|If this image doesn't piss off somebody I'll be very surprised!|
I live behind the Hou Shan Chuan Chi ("The Legend of Behind the Mountain")** restaurant on Jong Shing Road. This restaurant is located next to the Dong Ba Wang ("Eastern King")*** seafood restaurant. Both Hou Shan Chuan Chi and Dong Ba Wang are stops on the tourist circuit, and they serve hundreds of Mainland Chinese tourists every day. 我家位於在中興路上的後山傳奇後面. 後山傳奇在東霸王海鮮餐廳旁邊. 每天有很多遊覽車停在這兩家餐廳門口, 每天有幾百個大陸客在它們兩家餐廳吃飯.
Sometimes, on a rainy day, I go to the Family Mart and have a drink. This Family Mart is across the street from Dong Ba Wang, so it's a good place to watch the tour buses shuttle people in and out of the restaurants. Yesterday, in the fifteen minutes I was sitting there, I saw six buses. With 20-30 people on each bus, that makes about 120 to 180 people. Had these buses been full, it would have been around 350 people. 有時候在下雨天我會過去全家喝飲料. 這家全家在東霸王對面, 是個適合觀察遊覽車接送觀光客的地方. 昨天我在15分鐘內看到6輛遊覽車. 每輛公車載有20-30個人, 所以大概是120-180個人. 如果遊覽車都客滿, 那應該差不多有350個人.
I like to study the papers posted in the front windows of the tour buses, indicating where the tour groups are from. Many of them are from Sizchuan. Others are from Shan Dong. Still others are from other places. It's interesting to think about where all these tourists are from, and how their hometowns might be different from Taiwan. 我很喜歡看遊覽車前面的旅行團名稱資料, 這樣我就知道這些旅行團從哪裡來了. 有的從四川. 有的從山東. 有的從別的地方來. 想像他們的家鄉跟台灣的差別是件很有趣的事.
Sometimes the Chinese tourists even walk into the Family Mart where I'm sitting. They are often confused about the labels on foods, since China uses different characters for many common words. They'll spend a long time studying the drinks and cigarettes, and they'll often ask the lady behind the counter the strangest questions. 有時候大陸客會走進去我坐的那家全家. 他們常常看不懂食品上的資料, 因為字體與大陸的簡字不一樣. 他們會花很多時間看飲料跟香菸. 他們也常問櫃台小姐很多奇怪的問題.
I often wonder what they think of Taiwan. Do they have a good time here? Are they surprised by things they see? Are they disappointed by other things? Like all tour groups, these tourists are shuttled very quickly from one place to the next, and they have few opportunities to interact with local people. Maybe in some cases this is a good thing. Maybe in other cases it's bad. 我很好奇他們對台灣的看法. 他們在這裡玩得愉快嗎? 他們震驚於在臺灣所看到的事物嗎? 還是失望? 就像所有的旅行團一樣, 他們被快速地從一個地方帶到另一個地方, 跟臺灣人交流的時間很短. 也許一方面來說這是優點, 另一方面也可能是缺點.
I know one thing: while they're here they're not getting the best food. Having eaten at both Dong Ba Wang and Hou Shan Chuan Chi, I can assert that neither restaurant is very good. Most people in Taitung consider those two restaurants "for tourists only," and as such not worth going to. Then again, I'm sure the same could be said of restaurants in China that Taiwanese tourists visit. When you join a tour group - any tour group - you are usually eating the worst food that any country has to offer. 我能確定一件事: 他們在台灣的時候沒吃到最好吃的食物. 對吃過東霸王跟後山傳奇的我來說, 這兩家餐廳沒什麼好吃的. 大部分的台東人覺得這兩家只是給觀光客吃的, 不是本地人去的餐廳. 我相信台客在大陸吃的餐廳應該也很差. 不管去哪一個國家, 旅行團吃的餐廳通常是最難吃的.
Just the same, I hope the tourists from Mainland China have something good to say about Taiwan when they go back. I think that positive experiences can build bridges between cultures, and this is good for everyone. Don't you agree? 我希望這些大陸客回去的時候覺得在台灣的經驗很豐富. 這樣對兩岸文化來說是好的事情. 你覺得呢?
Related Entries 相關的文章:
The Apple Daily 蘋果日報
Photo Gallery 我最喜歡的照片 9
Da Peng Bay 大鵬灣
10 Great Places on the East Coast 東海岸很棒的地方
*I put "Chinese" in quotes because I am referring to people from Mainland China. "Chinese" would refer to both their ethnicity and nationality. Most Taiwanese people are ethnically Chinese, but Taiwanese by nationality. Confusing? Yes!
**Hard to translate this name into English! "Hou Shan" literally means "behind the mountain," but it's also a reference to eastern Taiwan. Their name could also be translated as "The Legend of the East Coast" or "The Legend of Eastern Taiwan."
***Also hard to translate this name. "Ba Wang" literally means "tyrant" or "bad king," but translating this as "Eastern Tyrant" or "Tyrant of the East" sounds strange as a restaurant name. I chose the more neutral "king" because it sounds friendlier.