2012年3月1日 星期四

Blog Archive 18 很久很久以前的文章

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


1. The New Movie Theater 新的電影院 (Taitung Style, March 2012)

I'm sure just about everyone in Taitung City has heard about the new movie theater.  The county government has planned to build it for a while now, and notices to this effect have appeared in the newspaper put out by the local government.台東市民應該都聽過蓋新的電影院的計畫.  台東縣政府對這項建設計畫已久,  也在地方報上跟縣市民報告過進度.

The new theater will be located on Shin Sheng Road, not far from the Old Train Station.  It will be constructed on the site of the old Guo Gwang Bus Station, long since fallen into ruin.  Once completed, the theater will house 4 separate screens, and the County Government is working very hard to attract other business interests into that building.  Once this theater is completed, and once the old, vacant houses further up Shin Sheng Road are remodeled, we may say Taitung's city center grow more active.新電影院將座落在新生路上, 靠近舊車站.  是以前的國光客運站.  電影院完成之後, 將會有四個院廳.  縣政府很努力招商,  除了蓋影城之外, 縣政府也將改造新生路上的舊房子.  等這兩個地點完成以後, 市區將會非常熱鬧.

This new theater replaces the old theater, destroyed in a fire two or three years back.  As you can see in the picture above, the last movie to be shown there was G.I. Joe, which would put the fire around 2009.  I never liked that theater much, and even when it was open I often drove to Kaohsiung to see movies in a real theater.  台東的舊戲院在兩, 三年前發生火災燒掉了.  你可以從上面的那張相片看出, 當初上映的最後一部電影是"特種部隊."  所以火災發生的時間大概是2009年.  我不是很喜歡以前的電影院.  所以那時候我們都去高雄看電影.

The only question is how long it's going to take them to finish this thing.  As you can see from the picture below, all they've done so far is level the old structure.  Building the theater will take quite a bit longer.  I can't remember what "deadline" they set for completion, but I'm guessing at least a year.唯一的問題是他們什麼時候將新戲院完工?  下面的相片很明顯看出, 他們只是把舊車站拆掉而已.  我忘記他們的完工期限是什麼時候, 但是我猜最快應該是一年後!

However long it takes, it will be interesting to see a movie here when they're finished.  I can't say what kind of profit this place will turn, but maybe, just maybe, they'll find enough tourists to visit this place.  Hualien seems to do OK with its theater, but then again Hualien City has three times as many people as Taitung.  不管他們要蓋多久, 在新的戲院裡看電影一定很有意思.  不知道這個影城會不會賺錢, 也許會有許多觀光客來消費.  花蓮市的電影院的生意好像不錯, 只是花蓮市的人口是台東市人口的三倍.

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.  This theater has been a long time coming, and I think it is the kind of development that Taitung could really use.  祝好運.  台東市已經等了許久,  這應該是台東發展的最好的選擇.


2. 9/11 (Taiwan Style, March 三月 2012)

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

I was in Taichung 台中, and it was not September 11.  It was September 12.

I was living in an apartment just south of the Taichung Industrial Area 工業區, also not far from Tung Hai University 東海大學.  It was morning, and I had just returned from my breakfast downstairs.

As I unlocked the front door I heard my phone ringing, and after picking it up I heard my dad's voice on the other end.

"We're OK," was the first thing he said, "I just want you to know that we're OK."

"Why of course you're OK!" I answered, "Why wouldn't you be OK?

Back then I didn't have a TV or internet access in my apartment.  It was the weekend, and I hadn't spoken to anyone besides my wife for at least 12 hours.  In other words, I had no idea what my dad was talking about.

My dad went on to explain the situation.  Terrorists had crashed an airplane into the World Trade Center, and had also taken control of several other commercial flights.  This was only hours after the terrorist attacks, so details were few and far between.  Nobody knew what was really happening, nobody knew who was responsible, and everyone had questions.  All my dad knew was that no one in Seattle had been attacked, and there was no reason to think that they would be attacked.

We talked for a while, and after hanging up the phone I went back downstairs.  The whole thing was pretty surreal.  There, on the cover of a newspaper, on the cover of a newspaper in the breakfast restaurant I had just visited, was that image of the jet crashing into the World Trade Center.  The article attached said that Al-Qaeda had done it, but even they weren't really sure.

Since that fateful day, or perhaps I should say since the fateful day before it, I have been back to the States four times.  My first trip back there lasted two years.  My second trip back there lasted a month.  My third trip lasted ten months.  My last trip, last summer, lasted about two months.  During those trips I have observed many changes in my country, not all of them good.

To say that September 11, 2001 was a historic day is a matter of fact, not a matter of speculation.  I have never bought into the Bush administration's propaganda with regard to Al-Qaeda, Iraq, or the Middle East, but to say that September 11 was of historic importance is merely to state the obvious.  It was clearly a historic day, and was in many respects the beginning of a new world order - or a New World Order - if you believe those who promote conspiracy theories.  I tend not to believe conspiracy theories, because such theories imply an intelligence on the part of conspirators that I find difficult, if not impossible, to believe.

