2013年10月21日 星期一

My New Car

From the Nissan site.  Mine is the same color, but already much dirtier.

A couple weeks ago we bought a Nissan Tiida.  This is the first new car I have owned.  Prior to buying the Tiida, we were driving a Ford Festiva.  This Festiva was very, VERY old - so old, in fact, that after buying the Tiida we sold it for scrap.

It makes me both happy and nervous, owning a new car.  I am happy because the Tiida is a real pleasure to drive - especially compared to our rusting Festiva, which could barely make it over the next hill.  It has a lot of room inside, and it gets great mileage.

I am nervous, however, because I am continuously worried about speeding, or just plain wrecking the thing.  It is very easy to speed in the Tiida.  I also worry about leaving it in parking lots or on city streets, where it would be easy to scratch.  After the Tiida is paid off, I will have spent more than 400,000 NT, and I'd like to keep it in good condition.

Tiida interior, from a car show.  Mine doesn't have the fancy screen/GPS.

I love the Tiida.  This might sound ridiculous, but it's true.  I was driving that broken down Festiva for so long that I almost forgot what a pleasure driving can be.  As it is, I can only drive it once or twice a weekend, but I look forward to those one or two times every day of the week.

I'm sure that after a while I'll get bored of the Tiida.  It will become just another thing that I own, even if it is the most expensive thing I have EVER owned.  I'll drive it around and forget how much it cost me, or how much worse the Festiva was, or how nice it is to have a place to put my legs.  It will be like any other possession - and then, one day, hopefully far in the future - it will get worn down and I'll have to think about buying yet another car.

But for now I love the Tiida, and I am happy to think about the Tiida as I sit here, typing this.  If I have the time I'm going to drive the Tiida to a hot spring this weekend, and as I sit in the hot spring I'm going to think about the Tiida, and how pleasant it was to drive the Tiida around.

Ah, my Tiida.  I should have bought a new car much sooner.

From the same car show.  The seats are comfy.

Related Entries:

Hualien County, Fu Li Township 花蓮縣富里鄉 (中)
Moon Festival and Typhoon Usagi
Another Weekend in Kaohsiung 高雄
Thoughts 8

2013年10月17日 星期四

Hualien County, Fu Li Township 花蓮縣富里鄉 (中)

Fu Li Township is in Hualien County, between Chr Shang in Taitung and Yu Li Municipality.  It is sparsely populated, and there are no cities in Fu Li, only towns.  The largest of these towns is Fu Li Town, which is the major transit point for the area.  富里鄉位於花蓮縣, 在台東池上鄉與花蓮玉里鎮中間.  富里的人口很少, 其中並沒有城市, 只有鄉村,  富里鄉最大的村莊是富里村. 它也是富里鄉最大的交通運輸點.

We have driven through Fu Li many times, while we were on the way to Jade Mountain National Park, An Tong Hot Springs, or places further north.  It is a very pretty area, relatively flat, and good for bicycling. 我們往玉山國家公園, 安通溫泉, 和其他較北邊的地方時都會經過富里, 所以我們開車經過富里好幾次.   這個地區很美也很平坦, 很適合騎腳踏車.

The church above is in Fu Li town, near the Fu Li train station.  It is probably the most interesting building in Fu Li.  There are many interesting old churches in this part of Taiwan, and Christianity is particularly strong within the aboriginal communities here.  上面照片中的教堂在富里村, 靠近富里車站, 應該是富里村最有意思的建築物.  台灣東部地區有很多特別的老教堂. 而且基督信仰在原住民社會中很強烈.

Aside from this church, there's really not much to see in Fu Li town.  The tourist information placards in the train station list several historic sites (an old fire engine, various temples, and a few old buildings), but none of it looked especially old or important.  除了這所教堂之外, 富里村的景點不多.  火車站有些地圖跟海報介紹富里的歷史遺跡(一輛消防車, 廟宇, 和其他的舊建築物), 只是所有文化古蹟的年代看起來並不久遠或重要.

This is the view from Fu Li High School, which lies on a hill behind the church.  As you can see, Fu Li is a very rural place, and very undeveloped.  It was Sunday morning, and it seemed like the whole town was either inside their homes or inside the church.  上面的照片是在富里國中拍的.  富里國中位在提到的教堂後面.  你應該看得出來, 富里是個很鄉下的地方, 沒什麼城市發展.  我們去到那裏的時間是星期天 , 感覺好像大部分的人不是在教堂, 就是在自己家裡.

