2017年12月29日 星期五

Test #2

Test #1 is in the Blog Archive 28 entry.  Good luck with that one.

Next week I'll be testing the students in my elementary school, and this made me realize that YOU, the reader of whatever this thing is supposed to be, should also be tested.  The answers to all test questions are to be found at the very bottom of this entry.

1. Reading

Read the following story.  If you don't I will smack you.

It's Monday.  Lily and Tom have been in a car accident.  Lily is holding Tom's arms, and Tom is holding Lily's legs.  "Oh no!" says Lily.  "I have no arms!  How many arms do you have, Tom?"

"I have two arms," says Tom, "But I have no legs!  What can we do?  We're in trouble!"

Lily and Tom go to the hospital.  Lily and Tom see the doctor in the hospital.  "What the f*ck?" says the doctor, "You two again?  What are you doing?"

"I was driving my scooter very fast," says Tom.  "I was drinking cooking wine.  I like to drive my scooter and drink cooking wine.  It's good!"

"Yes," says Lily, "Tom likes cooking wine, and I like cooking wine too.  When we drink too much cooking wine we are happy.  We like to drink cooking wine and drive VERY fast on Tom's scooter!"

"But wait!" says the doctor, "Have you tried this?"

"What is it?" says Lily.

"What is it?" says Tom.

"It's 'medicine,'" says the doctor.  "I am a doctor, so it's ok to try my 'medicine.'  I like to have my 'medicine' every day!"

"Cool," says Lily.

"Cool," says Tom.

The doctor, Lily, and Tom have the 'medicine' together.  Then the doctor puts Tom's legs where Lily's arms used to be.  Then the doctor puts Lily's arms where Tom's legs used to be.  It's so funny!  Look at Tom and Lily!

2. Questions

Answer the following questions about the story.

1. I think the person who wrote this story is __________.
     a. Mentally and/or emotionally disturbed.
     b. A practitioner of the dark arts.
     c. Sitting in an office with WAY too much time on his hands.
     d. Like, this really chill dude, you know?  Like, just real chill and everything.

2. If you had legs where your arms used to be, and arms where your legs used to be, how would you masturbate?
     a. I would get lubed up and rub on furniture.
     b. I would read my Bible, as a means of keeping sinful thoughts at bay.
     c. I would find a helper.
     d. I wouldn't.

3. Have you ever tried "medicine?"
     a. I'm too high to understand what you're talking about right now.
     b. Dare to say "No!" to drugs!
     c. Depends on what kind of "medicine" you're talking about.  Probably.
     d. The terms of my parole prevent me from answering this question.

4. What's the worst scooter accident you ever saw?
     a. One involving two scooters hitting each other at high speeds, resulting in injuries.
     b. One involving a scooter and a larger vehicle, resulting in fatalities.
     c. One involving a scooter and a giraffe at the Taipei Zoo, resulting in both property damage and extreme embarrassment.
     d. I never go outside, so I never see scooter accidents.  Outside is SCARY.

5. Why are you taking this test?

     a. Like the person in 1.c. above, I have WAY too much time on my hands.
     b. I was also the victim of medical experimentation wherein certain appendages were incorrectly reattached.
     c. I think that it will somehow improve my command of the English language
     d. Was this really a test?  Because none of the questions have much to do with the story...

Related Entries:

Me, Fifteen Years Ago 十五年前的我
Nonsense That Fills My Head on a Tuesday
Nonsense That Fills My Head on a Friday
什麼時候要開始學英語?  When Should We Study English?

*There are no correct answers to this test.  By taking it you've earned yourself an automatic 0% and my sympathy.  The true test was to NOT take the test, and in this you have failed.  Better luck next time, my friend.  May the Force be with you?

2017年12月28日 星期四

Walking Around Fu Gang 在富岡散步

Fu Gang is across the Beinan River from Taitung City.  The Fu Gang Port is also where boats leave for Green and Orchid Islands.  從台東市過卑南溪就到富岡.  往綠島, 蘭嶼的船是從富岡漁港出發.

This was taken just north of downtown Taitung, on the other side of the Jung Hua Bridge.  The town in the distance is Fu Gang.  這張照片剛好是在台東市北邊, 也就是中華橋的另外一邊拍的.  遠方的村落是富岡.

This is a picture of rocks.  Sometimes I like to take pictures of rocks.  這是石頭的照片.  我有時很喜歡拍石頭的照片.

That hill in the distance is where Highway 197 starts, on the other side of the air force base.  後面的山坡是縣道197的起點.  在航空基地的另外一邊.

This is a picture of a spooky building.  Yes, I like to take pictures of spooky buildings too.  恐怖屋子的照片.  我也很喜歡拍這些恐怖的房屋.

The seawall south of Fu Gang.  This seawall is still being repaired after last summer's big typhoons.  富岡南邊的海堤.  夏天颱風經過之後, 到現在這個海堤還在整修.