Still, America has changed dramatically since 9/11.  This has been especially obvious to someone like me, viewing these changes from Taiwan.  These changes might not be so obvious to someone who lives day in, day out in America, or to a Taiwanese person, unable or unwilling to visit America so often, and for such long periods of time.

Since 9/11, America has grown less prosperous, less happy, and less confident.  I don't think I am indulging in idle speculation when I say this.  To me, the change is obvious.  People in America smile less now.  People in America aren't so hopeful about the future.  People in America (most of them), have less money, and less places to spend it in.  People in America feel unsafe, and undecided.

And they weren't that way before 9/11.  Not in my estimation.  The America I left in 1999 was a country looking forward.  It was a hopeful country.  It was, in many respects, a much happier country.  I do not say this because of experiences I have had with airports, or jobs, or culture shock.  I say this because I have observed it in the everyday life of America, and in the personal relationships I still maintain in that country.  People there really don't know what to do about the future.  Most of them don't even know what to do with today.  In the absence of that deciding factor, many of them struggle.

I think it comes down to optimism.  9/11 destroyed that optimism for many people.  After 9/11, America seemed to be surrounded by enemies.  After 9/11, America was vulnerable, and open to both military and economic attack.  This day also heralded a greater flow of American jobs and manufacturing into China, thus destroying the economic base that many Americans had come to take for granted.  This movement of jobs and manufacturing was accelerated by the Bush administration, the very guys who were gearing us for war.  One wonders at their interpretation of "homeland security."

This said, I don't think the story's over for America.  We might see a restoration of American leadership in world affairs.  Or we might see a smaller, more compact America, along the lines of many western European countries, with world powers working in concert to avert another 9/11-type event.  I don't know, but I know there is more to come.

I just hope that life over there starts improving.  I hope the economy gets better.  I hope Americans can learn how to lead themselves once again, instead of looking to someone like Obama to show them the way.  I think Obama could be a good President, but he is like a shepherd trying to herd cats.  In the end the cats will have their say, even if they choose the worst possible option.

I hope Americans can learn to hope again, to take control, and perhaps to put 9/11 behind them.  9/11 was certainly a historic day, but it was only one day, after all, and it is better to look forward than to wallow in the past.  Americans were once known for this - this foolish optimism - and I would that they were known for this again.  In the absence of this optimism what are they?  They are defeated.  Worse, they are occupied.

Yes, I remember where I was on September 11, 2001.  I can also remember the brighter world that existed before it.  I know we cannot return to that world, but I'm hoping that we may yet create a brighter world, for September 11s yet to be.


3. Photo Gallery (5) (Taiwan Style, March 三月 2012)


At the "Mixed Soya-Meat Museum" in Kaohsiung County 高雄縣.  Truly off the beaten track!


My wife took this picture.  This is her afternoon English class.


Waterfall in Jade Mountain National Park 玉山國家公園.


Toad discovered near the above waterfall.


Not far from the Nan-An 南安 entrance to Jade Mountain.


Near the Bu Nong Tribe Village 布農部落 in Lu Ye Township 鹿野鄉, Taitung 台東.


Also in Lu Ye Township.  A strawberry field.


Shan Yue 山月 Hot Springs in Lu Ye.  This place was built recently.  Very new, but also very small.


4. Snakes in Taitung 台東的蛇 (Taitung Style, March 三月 2012)

I LOVE snakes.  This is one of the many reasons people think I am strange.  Even so, I think snakes are very interesting animals.  They are also one of the easiest animals to see in Taitung.  我愛蛇.  這是為什麼朋友覺得我很奇怪的原因之一.  不管人們怎麼想, 我還是覺得蛇很有意思.  牠們也是我在台東最常看到的野生動物.

Much of what follows was taken from "Wildlife in Taitung" (臺東縣野生動物).  This book was published by the Endemic Species Research Institute COA (行政院農業委員會持有生物研究保育中心), in conjunction with the central government.  As non-Chinese speakers might guess from the lengthy names in parenthesis above, this book uses NO English - but it does have a lot of pictures!  以下資料的出處是"臺東縣野生動物"這本書.  它是行政院農業委員會持有生物研究保育中心出版的.  可惜的是這本書沒有英文版, 但是裡面的圖片很多.

I also used a website called Snakes of Taiwan.  This website does have English, and I drew many of the snakes' English names from this site.  The names of many snakes do not translate directly from Chinese into English.  黑頭蛇, for example, translates into "Black-Headed Snake," yet the actual English name of this snake is the Asiatic Many-Toothed Snake.  我也利用台灣蛇類的網站.  這個網站有英文.  很感謝寫這個網站的人.  這裡的蛇的英文名字都是取自這個網站.  很多蛇的中文名字沒辦法直接翻譯成英文.  比方說黑頭蛇翻譯成英文變成Black-Headed Snake, 可是牠真的英文名字是Asiatic Many-Toothed Snake.

