2015年9月28日 星期一

Happy Teacher's Day!! 教師節快樂!!

Today, September 28, is Teacher's Day.  Happy Teacher's Day!!  今天是九月二十八日教師節.  教師節快樂!!

2015年9月27日 星期日

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節快樂!!

Today, September 27, is Mid-Autumn Festival.  Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!  今天九月二十七日中秋節.  中秋節快樂!!

*I know this post is going to confuse somebody!  We are getting tomorrow off because of this holiday, but it's actually today! 因為中秋節我們有三天連假, 可是今年中秋節是九月二十七日.  不是明天喔!

2015年9月25日 星期五

Restaurants I Like in Taitung County 我在台東縣喜歡的餐廳

The restaurants listed below are not necessarily my favorite.  They are, rather, the restaurants I visit often, and the reasons I visit them often vary.  Some of them are just open all the time.  Others are conveniently located.  Still others really are my favorites.  以下介紹的餐廳不一定都是我最喜歡的.  它們只是我常常去的餐廳, 我常去的理由有很多, 有時是因為他們天天開門做生意,  有些則是地點很方便,  有些就真是我最喜歡的.

Oh and sorry, foreign people.  These restaurants don't have English names - or even names written alphabetically!  我要跟外國朋友道歉.  這些餐廳都沒有英文名字, 也沒有英文拼音的名字喔!

1. He Nan Wei Beef Noodles 河南味牛肉麵

There are two of these in Taitung City.  The one I go to is on Shin Sheng Road, right across from Shin Sheng Junior High School, and the other is on Jung Hua Road, near the Tai Ping Bridge.  They sell beef noodles, lu wei (not sure how to say that in English), and a few other things.  台東市有兩家.  我去的是新生路上, 位於新生國中對面的, 可是還有一家在中華路上, 靠近太平橋.  他們賣牛肉麵跟滷味.  也賣些其他的餐點.

2. Wan Jia Shiang 萬家鄉

This is a stir-fry restaurant on Jung Shan Road, not far from the big police station and the Taitung County Government.  Their dumplings are very good, and everything there is served fast.  Their hue guo rho is probably my favorite.  這是中山路上的快炒餐廳.  靠近大警察局跟台東縣政府.  他們的餃子很好吃, 上菜的速度也很快.  他們的回鍋肉是我吃過最好吃的.

3. Dong Jer Yuan 東之園

This is a lunchbox restaurant down the street from my apartment building. It's on Chuan Guang Road, not far from Bao Sang Junior High School, and I eat there very often.  They sell out very quickly, and if you plan on eating dinner there it's best to walk in before six.  I think their fried chicken is the best.  這家便當店靠近我家.  他們在傳廣路上, 離寶桑國中很近.  我常常吃他們的便當.  他們的生意很好, 常常很早就賣完, 如果要在那裡買晚餐的話, 六點前去比較好.  我覺得他們的炸雞是最好吃的.

4. Tong Fa Shuen Seafood Restaurant 同發順鮮海產

This restaurant is WAY south of Taitung City, in Da Wu Township, on Highway 9.  Their seafood is very fresh, and the people that work there are very nice.  Definitely my favorite seafood place in Taitung County.  這家餐廳離台東市很遠.  在台九線上, 位於南邊的大武鄉.  他們的海產很新鮮, 那邊的工作人員也很熱心.  這是我在台東最喜歡的海鮮餐廳.

5. Yuan Shr Village 原始部落

This restaurant is in Li Jia, a small village northeast of Taitung City.  This place is kind of touristy, but their food is good and the view at night is amazing.  They sell a mixture of aboriginal and Chinese food.  Not easy to find, but its worth the effort.  這家餐廳在台東市東北邊的利嘉小村.  有時候這裡的觀光客很多, 那邊的食物跟夜景都很好.  他們的餐點有中式的也有原民式的.  只是這家餐廳比較不好找, 但是來過後會覺得很值得.

6. Chen Hong Shin Pork Noodles 陳紅心豬肉麵

This place is on Chuan Guang Road, not far from the Triangle Park.  I think they are kind of famous now, but when I started going there they weren't nearly so popular.  Their minced pork with rice is my favorite.  They also sell noodles and lu wei.  這家在傳廣路上, 靠近三角公園.  他們最近比較有名, 我剛開始去的時候他們的名氣沒那麼高.  我最喜歡他們的滷肉飯.  他們也賣麵跟滷味.