Don't know what the name of this stream is, or even if it's even a stream at all.  On Google Maps it extends to the north part of the air force base and then stops.  不知道這條溪叫甚麼名字, 也不知道它算不算 "溪."  在Google地圖上它流到航空基地就停了.

Looking south from Fu Gang.  Very bright that day.  在富岡往南邊看.  那一天太陽很大.

On the road to Fu Gang Port.  Nothing much going on in Fu Gang - even the seafood restaurants were mostly empty.  往漁港的路上, 那天富岡很平靜.  連海鮮餐廳裡的人也不多.

A sad buoy, far from its ocean home.  Don't cry, buoy...  很可憐的浮標, 離海洋很遠.  浮標不要哭...

Fu Gang Port.  VERY quiet when we were there, but I imagine it's very lively at other times.  富岡漁港.  我們在那裡的時候很安靜, 可是其他時間應該很熱鬧.

Oh, and by the way, happy new year.  Next Monday it'll be 2018!  我差點忘記跟你說新年快樂.  下禮拜一變成2018年喔!

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Things to Do in Taitung 台東的活動
Walking Around Dawu 在大武散步
What's Going On in Taitung 台東最近發生的事 5
My Sister's Visit to Taiwan 我妹妹來台的旅遊

2017年12月21日 星期四

Things to Do in Taitung 台東的活動

This entry was supposed to be another "What's Going on in the Taitung County Government," but the Taitung County Government really isn't doing much lately.  我這禮拜原來要寫的文章是 "台東縣政府最近動向 3," 可是最近縣府的動向不多.

Given the lack of news, I thought I'd offer the following list of local events.  I tried to be thorough, but I wouldn't be surprised if a few events (especially temple events) got by me.  縣政府的新聞那麼少, 所以我換成了地方上的活動.  應該還有些廟會與類似活動被我漏掉了.

1. Go to a Christmas/New Year Activity 參加聖誕節還是誇年的活動

There's a list of these events on the Department of Culture's website.  On Christmas Eve there will be a Christmas party from 7 pm to 9:30 pm.  There's also a New Year's party the following New Year's Eve from 8 pm till 12:30.  Both of these events will be held in the new complex of buildings between Shin Sheng Road and Tie Hua Road.  文化處的網頁上的活動的行事曆.  十二月二十四日7:00到9:30有聖誕節晚會.  十二月三十一日8:00到12:30也有誇年晚會.  這兩個活動都在新生路與鐵花路上的鐵花新聚落.

Just don't ask me what they mean by "party."  I have no idea.  不要問我這兩個晚會的內容.  我一點都不知道.

Oh, and WaGaLiGong is also having a Christmas party in Dulan on Saturday, December 23, from 5 to 11.  There are a bunch of other Christmas and New Year's Even-related events up the coast.  Just start from WaGaLiGong's Christmas party and then scroll down through the "Related Events" on Facebook.  還有十二月二十三日都蘭的WaGaLiGong也有舉辦聖誕節的晚會.  東海岸也有很多聖誕節或是跨年相關的活動.  先看WaGaLiGong聖誕節晚會的網頁, 然後在FB出現上就有許多類似的活動.

2. Try a New Restaurant 找新餐廳吃飯

There are a few new restaurants around town.  There's City Burger on Chuan Guang Road, a brunch place that I've visited once.  There's the super expensive Gaya Hotel, which I haven't visited yet.  If you look around I'm sure you'll find something.  台東市有幾家新餐廳.  有傳廣路上的城市漢堡.  還有最貴的Gaya Hotel.  城市漢堡我去過一次.  Gaya Hotel還沒去過.  找一找, 你一定會發現自己喜歡的.

If you like sandwiches you might also want to visit the local Subway on Jung Shan Road.  They'll be closing down soon.  喜歡三明治的應該去中山路上的Subway吧.  他們快要結束營業了.

3. Sign Up for an Athletic Event 參加運動比賽

There's a 100 and 200 K bike race up the coast, from Jia Lu Lan to either Sanshiantai or somewhere in Hualien County.  東海岸有100跟200公里的單車比賽.  起點是加路蘭, 在三仙台或是花蓮縣的地點迴轉.

There's a marathon in Tai Ma Li March 11.  There are 5, 11, half-marathon, and marathon divisions.  三月十一日太麻里舉辦馬拉松.  活動有5, 10, 半碼, 跟馬拉松的競賽.

There's also an ultra marathon in Guanshan March 17, a triathlon in Taitung City the same day, an Ironman triathlon in Taitung City March 18, a road race (not a marathon) in Guanshan the same day, and a marathon in Luye March 24*.  There are even more events further out, but that's it for March.  三月十七日關山也有超級馬拉松, 同一天台東市也會舉辦鐵人三項.  三月十八日台東市有Ironman鐵人三項, 同一天關山舉辦路跑比賽.  三月二十四鹿野將有馬拉松.  三月的運動比賽大致是這些.  三月之後應該有更多的運動比賽.

