingshui, Taichung County said, "I don't see the ocean often, but when I do, the only things I see floating upon it are the bamboo rafts used by fishermen."  In school1 his principal told him about "ships," a word he hadn't heard before.  In amazement he said, "I hear that ships are bigger than our houses!  How can anything so big float upon the ocean?"  Then, one day, he went to Tokyo to study abroad, and he finally saw the miraculous "ships" his principal had spoken of.  Prior to embarking on his trip he still expressed doubts, however.  "How can something as large as a city move upon the sea?  How can such an 'iron city' float?"

這位清水少年楊肇嘉 (一八九二年生, 戰後曾任台灣省民政廳長), 一九0八年, 在基隆港見到輪船那一天, "巨輪" 果真把他 "嚇了一大跳".  一九二0年, 輪船依然教宜蘭少年陳逸松 (一九0七年生, 日本時代的台北市會員, 戰後曾任考試委員) 目瞪口呆, 震驚不已.  十三歲第一次看到噴出黑煙的大黑船, 才知道船不只有木頭做的, 還有鐵皮做的; 以前的經驗, 只有房子燒了才會冒煙, "沒想到船有煙囪會冒煙".  This young person from Chingshui, Yang Jhao-jia (born in 1892, he later served as the Director of the Civil Affairs Office for Taiwan Province2 after the war) often spoke about how the "giant ship" he saw in Keelung in 1920 "really frightened him."  In 1920 Chen Yi-song, a young man from Yilan (born in 1907, he was a member of the Taipei City Council during the Japanese Imperial Administration, and member of the Examination Board after the war) was shocked and stunned by his experience aboard a ship.  At 13 years of age, seeing the black smoke spurt from the huge black vessel, he finally realized that ships weren't just made of wood, but also of iron sheeting.  Up until that time he thought that only burning houses emitted smoke.  "I didn't realize that ships had a chimney that released smoke."

十九世紀中期, "輪船" 更像巨人了, 每次現身都會把東方的國家和人民嚇到.  一八五三年, 美國的海軍艦隊開進東京灣, 強迫日本開放門戶, 讓船隻停泊和做生意.  熱熱的夏天七月, 以蒸汽機為動力的船, 逆風直溯東京灣, 還有那麼大的黑色鐵皮船殼, 叫日本人看得冷汗直流.  In the 19th century "ships" were really more like giants.  Every time people from Eastern nations saw them they were frightened.  In 1853 the American navy used "gunboat diplomacy" to force their way into Tokyo Bay, thus opening Japan to [Western] traders, and making it possible for Western ships to anchor there.  In a sweltering July an ironclad steamboat floated into Tokyo Bay, causing the people of Japan to break out in a cold sweat.

Ship visiting Taiwan in 1884.

中國的文學大師林語堂 (一八九五年生) 一生寫過無數英文著作, 介紹中國給西方.  他在八十自敍談到他和西方世界的第二次接獨, 媒介就是輪船.  "是我在石碼和廈門間的輪船上首度看到蒸汽引擎的運作.  我看得入迷, 目瞪口呆.  我來在學校看到一個活塞引擎的圖解, 才完全明白."  The Chinese man of letters Lin Yu-tang (born 1895) wrote many works in English which introduced China to the West.  In his "80 Essays" he talks about his second encounter with the Western world, when he came across a ship.  "It was in both Shr Yan and Xiamen that I first saw a ship, and witnessed the operation of a steam engine.  I was amazed by what I saw.  It was only after seeing a diagram of the steam engine's workings that I finally understood [how it worked]."

輪船和各國傳統船舶最大不同就是蒸汽引擎.  一七八九年, 瓦特發明蒸汽機, 隨即被運用到各種交通工具上.  蒸汽船發展上關鍵的起步在一八0七年, 美國人建造了最早稱為 "蒸汽船" 的克雷蒙特號.  蒸汽機推動船腰上的輪軸, 速度明顯超過傳統帆船.  一八五五年, 這種一小時走四英里 (約六公里半), 轉輪在船身兩側的 "外輪船", 荷蘭獻了一艘給日本德川幕府, 命名為 "觀光丸", 成為日本最早的汽船.  The biggest difference between (steam)ships3 and the traditional types of boats used throughout the world was the steam engine.  In 1789 Watt invented the steam engine, and this discovery was soon used in a number of vehicles.  Steam ships weren't developed until 1807, when the Americans built the Claymont, the first steamship.  The steam engine turned an axle in the belly of the ship, allowing the ship to sail faster than traditional boats.  By 1855 ships could travel four miles per hour (about 6.5 km), and [the axle could turn] the two wheels set on either side of a paddle steamer.  The Dutch gave one of these boats to the Tokugawa Shogunate, [which they] named "Hikarimaru."  This became the first steamship in Japanese history.

