2009年12月1日 星期二

Blog Archive 3 很久很久以前的文章

Older entries from Taitung Style.  To minimize space, I've deleted the pictures.  Ready to time travel?  Let's go!


1. Eating in Taitung City 台東市裡的餐廳 (December 2009)

Any list of "good restaurants" in Taitung City is bound to be almost entirely subjective. Even so, any list of "good restaurants" will at least steer people away from the unquestionably bad restaurants, of which Taitung has not a few.臺東任何的餐廳的排名都有很強的主觀性,就算如此,還是可以幫我們過濾掉一些被公認為難吃的餐廳.

Lately my favorite restaurant in the Han Guan Curry Restaurant on Jong Shing Road. This restaurant is on the way to RT Mart, near the Naruwan Hotel. Their curry is excellent, and they are very friendly. Most curry restaurants are very sparing with the vegetables they put inside their curry sauce. Han Guan is not, and I appreciate that.最近我最喜歡的餐廳是中興路上的涵館.它位在去大潤發的路上,靠近娜路彎飯店.那裡的咖哩很好吃而且服務也很親切 ,很多餐廳的咖哩都很稀淡,但是涵館的真是料多實在喔!

For good vegetarian food, I go to the little restaurant on Jeng Chi Road, the one not far from the intersection of Jeng Chi Road and Chuan Guang Road, just across from the vocational high school. I'm sorry, but their name completely escapes me at the moment. Their food is very reasonably priced, and also very good. The only thing I don't like there is the "Thai style noodles," which are so spicy they don't really taste like anything except hot peppers.如果是素食餐廳,我通常去正氣路上跟傳廣路交叉口附近的一家小吃店,它們的名字我真的記不起來 ,但是你只要到臺東商專對面就可以找到,它們的食物中,我唯一不喜歡的就是泰國酸辣麵,因為真的好辣,完成吃不出辣以外的味道.

If I had to pick a third favorite restaurant it would be the Lao Lin restaurant on Jung Hua Road. This restaurant is just across from Taitung University, and right next to the big hot pot restaurant. Their "ma-po" tofu is wonderful, and I have been going there for years. There's not a bad or indifferent thing on their entire menu.另外,我還喜歡東大前中華路上的老林,他們的麻婆豆腐真的很棒,我常常去吃,除了麻婆豆腐,他們菜單上的其他餐點也都很值得一試.

Which might leave you wondering: "Doesn't this guy ever eat western food?" My answer to that is "Not really." I go to KFC maybe once a month, and that's about it. I cannot stand McDonald's. If that makes me strange, so be it.可能你會好奇我吃不吃西餐,答案是:很少.我可能一個月去一次肯塔基,而且我很不喜歡賣當勞.

What follows are some honorable mentions:以下這些餐廳也很不錯:

1. The "Peace" restaurant, near the intersection of Bo-Ai Road and Shin Sheng Road. Good spaghetti, and not expensive."布蕾斯"位於新生路上,靠近博愛路,那裡的意大利麵很好吃而且平價.

2. "Tai Shr Fu", or the big red place on the corner of Tie Hua Road and Jung Hua Road. A good place if you're in a hurry and want to eat fried chicken."太師傅"位在中華路與鐵花路交叉口,是一個快速而且有好吃的炸雞腿的地方.

3. "Hakka Cuisine", just up Gung Sheng Road from the Tong Guan Supermarket. Cheap and good!"客家小吃"在更生路往火車站的路上,那裡有兩家,一家靠近新生國小,一家靠近四維路.新生國小旁的板條很讚,另一家的魯肉飯好吃到不行,兩家都是好吃又便宜.

4. The Vietnamese restaurant on Da Tong Road, across from where the movie theater used to be. I love their rice noodles.越南餐廳當然就要去大同路的,它在舊戲院前,他們的河粉真是讓我想到就流口水.

5. Lin Family Dumplings, on the Coastal Highway and Da Tong Road. Their dumplings are without a doubt the best in the city."鄰家蒸餃"也是在大同路上,只是它靠近海岸線,我覺得他們的蒸餃是臺東市區最棒的.

And that's about all I can think of for now. Typing this has made me very hungry, and I am sorry that it is still so long until lunch!這些是我目前想得到的,寫到這裡已經讓我覺得很餓!!


2. Tests 考試 (December 2009)

People in Taiwan love tests, or it least it seems that way. Every time I turn around someone is taking a test, or studying for a test, or correcting a test, or even wishing they didn't have to take another test. In big cities like Taipei this is especially true, in places like Taitung it is only slightly less so. 臺東這裡的人喜歡考試,在每個角落都可以聽到人們談論考試的相關事情,這應該是都市中人們的的共相.

Tests, tests, tests - all the time, and after a while you wonder if there is any aspect of Taiwanese existence that doesn't depend on or relate to a test in some way.有時會懷疑是否有任何臺灣人可以跳脫考試的壓力.

Which is not to say that people like me aren't occasionally part of this problem. I am a teacher, and I am both required and encouraged to give tests. These tests, of course, can serve an important diagnostic function. They allow me, the teacher, to know at least something about what my students have learned, and by the same token they allow my students to measure their own progress against both the goals of the class and the progress of other students.我也是考試網絡中的一員,因為我是個老師,需要對學生考試而且也被要求這麼做,考試可被用來了解學生的學習狀況,也可以讓學生了解自己的學習成效.

This said, tests aren't the end-all-be-all of any class. In a language classroom, for example, testing speaking and listening can present significant problems, especially with regard to accents being used, time allowed for responses, authenticity of responses, and other limitations imposed by a classroom setting. If I have 60 or more students, for instance, accurately gauging both their listening and speaking ability is going to be an enormous task. Furthermore, if I was to test them individually in the context of a two-hour class, how much time does that leave me to test each student? Two whole minutes?在語言教室中,聽力與口說的測驗可以了解學生的口說正確性,也讓學生有時間直接與老師對談.但是在時間的限制上很難達到預定目標,例如我有六十個學生好了,在進行英聽與口語測驗時就會是一個很大的工程 ,因為在兩小時的一對一測驗中每個學生實際分到的時間只有兩分鐘而已,另外就只剩下兩分鐘的時間學習.

Or in two classes, four whole minutes. In three classes, six whole minutes, and so on. Given a university semester of ten class sessions, that would give me a total of 20 minutes per student - were I to turn the ENTIRE SEMESTER into a giant listening and speaking test.如果整個學期都以這樣的方式進行,那每個小朋友分到的總學習時數就只有二十分鐘而已.

And sure, I can use one of the abstract sort of listening tests, wherein students respond in written form to the spoken word. But how accurate is that? How often have you been asked to respond in writing to what someone has said?當然我也可以利用其他的考試方法,就讓學生考聽寫,但是這樣對他們的口語表達實在沒多大幫助,因為沒機會講.

