1. Introduction (September 九月 2009)
I am an American who has lived in Taiwan since 1999. I moved to Taitung in 2005, and since first coming to Taiwan I have taught in two private kindergartens, a vocational high school, a public university, a public junior high school, a public elementary school, and most recently I have taught conversational English to employees of the Giant bicycle company in Taitung County. 我在西元1999年從美國西雅圖來到臺灣在私立幼稚園工作. 我們原來住在西部, 2005年搬來台東. 我最幾年受聘於台東縣政府 在國中小教英文,並且也在台東的捷安特分店上員工的英文訓練, 我也有在台東大學的教課經驗.
At the time of writing I am still employed by the Taitung County Government, for whom I act in various capacities. I am most often a classroom teacher, but I have also been a judge for spelling bees and English competitions, acted as an interpreter, and I have also translated the odd document or speech into English from Chinese. 我目前在台東市東海國小當英語會話老師, 之前在東海國中大部分時間做課堂教學,有時配合校外的美語演講比賽擔任裁判,學校有需要時也幫忙做翻譯的工作.
I currently hold an M.A. in Teaching (Elementary Education) from Seattle University. I also hold a couple of less-than-useful certificates in Chinese Language Proficiency from Tung Hai University in Taichung. I am married to a Taiwanese national and we have two daughters, both of whom are in the public school system here. 我從西雅圖大學取得教育碩士的學位. 也曾在東海大學學中文. 我太太是臺灣人, 我們有兩個女兒 ,一個是小學三年級另一個是幼稚園中班.
The purpose of this site is to introduce opportunities in Taitung County to "foreigners" (i.e. native English speakers) who wish to live here. It will also be a forum for the discussion of social and cultural trends in this area. I should add that any thoughts or opinions expressed on this site are solely my own, and that I represent no religious institutions whatsoever. 這個網誌的目的是將台東縣介紹
-->給外國朋友跟國內朋友. 也會在這裡討論台東的社會跟文化. 但是在此網誌將不涉及任何的宗教.
2. Where is Taitung? (September 九月 2009)
Taitung (which should probably be spelled "Taidong"), is on the southeast coast of Taiwan. Taitung is also a city and a county. Taitung County borders Hualien County to the north, and both Pingtung and Kaohsiung Counties to the west. The city of Taitung is on the coast, roughly halfway between the northern and southern borders of the county. "台東"這兩個字的官方英文拼法是Taitung, 可是我自己覺得Taidong這個字比較像中文的發音. 台東的位置在臺灣的東南部.通常提到 "台東"這個地方包括的是台東縣跟台東市,台東市正好在台東縣東海岸的中間. 台東縣北部接花蓮縣, 西部及南部則緊臨高雄縣和屏東縣.
The weather here is subtropical. It never snows, and from July to September the typhoons pass through the area. The typhoons invariably bring a lot of rain, though flooding is not generally as much of a problem near the ocean. 這邊的氣候屬於亞熱帶氣候不會下雪,每年的七月至九月是颱風季節. 颱風來時因為靠海所以風雨很大, 但是較少傳出水患.
There are about 230,000 people living in Taitung City. The only other "city" of any size is Cheng Gong to the north, and this city has less than half of the population of Taitung City. The rest of the county is sparsely populated. There are small fishing villages hugging the coast, and farming communities hidden away in the mountains. 台東市的人口差不多10萬人左右. 除了台東市以外, 台東縣最大城市是成功鎮, 它的人口數是台東市的一半,其餘的鄉鎮人口不多. 小小的魚港是台東海岸的特色之一, 而在山區的特色則是許多可愛的鄉村部落.
Taitung boasts a higher-than-average aboriginal population. For those unfamiliar with patterns of migration to Taiwan, the island was originally settled by Austronesian peoples, coming up from islands farther south. These first settlers were in time displaced by later Chinese immigrants, who now form the majority in Taiwanese society. Despite the encroachment of Chinese culture and language, the aboriginal tribes still maintain a noticeable presence in this area. 台東的原住民人口較其他縣市多且居住密集. 他們的祖先是從臺灣以南的島嶼渡海而來的, 在漢人來台以前, 就已經成為這塊土地的保護者. 隨著臺灣漢文化跟語言的影響越來越大, 在這裡的原住民更是為保護自己的文化跟母語而努力.