清代台灣的茶, 糖和米等買賣事業旺盛, 溝通有無, 船舶是最重要的運輸工具.  但不論是來往中國大陸或日本, 商人多使用木造帆船載運人貨.  有 "糖船", "橫洋船", "販漕船", 小船則有澎仔, 杉板頭等等.  During the Ching Dynasty, Taiwan's market for tea, sugar, and rice grew quickly.  As [Taiwan's] connection to the outside world strengthened, boats became a necessary form of transportation.  But regardless of whether one was headed for the Mainland or Japan, businessmen always used wooden sailboats to move their goods from one place to another.  There were "sugar boats," "ocean-crossing boats," and "peddler boats."  The small boats were all outfitted with awnings covered by cedar boards.

The famous Reverend Mackay, for whom the hospitals
are named.

台灣於一八九五年割給日本以前, 與汽船的發明與普及已經有段時間距離, 岸邊汽船的身影已經不少.  依日本人井出季和太所著臺灣治績志, 一八七七年, 就有 "菲爾頓" 號航行淡水與基隆之間.  怡和洋行也有自己的汽船, 在台灣南部和東部穿梭.  台灣北部長老教會的開創者馬偕牧師, 一八七二年三月從打狗 (高雄) 啟航到淡水, 搭的是 "海龍號" 輪船.  一八八五年, 也有英國道格拉斯公司開始經營淡水, 福州和安平間的輪船載運.  Before Taiwan was partitioned by Japan in 1895, the development and popularization of the steamboat advanced quickly.  In 1877 the Japanese writer Ide Harai, in his "Account of the Administration of Taiwan," stated that "The Feldon" operated between Danshui (Tamshui) and Keelung, and other ocean routes were serviced by other steamships.  There were a number of steamships serving Taiwan's southern and eastern coast.  In March 1883 the Reverend Mackay, from north Taiwan's Presbyterian Church, sailed in a steamboat from Da Gou (Kaohsiung) to Danshui.  The boat he sailed upon was called the "Sea Dragon."  In 1885 the British Douglas Company began operating a steamship line between Danshui, Fuzhou, and Heping.

近代台灣史上, 汽船最鮮明的身影, 應數台灣巡撫唐景崧逃離台灣乘坐的那一艘英籍汽船.  In Taiwan's recent history, the most recognizable steamship is probably the British model used by the former governor, Tang Jing-song, to flee the island.

一八九五年, 台灣面臨巨變, 當五月八日, 清, 日代表在煙台交換批准書, 割台已成不可改變的定局後, 在台灣的清廷官僚和士紳商賣, 群情激憤.  幾次哀哀上告清廷中央, 請求勿棄台灣, 都沒有下文.  於是, 自己組成 "台灣民主國", 進士丘逢甲帶台北士紳向唐景崧呈獻台灣總統金印和藍地黃虎圖案的國旗.  雖然割台之約讓台灣百姓 "哭聲震天", 但唐景崧這個總統似乎只是被趕上架的總統而已, 沒真心要與民死守台灣土地, 抵抗異族新主到最後一兵一卒.  才十三天工夫, 就與內務大臣俞明震, 軍務大臣李秉瑞 "一同潛行至滬尾, 藏匿於英商忌利士海運公司, 遂在六月四日, 趁著黑夜, 不顧一切的搭上英輪亞沙號逃回廈門."  見史明著台灣人四百年史, 迫使台灣民主國夭折.  這艘汽船安全帶走唐景崧, 卻留給台灣百姓更大的悲憤.  In 1895 Taiwan faced a momentous change.  On May 8, Japan signed a treaty with the Ching court which partitioned Taiwan, and led to its becoming part of Japan.  Those Ching officials engaged in Taiwanese business ventures were very angry about this, and visited the Ching court several times to ask them not to give up Taiwan, all without success.  For this reason they formed the "Republic of Taiwan."  The members of the gentry then elected Tang Jing-song (of Taipei) to the office of President, and had a blue flag with a yellow tiger made4 [to represent their new republic]. Although the partitioning of Taiwan from China was viewed as a tragedy by most Taiwanese people, Tang Jing-song's election was more of a stopgap measure, and his government wasn't so interested in the welfare of Taiwanese people or the preservation of their territorial rights.  [This government] put up little resistance when the Japanese arrived, and only functioned for 13 days.  Minister of the Interior Tou Ming-jen and Head of Military Affairs Li Bing-rui "fled with their tails between their legs, hiding among British merchants in a shipping company, and by June 4, in the dark of night, they had embarked on the British ship Yasha for Xiamen."  The first democracy seen in Taiwan's 400 year history crumbled as a steamship carried Tang Jing-song back to China, and the people of Taiwan were left with a great sense of personal loss.

