2010年7月1日 星期四

Blog Archive 6 很久很久以前的文章

Older entries from Taitung Style.  To minimize space, I've deleted the pictures.  Ready to time travel?  Let's go!


1. "Love 197" 戀戀197 (July 七月 2010)

On July 24 the TURAA (Taitung Urban and Rural Athletic Association) sponsored the "Love 197" bicycle race. There were three divisions in this race: the 100K, 60K, and a shorter "fun ride" around Taitung City. The 100K participants raced from the Seashore Park in Taitung City, sweated their way up to Cheng Gong Township, and then somehow made their way back to Bei Nan and up a small section of the 197 highway. 在7月24日, 台東城鄉運動協會舉辦了戀戀197的腳踏車比賽. 這個比賽分為三租. 其中最遠的是100公里比賽. 參加100公里的賽者從台東海濱公園出發到成功鎮, 再折返回去卑南的方向並包含部分的台線197.

Sounds impressive, right? I wish I could say I was there among them, battling my way across half the county. Unfortunately the farthest I have ever gone on a bike is 80K, and that was quite far enough for me. Lacking the requisite stamina, I chose to participate in the 60K race instead. 100公里滿遠的對不對? 我希望自己也能參加這樣的比賽. 可惜的是我從以前到現在最騎過80公里, 超過80公里我就受不了了, 所以我參加的是60公里組.
For the 60K we rode up to Jin Dzuen and back. Not astonishingly far, but not a short distance either. This was my first bicycle race ever, and I'd have to say that I did pretty well. I wasn't the first across the finish line, but I was definitely among the first to finish. 60 公里組是從海濱公園出發到金樽. 我覺得60公里這個距離很適合現在的我, 因為我不習慣騎那麼遠. 雖然我不是第一名, 但我起碼是十名內的.

I was very nervous the day before the race. I felt almost certain that everyone there would be in better shape than me, with better equipment, and with a more thorough knowledge of cycling in general. As it was, there were a couple of guys who did indeed look very professional, but there were also many other people who seemed to have no idea what they were doing. I was a bit self-conscious on my mountain bike, but as it turned out there were plenty of others riding much older and much more dilapidated bikes than mine. 比賽開始前我很緊張, 因為我想所有的比賽者都比我有體力和經驗. 比賽以後, 我覺得好多人其實沒我想像的那麼厲害. 我的腳踏車不是專業級的, 但是它還是比很多人的車新.
Riding in that kind of race is very interesting, and if you like bicycling I would highly recommend it. Until you do, you will never really know what kind of shape you are in. 參加這種比賽很有意思, 如果你沒參加過的話, 應該找機會試試看.

All in all it was a great learning experience, and I would be eager to join such a race again. I did the 60K in almost exactly 2 hours, which means my pace was about 30K an hour. Not lightning fast, mind you, but not bad for a guy who's only been riding for a few months. I'm hoping to add an additional 10K an hour to my pace by the end of next month, and if I succeed in doing so I should be in fair shape for the triathlon next spring! 比賽結束以後, 我增加很多單車比賽的知識. 60公里的比賽差不多花了我兩個小時, 表示我的速度是30K/1小時. 這個速度當然不是最快的, 可是對只練習幾個月的我來說是很不錯的. 如果我下個月可以達到40K/1小時, 那我就有信心參加明年的鐵人三項比賽了.


2. Notes From the Other Side 西部隨想 (August 八月 2010)

The longer I live in Taitung, the stranger the other side of the island seems to me. It's not exactly a foreign country - not when compared to the east coast - but I often feel that it might as well be.在臺東住得愈久愈覺得西部生疏,雖然是同在一個國家,卻是相差許多.

This week we spent five days driving between Ping Dong (also spelled "Pingtung") and Taoyuan, with a brief excursion into Taipei County. We saw some old friends, stayed with some of my wife's family, and visited some places that we haven't been to in years. Our original purpose was to renew our daughters' U.S. passports in Taipei, and I had also signed up for a 10K race in Taoyuan. Between exhaustion and lack of adequate preparation, we acheived neither of these goals.我們花了五天的時間開車經屏東到桃園,並且短暫地經過台北縣,見到了許多老朋友和親戚,重遊許多懷念的地方,我們的主要目的是到臺北更新兩個孩子的美國護照和參加桃園的5公里慢跑,只是最後這兩項都沒完成,因為我們太累了而且忘了帶齊需要的證件.

Mostly we just drove around, looking for sources of amusement. We went to Tai Mao Exhibition Center in Taoyuan, which I'm told will supplant Kaohsiung's Dream Mall as the largest shopping center in Taiwan. We went to the An Ping Fort in Tainan, which the Dutch built in the 1600s. We went to the Science Museum in Taichung, which boasts an impressive array of new exhibits.大多時間我們都是開車尋找有趣的景點,聽說我們去的"台茂商場"將打敗夢時代成為臺灣最大的購物商場,我們也去了16世紀荷蘭人在台南建造的安平古堡和台中科學博物館.