4. Visit an Agricultural Exhibition 參加農業特展

The Dalah exhibition is at the Bunun Tribe Culture Museum in Haiduan until March of 2018.  海端鄉的布農族文化博物館有Dalah特色農業文化特展. 這特展將持續到2018年三月.

5. Go Even Farther Up (or Down) the Coast to Celebrate the New Year 更上 (下) 東海岸誇年

There's another New Year's event scheduled at Sanshiantai, in Cheng Gong Municipality.  There's also one to the south, in Tai Ma Li Township.  I bet a lot of people are going to those!  成功鎮的三仙台也有誇年活動.  太麻里鄉也有.  應該會有很多人去.

6. Go See a Concert at Tiehua Village 去音樂會

It's downtown and it's super convenient.  I haven't been there in a while, but they do have good shows on occasion.  Their calendar's here.  鐵花村在市區, 很方便.  我很久沒去了, 他們有的音樂會不錯.  他們的行事曆在這裡.

For that matter, they also have other concerts in Dulan at the Sugar Factory.  It might take some searching, but there's always a concert to go to. 都蘭糖廠應該也有其他的音樂會.  可以找一找相關資訊, 總會有音樂會可以參加.

7. Go See an Exhibit in Another Museum 去其他博物館看展覽

You could go see "Mr. Lu's" exhibition at the Taitung Art Museum, or visit the National Museum of Prehistory.  I'd be happy to tell you what the Museum of Prehistory's newest exhibit is... but their website isn't working!  你可以去台東美術館參觀 "陸先生" 的特展, 也可以參觀國立史前博物館.  我想告訴你史前博物館的最新的特展是甚麼, 可是他們的網頁有問題!

8. Stay Home 留在家裡

...or maybe it's just too cold to go outside.  Maybe we should all stay home.  Watch a movie, or read a book.  Pass me that beer, will you?  There's still some football left to see, and enough food in the refrigerator to get us through the day.  還是天氣太冷留在家裡就好.  可以看影片, 可以看書.  把那罐啤酒傳給我好嗎? 冰箱裡的食物和美式足球賽就夠了.  不用出門!

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Walking Around Dawu 在大武散步
What's Going On in Taitung 台東最近發生的事 5
My Sister's Visit to Taiwan 我妹妹來台的旅遊
Getting Lost Near Highway 11 在台11線附近迷路

*No link for that marathon in Luye as yet.  I also failed to mention the "Beach/Bikini Run" in Tai Ma Li on New Year's Day because it's too late to sign up for (unless you go to their office).

2017年12月15日 星期五

This Means War

It all began innocently enough.  The President of Taiwan was being interviewed by a reporter, when she referred to Mainland China's missile capability as "unimpressive."  No one thought anything of it at the time, but by the time the news filtered back to China it had become a BIG problem.

"What is she talking about?" the Chinese wondered aloud.  "Unimpressive?  Our missiles are unimpressive?  Why I'll have her know that our wives think our missiles are VERY impressive!  They're long, they're wide, and they're effective at close range!  Our wives and girlfriends say this every day!"

Tensions simmered across the Taiwan Strait for months afterward.  Of course the President of Taiwan offered an apology, implying that "bigger wasn't always better," but the Chinese were having none of it.  Their feelings were hurt, and they took every opportunity to insult Taiwan's President through the press.  "She doesn't know what she's talking about," they said, "China's missiles stand erect, and ready to meet any threat!"

By June of the following year, the Chinese had perfected the Long Dong, their newest long range missile.  The Long Dong was a projectile exceeding anything in Taiwan's arsenal, even the longer missiles sold to Taiwan by the Americans.  It stood proud and tall over the soldiers who presented it to the public, and cast a shadow all the way over the Taiwan Strait.  "Now that's a BIG missile!" said people in Taiwan, "...but how should we respond?  Should we build one even bigger?  We're sure not going down on our knees before that thing!"

The President of Taiwan convened an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.  "What are our options here?" she said to those assembled, "The Chinese Long Dong is indeed very formidable.  One might even say impressive!"

The Taiwanese generals talked it over, and in the end came up with a solution.  "We've got it!" they said, "We know what to do!  We'll sneak people into China to make fun of the Long Dong, and after that they'll be too embarrassed to use it!"

So a month later several Taiwanese saboteurs snuck into China as part of a trade conference, an official-type thing where they pretended to be "Chinese Taipei."  They checked into their hotel, they acted very businesslike, and in the dead of night they snuck away to the airbase where the Long Dong was kept, switching into Chinese military uniforms soon after.

The next day some of the Chinese generals came out to admire their newest missile.  The Long Dong stood high above them, straight and tall, and visible for miles around.  "Now that's one hell of a big missile," they congratulated each other, "Satisfyingly long, and seriously impressive."