I can also ask students to speak into microphones, and record their verbal responses for later use, but this is only slightly more authentic than having them respond in writing. After all, it takes two people to have a conversation, and having students respond question-by-question without really providing any input of their own falls short of a true exchange between individuals. It is not a conversation. How then, is it a test of conversational ability?對話的進行需要兩個或兩個以上的人,對著麥克風錄下答案就只是單方面的說,沒有另一方的回應,所以說到最後的問題是對話是否適合列入考試之一.

Comparatively speaking, reading and writing are much easier to test. Hence the emphasis on these skills throughout Taiwan. Unfortunately, the overemphasis on these two skill leads to a kind of "lopsided English" divorced from any real capacity to understand and respond to the spoken word.英文的讀寫考試是較簡易的考試方式,這應該也是現今會這麼盛行的原因吧!

I suppose what I am trying to say is that tests can't measure everything, and this is especially true in the case of languages. I can give you a math test and your score on that test will be a fair measurement of your level of accomplishment in math, but any "conversational" test is likely to fall very short of the mark. Tests can be useful when used with discretion, and they can also be the gateway to promotions, schools, and new jobs, but they are not necessarily a reflection of how much you know. I know many people with excellent English who would probably test poorly in this subject, either because they possess a skill-set that is not being tested or they are just poor test-takers.考試的好壞不能完成代表能力的好壞,尤其在語言的考試上更是如此,我認識的一些朋友當中有的英文能力很好,但是考試成積就不理想,這可能是他自己不適合考試或是考得剛好是他不在行的.

It is also worthwhile to reflect on the difference between knowledge and wisdom. There are many knowledgeable people who are not wise, and many wise people who are not knowledgeable. Knowledge is just being smart: it is the ability to retain and recall information. Wisdom is being wise: it is the ability to live in harmony with oneself, others, and the world at large. In many contexts tests are good at measuring knowledge, but they are less-than-adequate indicators of how much wisdom one possesses.知識與智慧是有區別的,知識是指一個人處理訊息的能力;智慧則是處世的能力,考試能測的主要是知識的部分.

A wise person takes tests because they may prove useful to him or her. A wise person gives tests with an understanding of their limitations. Tests, it should be remembered, are not the ends in themselves but merely a means to an end. In this I try, at least, to be wise.有智慧的人接受考試是因為知道它有所用,而且也清楚自己的能力到那裡,考試應該只是一種學習的過程而不是學習的終止符.


3. Foreigners I Know (Besides Me) 我認識的外國人 (January 2010)

Living in Taiwan, and especially living somewhere like Taitung, I get asked a lot of strange questions by a lot of very curious people. These questions range from things like "Do you eat McDonald's every day?" to "If you live in America, how do you have the time to take the airplane here all the time?" Naturally, it is usually kids asking me these kind of questions, but you'd be surprised what kinds of questions also come out of the mouths of adults.住在臺灣,有時朋友問我很多奇怪的問題,例如:你每天吃麥當勞嗎?你住在美國怎麼有時間常常坐飛機來臺灣?通常這些問題是小朋友問的,但有 時大人們也有這些疑問,這就讓我很訝異了.

I suppose that one of the questions I am asked most frequently is whether or not I know some other foreigner. I can understand this sort of question coming from someone in Taitung - it's a small place, and the odds are good that just about any foreigner living here has crossed paths with me at some point. Even in places like Taipei, however, someone will say something like, "I just came back from Texas to visit my friend Rick, do you know him?"最常被問的是:你認不認識那個Peter還是John.......我可以了解為什麼他們這麼問,因為在臺東很容易認識或聽過某人,畢竟地方就 這麼大,只是有時在臺北這樣的城市也會發生,例如:我剛剛才從德州拜訪我的朋有Rick回來,你認不認識他?

I'm sure part of it is nervousness. There are many people in Taiwan who never really talk to someone from another country, and when they finally get the chance they're at a loss for something more intelligent to say. I imagine that if I lived somewhere like, say, Omak in Eastern Washington, and I met someone from Taiwan for the first time, I'd probably say a few ignorant things myself.我想他們可能太緊張了,很多人都沒有機會跟外國人接觸,等到他們有機會時,真的會不知道說什麼好,也許我如果住在美國很鄉下的地方,第一次 見到臺灣人也會說這樣的話.

So with this in mind I have to say (politely), that I don't know Rick from Texas. Neither am I acquainted with Lisa from Canada, Bobby from South Africa, nor Rex from England. Even if they live in Taitung. Honestly, I don't really talk to that many other foreigners, and having counted the other foreigners that I know, they would amount to about 10. It's not that I don't want to meet them, it's just that I'm not going out of my way to do so. Between work and family I just don't have that much time to seek out other foreigners, nor do I have an overriding desire to seek them out. 碰到這樣的情形,我還要附帶說明自己也不認識德州的Rick,加拿大的Lisa,南非的Bobby或是英國的Rex,就算他們住臺東,我也不大有可 能認識他們,不是不想,而是除了工作和陪伴家人,我已沒有那麼多時間再去認識其他人了.

The world might be growing smaller and smaller all the time, but we are still surrounded by many strangers. I am am glad to meet new friends, but I cannot know everybody!這個世界越來越小,但是我們每天還是會接觸到許多陌生人,我喜歡認識新朋友,只是我認識的人還沒有多到建立起一個龐大的網來含蓋所有 的臺東的外國人.


 4. Working for Taitung University在東大教書 (January 2010)

If you are a foreign resident, finding work at Taitung University is fairly straightforward. Just send your resume to the English Department.如果你想在臺東定居,到台東大學應徵外語教學的工作是一個不錯的選擇.

The only problem is that there a stack of resumes - many very similar to yours or mine - sitting in the English Department.只是競爭者應該很多.

A lot of foreign residents want to work at Taitung University. A lot of foreign residents want to work at ANY university, and aside from the small matter of actually being qualified, the universities have no shortage of job applicants for any given position.很多外國人想在大學裡教書,相對的,在職缺不多的情況下,你就需要具備特定的學位條件.

I think a lot of people want to work at the University because it is perceived as being a "higher status" kind of job, and more intellectually challenging. This is sometimes true.很多人認為在大學裡教書比較有挑戰性,並且職稱也比較響亮.

Other people want to work at the University because they think they will be making a lot of money for very little work. This is most definitely NOT true. They might be right about the "very little work" part, but no one is getting rich teaching at Taitung University. I know from experience!有的人認為大學薪水較高,事實上並沒有想像中的好,在工作上或許比較輕鬆,因為每位外籍老師的排課時數並不多.