If you are in Taitung City, the best place to find snakes is the Forest Park.  I have seen many there.  Outside of Taitung City, anyplace near the mountains will do.  在台東市的話, 最容易看到蛇的地方是森林公園.  在台東市外, 只要任何靠山的地方都可以.

All of these snakes can be found in Taitung, though of course their theater of operations extends past the county line.  Some of these snakes should be given a lot of room, because yes, they can kill you!  當然你也可以在別的縣市看到這些蛇.  有一些蛇你要敬而遠之, 因為牠們真的會殺人!!

How to Catch a Snake: 怎麼抓到蛇 (taken from wikihow.com)

1. Be sure the snake isn't venomous.確定那條蛇是無毒的.
2. Get a stick or other long, slender object. 找根棍子或是長型的東西.
3. Distract the snake with a stick. 用棍子轉移蛇的注意力.
4. Place the end of the stick under the front half of the snake. 把棍子放在蛇的前半段身體的下方.
5. Release the snake into a new area with plenty of places to hide. 把蛇放到新的地方.  最好讓牠有機會躲起來.
6. Wash your hands after handling snake. 洗手.
7. Notice that younger snakes bite more frequently if they are startled or scared.注意:比較年輕的蛇害怕時比較容易咬人.


5. Thoughts (5) (Taiwan Style, March 三月2012)

1. I reread that "Sex in Taiwan (3)" entry recently, and was very unhappy with it.  At worst it was character defamation, and at best it was cock blocking.  I rewrote it in more general, less inflammatory terms.

2. Having too many numerical subheadings (such as Thoughts (5)) is going to make this blog repetitious, so I think that anytime I reach 10 I am going to stop pursuing that topic.
Added a link for older entries ("Entries So Old I Can't Even Remember Writing Them") onto the sidebar.  Given the numerical subheadings mentioned above, it seems weird to allow those entries to just "disappear."

3. I'd like to add more Chinese literature/poetry to this blog in the future.  These kind of things shed a lot of light on Chinese culture.  In particular, I was thinking of Tang Dynasty poetry (唐詩), the "Three-Character Poem," (三字經) and the "Rules of Propriety". (弟子規)  I plan on working them in where I can.

4. The number of people reading this blog will soon overtake the number of those reading Taitung Style.  I think that once this number finally surpasses that of Taitung Style, I'll probably make Taitung Style more about pictures, and this blog more about words.  Otherwise, I begin to feel that I am repeating myself.

5. Any feedback that you, the reader would like to supply is welcome.  I get messages about this blog on Facebook sometimes, and also occasional emails, but never as much input as I would like.  Taitung Style is read less (on average) a week, but I get much more feedback there.

5. Again, as always, thanks for reading this blog.  Keep singing.  Keep dancing.  Keep smiling.  Keep laughing.  Life can be very good.


6. To and From (Taiwan Style, April 四月 2012)

Taiwan is a great place to live if you like traveling - at least if you like traveling in Asia.  Aside from the Mainland, you couldn't ask for a more central location.  Taiwan is pretty much in the middle of everything.

Taiwan is just south of Japan, east of Mainland China, and north of the Philippines.  You can get to Okinawa by plane in about 40 minutes, you can fly directly to China in less than an hour, and the Philippines are fairly close.  Thailand is a little over two hours, and Malaysia/Singapore is a little over three.  The flight to South Korea, which is the farthest north in Asia that I've ever been, isn't bad at all.

During my time in Taiwan, I've traveled to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea.  I've been to Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan twice.  This summer my family of four will be returning to Thailand for the third time, and I'm hoping to finally visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia.  We'll be in Southeast Asia for over a month this summer, and I want to visit at least one country I haven't been to already.

Taiwan's currency trades favorably, though Japan will cost you, wherever you're from.  This is the main reason we're not visiting Japan this summer.  A WEEK in Japan costs about as much as a MONTH in most southeast Asian countries.  It is a little over 30 NT to the US dollar right now, and a little under 40 to the Euro.

Not counting trips back to the States, the first place I visited after moving to Taiwan was Thailand.  This made Thailand the second Asian country I ever visited.  My wife and I toured Thailand as part of a Taiwanese tour group, and it was MISERABLE.  All I can remember were bad restaurants, bad hotels, and a shitty "zoo" where I watched a local beat a monkey with a stick.  After that trip I swore never to join tour group again.

Later, during our honeymoon, we visited Malaysia and Singapore.  That trip was a blast, and was probably the most fun of all our vacations.  A lot of Western people avoid (Muslim) Malaysia and (authoritarian) Singapore because they're not easy countries to party in.  Sex, drugs, and other illicit activities are hard to pursue in those places, and for obvious reasons.  Even so, parts of Malaysia were stunning, and Singapore, though lacking in "local color," is modern and convenient.

When my older daughter was about three months old, we visited Okinawa, Japan.  We were only there three days, but Okinawa was a nice, quiet place to relax.  There are some good beaches there, and the food was delicious.  I also detoured through Japan on the way back from Washington D.C. last semester, and I can tell you there is a HUGE difference between life on the main island and life on Okinawa.