7. Yi Pin Wu Japanese Restaurant 儀品屋日式簡餐

This place is on Geng Sheng Road, not far from the Jeng Yi Hardware store on the big intersection of Chuan Guang Road and Geng Sheng.  Their kimchi noodles and pork cutlet with rice are both very good.  This is one of the newer restaurants in Taitung City.  這家在更生路上, 靠近傳廣路跟更生路的正一百貨.  他們的泡菜拉麵跟排骨飯都很好吃.  這家在台東是新餐廳.

8. Ba Fang Yun Ji Dumplings 八方雲集

There are two of these restaurants in Taitung, and this is also a chain restaurant that can be found all over the island.  One of their restaurants is near the intersection of Shin Sheng Road and Jung Hua Road, and the other is on Chuan Guang Road.  I eat here often.  It's cheap, it's fast, and they have air-conditioning.  I only wish they still had the "European style" dumplings.  I loved those!  台東有兩家分店.  有一家靠近新生路跟中華路的路口, 還有一家在傳廣路上.  我常常在傳廣路這邊吃餃子.  這家又便宜, 又快, 又有冷氣.  我希望他們還會繼續做歐式餃子.  那種是我最愛的!

And those are some restaurants I like.  What about you?  What restaurants do you like?  這些餐廳我都喜歡.  你呢?  你喜歡什麼餐廳?

Related Entries 相關的文章: 

The Rumor Mill 謠言
See You in September! 祝你有個美好的暑假
The One Post This Semester That I'm Not Going to Translate into Chinese
"Chinese" Tourists 大陸客*

Nine Years

Please forgive me if I don't translate this into Chinese.  I have a lot on my mind right now, and translating this into another language just seems like saying the same thing twice.  If you're having trouble with any of this, feel free to ask me about it in the comment section below.

So I won an award today.  This award was for serving the Taitung County Government for nine years as an English teacher.  Starting in 2006, I worked at Tung Hai Junior High School for two years, and then transferred to Tung Hai Elementary School - where I still work - for an additional seven years.  I've worked in some other places besides, but Tung Hai JHS and ES were my main jobs.

To be honest, I was kind of depressed when I found out that I'd be receiving this award.  It is, after all, an award for nine years.  Nine years is a long time, and it made me a little sad to think about how much older I am now, how much time has passed, and how fast my kids are growing up.  Of course I understood nine years as an achievement, but when I was informed about the award my first thought was that time is always marching on relentlessly.  I realize that this is a pessimistic kind of argument, but I'm just trying to explain the feeling.

Added to this feeling was the idea that I didn't really deserve the award at all.  If you are familiar with public school teaching in Taiwan, you will know that most Taiwanese teachers only receive this award when they are ten years in, not nine like me.  The awards are thus ordered by decade, with citations offered for ten, twenty, thirty, and forty years.  There is also another award for teachers who are retiring, which I suppose is the greatest award of all.

Yet for me and one other teacher, the two longest-serving foreign teachers in Taitung County, there was a special award created.  In Chinese, this award is referred to as the 外籍教師特別貢獻獎, or "special achievement award for foreign teachers."   Both myself and the other teacher have been here nine years, and this, along with our status as foreign teachers, prompted the special designation.

Now I could be cynical about the whole thing and say: "Hey, they only gave me this award because I'm a foreigner, and I've been here the longest!"  I could bemoan the fact that true merit is rarely rewarded, and that an award for being a foreigner and having been around the longest fails to recognize how well (or how badly) I do my job.  I could also argue that the Taitung County Government is now promoting "International Education" in Taitung, and the award I received was part of this promotional effort.

But then again, the Taiwanese people receiving awards could have done exactly the same thing.  This is the problem with large organizations (like county governments) giving people awards - the awards are of necessity generalized, and often miss the individual contributions of those awarded.  What, for instance, if I had done my job for ten years, but everyone knew I was a terrible teacher?  Or what if I had revolutionized the teaching of English in Taitung County, yet I was only rewarded with the same piece of paper as someone who'd been wasting space for the same length of time?  Awards are always going to disappoint some people, and the larger the group of people, the larger the possibility of that award losing its intended value.