The "Takasago Maru."

台灣進入日治, 輪船載運也進入大規模, 有規律的時期.  日治第二年四月, 總督府開始給大阪商船株式會社補助金六萬圓, 讓它的船定期來往台灣與日本 (相對於台灣, 稱日本為 "內地", 所以此航線稱 "內臺航路") 之間, 每個月兩次.  當時使用的三艘船 "須磨丸", "明石丸" 和 "舞鶴丸", 噸位都不超過兩千.  As the Japanese Imperial Administration began its rule over Taiwan, [the inhabitants of the island] began to use ships on a much larger scale, and ocean traffic was regulated.  During April of the second year of the Administration, the Office of the Governor General granted a subsidy of 60,000 yen to the Osaka Merchant Shipping Co., Ltd., which allowed its ships to travel regularly between Taiwan and Japan.  At that time Japan was called "the Mainland" by people in Taiwan, so this ocean line was called the "Mainland-Taiwan Line."  Boats followed this passage twice a month, and [the Mainland-Taiwan Line] was serviced by three boats: the "Sumamaru," the "Akashimaru," and the "Maizurumaru," each weighing under 2,000 tons.

後來, 船隻愈來愈多, 噸位愈來愈大, 航線愈來愈密, 依一九二五年的資料, 台灣的航運已經非常發達.  台灣本島有沿岸航路, 甲線走東岸, 從基隆經蘇澳, 花蓮港, 新港 (台東成功), 台東火燒島 (綠島), 紅頭嶼 (蘭嶼), 海口 (近屏東車城) 到高雄.  乙線從基隆, 經澎湖馬公, 轉到高雄.  和日本之間的內臺航路, 有橫濱高雄線, 那霸基隆線, 但以神戶基隆線最盛, 一個月有十二次往返, 每月逢日期有一, 四, 六, 八者, 正午從神戶開船, 隔天一早到達九州門司, 午後四點再離開門司, 經兩個半晝夜的時間, 清晨駛入基隆港.  返航路線則每月逢日期一, 三, 六, 九午後四點啟航.  這條航路幾乎是所有日治時期留日菁英必走之路, 留下無數回憶與歷史的特殊海線.  After this point there were more and more ships, the ships were bigger and bigger, and the ocean routes multiplied.  According to literature released in 1925, by that time Taiwan's shipping industry had undergone explosive growth.  On the island of Taiwan there was the Coastal Line, with added service on the east coast.  [This line started in] Keelung and then went to Suao, Hualien Port, Shingang (in Cheng Gong, Taitung County), Green Island, Orchid Island, Haikou (near Checheng in Pingtung County), and ended in Kaohsiung.  Another line went from Keelung, to Magong on Penghu, and then went to Kaohsiung.  There was also the Mainland-Taiwan Line between Taiwan and Japan, the Kaohsiung Coastal Line, and another line between Japan and Keelung.  But the Kobe-Keelung Line was by far the most popular, with 12 ships traveling this route each month, and boats leaving the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 8th of every month.  The ships left port in Kobe, early the next day they arrived at Kyushu, left Kyushu after 4 pm, sailed two and a half days, and then arrived in Keelung very early in the morning.  Return trips [from Taiwan] left on the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 9th of every month around 4 pm.  This ocean line was undoubtedly the most important of the Japanese colonial period, and this historic ocean line has left behind many fond memories.