The following year we went to Vietnam, with an added week in Thailand.  Vietnam is very beautiful, but it is very poor.  I remember visiting some islands north of Hanoi, and it was like stepping into a Chinese watercolor.  You can see some disturbing things in Vietnam, but I found traveling there to be a positive experience.

A few months later we visited South Korea.  I thought the national parks were great, but Seoul bored me.  The weather during our stay was also bad.  I enjoyed the food, but I'm not in a hurry to go back there.

After South Korea we didn't go anywhere for a few years, owing to the fact that I was changing jobs, or we were moving back and forth between Taiwan and the States.  About four years back we took the kids to Hong Kong Disneyland.  The kids loved Disneyland, but after the first day both my daughters and my wife got very sick.  I spent the remaining two days walking around Hong Kong alone, taking pictures.  I also went there two years ago, on a visa run.

Writing about these trips now, a lot of memories come back - most of them good.  It's fun to remember sitting on a certain beach on a certain island in Malaysia, and thinking that that was about as far as I could get from anyone.  I also think about the temples in Thailand, and the heat, and eating phad thai on the river, or even the more depressing parts of Pattaya.  Sitting on street corners in Hanoi was fun, as was eating Nepalese food in Kowloon, or walking through Odaesan National Park.  Certainly not all of it was good, and travel can be a hassle, but all those trips were worth the effort.

I like to think I have learned a lot from travel, and I plan to keep doing so.  And the more I travel away from Taiwan, the more I appreciate the island on which I live.  Taiwan is a good place to be, and my experiences in other countries have only confirmed this.  Sure, travel can be an escape from Taiwan, but I prefer to think of it as a pause.  Without Taiwan, I wouldn't have had the chance to visit so many of these places, and this is one of the many reasons I am thankful to live here.


7. Fishing Ports of Taiwan (Taiwan Style, April 四月 2012)

Fishing is a huge industry in Taiwan, and fishing ports can be found in every county except Nantou 南投.  Every day - and perhaps every hour - thousands of tons of seafood are exported from Taiwan to markets in Japan, Mainland China, and elsewhere.  Fishing is big business.

If you haven't visited your local fishing port yet, I would strongly encourage you to do so.  Fishing ports can be very interesting and educational places, especially when local fishermen are bringing in the day's catch.  I've learned more about native fish from fishing ports than I have from any aquarium.

I know five (Taiwanese) fishing ports better than any others.  The first of these is the big port north of Taichung City 台中市, which is probably the least interesting of the five.  The Taichung Port is mostly restaurants, and it's hard to visit that place and get a good idea of what the local fishermen really do, or what they really catch.

I also know Nan Liao 南寮 in Hsinchu 新竹 County.  When I lived in Hsinchu I visited this place often, and this was the beginning of my interest in fishing ports.  The port in Nan Liao is much smaller than the one in Taichung, and one can get a better idea of what fishermen in Taiwan really do there.  Nan Liao is also a nice place to have lunch.  They have a lot of seafood restaurants on the second floor of the building, outside the port.

This was taken as the boats were just coming in.  An hour later, this area was FULL of fish!

Two other ports I know are in Taitung 台東.  I visit the port in Cheng Gong 成功, which is the largest port in Taitung County, quite often.  Around 2 PM every day the boats come in, and watching them unload is a truly amazing experience.  Several tons of hammerhead shark, pilot fish, and whatever else are thrown onto the dock each day, and these fish are quickly buried in ice and sent on to other destinations.  My only complaint about Cheng Gong Port is that there isn't really anywhere nice to eat there.  They have a few struggling restaurants next to the port, but nothing to write home about.  The only good seafood restaurant I know of is far removed from the port, about fifteen minutes from the boats by foot, and lacking in any scenery.

I also like to visit the port in Shiang Wu 尚武, the southernmost port in Taitung County.  It is a tiny place, and the catch there is always small, but walking around that port on a cool day is very relaxing.  That port is very out-of-the-way, and they don't see many foreigners there.

Besides the above two ports in Taitung County, I often visit the Shr Ti Ping Port 石提坪漁港 in Hualien 花蓮.  They have a great seafood restaurant just up from the port, and whale watching tours also embark from that area.  Shr Ti Ping isn't a big port, but it seems more tourist friendly than other places.

Anyone who knows Mandarin and wishes to know more about the Taiwanese fishing industry is encouraged to seek out a copy of the DVD set "New Perspective on Fishing Joy" (漁樂新視界) at the office of any larger port.  I got my copy in Cheng Gong for 1 NT - and it is a TEN DVD set!  I've been watching it for about a week now, and I've learned a lot.

Of course if you don't speak Mandarin, nothing beats visiting these ports.  A lot of the guys who fish for a living are great guys, and many of them would be happy to know you.

Cheng Gong Port from the second floor of the port offices.  I love that old "Wei Shr Bi" 維士比 advertisement!