We went to a lot of places. What struck me most forcibly was the growth that Taichung City has experienced, and also many of the new roads they have built in Hsinchu. Parts of western Taiwan are indeed booming, with no forseeable end to productivity in the near future.台中市的發展令我驚訝,在新竹也開了許多的新路,這些地方無疑地是以令人無法預料的程度成長.

But of course that kind of productivity has its downside. The air pollution around certain industrial areas is obvious, and carries worrying implications for the coming years. I also wonder how the central, county, and municipal governments plan on handling traffic in the near future, since driving around parts of Taichung, Hsinchu, Taoyuan, and Taipei counties is truly frightening. I cannot imagine trying to commute through some of those areas every day, nor would I wish to do so.只是在發展的同時也伴隨著許多不好的影響,空氣汙染在這些地方的嚴重性不容忽視,交通更是這些地方政府的一大挑戰,在這些天的經驗中,我沒辦法想像每天這些城市的市民上下班時的心情,我也不想自己有機會經歷.

It seems to me that there is a lot of money hovering around the other side of the island, but in our rush to grab some of this money we often lose sight of more important things. The quality of our environment, for example, should be paramount. After all, if we can't breathe, if our children develop asthma or other conditions directly related to air pollution, what does the rest of it matter? We have to start thinking about our future, and our future is hinged upon our public health.人潮即是錢潮在臺灣的西部城市是一明顯的現象,只是在急著抓錢的同時是否也忽略了身邊重要的人事物?首當其衝的是我們對環境的影響,如果我們的孩子因為空氣品質不好而生病,那麼物質享受是否仍會是眾多人追求的重心?這正是我們都應該在思考未來時所要考慮的重點.

I'm not going to waste time describing the west coast of Taiwan as "hellish" or even just "unhealthy." There are still many reasons to like and to live on the other side of the island. I just hope that we can all take note of our surroundings, with an eye to making them better. There are still many beautiful and interesting places in west Taiwan. I only hope we are balancing the virtues of economic development against the quality of our lives.這裡的重點不在指出西部的環境汙染,因為那裏仍有許多值得喜愛和居住的地方,我只是希望大家多花點心力愛護自己的居住環境並且讓它更好,讓我們在發展經濟的同時也能注意維護我們的居住品質.


3. Apartments 公寓 (August 八月 2010)

We just bought an apartment on the outskirts of Taitung City, not far from Bao San Middle School. This apartment cost us 1.6 million NT, for which we received a loan from Yu Shan Bank. 我們最近在寶桑國中和"後山傳奇"附近買了公寓,玉山銀行就成為我們房貸的債主.

This is the second apartment we have occupied in Taitung, our last residence being the Chang Sha "Number 1" apartment complex just across from Tung Hai Elementary School. A couple of years before, when I worked at Tung Hai Middle School, we were renting a large house near the 3-C Electronics on Shin Sheng Road. 這件公寓是我們在臺東時的第三家. 我們以前在東海國小對面的長沙第一國宰. 我當東海國中的老師的時候我們也在洛陽街租了個房子.

Many people have asked me why we finally decided to buy an apartment. In the beginning we wanted to buy land, but banks don't loan much money for that purpose. After giving up on land, we went and looked at several houses, but all of the houses in our price range were older and very worn down. Some of them were kind of cute, but to fix them up would have been prohibitively expensive. 很多朋友問我們為甚麼不要買整棟的房子? 我們原來也想買房子或是土地, 只是我們看過的二手屋全都是舊舊爛爛的, 而新房子對我們來說又太貴了,我們真的不想因為房子負擔太多壓力.

In the end we decided an apartment was more to our liking. It didn't take us long to find one, and before we knew it we were signing papers for our loan, handing over large sums of money, and hauling our furniture across town to our new place. 所以我們最後決定買公寓. 我們在很短的時間內辦完一切手續並搬到我們新家.

Very exhausting, but I suppose I can finally say that I am in Taitung on a permanent basis. We have been given 20 years to pay back our loan, though I guess we could pay it back in half that time. However fast we do end up paying it off, we are effectively trapped in Taitung for the near future. 搬家是很累人的, 現在我終於可以說我們是臺東人了. 用二十年還是十年回款都沒有關係, 重要的是我們不用再搬家了.

I, for one, can't imagine a more pleasant place to be trapped. I like our apartment, I like our new neighborhood, and even though I'm somewhat far from work I have no problem with riding my bike to my school. I also have a great view of the city from the seventh floor, and our cats seem very happy with the supply of ants that fly in from our deck. 我很喜歡我們的新家和附近環境. 雖然住得離學校遠點, 但是騎腳踏車到我的學校不是甚麼問題. 我們七樓的風景不錯, 我們的貓咪超愛飛進我們陽台的昆蟲.