There are really only two roads through the length of Taitung County. There is the mountain highway, starting in Hualien City and ending in Jer Ben, and there is the coastal road, running down (almost) the entire length of Taiwan. The mountain highway offers stunning views of farmland and mountain valleys, while the coastal road offers small fishing hamlets and spectacular panoramas of the Pacific Ocean. 台東縣的對外公路只有兩條.台 9線是從花蓮到知本, 台11線是從台北到大武. 走台9線的觀光客可以看山景, 走台11線的觀光客則可以欣賞古老的小村落跟美麗的太平洋.
Most of Taitung County is still very undeveloped. Those seeking the kind of urban amenities available in Taipei (bars, upscale restaurants, and of course department stores) will find little of that in Taitung. If, however, you are looking for a place to enjoy the scenery, you could do no better than this part of Taiwan. From feeding monkeys to rafting down the Shiogulan River, from surfing to hangliding, there really is a lot to do here! 台東的海岸線未受都市文明侵襲,保持著自然風光 . 這邊沒有什麼大酒吧,高級餐廳,百貨公司,但是對於熱愛大自然的人來說,卻是一個不可多得的天堂, 從可愛的野生猴子到泛舟,從沖浪到滑翔翼,這個地方充滿了許多驚奇的戶外活動機會.
3. Taiwan, Ten Years In (September 九月 2009)
People sometimes ask me if I will live the rest of my life in Taiwan. All I can say to that is, "I don't know." At this point, it seems very likely that I will be here until my daughters are old enough to look after themselves, but after that I cannot say.朋友們常問我是不是會在臺灣定居?其實我自己也不知道,但是在這當下,我是希望可以讓我的女兒在這塊土地上求學長大,未來的事留給未來去煩惱吧!
I have tried to imagine myself growing old here; I have tried to imagine what I would do in some small village when I was fifty, or sixty, or seventy. I know some expats who have been here for twenty years or more, and sometimes when I talk to them I wonder how much I will come to resemble them in the decades yet to be.我曾想過在臺灣的某一小村落生活,做著村人們平常做的事,隨著年歲成長衰老.我認識幾位在此住了二.三十年的外國人,有時在與他們的談話中,我會想像自己年老時是否也會像他們一樣.
There is another American I know, a much older man who lives north of here, who first came to Taiwan when Chiang Kai Shek was still President. He often talks about how dirty Taipei was back then, and how much cleaner and modern it is now. When he discusses such things, I remember my own arrival in Taipei ten years ago, back before the MRT was finished. Even in my (comparatively) short experience, I can see how much this place has changed, and wonder at how much it will continue to change in the following years.有一位年紀很大的美國人住在台東北部,他是從蔣介石時代就到臺灣的,他常說臺北以前多髒亂現在又是如何的現代與乾淨,當他談到這些時,不免讓我想起自己初到台北時的景象,那時台北捷運系統才剛完成不久.這十年內各地方改變很多,不禁令人好奇未來又會是什麼樣的景象.
I think that most expats tend to have a more objective view of Taiwan. This is especially true of expats without Taiwanese wives, husbands, or children. They can pick up and leave any time they want. They can go live in Japan for a year. They can fly in and out of Thailand every New Year and summer. This can be a good thing, but it is not necessarily the best thing for everyone.很多在臺的外國人對臺灣無法深入的了解,尤其是那些沒有臺灣配偶的人,他們在臺沒有任何的牽絆,在亞洲各個國家遊走,或許這對他們來說是件好事,但是對其他人來說卻不見得.
Speaking as someone who married into this place, there is a lot to be said for "going native". I think, after all, that it is my attachment to this place that give me the greatest pleasure, and when I think about all the changes and upheavals I have witnessed here it makes me more happy than sad.因為婚姻的關係讓我有機會成為一個"在地人",除了更了解這塊土地也從中得到許多的樂趣,我很慶幸參與及目睹這十年中在這裡的人事物變化 .