8. A Suggestion 一個建議 (Taitung Style, April 四月 2012)

I recently saw a movie in which God, played by Morgan Freeman, said: "How do you change the world?  Through one act of random kindness at a time!"  我最近看了一部電影.  電影中演上帝的Morgan Freeman說: "我們怎麼讓地球更好?  從身邊的小小善行開始"

I agree with this sentiment, and I would like to add my own.  How do you improve our environment?  Through one act of reducing, reusing, or recycling.  我很同意這個說法.  我也想加上我自己的.  我們怎麼做環保呢?  要達到環保就是用少一點, 用久一點, 並重複使用.

With this in mind I would encourage you to walk more, bike more, and drive less.  Almost everyone living and working in Taitung City can commute on foot or by bike, and this will improve both our air and our quality of life.   我想請您多走路, 多騎腳踏車, 少開車, 少騎摩托車.  大部分的台東市民可以走路或是騎單車上下班.  這可以清淨我們的空氣和提高居住品質.

And this is not only a small way to help our environment, but also a way to get more exercise, to be healthier, and to enjoy life more.  I know it's easy to hop on a scooter or into a car, but there is a lot to be said for using less, and for slowing down.  這不只是保護我們的環境, 也是一個運動的機會, 讓自己健康的機會, 也是享受人生的機會.  我知道騎摩托車和開車很方便, 可是少用一點資源, 走慢一點也有許多好處.

Give it a try at least.  You might find that you like it!  試試看.  您可能會喜歡.


9. Social Studies in Taiwan (Taiwan Style, April 四月 2012)

Taiwan has a wide range of Social Studies textbooks, and students are required to study this subject from the first grade onwards.  I don't know if every public school is the same, but kids in our school have Social Studies three times a week.  Grades 1 and 2 refer to this subject as 生活 (Life), and grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 refer to it as 社會 (Society).

The book outlines below are for the second semester.  Not every school would be using the same series of books.  There are of course variations between publishers, though every publisher is required to follow the central government's curriculum guidelines.  The books I used were the ones published by 康軒文教事業.

Below are the unit headings for these six textbooks, taken from their tables of contents.  Below the chapter headings are excerpts from the books.  I should add that I have translated 家鄉 below as "hometown," though the way these books use the term is often closer in meaning to "homeland," as in "Taiwan is my hometown/homeland."

1. 1 生活(下)

一   開學相見歡 Welcoming Each Other at the Start of the Semester
二   美麗的春天 Beautiful Spring
三   把聲音傳出來 Let the Sound Be Heard
四   我愛我的家 I Love My Family
五   影子變變變 The Shadow Changes and Changes
六   奇妙的水 Amazing Water

"寒假過後, 第一天見面, 你和同學聊什麼? After you see each other on the first day after winter vacation, what do you talk about?

Student 1: 過年的時候, 我們全家一起大掃除. As the year passed, my whole family cleaned the house.
Student 2: 你的頭髮剪短了.Your hair has been cut shorter.
Student 3: 我回外婆家住了好幾天. I stayed at my (maternal) grandmother's house for many days.
Student 4: 小琪好像長高了. It seems like Little Chi has grown taller.
Student 5: 我們全家一起出國去玩. My whole family took a vacation outside the country.
Student 6: 過年的時候, 有好多人來我們家玩." As the year passed, so many people came to our house to play.

2. 2 生活(下)

一   開學了 The Semester Begins
二   奇妙的植物 Amazing Plants
三   感恩與祈福 Blessings and Thanks
四   雲和雨 Clouds and Rain
五   和風做朋友 Making Friends with the Wind
六   夏天的生活 Summer Life

"常見的民俗活動 Commonly Seen Festivals

你認試哪些民俗節日呢?  人們通常會在這些節日做什麼事情? Which festivals are you familiar with?  What do people usually do during these festivals?

農曆一月  元宵節 First Month of the Lunar Calendar: Lantern Festival
國曆四月  清明節 Fourth Month of the Solar Calendar: Tomb-Sweeping Day
農曆五月  端午節 Fifth Month of the Lunar Calendar: Dragon Boat Festival
農曆七月  中元節 Seventh Month of the Lunar Calendar: Hungry Ghost Festival [Ghost Month]
農曆八月  中秋節 Eighth Month of the Lunar Calendar: Mid-Autumn Festival
農曆九月  重陽節 Ninth Month of the Lunar Calendar: Chong-Yang Festival*

*This last one was news to me!  Maybe because it's in September?

 3. 社會 3 (下)

一   家鄉的生活 Hometown Life
二   居民總動員 The People in the Community
三   生活要更好 Life Should be the Best
四   家鄉風情畫 Hometown Portrait
五   地名故事多 The Stories of Names are Many
六   守護我家鄉 Protecting our Hometown

在我們區內建德里的山坡上, 有一塊大石頭, 遠遠看過去很像一隻鸚鵡, 大家稱它"鶯歌石".  後來就用"鶯歌"做為本地的地名. There is a hillside within our area, which is called Jian De Li.  This hillside has a rock, and this rock looks like a parrot from far off.  Everyone calls this rock the "Ying Ge Rock," [to signify its likeness to a parrot].  After a while Yingge [the ceramics center] became the name of this place.