I just wish we had thought to buy a place sooner. If we had started paying when I first moved to Taitung, we would already be three or four years into that loan! 我只覺得很可惜, 如果早三四年買房子的話, 我離還完貸款的日子又更接近了.


4. Seattle 西雅圖 (September 九月 2010)

Why write about Seattle in a blog about Taitung, Taiwan? Mostly because I am from there, and people always ask me about the place I come from. 為什麼要說到西雅圖呢? 因為那是我的家鄉. 而且很多人也對那個地方感到好奇.

I was born in Seattle, which is in the state of Washington, located in the U.S.A. I spent most of my pre-Taiwan life living there. Sure, it has changed over time, and every time I go back I find a handful of new restaurants, bars, and shopping malls, but Seattle never changes THAT much. 我在西雅圖出生. 那是一個位在美國華盛頓州的城市. 我二十五歲以前的人生都在那裏度過. 我二十五歲時的西雅圖跟我三十五歲時的西雅圖並沒有差很多. 我每一, 兩年回去的時候看到些新的餐廳, 新的酒吧, 跟新的商場, 可是大致來說都沒變.

Seattle is very close to the "ocean," but when I say ocean I am referring to Puget Sound, which is a large "inland sea" that stretches across most of Washington State. The Puget Sound is connected to the Pacific Ocean by a strait, so even though it's all salt water I can't exactly say that Seattle is on the ocean. 西雅圖靠海, 可是我說"海"並不是指太平洋而是指普吉特海灣,它位於西雅圖西邊. 雖然也屬於太平洋海域的一部分, 但是正確來說,西雅圖並不靠英文所說的海.

Compared to other cities on the west coast of the United States, Seattle is fairly large. It's not, however, even close to as big or as populous as cities such as Taichung, Taipei, and Kaohsiung. The city of Seattle covers a larger area, but it's much more spread out than most cities in Taiwan. 對美國西部來說, 西雅圖是一個很大的都市. 它的大小應該跟臺北或高雄差不多, 可是那裏的人口比較少.

Seattle can be fun to visit, but it's a very expensive place to live. To make things worse, America's recent economic collapse has had an adverse effect on that part of the country. It's a good place to live if you like camping - as I do - but in terms of "urban culture" there aren't as many interesting bars, restaurants, and music venues there as tourists might think. 西雅圖是個適合旅遊的都市, 雖然並不如你想像中的有趣,而且那邊的生活費很高. 再加上最近美國的經濟很不好,這對西雅圖的影響特別大,因為旅遊人口明顯地減少. 另外,西雅圖的東邊是山區, 有很多露營的機會.

People in Seattle generally read a lot. They also drink massive amounts of coffee, mostly as an antidote against the depressing weather. The weather in Seattle is very dark and cloudy for most of the year, and in the winter the days are very short. Seattle is stunning in the summer - but the summer in Seattle is really, really short. 西雅圖的人很喜歡看書. 他們也很喜歡喝咖啡. 在西雅圖的天氣常常下雨, 所以人們大部分每天喝咖啡提神. 西雅圖的夏天很美, 但是夏天卻很短暫.

I grew up in North Seattle, in an area called Greenwood. The house where my parents still live is very small by Taiwan standards, but then again they have a very large yard around their house. There are lots of trees in Seattle, and people like to spend time in their gardens. 我父母的家在西雅圖北部的Greenwood(綠木)社區. 他們的房子以臺灣人的標準來說不大, 可是他們有一個大院子. 在那個社區的路旁都是樹跟草, 每個人都很關心他們的院子.

So do I miss Seattle? Yes, of course, sometimes. It really depends. In the winter I am happy to be in Taitung, because I know that in Seattle I would only just be keeping myself awake with coffee, and I would be wondering if the sun was ever going to come out. In the summer I sometimes miss the places where my family and I used to go camping, and I look forward to seeing those places again. I miss Seattle, but not as often as I used to. 再來的問題是: "我很想念西雅圖嗎?" 這個問題很難回答. 冬天時, 我滿心想著台東的好天氣. 夏天時, 我當然會想到以前在西雅圖的戶外樂趣. 有時候我想念西雅圖, 只是我想念的部分永遠在那裏等著我, 我期待跟那邊的親戚朋友見面, 只是我對"回去"這件事並不像以前一樣表現的那麼急躁了.


5. Things to Like About Taitung 我喜歡臺東的原因 (September 九月 2010)

I work with a lot of teachers from places like Jia Yi, Kaohsiung, or Taipei. They came here years and years ago, having moved to Taitung solely for the sake of work.我的同事中很多是從嘉義,高雄或台北來的,因為工作的關係在多年前搬到臺東.