Working at Taitung Univeristy is strictly a part-time affair. The most hours I ever heard of anyone getting there was 18. The pay is also not that high - there are many bushibans and private kindergartens in the city that pay more.在臺東大學上班比較像是兼職的工作,一週的上課時數大概18個小時,所以薪水跟私立學校無法比.

If you are looking for a very relaxed place to work, however, you might give Taitung University a look. Just don't send your resume to the English Department. Find someone there to talk to, and be prepared for a long wait!如果你只是想找一個舒適的工作環境,那麼這裡是一個對的地方,但是最好找到系所的負責人直接談,不然你可能要等很久才有回音.


5. Cats Vs. Dogs 貓和狗哪個好 (January 2010)

I have been in many arguments about whether or not cats are better than dogs. I don't know if Taiwanese people have this argument as often as Americans, but I do know that every time I go back to Seattle someone starts it up.我常常捲入狗和貓那種寵物比較好的爭論,不知道臺灣人是否也和美國人一樣 ,會為了這樣的事爭辯,但是我知道在西雅圖這是個熱門的話題.

Previously I would have sided with the cat lovers. I have owned many cats, both in Taiwan and in America. I still feel that cats are much smarter than dogs, and also much easier to take care of. Yeah, cleaning out their litter is a pain, but it's not half as unpleasant as waking up on a winter morning and taking a dog for a walk.通常我跟愛貓人士聊貓時會提到我自己的貓,我始終認為貓比較好照顧,而且貓比狗聰明,只是清理貓砂的工作不是很好玩,但是比起要帶狗散步這一點是好多了,因為冬天的早晨很冷呢!

Most people who love dogs cite their loyalty before anything else. Cats are very self-centered, dog lovers argue, and dogs are more emotionally responsive. Dogs, they say, are much better companions than cats, and dog lovers can produce many examples to prove this point.大部分的愛狗人士會強調狗的忠誠度,認為貓較自我中心,而且狗會和你互動,是一個很好的伴等......

As said above, until recently I would have sided firmly with the cat lovers, but since owning my first dog I'm not so sure. I still think cats are less work than dogs, but then again, when I come home and my dog is so happy so see me I'm not sure if cats are really all that much better. Yes, dogs are loyal. And yes, dogs do make you feel more loved. In their way they are a higher-maintenance kind of pet, but then again you can't take cats along on car trips, and cats really don't appreciate being included in swimming expeditions.通常我會站在愛貓人士那一派,但是自從我有了第一隻狗後,我的態度就不那麼絕對了,我依然認為貓比較好照顧,但是當我下班回到家,看到我的狗那麼興奮地迎接我時,我就不認為貓比狗好了,而且出遠門時可以帶狗一起,貓就不行,並且貓也不喜歡任何與水有關的活動,例如游泳.

We found our dog on the road near Li Yu Mountain. She is a bit crazy, but as long as we don't let her into our living room the eight of us (4 humans, 3 cats, and 1 dog) live in relative harmony. She loves car trips, and when she sees you after a long time she'll do a back flip and let you touch her belly. She loves to eat garbage found along the road, but she also loves us more than any other creatures - I am sure of that.我們是在鯉魚山附近撿到我們的狗的,牠有點瘋狂,但是只要我們不讓牠進客廳,基本上,對我們八個(四個人,三隻貓,一條狗)是沒什麼影響的.牠很喜歡坐車,如果牠一段時間沒看到我們,當牠見到我們時會後空翻,倒在地上要人摸肚子,牠也很喜歡吃路上的垃圾,另外一點,我相信牠最愛的生物應該就是我們一家四口.

If you are thinking about getting a dog, I would encourage you to adopt one from a shelter. They need your love, and after they are fixed they become much calmer. For that matter there are also many cats waiting for owners, and if you are more of a "cat person" (as I am), there is no shortage of kittens waiting for people to take care of them.如果你考慮要養狗,我會建議你去動物收容所認養,狗狗結紮後會比較溫馴,而且那些動物們真的需要一個愛牠的家,當然除了狗之外,還有貓也在排隊等著人們帶牠們回家.

Just don't buy them from pet stores. More often than not, those animals are a bit in-bred, overpriced, and prone to a host of health problems. There are plenty of pets you can get for almost nothing, and you will get so much love in return!請不要在寵物店買賣動物,牠們通常是人們特意繁殖的, 除了貴之外,也有許多的健康問題.只要你願意,有很多不用錢的可愛動物可供你選擇, 並且最主要的一點是:你會得到滿滿的愛作回報.

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2009年10月1日 星期四

Blog Archive 2 很久很久以前的文章

Entries from my old blog, Taitung style.  To minimize space, I've deleted the pictures.  Ready to time travel?  Let's go!



1. Saving the Earth 救地球 (October 十月 2009)

"Saving the Earth." This is what my daughters told me we were doing last Saturday. I played along, happy that "saving the Earth" could be accomplished in a single morning. "救地球"是我兩個女兒在上星期六喊的口號. 我也高興地參加他們的活動.

The Taitung County Government was staging an "environmental clean-up activity" at the Seaside Park. We were each given a pair of tongs and a bucket, and then sent to pick up as much garbage as we could find. If you know the Seaside Park, you know that there is no shortage of garbage to be found there.臺東縣政府在海濱公園舉辦一場淨灘活動,每個到場的人可以從工作人員手中領取一支夾子跟一個桶子幫忙撿拾公園的垃圾,如果你到過那裡的話,你應該就知道那裡多麼需要這樣的活動了.

Members of the navy and coast guard were also on hand to help out. I was the only foreigner there. When it was over we received gift certificates for the local McDonald's, worth 50 NT apiece. Sure, many of us showed up just for the gift certificates, but I must say that I was gratified to see so many people working to clean up this part of Taitung City.除了居民外,還有海巡屬的人員到場,每個參加的人在活動結束後可以領取一張五十元的麥當勞的折價卷,當然這也是我女兒參加這活動的主要原因之一,但是能看到這麼多人一起為這個地方的環境清潔盡一分力讓我很感動.

I just hope that some of the students came away from this activity with more than a desire for a Big Mac or french fries. Instead of just learning not to litter, hopefully they learned WHY they shouldn't litter. After all, most people don't think of where the garbage really goes after they throw it in the local river, discard it on the road, or even dump it into the garbage truck.我希望學生參加完這個活動後,除了感受到活動的樂趣外也能學習到為什麼要愛護我們的居住環境.因為很多人常常忽略了垃圾最後對人類與環境的影響.