 4. 社會 4 (下)

單元1   飲水思源 The Source of Drinking Water
單元2   家鄉的人口 Hometown Population
單元3   家鄉的產業 Hometown Industry
單元4   產業與生活 Industry and Life
單元5   家鄉的運輸 Hometown Transportation
單元6   天涯若比鄰 The End of the [Old] World or the Beginning of the Next

"家鄉人口的出生與死亡 Births and Deaths Within the Hometown Population

早期家鄉居民的農業業生產方式需要較多人力, 因此, 出生率較高; 近年來, 受到生育觀念的改變, 養兒育女費用的提高等影響, 出生率普遍降低.  另一方面, 家鄉人口的死亡率, 則隨著衛生保健觀念和一療技術的進步而下降. In previous times the people engaged in agricultural production had a greater need for manpower, and because of this, the birth rate was higher.  In recent years the attitudes toward family planning (fertility) have changed, as has the cost of raising a child and other factors.  [For this reason] the birth rate has dropped.  On the other side, the hometown death rate has seen a corresponding decrease in response to improved sanitation, an understanding of health concepts, and improvements in preventative medical techniques.

出生率下降, 使得幼年人口減少.  醫療保見進步, 使得平均壽命提高, 老年人口增加.  因此, 近年來家鄉老年人口的比例有逐漸增多, 幼年人口的比例有逐漸下降的趨勢."As the birth rate drops, the younger population also decreases.  As preventative medical care improves, the average life expectancy increases.  The older population is growing, and because of this, within the last few years we have seen a trend within our hometowns toward more older people, and less younger people.

 5. 社會 5 (下)

第一單元   臺灣的先民 Taiwan's First People
第二單元   世界發現臺灣 The World Discovers Taiwan
第三單元   唐山來的拓荒客 The Wild Man from Tang Mountain
第四單元   臺灣現代化得起步 The Beginning of Taiwan's Modern Era
第五單元   東來的統治者 The Ruler from the East
第六單元   戰後的臺灣 Taiwan After the War

 "葡萄牙人遇見臺灣 The Portuguese Arrive in Taiwan

自十五世紀以來, 歐洲人不斷在尋找到達東方的新航路.  最早航行到東方的葡萄牙人, 在經過臺灣時, 發現島上山川壯麗, 不禁讚嘆為"福爾摩沙" (Ilha Formosa), 意思是"美麗之島".  不久, 並用武力和宗教統治臺灣" During the 15th Century, European people kept searching for a new route to Asia.  The Portuguese were among the first to arrive in Asia.  As they passed by Taiwan, they discovered the beauty of Taiwan's magnificent mountains.  For this reason they wanted to beautify it with the name "Formosa" (Ilha Formosa), which means "island of beauty."  Not long after, they used religion and military force to rule Taiwan.*

*I've got to say, the notion of the Portuguese controlling Taiwan through violence and religion is ridiculous.  At best they held a couple of outposts here, and these not for long!

 6. 社會 6 (下)

第一單元   科學的啟蒙 The Enlightenment and Science
第二單元   現代科枝與生活 Modern Technology and Life
第三單元   從台灣走向世界 Moving from Taiwan to the World
第四單元   參與國際社會 A Tour of World Societies
第五單元   放眼看世界 Setting Your Eyes Upon the World
第六單元   關心我們的地球 Caring About Our Earth

"臺灣與中國大陸的交流 Exchanges Between Taiwan and Mainland China

民國三十八年, 中華民國退守臺灣, 由於政治因素, 臺灣與中國大陸長期不相往來.  民國七十六年, 中華民國政府開放民眾到中國大陸探親以後, 兩岸民間互動日趨頻繁, 臺灣和中國大陸也各自成立了海基會和海協會的民間中介機溝, 協助處理兩岸交流的事務.  The Republic of China was forced onto Taiwan in 1949, and for this reason Taiwan and Mainland China did not have contact for a long time.  In 1987 representatives of the R.O.C. visited China to see their relatives, and from this time cross-strait interactions between relatives became more frequent.  Taiwan and Mainland China also created the S.E.F. and A.R.A.T.S. associations to facilitate such interactions, and to mediate exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.

近年來, 除了探親, 旅遊之外, 兩岸的民間團體, 也紛紛組團從事學術, 體育, 音樂, 表演等文化交流.  中國大陸低的工資, 廣大的市場, 更吸引許多台商到當地投資設廠, 使得兩岸的經貿往來密切.  民國九十七年低, 兩岸更開放直航, 為彼此的交流立下一個新的里程碑." In recent years, with the exception of family visits and travel, there have also been delegations formed between the two sides for the purpose of study, athletics, music, performances, and other cultural exchanges.  Mainland China's lower wages and huge market has also attracted many Taiwanese businessmen to invest in Mainland factories.  This has brought the economies of both [countries] much closer.  As of 2008, direct flights were implemented [between the two countries], and this has been a milestone in exchanges between the two [countries].*

*At no point in this article is Taiwan referred to as a country.  I am adding this word for the sake of clarity.