So yes, I won an award, and I'm happy to take it at face value.  In other words, I'm happy to accept it.  Maybe they did just give it to me because I was a foreigner.  Maybe they did give it to me for self-serving reasons.  But awards are often like that, and the reasons and motivations behind any award won't bear close inspection.

So even though I haven't been here ten years yet, and even though my years of service make me feel old, I have been around, and being recognized for it is enough.  I don't need to look into the reasons behind my award, because in the end they don't matter.  And besides, maybe my winning the award actually does have something to do with my doing a good job.

Nine years is a long time.  Yes it makes me feel old, but I'm satisfied with the encouragement and appreciation I've received during all this time.  It tells me I'm wanted here.  It tells me that I'm part of something.  It also reminds me of the more personal congratulations I received after the awards ceremony, and these, in themselves, were enough.  I know that there are people still happy to have me around, and for their sakes I will try to do the best I can.

And besides doing your best for those you care for, what else is there?

2015年9月19日 星期六

極端狀況 "Extreme Situations"

Tsai Ing-wen 蔡英文

As with all Taiwanese elections, Mainland China will engage in some saber-rattling before Taiwan's next President is voted into office.  The Mainland still claims sovereignty over Taiwan, and for this reason Beijing is always eager to voice its concerns over any moves toward independence, or any alterations of cross-strait relations.  Tsai Ing-wen, the candidate most likely to win, hasn't made any controversial statements so far, but I'm sure the Mainland is paying careful attention to her campaign.  每當台灣大型選舉到來, 中國大陸很喜歡對可能的結果表達對台灣的威脅.  中國政府仍然宣稱台灣是他們的土地, 所以北京對任何台灣獨立的行動或兩岸可能發生的改變都採取高度關心, 這次的總統參選人蔡英文可能贏得大選,  雖然她沒說出有爭議的聲明, 但我相信中國大陸還是很關心她的選舉活動.

Recently a member of the All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots voiced his thoughts on the matter, and this is what he had to say.  The article below is taken from the Associated News Network.  The English translation was written by me.  最近中華全國台灣同胞聯誼會提出他們的意見.  以下的報告是從聯合新聞網來的.  英文翻譯是我自己從中文翻譯的.

陸全國台聯:兩岸千萬不要有極端狀況 All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots: There Should Be No "Extreme Cross-Strait Situations"*

"針對明年總統大選後的兩岸局勢發展,大陸中華全國台灣同胞聯誼會長汪毅夫今天說,希望兩岸「千萬不要有極端的狀況出現」;但「極端狀況」並不是指誰當選,而是指中斷往來。  On how the next general presidential election might affect the cross-strait situation, Jen reported that Jang Wang-yi, chairman of Mainland China's All-China Taiwan Compatriots Association, today expressed his hope that "no extreme situations would develop" between the two nations.  Yet by "extreme situations" he did not refer to who will win the presidency, but rather an interruption in exchanges [between China and Taiwan].

汪毅夫說,希望不管是誰,都必須「(對兩岸關係)要有一個更好的態度,包括蔡英文小姐」。  Mr. Wang-yi said that whichever candidate wins must "have a good attitude (toward the cross-strait situation), and that this includes Miss Tsai Ing-wen."

大陸全國台聯中午邀請駐北京台灣媒體餐敘,汪毅夫在接受訪問時,作上述表示。  At noon the Mainland Chinese All-China Taiwanese Compatriots Association invited members of the Chinese and Taiwanese media to lunch, and Mr. Wang-yi made the above remarks during a scheduled discussion session.

汪毅夫表示,早在美麗島事件發生時,全國台聯即與當時許多黨外人士有往來。演變到今天,綠營「可能有很多派」,但他相信至少有一派叫「務實理性派」,希望「務實的聲音能大一點」,對兩岸關係的穩定發展「更好一點」。  Mr. Wang-yi said that early on, during the Kaohsiung incident, many people both within and without the All-China Taiwanese Compatriots Association carried out [cross-strait] exchanges.  These exchanges have continued to the present day, wherein the Green Party "probably contains many factions."  But he still believes there is a "pragmantic party" to be found within these factions, and he hopes this "pragmatic party can make its voice heard."  This will make the development of cross-strait relations "even better."