Little did they know that a few of their number were not members of the Mainland military, but rather Taiwanese infiltrators.  "I'm not sure," said a voice from the back of the group.  Don't you think it looks kind of weird?"

The Chinese generals were taken aback at this slander, and turned to one another in disbelief.  "What?" one of them said, "Who said that?  What do you mean 'looks weird?'"

The Taiwanese saboteur who had spoken took a moment to respond, readying a cyanide pill in case his true identity was discovered.  "I'm just saying, you know, it looks kind of weird.  Not so much like a missile should look.  Kind of... unnatural, really.  More like something you would use - or buy - if your normal missile wasn't functioning properly."

"WHAT?!?!" the Chinese generals gasped, "But our wives say this missile is perfect!  They say it looks VERY natural!  How can you say this about the Long Dong?  It's the object of our national pride!  And now that I think about it, some of your faces are unfamiliar!  I think you might be Taiwanese spies!"

"That may well be," said the Taiwanese saboteurs, but your Long Dong still looks weird to us.  It's so unattractive!"

And with that the Taiwanese infiltrators swallowed their cyanide pills.  They all dropped dead seconds later.

Months of silence followed.  When asked about their newest missile, the Chinese military appeared very confident, but there seemed to be doubts as to its efficacy.  Certain members of the People's Liberation Army voiced concerns that the missile was "unnatural" or even "looked weird."  It was clear that the Mainland was putting a brave face on things, and that they still hadn't addressed the Taiwanese President's complaint that their missiles were "unimpressive."

Later still, a Cross-Strait Security Conference was convened in Malaysia.  Taiwan's President was in attendance, along with the senior members of China's government.  At a certain point the subject of missile capability came up, and the President of Taiwan was asked if she still thought China's missiles were "unimpressive."

"Well," she said, "The Long Dong is certainly BIG, but don't you guys think it looks kind of weird?"

The Mainland Chinese delegation erupted into chaos, and many people started shouting.  "You better shut your mouth!" one of the Chinese delegates said, "We'll show you!  This means war!"

The representatives from the People's Republic of China emphasized their threat by storming out of the conference, leaving the Taiwanese delegates understandably confused.  The Taiwanese President was speechless, but she regained her composure after her aides assured her that all would be well, and that they had nothing to worry about.

"But what do you mean?" she said, "That missile will kill thousands!"

"Trust us," her aides assured her, "Everything will be fine."

The President and her team returned to Taiwan.  Newspapers on the island predicted a catastrophic military response from the Chinese, and the Taiwanese public grew very worried.

The Chinese, meanwhile, were readying the Long Dong for launch.  Taipei was their obvious target, and the Mainland generals gloated over the revenge that would soon be theirs.  "Unimpressive?  Ha, what did she know!  Weird-looking?  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

"Yes," they said among themselves, "This will fix them good!"

But as they stood there, behind their bunker walls, they couldn't help but take a closer look at the Long Dong.  Some, even then, whispered that it might not be impressive enough to prove China's missile capability.  Some, even then, whispered that it did indeed look weird.  And why was it taking so long to get the missile ready?  Wasn't Taiwan just asking for it?  Shouldn't the Long Dong have been ready, long ago?

The generals asked the technicians to hurry, and in their haste they entered the wrong launch codes, so that the Long Dong took flight prematurely.  They watched as their missile sailed away at the wrong angle, headed for who knew where.

"It's not our fault," the technicians said, "We were too excited, and we've been really stressed from work.  We've got all these things on our minds you know... and we really could have used some encouragement.  Not so much pressure.  We're only men, after all."

Homing in on the wrong coordinates, the Long Dong flew directly into the Taiwan Strait.  China's much-lauded projectile didn't even detonate.  The Taiwanese military, who'd been following the entire thing via satellites, raised a collective cheer.  

At the same time the generals in China could only hang their heads in shame.  It seemed to them that the President of Taiwan had been right after all.  Their missile capability really had been unimpressive, and the Long Dong had been a weird-looking failure.  Sure, they had plenty of other missiles to launch, but after that failed first attempt they just weren't in the mood.

"Don't worry about it too much," the President of Taiwan told her counterpart in Beijing over the phone.  "A lot of countries have this problem.  You just need to relax next time.  And we can always talk things out, you know?  

"Having a big missile is great, but it's not the only thing.  In any relationship, personal or political, communication is important, too."

Related Entries:

台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (4 of 4)
台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (3 of 4)
Those Guys
台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (2 of 4)

2017年12月13日 星期三

My First Time on Taiwanese TV

1999.  Man, that was a while ago.  I was just off the plane from the States, I was a few weeks into my first teaching job in Taiwan, and I was acclimating to the island in general.

At that time I spoke maybe four words in Chinese: xie xie (thanks) and ni hao (hello).  I could also recognize the characters for "beef," "chicken," "pork," "noodles," and "rice" from local restaurants.  That was about it.