10. Nostalgia 思鄉情懷 (2) (Taitung Style, April 四月 2012)

Cartoons and toys.  Toys and cartoons.  These are what I remember most about being very, very young.  卡通和玩具.  玩具和卡通.  這些昰我對小時候的最深的記憶.

I used to wake up at 6 AM every day before school.  This was not because I had to, but because I wanted to see my favorite cartoon, Star Blazers, which came on around that time.  我曾經每天上學前六點起床.  不是因為我上學的時間那麼早, 而是因為我最愛的卡通Star Blazers那時候播.

Star Blazers was one of two Japanese cartoons I used to obsess over.  The other one was Robotech.  我最愛的日本卡通有Star Blazers和Robotech.  以下是Robotech:

Of the two, most kids in my school preferred Robotech.  It was newer, and it had the coolest toys.  I was, however, more obsessed with Star Blazers.  The toy below is Robotech's SDF-1, which is a robot, a spaceship, and a floating city.  Hard to beat that combination!  在當時, 我學校的大部分學生比較喜歡Robotech.  因為它比較新,  玩具也比較酷.  但是我比較喜歡Star Blazers.  下面這款玩具是Robotech的SDF-1.  它除了是一個機器人, 也是一艘太空船, 更是一個可以飛來飛去的都市.  很帥喔!

On the American side, there were of course the superheroes.  Superfriends was the most popular DC cartoon, but even to a 7 year old the plots of each episode never made a lot of sense.  在美國卡通這方面來說, 當然少不了超人系列.  Superfriends是當時最熱門的DC卡通.  只是那部卡通的故事情節甚至對七歲的孩子來說, 也是很匪夷所思.

Superfriends always had competition in the Marvel cartoons.  The most popular of these was probably Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.  I'm still not sure why they picked the heroes that they did for this one.  Firestar was never a popular character, and Iceman belonged to the X-men.  Superfriends跟Marvel的卡通是競爭對手.  Marvel最熱門的卡通應該是Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.  我不知道他們公司為什麼選這些超人. 因為Firestar並不是很受歡迎.  而且Iceman是X-men卡通的角色之一.

A third category (at least as far as boys' cartoons went) might have been "cartoons inspired/sponsored by toy companies."  Of these, the most popular was undoubtedly Transformers.  男生除了日本卡通和超人卡通之外, 還喜歡和玩具配合而來的卡通.  其中最熱門的是變形金剛.

And here are the toys that inspired it.  Every boy loved the toys more than the cartoon, and every boy was always thinking up ways to get more.  以下是變形金剛的玩具.  所有的男孩喜歡變形金剛的玩具勝過卡通.  大家都想辦法買到最新推出的玩具.

The second most popular of these cartoons/toy lines had to be G.I. Joe.  Most kids agreed that the cartoon of G.I. Joe was quite lame...  第二名應該是G.I. Joe.  它的玩具很受歡迎, 可是大部分的小朋友覺得它的卡通不好看.

...but most of us loved the toys.  Every kid loved Snake Eyes, and the holy grail of toy collecting had to be the G.I. Joe Aircraft Carrier.  At over 100 US dollars, I only ever knew one kid who owned one!  G.I. Joe的玩具很帥.  每個小朋友都超愛"蛇眼"這個角色.  但是大家最想要的是G.I. Joe的航空母艦,  只是這個玩具要一百多元美金, 當時只有一個小朋友有.

A third, and final entry in this category would be Masters of the Universe.  The cartoon for these toys was super gay.  There was no argument about that.  第三名是Masters of the Universe.  只是每個男孩都知道它的卡通很爛.  .

But the toys were quite cool.  I can remember saving up money during the summer to buy these toys.  There is still a "treasure chest" of these toys somewhere in my parents' house.  但是它的玩具很酷.  我曾經暑假期間努力存錢買這些玩具.  目前應該還有很多在我父母家.

Besides all of the above, there were of course many less popular cartoons and toy lines.  There were Power Lords, Gobots, M.U.S.C.L.E., and everything in-between.  The 1980s were a good time for such things, as evidenced by the revival of many toy lines/cartoons from this era.  除了上面的介紹之外, 當然還有很多其他的卡通跟玩具.  例如Power Lords, Gobots, M.U.S.C.L.E.......等.  1980年代充滿了這些孩子們的玩意兒.  那時代的卡通跟玩具也常常被翻新, 再一次付與生命.

I have so many memories of these cartoons and toys, and every memory of these things is connected to something else from school, or to some friend I used to play with, or some place where I bought the toys, or to some birthday party or holiday.  我的記憶裏充滿著這些卡通與玩具.  它們讓我想到國小的事情, 跟朋友玩的情景, 和我買玩具的玩具店, 還有生日的慶生會和節日.

Ah, so many good times back then.  It was all so long ago now, but it seems just like yesterday!  啊!  那個時候有那麼多幸福的事.  雖是很久以前的事, 但是卻就像昨天剛發生一般.