Some of them really don't like Taitung very much. If they could, I suppose many (not all) of them would move back to the big cities they came from. Many of them (not all), already drive back to Jia Yi, Kaohsiung, or Taipei whenever they have the chance.有些人並不是很喜歡臺東,我想只要有機會,他們會很樂意回到他們原來的城市,因為有些人只要一有機會就往那些大都市跑.

When I talk to some of these people about places I visit, it always surprises me how little they know about this county. You would think that I, the foreigner, having only lived here for a little over four years, would know so much LESS about Taitung than they do. Some of them have lived here for over ten years, and they still don't seem to have gone ANYWHERE.與一些老師談到台東好玩的地方時,我很驚訝自己知道的比他們還多,你會認為我這個住在臺東四年的外國人應該比這些住了將近十年的人不懂這個地方,但是事實上,他們反而像是整天窩在家中的"宅人".

I guess, as we say, "the grass is always greener on the other side." People that grew up in places like Jia Yi, Kaohsiung, and Taipei only want to revisit those places, perhaps just as many people who grew up in Taitung dream of vacations on the other side of the island. Very few people seem to live in the place they like the most. People in Kaohsiung would love to live in Taitung, people in Taitung would love to live in Kaohsiung, and almost no one lives in the place they want to.也許就是那不滿足的心作祟,在西部長大的人想回到西部,而台東人想到西部體驗城市生活,很少有人滿足於他們擁有的生活,因為高雄人想搬到臺東而台東人想搬到高雄.

I, for one, think that there are a lot of reasons to like Taitung more than other places in Taiwan. None of these are ironclad arguments, but they are things that people easily forget about.我自己則有許多理由喜愛臺東勝過臺灣的任何地方,它們都是生活上容易被忽視的小事.

1. Clean air清新的空氣

Sure, you could say the same about most of the East Coast, but what of it? The air in Taitung is very clean and fresh, even when people try to make it otherwise by driving their cars too much. There are no big factories in Taitung, no freeways, and none of the massive, air-conditioned buildings seen in places like Taoyuan and Taipei. All of this adds up to cleaner air.當然,臺灣東部不乏空氣好的地方,但是臺東的空氣卻是有名的好, 雖然這裡也有許多車輛,但是卻沒有大工廠,沒有高速公路也沒有高大的空調大樓,所以這就是空氣好於其他城市的理由.

2. Natural scenery自然風光

There are some truly beautiful places in Taitung, and many of them are relatively easy to get to. I think this is the first thing that people forget after they've lived here a long time. They get busy with work, with family matters, and they forget how amazingly beautiful it is here. Next time you feel bored, I suggest taking a walk, a ride, or a drive into the mountains.臺東有很多美不勝收的地方,而且它們都很容易到達,這應該也是住在這裡的人容易忘記的事,每天忙於工作與家庭,很多人忘記他們住在一個美麗的城市,下次當你無聊時, 請記得到戶外散散步或是到山裡走走.

3. Opportunities for outdoor recreation戶外休閒

This of course goes hand-in-hand with #2 on this list. Taitung is such a great place to go bicycling, swimming, hangliding, hiking, surfing, or camping. Sure, some of these activities might be more difficult for some people to enjoy (given the heat), but it's never too late to try!這當然跟自然風光有著密切關係,臺東適合騎腳踏車,游泳,玩拖曳傘,衝浪和露營,雖然有些活動並不適合所有的人,但是勇敢地試試也無訪.

4. A smaller town, a slower pace.小城鎮,慢步調

While there are some who miss the excitement of cities like Taipei, I find the more relaxed atmosphere in Taitung to be a real advantage. Every time I go to the West Coast I notice how "hurried" everyone is, always trying to smash their way through a crowd. Taitung is still a place where nothing is so far away, and where no one is such a stranger. I like that.相較於那些令人緊張的大城市,臺東的輕鬆氣氛是一項重要特色.每次到西部的都市時,都會發現那裏的人們慌張地在人群中擠來擠去,而臺東市小而美,到每個地方的距離都很短,而且走到哪裡都會遇見認識的人,我喜歡這種溫馨的感覺.

5. Lack of traffic.沒有交通問題

When I first moved here, this was the thing that I liked most about Taitung. Before I lived here, I lived in central Taichung, and I really don't miss fighting my way down Tai Chung Gang Road to get to work every morning. I live on the other side of the city from my school, and it still only takes me ten minutes to get there by bike!我剛到台東時,最喜歡的一件事就是這裡的交通.之前我們住在臺東市,每天上班要走的台中港路就是一場噩夢,現在我到學校上班只要騎十分鐘的腳踏車就行了.

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