Fu Li is probably best known for the rice it produces.  Like Chr Shang to the south, it has its own brand.  The facility where they package this rice can be seen from Highway 9, though I'm not certain whether or not there is anything for tourists to see within this facility.  I have already visited a similar facility in Guanshan, so I was less than interested in exploring another such place.  富里最有名的產品是富麗米.  他們跟池上一樣有自己的米.  從台9線可以看到他們的米廠, 可是我不知道觀光客可不可以參觀米廠.  我已經參觀過關山的米廠, 所以我對富里的米廠沒有興趣.

After entering Fu Li from the south, the first thing you will come across is the Luo Mountain Scenic area.  In my opinion this is one of the nicest places in east Taiwan, and I have already visited this place more times than I can count.  Taking a right off the highway, a wide road leads you to the Luo Mountain Visitor Center, where the above picture was taken.  I didn't visit the building in the background, but I know they sell lunchboxes and local products within.  從南邊進去富里之後, 你會先經過的地點是羅山遊憩區. 我去過好幾次.  我覺得羅山是東部最好的景點中一個.   從台9線右轉進去以後,順著寬大的馬路開,  你會經過羅山遊憩區遊客中心.  上面的照片就是在那邊拍的.  我沒有去過稻田後的建築物, 可是我知道他們裡面賣便當跟當地的名產.

The highlight of this area has got to be the waterfall and the river below it.  Signs tell you not to enter the water, but everybody does so anyway.  On a hot day this place is wonderful.  They also make tofu in this place, and just below the trail leading to the waterfall there is a restaurant that sells food.  羅山最棒的部分是瀑布跟瀑布下面的小溪. 那邊的牌子警告遊客不可以下水, 但是還是有很多人下去.  天氣熱的時候在這裡很舒服.  羅山這裡有泥火山豆腐.  在步道的起點也有個餐廳賣臭豆腐跟便當.

This is Luo Mountain, from a pond further south.  You can just make out the waterfall in the top right corner.  I have yet to see any tour groups from Mainland China here, and it is largely the haunt of Taiwanese people.  I have never seen any other "foreigners" here.  這是從羅山下的魚池看到的羅山. 羅山瀑布就在右邊山坡後面.  我在這裡沒看過大陸的旅行團, 也沒看過其他的外國人士.

Just up the road from Luo Mountain there is a sign directing you to Luen Tien Conservation Area, but this area was damaged during the last typhoon.  We asked a local policeman about it, and he said not to bother going there.  從羅山往北開, 有個指示牌標示崙天遊憩區, 只是當地的警察說那裏有點荒廢了, 因為之前的颱風把路吹壞了, 所以不用去了.

The most famous place in Fu Li has to be "Sixty Stone" Mountain, at the northern end of the township.  I wish I could put some pictures of it here, but we didn't go up there that day.  We were tired, and the sky was too cloudy.  I've been up there twice before, and I can tell you that the view - on a clear day - is stunning.  富里最有名的地點應該是北部的六十石山.  我很想把六十石山的照片放在這裡, 可是我們那一天沒去那裏.  我們很累, 而且當天也是陰天.  我去過六十石山兩次, 晴天時, 那裡的風景真是超棒的.

Just before you cross into Yu Li Municipality (before the rainbow bridge), there is a sign directing you towards the Yu Chang Highway, which connects Jade Mountain National Park with Chang Bin Township in Taitung.  Along this highway lies the An Tong Hot Spring Area, which I have written about elsewhere.  The picture above was taken there last year.  快到玉里鎮(那個彩虹橋前面), 你會看到玉長公路的路牌.  玉長公路是從台東縣的長濱鄉貫穿到玉山國家公園的南安遊客中心.  玉長公路的介紹是在另外一篇介紹安通溫泉 的文章. 上面的照片是去年在那裏拍的.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Taitung's New Movie Theater
Another Weekend in Kaohsiung 高雄
Photo Gallery 7
An Tong Hot Springs 安通溫泉區 (中) (Taitung Style)

2013年10月7日 星期一

Double Ten Day 雙十節 2 (中)

The Chinese here was written by 張青史, while the English was written by me.  This version of "Taiwanese Holiday Stories" (台灣節日故事) was published by Windmill Illustrated 風車圖書 in 2012.