I had a girlfriend named Catherine.  I met her in a bar in Taichung, where I was living, and if it wasn't love, at least it was lust at first sight.  It was that kind of intense affair that young Taiwanese girls have without the approval of their parents, and I was about as emotionally uninvolved as it was possible to be.  

At one point Catherine got tickets (she was invited?) to sit in the audience for a TV show.  To this day I have no idea what the name of the show was.  The host was that curly-haired man with the beard, and several other Taiwanese celebrities who I'd probably now recognize if I could only recall what they looked like then.  It was one of those forgettable variety/game shows, where people talk endlessly, sing songs, and make (bad) puns in Taiwanese.

Catherine asked if I wanted to attend the taping with her.  I said "Sure," not really having any idea what I was in for.  I don't even know if I'd seen any Taiwanese TV shows at the time.  We had no television in the apartment where I lived, and aside from that apartment, the school where I worked, the 7-11, and a handful of restaurants I really hadn't been anywhere.

A week or so later we were on a bus headed to Taipei.  The bus took us straight to the TV studio where the show was being taped, and I assume that Catherine bought the ticket (was invited?) as part of a much larger group.  Soon after we were sitting inside a studio, in the midst of hundreds of other people, and the two hosts of the show were talking on the stage beneath us.  Catherine said they were talking about me, but what they said she never told me.  "Keep smiling," she said, "Look happy."

In case you've never been inside a Taiwanese TV studio, let me tell you that they look a lot worse in real life.  On television the shows look very shiny and new, but when you're in the studio you quickly realize how much mileage those studios have on them, and how many programs are filmed in the same space.  From the bleachers I could see how cheaply constructed everything was, and how the paint was peeling off some of the walls.  When filming a TV show, of course, they're only concerned about one or two angles, and if the imperfections in a set don't show up in those one or two angles they're overlooked altogether.

It was also really hot.  The lights had me sweating within minutes, and I began to realize what an act of endurance hosting a TV show must be.  Wearing a suit and standing beneath those lights without sweating your makeup off wouldn't be easy. 

The show continued on, and an hour or so later it was done.  On our way out Catherine told me that we were invited to meet the hosts backstage, and a stagehand led us to where various stars were having their makeup removed.  

I had a short conversation with a man I later saw on many other shows.  I also said "hello" to the curly-headed man, though he seemed more preoccupied with his twenty-something girlfriend.  The celebrity I talked with spoke perfect English, and mentioned that he'd gone to school in Canada.

After returning to Taichung, a lot of coworkers told me they'd seen me on TV.  They said I looked good, even though I was sweating like a bastard at the time.  I figured that if I'd managed to look "happy" through an hour of not understanding what the f*ck anyone was saying I'd done a pretty good job.

Catherine and I broke up a month or so later.  If she's somehow reading this (it's possible), I'm sorry for being such a dick at that party, but I knew your parents were never going to be ok with me.  Besides that, I was already dating someone else by then.  Just the same, thanks for inviting me to be on the TV show.  I can't say it was entirely pleasant, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless.

I've been on TV (and in the newspaper) a few times since, but it was always work-related, and never particularly memorable.  Being a foreigner and showing up on TV happens sometimes, and often for the most random reasons.  I've known foreigners who try to be on TV as much as possible - some for money, some for the fleeting sense of fame it offers - but that whole endeavor can get pretty silly.  Taiwanese people - through the media - are always aggrandizing foreigners for their own reasons, and one can't take too much credit for being the one foreign person within easy reach of a reporter, television executive, or aspiring politician.

Still, being on TV can be fun.  If you have the chance, and you can do it without compromising yourself too much, I'd recommend it.  If, however, they're asking you to ham it up, act "foreign," and otherwise conform to stereotypes I'd give it a hard pass.

Related Entries:

Traintime: Taipei to Suao 蘇澳
Those Guys
The Monkeys and the Dogs 那些猴子跟那些狗
Letter to B and C from A

2017年12月11日 星期一

台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (4 of 4)

The information below was taken from 台灣西方文明初體驗 ("The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan").  The Chinese was written by Chen Rou-jing, and the English was written/translated from the Chinese by me.  以下的內容來自台灣文明初體驗這本書.  下列中文的部分是從陳柔縉作者的書裡節錄的.  英文的部分則是我寫的.