汪毅夫指出,明年他「不在意誰上來(當選總統)」,只要看到兩岸關係「不會出現極端狀況,可以穩定發展」,能保持現在的狀況及比較好的交往,關係能不斷進展就好。  Mr. Wang-yi said that next year he "is not concerned who becomes President (in the general election), and that he just doesn't want to see any "extreme situations develop" in the cross-strait relationship, and that "stability should develop" in order to preserve the present situation and improve exchanges.  If the relationship [between Taiwan and China] improves without interruption this is enough. 

他提到,一旦兩岸「不溝通、不來往,這是不好的事情」,而兩岸人民都有責任「阻止、防止這狀況發生」。  He also suggested that if the two sides of the Taiwan Strait "don't communicate, and don't have exchanges, this will be a bad thing."  Moreover that people on both sides of the Strait have a responsibility to "prevent this kind of situation from occurring."

汪毅夫說,他擔任福建省副省長期間,民主進步黨主席蔡英文正擔任行政院大陸委員會主任委員。當時,蔡英文推動的「小三通」政策「做對了」,至少「這點做得好」。  Mr. Wang-yi said that when he acted as governor of Fujian Province, the DPP Chairman Tsai Ing-wen also served as chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council.  During that time, Tsai Ing-wen promoted the "mini three links" policy, and in this she "did well."  At least [he said], "she did this much right."

他還說,凡是為兩岸關係做過有益工作的人,「歷史和人民都會記得你」;要是破壞兩岸關係,那就是「千古罪人」。"  He also said, anyone who has contributed toward the improvement of cross-strait relations will be "remembered in history and by the people," and [the person who] damages the cross-strait relationship will be "a great sinner."

2015年9月13日 星期日

The Rumor Mill 謠言

Sometimes I forget how small Taitung is.  With all the new hotels, with all the weekend traffic, it's easy to forget that Taitung County is still composed of small towns, and that Taitung City - despite being designated "city" - is still just the largest of these small towns.  我有時候會忘記台東有多小.  看到那些新的飯店和周末的車潮, 真的很容易忘記台東縣有很多人住在小農村裡.  台東市一方面來說只是台東縣最大的農村.

In other words, not a lot of people live and work in Taitung.  I'm sure the population is growing, but we're still a long way away from places like Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei.  It's still possible to know most of your neighbors here, and most of the county seems within easy reach, even if it's an hour's drive away.  換句話說, 住在台東的人不多.  我確信台東的人口還在成長, 但人口數和台中, 台北或其他的大都市的差異還是很大.  在台東認識大部分的鄰居的可能性比較高, 大部分的地方就算要開車一小時, 仍舊像住家附近一樣容易到達.

Hence one of the big problems with living in Taitung: the rumor mill.  Rumors spread fast over here, and they tend to stick around for a long time.  Whether or not these rumors have any basis in truth is irrelevant.  What matters is that they are a story to tell, and moreover a story told to entertain.  People like spreading rumors.  I suppose it's just human nature.  因此住在台東的其中一個問題是謠言.  在這裡謠言傳播得很快, 人們也不容易忘記它.  不管這些謠言是不是有事實根據, 重點是它是不是一個具娛樂性的故事可說.  所有的人喜歡傳遞謠言.  這應該是人類的共同點.

You can probably imagine how it goes.  Some guy in some part of Taitung got bit by a dog.  One day his wife tells her sister about it.  The next day her sister tells my daughter's friend's mother.  The day after that her daughter's friend's mother is telling me, or you, about this other guy - that neither of us have ever met - who got bit by a dog (or maybe it was a snake).  Around and around it goes.  你應該知道這種事情怎麼發生的.  在台東的某個角落有一隻狗咬了某個人.  他的太太跟她妹妹分享這件消息. 隔天那位妹妹告訴我女兒的朋友的媽媽.  最後那位媽媽告訴我(或是你)這件事:  那個我們兩個都不認識的人被狗 (還是蛇) 咬了.  謠言就這樣傳到很遠的地方.

