2014年5月28日 星期三

Do You Remember?

Do you remember The Empire Strikes Back?  Do you remember how crazy people were about that movie?  Do you remember the toys we had - the action figures and the playsets?  The T-shirts and the bedsheets?  Do you remember having nightmares after seeing Han Solo frozen in a block of carbonite?

Maybe not.  Maybe you weren't five years old at the time.  Maybe you were too old to care, or too young to notice.  Maybe you hadn't even been born yet.

Do you remember when life was divided between MTV and the local arcade?  Do you remember watching Duran Duran and Family Ties?  Do you remember spending hours playing Super Mario Brothers?  Do you remember the sound of the arcades?  The clicking of joysticks and the flashing of lights?

Maybe not.  Maybe you weren't a boy like I was.  Maybe you didn't like rock music, or your parents wouldn't let you watch MTV.  Maybe you thought arcades were too noisy, and arcade games a waste of money.

Do you remember that age between comic books and girlfriends?  Do you remember Desert Storm?  Do you remember when the Internet was new?  Do you remember when cassette tapes gave way to CDs?  Do you remember when none of your friends had cellular phones?

Maybe not.  Maybe you were a girl, and never cared about comic books.  Maybe you didn't care about technology either.  Maybe you still don't have a cellular phone.

Do you remember when Grunge hit the airwaves, and everything from Seattle was suddenly cool?  Do you remember the first time you bought a personal computer?  Do you remember a time when people worried more about the ozone layer than about global warming?  Do you remember going to college?

Maybe not.  Maybe you grew up in another country.  Maybe Grunge was never your cup of tea.  Maybe you were never that concerned about the ozone layer.  Maybe you never went to college.  Maybe you just started college, and it's too early to remember going there.

Do you remember 9/11?  Do you remember seeing it on TV?  Do you remember the hysteria?  Do you remember all the worry over the Y2K "crisis," and the relief when this "crisis" was averted?  Do you remember Taichung before the Science Park?  Do you remember the 9/21 Earthquake?  Do you remember Taipei before the MRT?

Maybe not.  Maybe you are too young to remember 9/11.  Maybe you never saw it on TV.  Maybe you were just a baby in 2000, so the Y2K "crisis" was before your time.  Maybe you've never been to Taiwan.  Maybe you are reading this and wondering what an MRT is.

Do you remember when your second daughter was born?  Do you remember sitting in the hospital waiting room, anxious and yet strangely happy?  Do you remember talking to your wife's grandmother on the phone, and not realizing that it would be the last time you ever spoke to her?  Do you remember driving down to Tiger City?

Maybe not.  Maybe you've never been married.  Maybe you've never been a parent.  Maybe you are single and happy to be so.  Maybe you are a woman, or you are gay.  Maybe you don't like Tiger City.

Do you remember that summer trip back to Seattle?  Do you remember how your daughters loved the waterfront?  Do you remember eating fish and chips?  Do you remember the camping trips in Eastern Washington, and the car speeding through the mountains?  Do you remember your mother, so happy to see her grandchildren?

Maybe not.  Maybe you were in Thailand, Cambodia, or Taiwan.  Maybe you were in Canada, Mexico, or Brazil.  Maybe you were in a place that even you can't remember, doing something forgettable.

Do you remember 2015?  Of course not, because it hasn't happened yet.  Just be careful not to blink, or you'll miss it.  All of the people, places, and things listed above seem like they happened yesterday, and here I am so many years later, wondering how 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 years passed me by.

I think you should enjoy your youth, if you are young.  You have many memories yet to make.  I think you should enjoy your old age, if you are old.  You have many memories to call your own.  The things we remember are the things that make us who we are, and they are not to be forgotten.

Related Entries:

Photo Gallery 8
Thoughts 9
The Near Future in the Present Tense
A Boat and Many Oysters 在台南坐船及吃牡蠣的旅程 (中)

2014年5月18日 星期日

10 Reasons To Be Happy You Live in Taiwan 十個喜愛台灣的原因 (中)

1. You will never need to look that hard for a taxi (there are taxis EVERYWHERE).  你不用花很多時間找計程車 (到處都是).

2. If you are bored and have nothing else to do, there is always something new to protest.  如果你覺得無聊而且也無事可做的話, 可以隨便找個理由去抗議.