I'm sure that if we all thought about this more, it wouldn't have been necessary to spend so much time picking bits of glass and cigarettes out of the grass last Saturday. The environment can seem like a vague, unimportant topic to those focused on more "everyday" concerns, but in the end it is the ultimate concern, overshadowing all others. Perhaps those picking up garbage last Saturday wouldn't have put it this way, but I'm sure they were a lot closer than many others to doing so.我相信如果大家對環境的清潔有更多的認識與重視,就不需要政府舉辦這樣的活動了.環境問題可能不是大家每天會掛在嘴邊的話題,可是最終卻是每個人都要面對的問題,上個星期六來參加活動的人對保護環境的想法應該跟我的很相近.

I thank those who came down to the ocean to pick up garbage. What you were doing was important, even if it didn't seem so at the time.我很感謝一起來參加活動的朋友,因為你們正在做一件非常重要的事.


2.  Bicycling in Taitung 臺東腳踏車之旅 (October 十月 2009)


During most of my time in Taitung I've gotten around by bike. When I first moved here, this was the only option available to me, since at that time I was too poor to buy any other form of transportation. After a few weeks I got used to getting around this way, and even though we now have a scooter I only ride it once a week.在臺東的大部分時間我都是以腳踏車代步,剛開始是因為這是我們唯一買得起的交通工具,幾個禮拜後就習慣了,就算現在我們有一輛摩托車,我一個星期只用一次接小孩.

We'll probably be buying a car soon. That is if we can find one that's reasonably priced and not a total wreck. This car will be purchased in anticipation of Chinese New Year, and the trips we hope to take to the other side of the island. In the interim, between now and January; there will be only my bike and I, and I cannot feel too much regret at not having a car right now.我們可能近期買輛二手車,但這取決於價錢及車況,因為我們希望可以在過年期間到西部去拜訪親友,所以從現在起到一月這段期間,應該還是我與我的腳踏車為伍.

Taitung is a great place to own a bicycle, and I cannot understand why so many people insist on driving all the time. Given the population of Taitung City, you wouldn't think that traffic jams are possible here, and yet every weekday from 5 to 6 this is exactly what I see taking place. I cannot think of anywhere in Taitung City that is farther than thirty minutes away by bike, and yet people insist on driving their cars to work or school every day. In the summer you might use the heat as an excuse, but it's now the end of October and the weather is far from hot.臺東是最適合騎腳踏車的地方,我不明白為何大部分人還是堅持開車?從人口數來看,臺東不應該會塞車的,但它真的在每天下班時間發生了,臺東市區任何地方的距離騎腳踏車都不超過30分鐘,可是很多人還是每天開車上下班,在夏天你可能以天氣太熱為藉口,但是現在正是秋高氣爽的好時節.

Last weekend we rode our bikes to the Li Ji Badlands, just northwest of the Train Station. It was an enjoyable ride, with stops at parks along the way, and a lunch just before coming home. As we went, I could not help but think where we might have gone if we owned a car. Hualien I guess, but how often can you go to Hualien? There are nice places there, but there are also many nice places within Taitung City.上個星期我們騎腳踏車到新火車站西北邊的利吉惡地,一路上有許多的休息景點,沿途風景怡人,在我們的騎程中我忍不住想到如果有部車就可以到更遠的地方,可能是花蓮,但是另一方面,花蓮雖然有許多漂亮的地方,但是臺東美麗的景點也不少.

When you buy a car you are making your world much larger. Places that were previously too far become very near, and excursions that would have been very complicated suddenly become very simple. This is not always a good thing. By passing by those places near at hand, we can easily forget the places outside our own front doors. In longing for what lies in Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Hualien, it is so easy to forget all the good things right here, in Taitung.擁有車子是可以讓人的活動範圍增大許多,很多地方變得不再遙遠,可是那也不一定都是好的,因為你可能因此就錯失了近在咫尺的美好.

I've noticed more people riding bikes lately. This is a good thing. With recent improvements to the trail system, there are indeed a lot of places you can visit on a bicycle. Yes, it's hot sometimes, and yes, sometimes you get caught in the rain, but if you aren't the kind who normally pursues this kind of exercise you might give it a try. Weather permitting, we'll be riding to Fu Gang this weekend. Perhaps we'll see you there?有越來越多人加入騎腳踏車的行列,隨著腳踏車道的改善與完成,你可以到的景點更多了,是的,有時天氣太熱有時下雨,但是你真的該試試這項運動,如果天氣許可,我們這週末想騎腳踏車到富崗,也許你會在那裡看到我們.


3. The Royal Jer Ben and Other Hot Springs 知本溫泉 (October 十月 2009)

Not far from Taitung City lies Jer Ben Township. Aside from maybe San Shian Tai ("three fairies bridge"), the hot springs in Jer Ben are just about the most famous things in the entire county.知本是臺東市有名的景點,它的知名度和三仙台差不多,知本境內的溫泉是在臺東享有盛名的.

I think their reputation is justifiable. The hot springs in Jer Ben are definitely easier to reach than most other hot spring areas, and they are overall much cheaper than many other similar destinations. I lived on the west coast of Taiwan for five years, and I don't miss driving deep into the mountains - or spending far too much money - in places like Bei Tou or Gu Gwan on the west coast.我認為它有名是有道理的,知本溫泉比起其他溫泉區在交通上是很方便的而且收費也合理.我在臺灣西部住了五年,西部的北投或谷關的溫泉在地理位置的方便性上真的不及知本,而且收費上也相對高了許多.

This is also a great time to go to Jer Ben. Since the last big typhoon the place is practically deserted, and even though the roads there have been damaged, all of the big hot springs are still in operation. Those who venture there on any given weekday will probably find that they have an entire hot spring to themselves.上次的颱風雖然摧毀了許多知本的道路與建築,但是當地仍有許多溫泉業者營業,如果你在平日去泡湯,獨享溫泉美景的機會是很大的.

A couple of weeks ago we went down to the Royal Jer Ben hot springs, which are definitely the most famous hot springs in that area. We went on a Sunday, and during our whole stay there I saw perhaps five other people. It was very peaceful.我們不久前去知本老爺飯店泡湯,我們去的時間是星期日下午,全區只有我們及大概其他五名遊客,真的是非常的悠閒.

Lately I like this particular hot spring even more, since I can get in there for free. One of my friends is a chef in their hotel, and he seems to have a superabundance of tickets to give away. This hot spring would normally cost around 200 NT a person, but all six of us paid nothing to get in!我有一位朋友在那裡上班,他有員工的福利卷所以我們上次是受他的招待,不然平時的票價最低每個人要兩百元.