It's a lot like that "telephone" game where students whisper a message to one another down a line, or around a circle.  By the time the message gets to the end of the line, it may be something completely different from what the original message was.  The only difference is that "telephone" is a game, and we always know when the kid at the end of the line is giving us the wrong information.  With rumors, it's not always so easy.  這很像小朋友玩的 "電話" 那個遊戲.  小朋友排隊或是圍圓圈, 由第一個人把一句話傳給他旁邊的人.  一個傳一個地把那句話傳到最後一個人.  很有可能最後一位說出來的那句話跟最前面的人說的話完全不一樣.  最大的差異就是大家都知道這是一個遊戲, 也知道最後面的人說的話會有誤差.  但是謠言就不會這樣簡單了.

For foreigners in Taitung, this problem of rumors can be even more exaggerated.  They are, after all, a small community within a small community.  For example, I had a friend who was using an alcohol-based cleaner to clean his and his students' hands before class.  Lo and behold, one day one of his parents decided that he "smelled like alcohol."  Shortly thereafter, "smelled like alcohol" became "has a drinking problem," and this story took flight all over Taitung City.  All because he valued cleanliness.  Really.  That was it.  對於住在台東的外國住民, 謠言的問題特別嚴重.  原因當然是因為他們是小社群裡的小社群.  比方說, 我有一個朋友用酒精類的洗手液給學生洗手.  之後有個家長認為我朋友有"酒的味道."  最後"酒的味道"變成"他是酒鬼."  這個謠言在台東很多地方都聽得到.  這都只是因為他認為小朋友洗手很重要.  真的! 就只是因為這樣.

Now I know that some rumors are true, and that some people really do have deep, dark secrets.  But I hope that those hearing (and sharing) rumors will give people the benefit of the doubt, and remember that there are always two sides to every story.  Anyone's reputation is fragile, and destroying someone's reputation by spreading rumors is not something to be done lightly.  我知道有的謠言不是謠言.  有的人真的有些不好的秘密 , 我只是希望聽到和說謠言的人能對你聽到的故事存疑, 並記住每個故事都有正反兩面 , 每個人的形象名聲都是很脆弱的.  所有的人都有可能受到謠言的攻擊, 所以要說之前要先考慮一下.

After all, we all have to live together in this small county.  Living together is much easier to do when people keep gossip, and rumors, to a minimum.  When we take care of one another in this way, everyone benefits.  畢竟我們都一起住在這個小農村. 如果大家能對謠言有所判斷.  我們也都能夠對彼此多點關懷和照顧, 對大家都好.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

 "Chinese" Tourists 大陸客*
10 Great Places on the East Coast 東海岸很棒的地方
Saying Goodbye 說再見的時候
The Shape of Things to Come 未來的樣子

2015年9月6日 星期日

Two Lists of Five 兩個5項目的目錄

I got back from Seattle last weekend.  My family of four was over there for two months.  Overall it was a good (if expensive) trip.  我上個周末從西雅圖回來了.  我們四個人在那裡兩個多月.  這次的旅遊經驗大部分很好, 只是有點貴.

The other day we were in a hot spring talking about things we saw and did in Seattle.  We talked about restaurants.  We talked about friends and family.  We talked about the highlights and low points of our summer vacation.  某天我們泡溫泉時說起在西雅圖時的事,  討論了那邊的餐廳, 那邊的親友,  和這一次暑假旅遊精彩的地方及不好玩的事.

The five highlights of our trip were...  我們這一次回美國精彩的點是...

1. Watching the Mariners play the Blue Jays.  It was a perfect summer evening, and we could see both the game and the sun setting on downtown Seattle.  To make it even better, the stadium was half full of half drunk Canadians.  There was a lot of (friendly) taunting on both sides.  看西雅圖水手隊對抗多倫多藍鳥隊的比賽.  那是個完美的夏夜.  我們在棒球場一邊看棒球賽, 一邊看西雅圖市區的夕陽.  更好玩的是有很多加拿大人在觀眾席上喝醉了.  聽他們跟西雅圖人各自為了球隊爭來爭去滿好玩的.

