Far Away Home 遠離家園
The other day I attended a wedding party in Chang Bin Township, not far from Hualien County. In case you're not familiar with Taitung County, Chang Bin is FAR from where I live - about two hours by car. 上周末我去花蓮縣附近的長濱鄉喝喜酒. 可能你對台東縣不太清楚, 長濱離我家很遠 - 開車過去要差不多兩個小時.
Towards the end of the evening I found myself sitting in a group of local people, some of whom are members of the bride's family. We were passing a glass of beer back and forth, and a couple of them were asking me about my life in Taiwan. 太陽下山的時候, 我和一群當地居民坐在一起. 他們當中有一 , 二個新娘的家人. 我們一起傳喝一杯啤酒, 其中二個新朋友問我我在台灣的生活情形.
After a while the subject turned to their lives in that part of Taiwan. As it turned out, the guy sitting to my left managed the campground we were sitting in, while the guy on my right had a job in Taoyuan County. The guy who works in Taoyuan said he enjoys his visits back home, but he isn't able to come back so often. They work long hours in his factory, and the trip back to Chang Bin takes a long time. 過沒多久, 我們談話的主題就轉為他們住在那裡的生活情形. 坐我左邊的人就是那個露營區的主人. 坐我右邊的人則在桃園上班. 在桃園上班的先生說他很喜歡回到家鄉來, 只是這種機會不多. 因為他在工廠上班的時間很長, 而且回長濱的路程需要很久的時間.
The guy with the job in Taoyuan reminded me of other guys I've known around Taitung County. Finding a job in this county isn't easy, and for those who grow up in small villages it's just about impossible. Some of them come to Taitung City to work. Others go to places like Kaohsiung, Tainan, and Taipei. They generally hope to return to their villages when they're older, though it doesn't always work out that way. 在桃園上班的這位先生讓我想起其他住在台東的人. 在台東找工作不簡單, 尤其是從小住在小村子裡的人. 有的人會到台東市上班. 有的人則要去高雄, 台南或台北那種大都市工作. 他們大部分希望老的時候可以回去住在家鄉裡, 可是他們不一定都能夠如願.
Sometimes it isn't even work that pulls people away. My wife is teaching at the Sports Junior High this year, and many of her students come from places as far away as Da Ren and Cheng Gong. These students couldn't find the right schools in their hometowns, so they had to move into Taitung City. After they graduate they'll probably also look for work in other places - places offering higher pay, better benefits, or even just a change of scenery. 不只是工作讓人離開家鄉. 今年我太太在體中教書. 她有很多學生從達仁, 成功遠地而來. 他們在自己的家鄉找不到適合的學校, 所以只好來到台東市. 他們畢業之後可能也會在外縣市找工作. 因為這樣可以得到比較高的薪水, 比較好的工作福利, 或是比較合適的環境.
Not that they're the only ones in this situation. What are guys like me, after all? I also left my own "village" to work in a place far away, even if it wasn't exactly a lack of opportunity that drove me here. I, like them, was also looking for something my hometown wasn't offering, and I, like them, make the journey back "home" when I can. I'm not saying that I deal with the same kind of obstacles that someone growing up in Chang Bin has to contend with, but there are some similarities. 還有其他人也有這種狀況. 像我一樣的人呢? 好像也是. 我也離開我的"村莊"搬來到很遠的地方. 差別是我來台不是因為家鄉的工作機會很少. 我跟他們一樣尋找著家鄉沒有的東西. 我跟他們一樣, 在家鄉的工作機會比較不穩定. 我的意思不是說我生活中所面對的問題跟長濱人一樣, 只是有許多相似的地方.
Anyway, it was good talking to those guys and learning more about them. It's not often that I'm up in Chang Bin, and it's not often that I talk to people there. It was good to hear their stories, and it was good to know that - in some ways - I'm not so different from them. Their village might be far away from mine, but we share many of the same struggles, and we all miss home on occasion. 反正我很高興認識長濱那邊的新朋友, 也很高興有機會多了解他們的生活方式. 我不常去長濱, 所以跟他們聊天的機會很少. 我喜歡聽他們的生活故事, 也很感動於我們相似的情況. 他們的家鄉離我家很遠, 可是我們面對的困難有許多是一樣的. 他們也跟我一樣有時很懷念家鄉.
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The Rumor Mill 謠言
The One Post This Semester That I'm Not Going to Translate into Chinese