At 200 NT, the Royal Jer Ben is the most expensive hot spring. There are many others, some much cheaper than the Royal Jer Ben. I would suggest A Ya Wang, just down the hill from there, if it happens to be the middle of summer and you happen to have children with you. Their swimming pool is great. I would suggest Ss Mien Fo ("four-faced Buddha") if you are bringing a girlfriend or boyfriend along. There are also many other hot springs in Jer Ben, ranging from OK to pretty nice. If you're not sure which one to pick, I would just take a look inside before paying.知本溫泉區裡的知本溫泉算是價位較高的,其他還有許多較便宜的地方.我建議有小孩的試試看ㄚ呀旺溫泉,他們有一個大泳池,夏天時很適合小朋友玩水;如果是帶男女朋友一起去,那四面佛是比較有情調的,除了它們之外還有許多選擇,如果你不確定要選那一個,那麼就先在外面看看再付錢進場較保險.

I should also say that there is a way to buy cheaper tickets for many of these hot springs. Across from the "Journey to the East" hot spring there is a small convenience store that sells at discounted rates. Just follow the signs into the hot spring area, and it's just opposite the gift store on the main road. It is also possible to buy cheaper tickets at the Farmer's Association Supermarket in Taitung City, though they tend to have a smaller selection than this one convenience store - don't ask me why!還有另一個較經濟的買票方法,沿途進溫泉區時有雜貨店賣各溫泉的門票,在這些地方買比到當場再買價錢差蠻多的,所以建議到東遊季溫泉對面的雜貨店購票或是到台東農會超市購買,但是農會超市的選擇性較低.

Here's wishing you a Happy Halloween. October might be chilly, but thankfully there are always places like Jer Ben where we can keep warm!最後祝你萬聖節快樂!天氣漸漸涼了,但是還好我們有知本溫泉溫暖我們.


4. Nostalgia 思鄉情懷 (November 十一月 2009)

Nostalgia can be a dangerous thing. It can lend a pleasure to past events that never existed in fact. It makes the past look better than it really was. It is, after all, so easy to look back and see how much better the past was in comparison to the present time. By the same token, it is just as easy to remember places I have lived before, and to see only their advantages over where I live now.緬懷過去有時是件不好的事,因為很多時候懷念的可能是自己添加的情感想像,過去不一定是你記憶中那麼美好的樣子,我有時會比較現在與之前住過的地方,但是發現會懷念只是因為我忘了當初為什麼會離開的理由.

I have overindulged this feeling, this sense of nostalgia, on many occasions. Perhaps I was at a party, and I started to think how much better the beer tasted back home. Perhaps I was driving through the country, and I started to miss the national parks near Seattle. Perhaps I was in a restaurant, and I began to miss foods that I cannot get in Taiwan, or friends I used to enjoy meals with.我想我是常犯這種事的人,有時在朋友聚會上開始想念家鄉的啤酒與朋友,有時開車時想念西雅圖附近的國家公園.

So when people ask me what I miss about "home", when people ask me about the place I come from; my first instinct is to guard against nostalgia. This is because I know how easily I am carried away by this feeling. There were times when I found myself on a plane back home, for no other reason than an overindulgence in nostalgia. Even as I arrived in the Seattle airport, I knew that many of the places I was searching for would be gone, and many of the people I missed would be different from how I remembered them.所以有時候朋友問我最想念家鄉的那一點,我會避免自己過度美化那個地方,有時我們回去只是想看看那裡,雖然我知道很多我熟悉的地方可能不像以前那樣,很多朋友也在我離開的這段時間有所改變了.

This said, usually what I miss most about Seattle is the beer. This is not a joke. There are so many kinds of beer there. There are so many kinds of beer in Seattle that you could never get to the end of them. Bars and brewpubs are very welcoming when the weather in Seattle turns cold, and I miss the impressions I retain of those places. Beer always reminds me of home. 我最想念的是西雅圖的啤酒,那裡啤酒種類之多,會讓人感到驚訝,天氣轉涼時,酒吧常常是人們愛去的地方,我喜歡偶爾到酒吧坐坐喝啤酒的那種氣氛.在這裡,啤酒總是提醒我西雅圖的感覺.

Next to beer, I also miss the wilderness. I love the natural scenery in Taiwan, but when I think of places such as Glacier National Park and Gold Beach, I cannot help but feel a sense of loss. Those great, big, wild places have set the stage for so many adventures, and I miss getting lost within them. Nature in Taiwan isn't always as friendly - it tends to sting and bite a bit more.我想念美國的自然景觀,雖然我也愛臺灣的自然風景,但是像冰河國家公園及黃金海岸這種地方在臺灣是少見的,而且在這裡常常需要擔心蟲咬.

I also miss my friends and family, but not as much as you might think. I have, after all, a family here as well, and if I miss anyone in Seattle too much I can always call them up. I can't call up beers on the phone, or have conversations with national parks, and so I find myself missing these inanimate things more. No phone line can put me at Fisherman's Terminal with a tray of fish and chips in my hand, and no internet connection can adequately describe the view from the tops of the Siskiyous. These are the things I really miss, because they are farthest away from where I am now.雖然我也想念我在那裡的家人和朋友,可是因為想念他們時我可以打電話,但是有很多是電話和郵件也幫不上忙的,例如食物與大自然景觀,也因為這樣我愈想念它們.

But as I said, this line of thinking can be a dangerous thing. I don't want to miss anything too much, because those things that I miss take away from what I have now. I also know that were I now in Seattle, it is Taiwan I would be missing. I could have Bridgeport, but for the present time I prefer Taiwan Beer. I could have Crater Lake, but for the present time I prefer Jade Mountain.知足常樂.我現在喜歡的啤酒是臺灣啤酒,最有興趣想去探險的是玉山.

I like where I am. There is no need to cloud this place with memories of people, places, and things I cannot have. The past is always there, within me, and there is no need to look elsewhere for it.我喜歡現在居住的地方與朋友,過去的回憶就把它封箱在我的心裡.


5. Can You Speak Chinese?  你說中文嗎? (November 2009)

It is not unusual to meet Taiwanese people who simply do not believe that foreigners can understand Chinese.很多臺灣人直覺地以為外國人都不懂中文.

This is not entirely their fault. For instance, most people in Taiwan grow up with adults telling them things like, "Oh, you must speak English to the foreigner," or "Don't speak Chinese to that foreigner, he/she can't understand you!" Hopefully most of them grow out of such assumptions, but it is easy to understand how these assumptions come to be in the first place.其實這應該和他們的成長環境有關,有時大人們會跟小朋友說:不要跟那個外國人說中文,因為他聽不懂.雖然可以了解他們為何有這樣的偏見,但還是希望他們能有機會知道事情並不是這麼一定的.

And looking at it from the other direction, I am also struck by the fact that many foreign residents never really bother to learn Chinese. Most of them, in fact, never even try. They walk around with people translating everything for them, they frequent restaurants with English menus, and they are forever asking Taiwanese friends for assistance with everyday tasks. This would of course be understandable if they'd only been here for a few months, but I've met people who've lived for ten years or more in this fashion.從另一方面來看,我也很訝異很多外國人住在這塊土地上,卻從來沒想過要去學中文.他們靠朋友的翻譯處理事務與認識環境,吃飯時則上有英文菜單的餐廳.對於剛來臺灣的外國人士,處處需要朋友的幫忙是正常的,可是那些長久住在這裡的人還是這樣的生活態度,那就真是太不可思議了.