2. Camping in Vernonia, Oregon.  We had a miserable drive down there, but the campground we found near Portland turned out to be great.  We walked all of the trails in that area, enjoyed the Portland Zoo, and took and interesting detour on the trip back.  在俄勒岡州的Vernonia小鎮露營.  去到那裡之前的經驗很糟糕, 但是我們後來發現波特蘭市附近的露營區是一個非常好的地點.  我們把那裡的多條步道走了一遍, 也參觀了波特蘭的動物園, 開車回家的時候更發現了很多有趣的地點.

3. Having lunch at Emmet Watson's Oyster Bar and walking around downtown.  It was another nice summer day, the food was good, and we had a good time (re)exploring the Pike Place Market.  在埃米特·沃森生蠔吧吃午餐和逛西雅圖市區.  那一天的天氣也很棒, 食物很好吃.  我們也在派克市場找紀念品.

4. Revisiting bars and brewpubs.  Seattle is big on microbrews, so it has a wide selection of bars, breweries, and brewpubs.  There are 40 breweries inside the Seattle city limits, and over 100 in the State of Washington. 再次重溫西雅圖的酒廠跟酒吧.  西雅圖人很喜歡啤酒, 所以有很多的酒廠跟酒吧可以去.  在西雅圖市內就有40個酒廠.  華盛頓州內則有一百多個.

5. Going to my friend Mike's graduation party.  Mike has been working towards his B.A. for a long time, and I was glad hear that he'd finally graduated.  It was also a good party, and it was nice to meet his brother and sister.  參加我朋友Mike的畢業晚會.  他已經讀書很久了, 我很高興他終於從大學畢業.  那次是個很好的聚會.  我在那裏認識了他的哥哥和姊姊.

...but it wasn't all peaches and cream.  Our vacation had its low points.  These were...  當然我們在美國的旅遊不是十全十美.  它也有缺點.  這些是...

1. Watching the Mariners play the Diamondbacks.  It was a horribly boring game, and most of the crowd left early.  To make matters worse, the traffic along our route home was intense.  Not a good day for baseball.  看西雅圖水手隊和亞利桑那響尾蛇隊的比賽.  那個棒球賽超無聊的, 還有很多人提早離開.  最麻煩的是回家的路上都塞車.  那一天不是個看棒球賽的好日子.

2. Having our camping trip cut short by a forest fire.  As you've probably heard (it's been in the news a lot), Washington State suffered from many forest fires this summer.  One such fire sent gusts of smoke into the campground where we were staying, forcing us to return home a day early.  露營的時候碰到森林火災.  大家應該聽說這個消息吧!  華盛頓州發生了很多森林火災.  我們露營的營區因為其中一場火而煙霧迷漫, 所以我們只好提早一天回家.

3. Driving on the I-5 Freeway.  The traffic on the Seattle freeway isn't just bad on game days - it's bad every day.  After a while I just avoided I-5 entirely.  在高速公路開車.  西雅圖的高速公路好塞 - 不只是有棒球賽的時候.  到那裏沒多久後, 我都盡量避免開 I-5高速公路.

4. Getting sick from eating too much.  I made the mistake of eating seafood at Chinook's and eating pizza at The Ridge in the same day.  I felt very sick the following day, and it took me a long time to recover.  吃到肚子痛.  我在同一天去海鮮餐廳和比薩店吃大餐.  第二天我的肚子很不舒服, 過了很久才恢復正常.

5. Family weirdness.  What can I say?  I only see my Seattle family every two years, and sometimes the time we spend apart can be an obstacle.  It's not always the fact that we're getting older, it's also the difference between Taiwan and America.  跟家人吵架.  怎麼說呢?  我每兩年跟西雅圖的家人見一次面, 有時分開太久會變成一種相處的困難.  不只是因為我們的年紀越來越大, 也是因為台灣的生活方式跟美國的生活方式的差別.

And of course there was some other stuff that happened, but I wouldn't want to bore you with it here.  After all, isn't this blog about Taiwan?  當然我們在美國的時候還有其他的事情發生, 可是我不要講太多, 你們讀者會覺得無聊.  反正這個部落格該討論跟台灣有關的事不是嗎?

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