3. You will never lack T-shirts bearing strange English phrases.  你到處可買到寫著奇怪的英文句子的T恤.

4. The food will always be oily enough.  食物一定夠油膩.

5. All traffic laws are relative.  不一定要遵守交通規則.

6. Driving in Taipei offers a great opportunity to listen to ALL of the songs on your MP3.  在新北市開車能讓你聽完你MP3裡所有的歌.

7. Cockroaches, although shy, are both cheap and loyal companions.  They will love you even after you try to smash them with a shoe! 害羞的蟑螂可是便宜又忠誠的寵物.  就算你要用鞋砸扁牠們, 牠們還是愛你.

8. Your "betel nut smile" will drive the ladies wild.  男人的"檳榔微笑"能讓小姐們趨之瘋狂.

9. Senior citizens on scooters will always make your morning commute more exciting.   騎著機車的年長者能讓你的早上上班路程很刺激.

10. As with taxis, you will NEVER need to look for a 7-11.  跟找計程車一樣, 你也不用花時間找7-11!

Related Entries 相關的文章:

The Near Future in the Present Tense
Birth of a Nation?
Semicoherent Thoughts on China
Mandarin in Taiwanese Elementary Schools

2014年5月12日 星期一

Photo Gallery 8

Hasn't been the best weather for taking pictures, but here is what I have.  The picture above is the old sugar factory in Guang Fu Township 光復鄉, Hualien County 花蓮縣.  If you have kids it can be an amusing destination.  Most single people would probably find it boring?

This is the factory complex behind the tourist center/fish pond pictured above.  I love old abandoned buildings.

My younger daughter on her way to school.  We ride bikes to school unless it rains.  She is very proud of her new bike.

In my school's activity center.  This was the third grade English song competition, and the fourth grade recorder competition.

In Yong An Community 永安社區, Lu Ye Township 鹿野鄉, Taitung County 台東縣.  Highway 9 is just on the other side of that field.

Road passing by the above field.  This is a roadside market which Yong An hosts during the second Saturday of every month.  The market isn't that great, but there are a couple of good coffee shops nearby.

Jin Loong Hu 金龍湖, or "Golden Dragon Lake," in Da Wu Township 大武鄉, Taitung County.  It's a cute little lake, and the terrain resembles southern Pingtung County 屏東縣.

Also taken at Jin Loong Hu.  It's a very quiet place, and I enjoy walking around this lake when I'm in the area.  If you come here, watch out for snakes.

Related Entries:

Thoughts 9
The Near Future in the Present Tense
A Boat and Many Oysters 在台南坐船及吃牡蠣的旅程 (中)
Hengchun's "Old City" 恆春古城 (中)

2014年5月5日 星期一

Thoughts 9

Item: Pizza is f*&king yummy.  A new pizza place opened up in Dulan 都蘭 recently, near Marino's Kitchen.  I keep wanting to call it "Dulan Diner," but their name is really "Dulan Dinner."  I've had their pizza once already, and I'm looking forward to going back there tomorrow.

Item: Triathlons are scary if you recently purchased clip pedals for the first time.  Since my shoes now attach themselves to my bike pedals, I'm worried about falling off my bike during the upcoming Puyuma Triathlon.  I will be joining the 51.5 KM, and I will be happy if I can a) not fall off my damn bike, and b) run the entire course.  If it's cloudy, I should have no problem with the running.

Item: The spring semester is almost over.  According to the paper on my desk we have only two months, or eight weeks remaining.  Add to this the fact that my English class, my English club, and all of the sixth grade classes will be ending early.  I will be especially happy after the Taitung County English competition concludes this month.  I look forward to getting my lunches back.

Item: Sometimes translating myself into Chinese is surprisingly easy, other times it's amazingly difficult.  I thought I would have no end of trouble with that "Second Thoughts 反思" entry, but it turned out to be shockingly simple.  Maybe it's because I read more science articles in both languages.  Maybe it's because I was more interested in the subject.  Maybe both.  There have been other times when I wrote something that I thought was so basic, only to later discover that it was full of mistakes.

Item: It is now two days later, and the Puyuma Triathlon was yesterday.  I didn't fall off my bike and I managed to run the entire thing.  Aside from a slow swim (not my fault, just too many people in the water), it was my best tri ever.

Item: Saw Star Wars yesterday without realizing that May 4th has somehow been declared "Star Wars Day".  What are the odds?  I've also been revisiting some of the other big films from the late 70s and early 80s.  Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Goonies, Back to the Future, Mr. Mom... and so on.  Ah, those were the days.

Item: If I could be anywhere else right now, I'd be at that night market I went to in Ayutthaya, Thailand.  Those spring roll things I ate there were so yummy.  Or maybe I'd be in Seattle, at the Crab Pot, having fish and chips.  Or at that Cantonese restaurant in Taipei.

So.  Hungry.  Now!