It's not like learning any language is easy. To learn Chinese, or any other language, is a lot of work. It is a lot of work for Chinese people too, hence the hours of study demanded of them in school. I think that anyone who plans to learn Chinese "the easy way" or by just "picking it up" is never going to learn Chinese that well. Even for those of us who've slogged it out through college Chinese courses, it can be a long, hard road to travel.學一門新的語言都是需要很多時間與精力的,就像這裡的人們學英語一樣.任何想要輕鬆地學中文的人的學習成果是不會好到那兒的,甚至是經由大學開辦的華語課程,學習中文也都是一條長遠及辛苦的路.

So I can understand why foreign residents give up on learning Chinese, choosing instead to plead ignorance, or pretend that they do not hear when people are speaking to them. Worst of all, there are some who actively ignore those around them. They've given up on understanding Mandarin, so they've decided to stop hearing it altogether. These are the saddest kind of people: the people who've chosen to be deaf and dumb.我可以了解為什麼很多外國人放棄學中文,但那卻是最可悲的一件事,因為那些放棄的人選擇了忽視周遭的人事物,並且寧願表現無知.

Chinese is a frustrating language, that is certain, but I think it is worth learning. I have studied it for many years already, and I can see no end to my studies in the near future. If it takes Taiwanese people 12 years of schooling (or more) to master their own language, what can I expect? Compared to them, I am only just starting.學習中文是一項很大的挑戰,但是值得.如果臺灣人需要花十二年甚至更久的時間在學校學習中文,那麼對我而言,就算我已經學了幾年,跟他們比較起來我仍只是剛起步而已.

I think, moreover, that the best attitude you can adopt is one of humility, and an understanding that however long you have been here, there will be things that you fail to understand, jokes that you don't get, and people whose accents confuse you. I've read Confucius in the original Mandarin, and still my father-in-law's very "Taiwanese" pronunciation often confuses me.我想最好的學習中文的態度是接受自己對中文的無知,因為無論你在這裡多久,有時你還是不明白為什麼有的笑話很好笑,或是聽不懂別人的口音.雖然我讀過些論語的篇章,但是很多時候我還是聽不懂我丈人的臺灣國語.

Which doesn't mean that foreigners are incapable of understanding Chinese. It just means that we're learning. If you don't speak Chinese now, maybe one day you will. It says nothing as to your ability as a person. You may be struggling against others' ignorance of your willpower and your desire to learn, but when is this ever not the case?這並不是說外國人沒辦法瞭解中文,這只是說我們正在學習.如果你現在不會說中文,也許那一天你會嘗試.在學習的路上會有很多的挫折,最讓人氣餒的應該就是別人不懂自己的努力與用心吧!

...and the next time you hear someone talking about how foreigners can't speak Chinese, tell them for me that they are wrong. Tell them in English. Tell them in Mandarin. Tell them in Taiwanese or Hakkanese.下次你聽到有人說外國人不會說中文之類的話,請替我糾正他,你可以用英文說或用中文,甚至是臺語或客語.

After all, if they are right, how could they expect to learn my language(s)? How could they expect to learn about my culture? Or even exist in the same world as me? In the end it's not really a language issue at all, but one of mutual understanding.最後,如果他們的說法是對的,那他們是如何學習其他的外語和文化?這應該已經不是單純的語言問題,而是對其他文化的認識了.

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2009年9月1日 星期二

Blog Archive 1 很久很久以前的文章

A bit of house cleaning.  I'll be posting entries from my old blog, Taitung style, here.  To minimize space, I've deleted the pictures that were in these entries.  Ready to time travel?  Let's go!


1. Introduction (September 九月 2009)

I am an American who has lived in Taiwan since 1999. I moved to Taitung in 2005, and since first coming to Taiwan I have taught in two private kindergartens, a vocational high school, a public university, a public junior high school, a public elementary school, and most recently I have taught conversational English to employees of the Giant bicycle company in Taitung County. 我在西元1999年從美國西雅圖來到臺灣在私立幼稚園工作. 我們原來住在西部, 2005年搬來台東. 我最幾年受聘於台東縣政府 在國中小教英文,並且也在台東的捷安特分店上員工的英文訓練, 我也有在台東大學的教課經驗.

At the time of writing I am still employed by the Taitung County Government, for whom I act in various capacities. I am most often a classroom teacher, but I have also been a judge for spelling bees and English competitions, acted as an interpreter, and I have also translated the odd document or speech into English from Chinese. 我目前在台東市東海國小當英語會話老師, 之前在東海國中大部分時間做課堂教學,有時配合校外的美語演講比賽擔任裁判,學校有需要時也幫忙做翻譯的工作.

I currently hold an M.A. in Teaching (Elementary Education) from Seattle University. I also hold a couple of less-than-useful certificates in Chinese Language Proficiency from Tung Hai University in Taichung. I am married to a Taiwanese national and we have two daughters, both of whom are in the public school system here. 我從西雅圖大學取得教育碩士的學位. 也曾在東海大學學中文. 我太太是臺灣人, 我們有兩個女兒 ,一個是小學三年級另一個是幼稚園中班.

The purpose of this site is to introduce opportunities in Taitung County to "foreigners" (i.e. native English speakers) who wish to live here. It will also be a forum for the discussion of social and cultural trends in this area. I should add that any thoughts or opinions expressed on this site are solely my own, and that I represent no religious institutions whatsoever. 這個網誌的目的是將台東縣介紹
-->給外國朋友跟國內朋友. 也會在這裡討論台東的社會跟文化. 但是在此網誌將不涉及任何的宗教.


2. Where is Taitung? (September 九月 2009)

Taitung (which should probably be spelled "Taidong"), is on the southeast coast of Taiwan. Taitung is also a city and a county. Taitung County borders Hualien County to the north, and both Pingtung and Kaohsiung Counties to the west. The city of Taitung is on the coast, roughly halfway between the northern and southern borders of the county. "台東"這兩個字的官方英文拼法是Taitung, 可是我自己覺得Taidong這個字比較像中文的發音. 台東的位置在臺灣的東南部.通常提到 "台東"這個地方包括的是台東縣跟台東市,台東市正好在台東縣東海岸的中間. 台東縣北部接花蓮縣, 西部及南部則緊臨高雄縣和屏東縣.