Double Ten Day (Taiwanese Independence Day)
(National Calendar, October 10)

滿清自入關統治中國以後, 對漢族採取婒酷的壓迫政策.  到了清朝末年, 官府腐敗無能, 官吏肆意搜刮人民的財物, 百姓生活痛苦不堪, 因此內亂四起.  加上列強不斷的侵略中國, 清廷屢戰屢敗, 只得割地賠款, 堂堂的中華民族受到如此的侮辱, 不僅使國人的自尊心大受打擊, 甚至連國家也面臨覆亡的命運.  After the Manchus* took administrative control of China, they imposed very oppressive policies upon the Han people.  By the end of the Ching Dynasty, the officials had become very weak and without ability, and these officials wantonly plundered the private property of citizens.  The lives of many people were difficult, and for this reason there was unrest in many places.  Added to this were the incursions of foreign powers into China, and the many reversals suffered by the Ching army.  The Ching court was forced to either partition the country or pay reparations, and the noble Chinese people were insulted by this.  It was not only a heavy blow to the people's pride, but the country also faced extinction.

國父孫中山先生看到這種情形, 知道民族已經面臨存亡關頭, 如果不推翻滿清政府, 中華民族將會陷入萬劫不復的地步.  於是毅然決然的集合許多愛國同志, 秘密進行革命工作.  When Dr. Sun Yat-sen witnessed these developments, he knew that the people faced a life-threatening crisis.  If the Ching Dynasty was not resisted, the Chinese people would approach a point of no return.  For this reason he gathered many patriots together, and secretly planned a revolution.

公元1894年, 中日爆發"甲午戰爭", 結果清朝戰敗, 被迫簽訂不平等的"馬關條約", 將台灣與澎湖割讓給日本.  在這件事情上, 滿清政府的腐敗無能展露無遺.  於是孫中山先生組織興中會, 倡導國民革命.  從那時起, 轟轟烈烈的革命行動便一次接一次的展開.  In 1894, the Sino-Japanese War erupted between China and Japan.  The Ching Dynasty lost this war, and was forced to sign the unfair Treaty of Shimonoseki, thus ceding the islands of Taiwan and Penghu to Japan.  In this matter the corrupt and inefficient nature of the Ching government was made obvious to all, and at this point Dr. Sun Yat-sen convened the Revive China Society, advocating a nationwide revolution.  From that time, revolutionary activities increased.

Wuchang Uprising

革命行動前後共有十一次 , 其中以第十次的廣州起義最壯烈, 犧牲也最慘重; 不過, 促使滿清皇帝退位, 建立中華民國的則是第十一次的武昌起義義.  因為這次起義是發生在辛亥年, 所以又稱作"辛亥革命".  There were 11 revolutionary activities in all.  Listed tenth among these activities was the most heroic of all, the Guangzhou Uprising.  This uprising was also the most costly, but it led to the abdication of the Ching Emperor and the establishment of the Republic of China.  The Wuchang Uprising was the eleventh revolutionary activity.  Because these uprisings happened during the same year as the Shinhai Uprising, they are called the "Shinhai Revolution."

清宣統3年(公元1911年)8月19日, 駐守在武昌的新軍工程第八營熊秉坤等人首先發難.  接著, 各營相繼響應, 革命軍氣勢如虹, 人人奮勇向前.  武漢三鎮首先光復, 不久, 各省也陸續被革命軍佔領.  清朝皇帝見大勢已去, 只好宣布退位.  During the third year of Emperor Puyi**(1911) on August 19, the eighth battalion of the new army was ordered to Wuchang.  The revolutionary army met the Ching forces, and everyone fought courageously.  Wuhan municipality was the first to be liberated, and the other provinces were slowly occupied by the revolutionary forces.  After the Ching Emperor saw these these disasters unfold, the only thing he could do was to abdicate.***

武昌起義是在農曆的8月19日, 換算成陽曆正是10月10日.  這是一個特殊而且直得紀念的日子.  因此, 政府特別訂定這一天為"國慶日", 又稱作"雙十節".  The Wuchang Uprising occurred on the nineteenth day of August in the lunar calendar, which is October 10 in the solar calendar.  This is a special and worthwhile day that ought to be remembered.  Because of this, the government has proclaimed that this day is "National Celebration Day" [Independence Day], and it is also called "Double Ten Day".