這條航路都用近一萬噸的大輪船, 雖然與戰後起碼的五, 六萬噸的船比較, 無異小巫見大巫, 但當時確實為人們心目中的 "巨輪".  最大的叫 "逢萊丸", 有九千五百噸, "扶桑丸" 有八千三百多噸.  These ocean lines used only boats boats approaching 10,000 tons in size.  Although boats of this size were nothing when compared to the post-War minimum of 50,000-60,000 tons, these boats were still considered "gigantic."  The biggest [of these boats] was called the "Horoumaru," and weighed 9,500 tons.  [Its nearest competitor, the "Fusomaru," came in at more than 8,300 tons.

The "Fujimaru" on the Inner Taiwan Line

日本時代在台灣看到的日本輪船, 全叫甚麼甚麼丸.  據林衡道教授在口述的臺灣風情書中說, 平安時代 (約中國宋代) 貴族之子的幼名都叫某某丸.  為求航海平安, 朝廷賜給官船名字, 也都叫某某丸.  經查日文字典, 刀劍, 樂器, 乃至狗名, 其實也會以 "丸" 結尾.  During the Japanese Colonial Administration in Taiwan, all ships were named "something" maru.  Professor Lin Heng-dao, in his "Taiwan Style"5 says that during the "Period of Prosperity" (roughly concurrent with the Song Dynasty in China), the sons of wealthy families were named "something something" maru.  As a way of ensuring peaceful seas, the royal court would always name the boats "something something" maru.  After consulting a Japanese dictionary, [he discovered that] swords, musical instruments, and even dogs were given this "maru" at the end of their names.

林衡道另指出, 一等艙吃西餐, 二, 三等艙吃日本菜.  "最不愉快的就是一, 二等餐廳座位由船長安排時, 日本人排在上坐, 台灣人排在下坐."  依一九二五年版的臺灣之交通所示, 各種船都分三等, 一等艙票價幾乎恆為三等的三倍, 二等又為三等的兩倍價格.  Lin Heng-dao also pointed out that first class passengers ate a Western meal, while second and third class passengers ate Japanese food.  "The most disappointing thing was that first and second class passengers sat in seats arranged from the captain downward, with the Japanese sitting above, and the Taiwanese sitting below."  As the 1925 book "Taiwan Transport" explained, the tickets for each boat were divided into three classes.  Second class tickets were twice as expensive as third class tickets, and first class tickets were three times as expensive as third class tickets.

現在的天空, 分分秒秒都有航班, 輪船早已追不上飛機的速度.  但在那個遙遠的過去, 輪船猶如現在的飛機, 是被運用得最頻繁的國際交通工具, 可以載人到全世界各國.  日本時代在台灣搭船, 最遠已可到達曼谷, 新加坡及越南西貢, 海防港, 每月發一次船.  In modern times planes move across the sky every minute of every day, and ships could never compete with the speed of airplanes.  But in the distant past boats took the place now occupied by airplanes, serving as the most important means of transport and a way for people to visit any country, in any part of the world.  During the Japanese Imperial Administration people could travel by boat as far as Bangkok, Singapore, and both Saigon and Haiphong in Vietnam.  A boat left [for these ports] once a month.

到新加坡的三等票價為六十二圓, 到香港十八圓, 到菲律賓二十三圓, 到日本神戶二十圓.  一般中下級公務員月薪十幾圓上下, 這樣的搭船旅費相對不算太貴.  The price of a third class ticket to Singapore was 62 yen, to Hong Kong was 18 yen, to the Philippines was 23 yen, and to Kobe Japan was 20 yen.  Most middle and lower-level workers earned just under a hundred yen a month, so traveling by boat wasn't so expensive.

Kobe-Keelung Line.

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台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (3 of 4)

1. The Chinese refers to his school as being in 岡村, or "Gang Village."  This could be a place in Chingshui, or it might be a reference to a place in Japan.  It's impossible to tell from the text.

2. Taiwan Province?  What?  The KMT planned to "retake the Mainland" after being kicked out by the communists.  They viewed Taiwan as a province separated from the other, communist-occupied provinces.

3. 輪船 or "wheel ship" could be translated as either "ship" or "steamship" depending on the context.

4. This flag can be seen in the sidebar of this blog.  The original can be viewed at the Taiwan Museum of History in Tainan.

5. Hey, it's the name of this blog!  台灣風情 is, however, the most appropriate way to translate "Taiwan Style" into Chinese.  The Chinese name of this blog, 東方與西方的巧遇, would translate into something more like "A Brief Encounter Between East and West."