The weather here is subtropical. It never snows, and from July to September the typhoons pass through the area. The typhoons invariably bring a lot of rain, though flooding is not generally as much of a problem near the ocean. 這邊的氣候屬於亞熱帶氣候不會下雪,每年的七月至九月是颱風季節. 颱風來時因為靠海所以風雨很大, 但是較少傳出水患.

There are about 230,000 people living in Taitung City. The only other "city" of any size is Cheng Gong to the north, and this city has less than half of the population of Taitung City. The rest of the county is sparsely populated. There are small fishing villages hugging the coast, and farming communities hidden away in the mountains. 台東市的人口差不多10萬人左右. 除了台東市以外, 台東縣最大城市是成功鎮, 它的人口數是台東市的一半,其餘的鄉鎮人口不多. 小小的魚港是台東海岸的特色之一, 而在山區的特色則是許多可愛的鄉村部落.

Taitung boasts a higher-than-average aboriginal population. For those unfamiliar with patterns of migration to Taiwan, the island was originally settled by Austronesian peoples, coming up from islands farther south. These first settlers were in time displaced by later Chinese immigrants, who now form the majority in Taiwanese society. Despite the encroachment of Chinese culture and language, the aboriginal tribes still maintain a noticeable presence in this area. 台東的原住民人口較其他縣市多且居住密集. 他們的祖先是從臺灣以南的島嶼渡海而來的, 在漢人來台以前, 就已經成為這塊土地的保護者. 隨著臺灣漢文化跟語言的影響越來越大, 在這裡的原住民更是為保護自己的文化跟母語而努力.

There are really only two roads through the length of Taitung County. There is the mountain highway, starting in Hualien City and ending in Jer Ben, and there is the coastal road, running down (almost) the entire length of Taiwan. The mountain highway offers stunning views of farmland and mountain valleys, while the coastal road offers small fishing hamlets and spectacular panoramas of the Pacific Ocean. 台東縣的對外公路只有兩條.台 9線是從花蓮到知本, 台11線是從台北到大武. 走台9線的觀光客可以看山景, 走台11線的觀光客則可以欣賞古老的小村落跟美麗的太平洋.

Most of Taitung County is still very undeveloped. Those seeking the kind of urban amenities available in Taipei (bars, upscale restaurants, and of course department stores) will find little of that in Taitung. If, however, you are looking for a place to enjoy the scenery, you could do no better than this part of Taiwan. From feeding monkeys to rafting down the Shiogulan River, from surfing to hangliding, there really is a lot to do here! 台東的海岸線未受都市文明侵襲,保持著自然風光 . 這邊沒有什麼大酒吧,高級餐廳,百貨公司,但是對於熱愛大自然的人來說,卻是一個不可多得的天堂, 從可愛的野生猴子到泛舟,從沖浪到滑翔翼,這個地方充滿了許多驚奇的戶外活動機會.


3. Taiwan, Ten Years In (September 九月 2009)

People sometimes ask me if I will live the rest of my life in Taiwan. All I can say to that is, "I don't know." At this point, it seems very likely that I will be here until my daughters are old enough to look after themselves, but after that I cannot say.朋友們常問我是不是會在臺灣定居?其實我自己也不知道,但是在這當下,我是希望可以讓我的女兒在這塊土地上求學長大,未來的事留給未來去煩惱吧!

I have tried to imagine myself growing old here; I have tried to imagine what I would do in some small village when I was fifty, or sixty, or seventy. I know some expats who have been here for twenty years or more, and sometimes when I talk to them I wonder how much I will come to resemble them in the decades yet to be.我曾想過在臺灣的某一小村落生活,做著村人們平常做的事,隨著年歲成長衰老.我認識幾位在此住了二.三十年的外國人,有時在與他們的談話中,我會想像自己年老時是否也會像他們一樣.

There is another American I know, a much older man who lives north of here, who first came to Taiwan when Chiang Kai Shek was still President. He often talks about how dirty Taipei was back then, and how much cleaner and modern it is now. When he discusses such things, I remember my own arrival in Taipei ten years ago, back before the MRT was finished. Even in my (comparatively) short experience, I can see how much this place has changed, and wonder at how much it will continue to change in the following years.有一位年紀很大的美國人住在台東北部,他是從蔣介石時代就到臺灣的,他常說臺北以前多髒亂現在又是如何的現代與乾淨,當他談到這些時,不免讓我想起自己初到台北時的景象,那時台北捷運系統才剛完成不久.這十年內各地方改變很多,不禁令人好奇未來又會是什麼樣的景象.

I think that most expats tend to have a more objective view of Taiwan. This is especially true of expats without Taiwanese wives, husbands, or children. They can pick up and leave any time they want. They can go live in Japan for a year. They can fly in and out of Thailand every New Year and summer. This can be a good thing, but it is not necessarily the best thing for everyone.很多在臺的外國人對臺灣無法深入的了解,尤其是那些沒有臺灣配偶的人,他們在臺沒有任何的牽絆,在亞洲各個國家遊走,或許這對他們來說是件好事,但是對其他人來說卻不見得.

Speaking as someone who married into this place, there is a lot to be said for "going native". I think, after all, that it is my attachment to this place that give me the greatest pleasure, and when I think about all the changes and upheavals I have witnessed here it makes me more happy than sad.因為婚姻的關係讓我有機會成為一個"在地人",除了更了解這塊土地也從中得到許多的樂趣,我很慶幸參與及目睹這十年中在這裡的人事物變化 .

Which is not to say that I haven't ever disliked Taiwan, or wished I was somewhere else. There were times when I've been tired of being different, there were times when I couldn't see the logic in this place, and there were even times when I got fed up, packed my bags, and (foolishly, for me) decided that "back home" was where I should be.這並不是說我從來沒討厭過這個地方,或希望自己不是住在這裡.曾經我也厭倦當這裡的外國人 ,曾經我也無法了解這裡人們的邏輯想法,更甚至有時受夠了決定打包行李回家,天真地以為我來的地方才是適合我的家.

The trouble is that the longer I am here, the longer "back home" comes to mean Taiwan. I have lived here for so many years already. I have had children here, and I was married here. So many of my experiences pertain to - or are entirely contained within - this place. This is so much the case that I can feel homesick for any number of places, both in Taiwan and in the United States.問題是,在臺灣住得愈久愈覺得臺灣才是自己的家.我已經在這裡住了這麼多年 ,有妻子和孩子.它已經在我的生命中佔了重要的一部分,所以在美國時想的家是臺灣,在臺灣時想的家卻是美國.

If someone was to ask me whether they should come here or not, my answer would be an unqualified yes. You might not like it here at first, but with the proper attitude you will. Coming here is like opening a door to another world, and it is a world well worth living in.如果有人問我是否該到臺灣,我一定會給肯定的答案.你可能一開始不喜歡這裡,但是只要有對的態度你就能了解它的好.到這裡就像來到一個不同的世界,但是絕對是一個值得居住的地方.