輪船 Ships

快一百年前, 台中清水海邊長大的少年說他 "對於海是司空見慣的, 並不稀罕, 可是浮在海上的東西, 以前曾經見過的卻只有漁民用來打魚的竹筏而已."  在學校, 岡村校長卻跟他說起 "輪船" 這種新鮮名詞, 他很驚疑; "據說輪船比我們的房屋還大, 這麼大的東西, 怎麼能浮在海上走呢?"  有一天, 他就要前往東京留學, 他將看見校長口中神奇的 "輪船", 行前疑惑還在心裡反覆: "這麼大的一座城, 怎樣能弄到海裡呢?"  "鐵造的城怎能浮在海上?"  Almost a hundred years ago, a young person who'd grown up in Chingshui, Taichung County said, "I don't see the ocean often, but when I do, the only things I see floating upon it are the bamboo rafts used by fishermen."  In school1 his principal told him about "ships," a word he hadn't heard before.  In amazement he said, "I hear that ships are bigger than our houses!  How can anything so big float upon the ocean?"  Then, one day, he went to Tokyo to study abroad, and he finally saw the miraculous "ships" his principal had spoken of.  Prior to embarking on his trip he still expressed doubts, however.  "How can something as large as a city move upon the sea?  How can such an 'iron city' float?"

這位清水少年楊肇嘉 (一八九二年生, 戰後曾任台灣省民政廳長), 一九0八年, 在基隆港見到輪船那一天, "巨輪" 果真把他 "嚇了一大跳".  一九二0年, 輪船依然教宜蘭少年陳逸松 (一九0七年生, 日本時代的台北市會員, 戰後曾任考試委員) 目瞪口呆, 震驚不已.  十三歲第一次看到噴出黑煙的大黑船, 才知道船不只有木頭做的, 還有鐵皮做的; 以前的經驗, 只有房子燒了才會冒煙, "沒想到船有煙囪會冒煙".  This young person from Chingshui, Yang Jhao-jia (born in 1892, he later served as the Director of the Civil Affairs Office for Taiwan Province2 after the war) often spoke about how the "giant ship" he saw in Keelung in 1920 "really frightened him."  In 1920 Chen Yi-song, a young man from Yilan (born in 1907, he was a member of the Taipei City Council during the Japanese Imperial Administration, and member of the Examination Board after the war) was shocked and stunned by his experience aboard a ship.  At 13 years of age, seeing the black smoke spurt from the huge black vessel, he finally realized that ships weren't just made of wood, but also of iron sheeting.  Up until that time he thought that only burning houses emitted smoke.  "I didn't realize that ships had a chimney that released smoke."

十九世紀中期, "輪船" 更像巨人了, 每次現身都會把東方的國家和人民嚇到.  一八五三年, 美國的海軍艦隊開進東京灣, 強迫日本開放門戶, 讓船隻停泊和做生意.  熱熱的夏天七月, 以蒸汽機為動力的船, 逆風直溯東京灣, 還有那麼大的黑色鐵皮船殼, 叫日本人看得冷汗直流.  In the 19th century "ships" were really more like giants.  Every time people from Eastern nations saw them they were frightened.  In 1853 the American navy used "gunboat diplomacy" to force their way into Tokyo Bay, thus opening Japan to [Western] traders, and making it possible for Western ships to anchor there.  In a sweltering July an ironclad steamboat floated into Tokyo Bay, causing the people of Japan to break out in a cold sweat.

Ship visiting Taiwan in 1884.

中國的文學大師林語堂 (一八九五年生) 一生寫過無數英文著作, 介紹中國給西方.  他在八十自敍談到他和西方世界的第二次接獨, 媒介就是輪船.  "是我在石碼和廈門間的輪船上首度看到蒸汽引擎的運作.  我看得入迷, 目瞪口呆.  我來在學校看到一個活塞引擎的圖解, 才完全明白."  The Chinese man of letters Lin Yu-tang (born 1895) wrote many works in English which introduced China to the West.  In his "80 Essays" he talks about his second encounter with the Western world, when he came across a ship.  "It was in both Shr Yan and Xiamen that I first saw a ship, and witnessed the operation of a steam engine.  I was amazed by what I saw.  It was only after seeing a diagram of the steam engine's workings that I finally understood [how it worked]."

輪船和各國傳統船舶最大不同就是蒸汽引擎.  一七八九年, 瓦特發明蒸汽機, 隨即被運用到各種交通工具上.  蒸汽船發展上關鍵的起步在一八0七年, 美國人建造了最早稱為 "蒸汽船" 的克雷蒙特號.  蒸汽機推動船腰上的輪軸, 速度明顯超過傳統帆船.  一八五五年, 這種一小時走四英里 (約六公里半), 轉輪在船身兩側的 "外輪船", 荷蘭獻了一艘給日本德川幕府, 命名為 "觀光丸", 成為日本最早的汽船.  The biggest difference between (steam)ships3 and the traditional types of boats used throughout the world was the steam engine.  In 1789 Watt invented the steam engine, and this discovery was soon used in a number of vehicles.  Steam ships weren't developed until 1807, when the Americans built the Claymont, the first steamship.  The steam engine turned an axle in the belly of the ship, allowing the ship to sail faster than traditional boats.  By 1855 ships could travel four miles per hour (about 6.5 km), and [the axle could turn] the two wheels set on either side of a paddle steamer.  The Dutch gave one of these boats to the Tokugawa Shogunate, [which they] named "Hikarimaru."  This became the first steamship in Japanese history.