Which is not to say that I haven't ever disliked Taiwan, or wished I was somewhere else. There were times when I've been tired of being different, there were times when I couldn't see the logic in this place, and there were even times when I got fed up, packed my bags, and (foolishly, for me) decided that "back home" was where I should be.這並不是說我從來沒討厭過這個地方,或希望自己不是住在這裡.曾經我也厭倦當這裡的外國人 ,曾經我也無法了解這裡人們的邏輯想法,更甚至有時受夠了決定打包行李回家,天真地以為我來的地方才是適合我的家.
The trouble is that the longer I am here, the longer "back home" comes to mean Taiwan. I have lived here for so many years already. I have had children here, and I was married here. So many of my experiences pertain to - or are entirely contained within - this place. This is so much the case that I can feel homesick for any number of places, both in Taiwan and in the United States.問題是,在臺灣住得愈久愈覺得臺灣才是自己的家.我已經在這裡住了這麼多年 ,有妻子和孩子.它已經在我的生命中佔了重要的一部分,所以在美國時想的家是臺灣,在臺灣時想的家卻是美國.
If someone was to ask me whether they should come here or not, my answer would be an unqualified yes. You might not like it here at first, but with the proper attitude you will. Coming here is like opening a door to another world, and it is a world well worth living in.如果有人問我是否該到臺灣,我一定會給肯定的答案.你可能一開始不喜歡這裡,但是只要有對的態度你就能了解它的好.到這裡就像來到一個不同的世界,但是絕對是一個值得居住的地方.
4. Working for the Government (September 九月 2009)
"M.O.E." stands for Ministry of Education. The M.O.E. is the Education branch of Taiwan's central government. For those unfamiliar with Taiwan, its government is composed of five branches. These are the Executive, Legislative, Judicial, Exam, and Control Yuans. The M.O.E. is part of the Executive Yuan."M.O.E.'是臺灣教育部的英文簡稱,臺灣的行政體系分為行政,立法 ,司法,考試及監察五院.
Those wishing to teach English as a foreign teacher in Taiwanese public schools are encouraged to contact someone in the M.O.E. The catch here is that you must possess a teaching certificate (or in some cases, "relevant experience") valid in your country of origin. "Relevant experience" can be interpreted at the discretion of the presiding official, so theoretically it could mean just about anything. Don't get your hopes up, however, if you lack that critical teaching certificate or license.對於有心想在臺灣的公立學校教英文的人,可以在教育部的網站上找到相關資訊,個人條件上需要擁有英語系國家的教師資格,或者是在英語教學上有相關的經歷.
There are also restrictions based on country of origin, though these have been waived in certain cases. The government of Taiwan has compiled a list of "English speaking countries" that includes only the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand. Only teachers originating from countries on this list (i.e., they have a passport from there), can be included in the government's teaching program.教育部對英語系國家的國家限定如下:美國,英國,加拿大,澳洲和紐西蘭.
It is also possible to bypass the central government and apply for work through one of the county governments. To my knowledge, this can only be done in Taitung and Nantou counties. I myself applied through the Taitung County Government, since the process for foreign nationals applying within Taiwan is extremely murky.你也可以經由各縣政府的外籍教師徵聘到公立學校任職,但是各縣市辦法不同 ,如果你人已經在臺灣,建議你直接詢問縣市政府,因為從經驗中得知向教育部申請是很複雜的.
All restrictions applying to those going through the central government apply to those going through the county governments. The county governments in Taitung and Nantou apply for your salary through the central government, and as a precondition their teachers must meet the demands outlined above.無論是經由中央的教育部或是縣市政府的教育局,所需要的應徵資格是一樣的.
But for those without a teaching certificate all is still not lost. Several of the municipal governments on the west coast are hiring directly, and they are paying from municipal funds. They tend to be less strict about your country of origin, past teaching experience, and the like, so if you are in Taipei, Taichung, or Kaohsiung you might look into this option.如果你只有大學畢業並是以上所提的英語系國家的使用英語為母語者,你還是有機會在其他學校任教的.通常臺灣西部城市的機會較東部大的多.