4. Working for the Government (September 九月 2009)

"M.O.E." stands for Ministry of Education. The M.O.E. is the Education branch of Taiwan's central government. For those unfamiliar with Taiwan, its government is composed of five branches. These are the Executive, Legislative, Judicial, Exam, and Control Yuans. The M.O.E. is part of the Executive Yuan."M.O.E.'是臺灣教育部的英文簡稱,臺灣的行政體系分為行政,立法 ,司法,考試及監察五院.

Those wishing to teach English as a foreign teacher in Taiwanese public schools are encouraged to contact someone in the M.O.E. The catch here is that you must possess a teaching certificate (or in some cases, "relevant experience") valid in your country of origin. "Relevant experience" can be interpreted at the discretion of the presiding official, so theoretically it could mean just about anything. Don't get your hopes up, however, if you lack that critical teaching certificate or license.對於有心想在臺灣的公立學校教英文的人,可以在教育部的網站上找到相關資訊,個人條件上需要擁有英語系國家的教師資格,或者是在英語教學上有相關的經歷.

There are also restrictions based on country of origin, though these have been waived in certain cases. The government of Taiwan has compiled a list of "English speaking countries" that includes only the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand. Only teachers originating from countries on this list (i.e., they have a passport from there), can be included in the government's teaching program.教育部對英語系國家的國家限定如下:美國,英國,加拿大,澳洲和紐西蘭.

It is also possible to bypass the central government and apply for work through one of the county governments. To my knowledge, this can only be done in Taitung and Nantou counties. I myself applied through the Taitung County Government, since the process for foreign nationals applying within Taiwan is extremely murky.你也可以經由各縣政府的外籍教師徵聘到公立學校任職,但是各縣市辦法不同 ,如果你人已經在臺灣,建議你直接詢問縣市政府,因為從經驗中得知向教育部申請是很複雜的.

All restrictions applying to those going through the central government apply to those going through the county governments. The county governments in Taitung and Nantou apply for your salary through the central government, and as a precondition their teachers must meet the demands outlined above.無論是經由中央的教育部或是縣市政府的教育局,所需要的應徵資格是一樣的.

But for those without a teaching certificate all is still not lost. Several of the municipal governments on the west coast are hiring directly, and they are paying from municipal funds. They tend to be less strict about your country of origin, past teaching experience, and the like, so if you are in Taipei, Taichung, or Kaohsiung you might look into this option.如果你只有大學畢業並是以上所提的英語系國家的使用英語為母語者,你還是有機會在其他學校任教的.通常臺灣西部城市的機會較東部大的多.

I would, however, discourage you from going through any recruiter for this purpose. The pay from the municipal governments will be lower anyway, and it is very probable that a recruiter will be skimming off a percentage of your salary. Yunlin County is notorious for this practice, and I would advise against working there unless it is through the central government.我不建議經過仲介找英文教職工作 ,因為最後你拿到的薪水可能很低.

I have also heard of public junior and senior high schools hiring teachers directly, but the hours and the pay are extremely low. It might do for part time work, but it's nothing you could make a living off of.通常如果是國高中學校自行徵聘的英文教師薪水都不高,有時只是兼職的性質.

Interested individuals are hereby directed towards the M.O.E.'s website. This website is actually a vast improvement over what the M.O.E. was publishing before, even if it is directed more towards citizens of the U.S. and Canada. The M.O.E.'s guidelines change constantly, and any information presented here is subject to change.如果你有興趣可上以上的網站查詢,相關規定可能會因須要而更改.


5. Mid-Autumn Festival (October 十月 2009)

Thank God (and Donna Summer) that it's Friday. Has anyone - besides me - seen that movie?感謝上帝星期五到了!!!

It's been a long week for me - I've been sick! I am finally getting better now, and I am looking forward to some rest on Saturday and Sunday. The papers say there is a typhoon headed this way tomorrow, so I expect that I'll be doing little more than watching DVDs in my living room. I hope to be pleasantly bored.這個星期對我來說有點長,因為我有點感冒.颱風快來了,這也應該是我看電影的好時機.我會好好在家享受無聊的時光.

Tomorrow is also the Mid-Autumn Festival. I realize that "Mid-Autumn Festival" sounds very momentous to those unfamiliar with this particular holiday, but it's really just an excuse to eat moon cakes and barbeque. I will certainly be doing both.明天是中秋節,聽起來很有文化氣息,但是我想我們應該只是利用它來當烤肉跟吃月餅的藉口.

There is also, of course, a complicated fable to explain this holiday, as well as a host of religious observances that are supposed to take place on this date. ...but I won't go into those here. Most of us will be too busy drinking beer to think about "Hou Yi and the Nine Suns," or if we visited the temple.有很多關於中秋節的故事及宗教祭祀行為,但是在此我只想跟你們說我會做的事:我最想做的就是喝啤酒,而最不會想到的是后羿射太陽和拜拜了 .

 My family and I will also be joining our good friend Mr. Wu for the festivities. We have known Mr. Wu and his family for many years, and I have been glad to call him a friend.我們家今年要去吳老師家過節,我們認識他們好幾年了,我很高興有他這位朋友.

I first met Mr. Wu when I auditioned for my previous job at Tung Hai Middle School. Mr. Wu teaches computer classes there, in addition to shouldering many other responsibilities which I shudder to think of. He is a very hard-working man.我是因到台東東海國中上班才認識他的,他是國中的電腦老師,是位工作很認真的老師.

About three years ago, when we first moved to Taitung, Mr. Wu took us up to his mother's house in Ju Hu, where we spent the night. Ju Hu is in Chang Bin township, not far from Hualien County. The trip was very pleasant, and I fondly remember visiting with his mother and meeting his extended family. I felt very honored that he wanted to show me the places where he grew up, and I was sorry I couldn't return the favor.三年前我們剛搬到臺東,他請我們去長濱鄉竹湖他媽媽的家過夜 .很榮幸能認識他的家人,我也希望有一天我也能介紹我的家鄉給他們認識 .

Looking back at three years of knowing Mr. Wu, it is easy to feel a sense of gratitude for the friends I've made here and the experiences we have shared. With the proper attitude, every day can be a new adventure, and I am thankful for the many kind people who have helped me realize that this is so.他提醒我這個地方的朋友的溫情及共同擁有的美好經驗,只要有正確的態度,每一天都是一場新的冒險,我很感謝幫我了解這一點的每一位朋友.

On this Mid-Autumn Festival, wishing you the best. Whether our paths cross or not, please know that you have a friend in Taitung. I will save some barbecue for you.不論我們認識與否,我都祝你們有個美好的中秋節,記得臺東永遠有個朋友可以和你共享烤肉之趣.
  
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