清代台灣的茶, 糖和米等買賣事業旺盛, 溝通有無, 船舶是最重要的運輸工具.  但不論是來往中國大陸或日本, 商人多使用木造帆船載運人貨.  有 "糖船", "橫洋船", "販漕船", 小船則有澎仔, 杉板頭等等.  During the Ching Dynasty, Taiwan's market for tea, sugar, and rice grew quickly.  As [Taiwan's] connection to the outside world strengthened, boats became a necessary form of transportation.  But regardless of whether one was headed for the Mainland or Japan, businessmen always used wooden sailboats to move their goods from one place to another.  There were "sugar boats," "ocean-crossing boats," and "peddler boats."  The small boats were all outfitted with awnings covered by cedar boards.

The famous Reverend Mackay, for whom the hospitals
are named.

台灣於一八九五年割給日本以前, 與汽船的發明與普及已經有段時間距離, 岸邊汽船的身影已經不少.  依日本人井出季和太所著臺灣治績志, 一八七七年, 就有 "菲爾頓" 號航行淡水與基隆之間.  怡和洋行也有自己的汽船, 在台灣南部和東部穿梭.  台灣北部長老教會的開創者馬偕牧師, 一八七二年三月從打狗 (高雄) 啟航到淡水, 搭的是 "海龍號" 輪船.  一八八五年, 也有英國道格拉斯公司開始經營淡水, 福州和安平間的輪船載運.  Before Taiwan was partitioned by Japan in 1895, the development and popularization of the steamboat advanced quickly.  In 1877 the Japanese writer Ide Harai, in his "Account of the Administration of Taiwan," stated that "The Feldon" operated between Danshui (Tamshui) and Keelung, and other ocean routes were serviced by other steamships.  There were a number of steamships serving Taiwan's southern and eastern coast.  In March 1883 the Reverend Mackay, from north Taiwan's Presbyterian Church, sailed in a steamboat from Da Gou (Kaohsiung) to Danshui.  The boat he sailed upon was called the "Sea Dragon."  In 1885 the British Douglas Company began operating a steamship line between Danshui, Fuzhou, and Heping.

近代台灣史上, 汽船最鮮明的身影, 應數台灣巡撫唐景崧逃離台灣乘坐的那一艘英籍汽船.  In Taiwan's recent history, the most recognizable steamship is probably the British model used by the former governor, Tang Jing-song, to flee the island.

一八九五年, 台灣面臨巨變, 當五月八日, 清, 日代表在煙台交換批准書, 割台已成不可改變的定局後, 在台灣的清廷官僚和士紳商賣, 群情激憤.  幾次哀哀上告清廷中央, 請求勿棄台灣, 都沒有下文.  於是, 自己組成 "台灣民主國", 進士丘逢甲帶台北士紳向唐景崧呈獻台灣總統金印和藍地黃虎圖案的國旗.  雖然割台之約讓台灣百姓 "哭聲震天", 但唐景崧這個總統似乎只是被趕上架的總統而已, 沒真心要與民死守台灣土地, 抵抗異族新主到最後一兵一卒.  才十三天工夫, 就與內務大臣俞明震, 軍務大臣李秉瑞 "一同潛行至滬尾, 藏匿於英商忌利士海運公司, 遂在六月四日, 趁著黑夜, 不顧一切的搭上英輪亞沙號逃回廈門."  見史明著台灣人四百年史, 迫使台灣民主國夭折.  這艘汽船安全帶走唐景崧, 卻留給台灣百姓更大的悲憤.  In 1895 Taiwan faced a momentous change.  On May 8, Japan signed a treaty with the Ching court which partitioned Taiwan, and led to its becoming part of Japan.  Those Ching officials engaged in Taiwanese business ventures were very angry about this, and visited the Ching court several times to ask them not to give up Taiwan, all without success.  For this reason they formed the "Republic of Taiwan."  The members of the gentry then elected Tang Jing-song (of Taipei) to the office of President, and had a blue flag with a yellow tiger made4 [to represent their new republic]. Although the partitioning of Taiwan from China was viewed as a tragedy by most Taiwanese people, Tang Jing-song's election was more of a stopgap measure, and his government wasn't so interested in the welfare of Taiwanese people or the preservation of their territorial rights.  [This government] put up little resistance when the Japanese arrived, and only functioned for 13 days.  Minister of the Interior Tou Ming-jen and Head of Military Affairs Li Bing-rui "fled with their tails between their legs, hiding among British merchants in a shipping company, and by June 4, in the dark of night, they had embarked on the British ship Yasha for Xiamen."  The first democracy seen in Taiwan's 400 year history crumbled as a steamship carried Tang Jing-song back to China, and the people of Taiwan were left with a great sense of personal loss.

The "Takasago Maru."