11. Taiwanese Breakfast (Taiwan Style, April 四月 2012)

It is exceedingly difficult to find pancakes for breakfast in Taiwan.  The same can be said of breakfast sausage, country-fried steak, omelets, hickory-smoked bacon, and french toast.  Waffles can be located with a little effort, but from an American perspective these waffles are tiny, pitiful things.

So much for the American breakfast in Taiwan, unless perhaps you are living in a big city, near a breakfast restaurant that caters to foreigners.  I have seen a couple such restaurants, but not many.  There are times when I dream of country-fried steak, but my dreams only become reality on my rare visits back to the States.

As for what most Taiwanese people eat for breakfast, there are two kinds.  There is the franchised "Western" variety, and the more traditional variety.  I like both kinds, but for me Taiwanese breakfast will never compete with a good, hearty, unhealthy American breakfast.  Yes, pancakes and breakfast sausage clog the arteries, but they sure are good.

The "Western" type of Taiwanese breakfast can be found on nearly every street corner.  These restaurants usually have the word 美 in the title, such as 美而美 (beauty of beauties?) or the uber-popular 美之城 (beautiful city/castle).  These restaurants have more traditional breakfast items such as 蛋餅 (egg rolls) and 抓餅 (fried onion cake), but the bulk of their menus feature hamburgers, sandwiches, and even french fries.

While these types of food may have originated in the West, few Westerners eat them for breakfast, and many of the recipes used in making them (dried shredded pork and apple, for example), are not to be found in Western countries.  Even so, I have met many Taiwanese people who are convinced that this is what foreigners are used to eating for breakfast.

The other kind of breakfast is more traditional.  Restaurants that serve this kind of breakfast are usually most famous for their soy milk.  These are the restaurants that sell 鰻頭 (steamed buns), 肉包 (meat buns), 小籠包 ("little" meat buns), and 餃子 (dumplings).  For me, when this kind of breakfast is good, it's REALLY good, but it's hard to find a good one.  I love the breakfast at 永和豆漿 (Yong He Soy Milk), but unfortunately Taitung 台東 doesn't have one!

I realize that the menus in most breakfast restaurants can be a challenge for foreign residents, but in this situation a little effort goes a long way.  The menus in these restaurants are highly repetitive, and most menu items are variations on the same theme.  If you know the words for "hamburger" (漢堡 or han bao), "sandwich" (三明治 or san ming jr), and "egg roll" (蛋餅 or dan bing) you're well on your way.

Eating a Taiwanese breakfast is also a great way to take part in a favorite Taiwanese pastime: namely, eating breakfast.  You can get more than a full stomach out of doing so.  I've learned a lot by just watching people in such places, and I've even made some new friends.

And a word of caution here: there are some breakfast restaurants that are truly DIRTY.  If the place looks sketchy, and especially if it's almost empty at 8 AM, I would avoid eating there.  There are always plenty of other restaurants around, and the crowds should tell you which ones are safe(r).


12. The Avengers 復仇者聯盟 (Taitung Style, April 四月 2012)

I wanted to write about the 2012 Flowing Lake International Triathlon, but I'm not going this year, and I won't even be in Taitung when it's going on.  My congratulations to any who've completed this event, whether you were #1 or not!  Perhaps I will see you at the "Beauty of Taitung" triathlon in September?  我本來要寫有關2012年的活水湖鐵人三項賽, 可是今年我沒辦法參加.  因為那一天我人將不在台東.  在這裡先祝福今年的完賽者, 不管你的名次如何.  也許我們會在九月的台東之美鐵人三項賽中見面.

Instead of swimming, cycling, and running this April 28, I'm going to Kaohsiung to see The Avengers.  I have been waiting for this movie for a long, long time, and I was determined to see it as early as possible.  This movie came out in Taiwan on April 25 - a Wednesday - so the earliest I can see it is Saturday, April 28. 四月二十八日我將在高雄看"復仇者聯盟", 而不是參加鐵人三項, 我已經等著看這部影片很久了.  它在台灣首映的日期是四月二十五日禮拜三,  所以我最快可以看這部片的日期是二十八日.

So should YOU see The Avengers?  If you are like me, and you grew up reading comic books, you are probably on the way to the movie theater already.  Movies like this don't come along often, and you'll be sorry if you waited for the DVD.  你應該看這部電影嗎?  如果你跟我一樣是看漫畫書長大的, 你可能已經開始買電影票了. 很少有這樣的影片上映.  等看DVD是有點可惜.

The Avengers' arrival only makes me all the more anxious to see the third film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises.  After that there's a long wait until both Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, which are filming now.  As for DC's Man of Steel, I'm a bit skeptical.  We'll see?  "復仇者聯盟"讓我對這個夏天要上映的蝙蝠俠3充滿期待.  因為在它之後還要等很久才會有鋼鐵人3跟雷神2上映.  而新的超人電影不知道會不會像這幾部令人期待?

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