現在, 每年雙十節, 總統府前廣場都會舉行盛大的慶祝活動, 有時還會舉行閱兵典禮.  At the present time, during Double Ten Day every year, there is a big celebration in front of the Presidential Manor.  Sometimes there is also a military ceremony.

Presidential Manor, in Taipei.  Sometimes referred to as the "Presidential Palace"

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Moon Festival/Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節 (中)
禁煙節 Non-Smoking Day
Foreign Relations
Dragon Boat Festival 端午節 2

*The Manchus are another name for the Ching.  "Ching" is more often spelled as "Qing," though I am using the less common "Ching" because it sounds more like the Chinese word.

**Much of this is chronicled in the movie "The Last Emperor."  Though Puyi was on the throne, it was the Empress Dowager who was making all the decisions.  Puyi was only 5 years old at the time.

***The above story was written for children, so they have eliminated the controversial Yuan Shikai 袁世凱 from the narrative.  Yuan Shikai was a general in the employ of the Ching court, and he was later appointed the second President of the Republic of China.  He is seen by many as a "Judas figure" in the Chinese republican movement, since he later attempted to transform the Republic of China into his own dynasty.

2013年10月1日 星期二

Sporting Events in Taitung County 臺東縣: Fall 2013

I went swimming in Taitung's Flowing Lake 活水湖 last Sunday, and watched some of the "Beauty of Taitung" 台東之美 triathlon.  I think it was the "sprint" competition.

I joined this event two years ago.  Can't say it was the best triathlon I've ever been to.  At the time a typhoon was on the way, and the whole thing was a mess from start to finish.  Hopefully they've learned how to do it better.

The Runner's Market* 跑者廣場 site says there's a Super Ironman coming on 10/12.  I don't attend "super ironmans" myself, owing to the fact that they are incredibly exhausting.  I do enjoy watching them though.  You've never seen Tired until you've seen the LAST guy to finish one of these things.  It's late, maybe eight hours or so after he's started, and he's in serious pain.

There are also many local soccer, table tennis, and badminton competitions during this time.  Most of them will be held in Taitung's Athletic Center 體育場.  These are primarily directed at elementary, junior, and high school students.

On 10/20 there's a running activity in Taitung's Forest Park 森林公園.  To join you are required to bring receipts for charity.  It would best be described as a 3K "fun run."

On 10/26 there's a strange "Dentist's Race" in Hai Duan Township 海端鄉.  I didn't study the rules all that closely, but I think you need to be a dentist to enter.  They have a marathon, a half marathon, and a 10K.  10/26 is also the day that the Taitung Urban and Rural Association 台東城鄉運動協會 hosts the third leg of a round-Taiwan bicycle race in Taitung's Forest Park.  There is also  an associated bicycle activity during this day.

The Taitung Open of Surfing is from 11/15 to 11/17.  I'm not a surfer myself, but I have heard many things - both good and bad - about this competition.

On 11/17 Chr Shang Township is hosting the Taitung Lohas Marathon 樂活馬拉松.  I'll be joining this one for the half marathon.  There are also marathon, 10K, and 5K divisions.  This race will be held on the scenic "Mr. Brown" road 伯郎大道, just south of downtown Chr Shang.

On 12/1 there's the Super Marathon in Chr Shang.  333 KM!  In six days, they run from Chr Shang to Hualien City 花蓮市, then from Hualien City down the coast to Taitung City, and from Taitung City back to Chr Shang, averaging 56 KM a day.  Lord knows why anyone would want to run that far, but I'm sure someone will show up for it.

There's also another, more reasonable marathon in Chr Shang on 12/7, the following weekend.  This marathon also features a half marathon and a 10K.  It starts from the Papago Resort 日暉度假村 in downtown Chr Shang, not far from the train station.  I'll probably go if I'm free that weekend.

And after this marathon there are no races scheduled until March 2014.  Perhaps I'll see you in Chr Shang!

Related Entries:

Taitung's New Movie Theater
Hot Springs in Taitung County
Lantern Festival in Taitung 元宵節 (中)
The Chr Shang Marathon 樂活台東池上田邊馬拉松賽 (中)

*This site also has an English version, but it is extremely unreliable.  If you are interested in other races around Taiwan and don't read Chinese, have a Taiwanese friend read through the Chinese version of this site with you.  Also be warned, signing up for races in more rural areas can be a severe pain in the ass.

If you can read Chinese, the "Map of Taitung Sports Information Network" site is also useful.