I would, however, discourage you from going through any recruiter for this purpose. The pay from the municipal governments will be lower anyway, and it is very probable that a recruiter will be skimming off a percentage of your salary. Yunlin County is notorious for this practice, and I would advise against working there unless it is through the central government.我不建議經過仲介找英文教職工作 ,因為最後你拿到的薪水可能很低.
I have also heard of public junior and senior high schools hiring teachers directly, but the hours and the pay are extremely low. It might do for part time work, but it's nothing you could make a living off of.通常如果是國高中學校自行徵聘的英文教師薪水都不高,有時只是兼職的性質.
Interested individuals are hereby directed towards the M.O.E.'s website. This website is actually a vast improvement over what the M.O.E. was publishing before, even if it is directed more towards citizens of the U.S. and Canada. The M.O.E.'s guidelines change constantly, and any information presented here is subject to change.如果你有興趣可上以上的網站查詢,相關規定可能會因須要而更改.
5. Mid-Autumn Festival (October 十月 2009)
Thank God (and Donna Summer) that it's Friday. Has anyone - besides me - seen that movie?感謝上帝星期五到了!!!
It's been a long week for me - I've been sick! I am finally getting better now, and I am looking forward to some rest on Saturday and Sunday. The papers say there is a typhoon headed this way tomorrow, so I expect that I'll be doing little more than watching DVDs in my living room. I hope to be pleasantly bored.這個星期對我來說有點長,因為我有點感冒.颱風快來了,這也應該是我看電影的好時機.我會好好在家享受無聊的時光.
Tomorrow is also the Mid-Autumn Festival. I realize that "Mid-Autumn Festival" sounds very momentous to those unfamiliar with this particular holiday, but it's really just an excuse to eat moon cakes and barbeque. I will certainly be doing both.明天是中秋節,聽起來很有文化氣息,但是我想我們應該只是利用它來當烤肉跟吃月餅的藉口.
There is also, of course, a complicated fable to explain this holiday, as well as a host of religious observances that are supposed to take place on this date. ...but I won't go into those here. Most of us will be too busy drinking beer to think about "Hou Yi and the Nine Suns," or if we visited the temple.有很多關於中秋節的故事及宗教祭祀行為,但是在此我只想跟你們說我會做的事:我最想做的就是喝啤酒,而最不會想到的是后羿射太陽和拜拜了 .
My family and I will also be joining our good friend Mr. Wu for the festivities. We have known Mr. Wu and his family for many years, and I have been glad to call him a friend.我們家今年要去吳老師家過節,我們認識他們好幾年了,我很高興有他這位朋友.
I first met Mr. Wu when I auditioned for my previous job at Tung Hai Middle School. Mr. Wu teaches computer classes there, in addition to shouldering many other responsibilities which I shudder to think of. He is a very hard-working man.我是因到台東東海國中上班才認識他的,他是國中的電腦老師,是位工作很認真的老師.
About three years ago, when we first moved to Taitung, Mr. Wu took us up to his mother's house in Ju Hu, where we spent the night. Ju Hu is in Chang Bin township, not far from Hualien County. The trip was very pleasant, and I fondly remember visiting with his mother and meeting his extended family. I felt very honored that he wanted to show me the places where he grew up, and I was sorry I couldn't return the favor.三年前我們剛搬到臺東,他請我們去長濱鄉竹湖他媽媽的家過夜 .很榮幸能認識他的家人,我也希望有一天我也能介紹我的家鄉給他們認識 .
Looking back at three years of knowing Mr. Wu, it is easy to feel a sense of gratitude for the friends I've made here and the experiences we have shared. With the proper attitude, every day can be a new adventure, and I am thankful for the many kind people who have helped me realize that this is so.他提醒我這個地方的朋友的溫情及共同擁有的美好經驗,只要有正確的態度,每一天都是一場新的冒險,我很感謝幫我了解這一點的每一位朋友.
On this Mid-Autumn Festival, wishing you the best. Whether our paths cross or not, please know that you have a friend in Taitung. I will save some barbecue for you.不論我們認識與否,我都祝你們有個美好的中秋節,記得臺東永遠有個朋友可以和你共享烤肉之趣.
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