台灣進入日治, 輪船載運也進入大規模, 有規律的時期.  日治第二年四月, 總督府開始給大阪商船株式會社補助金六萬圓, 讓它的船定期來往台灣與日本 (相對於台灣, 稱日本為 "內地", 所以此航線稱 "內臺航路") 之間, 每個月兩次.  當時使用的三艘船 "須磨丸", "明石丸" 和 "舞鶴丸", 噸位都不超過兩千.  As the Japanese Imperial Administration began its rule over Taiwan, [the inhabitants of the island] began to use ships on a much larger scale, and ocean traffic was regulated.  During April of the second year of the Administration, the Office of the Governor General granted a subsidy of 60,000 yen to the Osaka Merchant Shipping Co., Ltd., which allowed its ships to travel regularly between Taiwan and Japan.  At that time Japan was called "the Mainland" by people in Taiwan, so this ocean line was called the "Mainland-Taiwan Line."  Boats followed this passage twice a month, and [the Mainland-Taiwan Line] was serviced by three boats: the "Sumamaru," the "Akashimaru," and the "Maizurumaru," each weighing under 2,000 tons.

後來, 船隻愈來愈多, 噸位愈來愈大, 航線愈來愈密, 依一九二五年的資料, 台灣的航運已經非常發達.  台灣本島有沿岸航路, 甲線走東岸, 從基隆經蘇澳, 花蓮港, 新港 (台東成功), 台東火燒島 (綠島), 紅頭嶼 (蘭嶼), 海口 (近屏東車城) 到高雄.  乙線從基隆, 經澎湖馬公, 轉到高雄.  和日本之間的內臺航路, 有橫濱高雄線, 那霸基隆線, 但以神戶基隆線最盛, 一個月有十二次往返, 每月逢日期有一, 四, 六, 八者, 正午從神戶開船, 隔天一早到達九州門司, 午後四點再離開門司, 經兩個半晝夜的時間, 清晨駛入基隆港.  返航路線則每月逢日期一, 三, 六, 九午後四點啟航.  這條航路幾乎是所有日治時期留日菁英必走之路, 留下無數回憶與歷史的特殊海線.  After this point there were more and more ships, the ships were bigger and bigger, and the ocean routes multiplied.  According to literature released in 1925, by that time Taiwan's shipping industry had undergone explosive growth.  On the island of Taiwan there was the Coastal Line, with added service on the east coast.  [This line started in] Keelung and then went to Suao, Hualien Port, Shingang (in Cheng Gong, Taitung County), Green Island, Orchid Island, Haikou (near Checheng in Pingtung County), and ended in Kaohsiung.  Another line went from Keelung, to Magong on Penghu, and then went to Kaohsiung.  There was also the Mainland-Taiwan Line between Taiwan and Japan, the Kaohsiung Coastal Line, and another line between Japan and Keelung.  But the Kobe-Keelung Line was by far the most popular, with 12 ships traveling this route each month, and boats leaving the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 8th of every month.  The ships left port in Kobe, early the next day they arrived at Kyushu, left Kyushu after 4 pm, sailed two and a half days, and then arrived in Keelung very early in the morning.  Return trips [from Taiwan] left on the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 9th of every month around 4 pm.  This ocean line was undoubtedly the most important of the Japanese colonial period, and this historic ocean line has left behind many fond memories.

這條航路都用近一萬噸的大輪船, 雖然與戰後起碼的五, 六萬噸的船比較, 無異小巫見大巫, 但當時確實為人們心目中的 "巨輪".  最大的叫 "逢萊丸", 有九千五百噸, "扶桑丸" 有八千三百多噸.  These ocean lines used only boats boats approaching 10,000 tons in size.  Although boats of this size were nothing when compared to the post-War minimum of 50,000-60,000 tons, these boats were still considered "gigantic."  The biggest [of these boats] was called the "Horoumaru," and weighed 9,500 tons.  [Its nearest competitor, the "Fusomaru," came in at more than 8,300 tons.

The "Fujimaru" on the Inner Taiwan Line

日本時代在台灣看到的日本輪船, 全叫甚麼甚麼丸.  據林衡道教授在口述的臺灣風情書中說, 平安時代 (約中國宋代) 貴族之子的幼名都叫某某丸.  為求航海平安, 朝廷賜給官船名字, 也都叫某某丸.  經查日文字典, 刀劍, 樂器, 乃至狗名, 其實也會以 "丸" 結尾.  During the Japanese Colonial Administration in Taiwan, all ships were named "something" maru.  Professor Lin Heng-dao, in his "Taiwan Style"5 says that during the "Period of Prosperity" (roughly concurrent with the Song Dynasty in China), the sons of wealthy families were named "something something" maru.  As a way of ensuring peaceful seas, the royal court would always name the boats "something something" maru.  After consulting a Japanese dictionary, [he discovered that] swords, musical instruments, and even dogs were given this "maru" at the end of their names.

林衡道另指出, 一等艙吃西餐, 二, 三等艙吃日本菜.  "最不愉快的就是一, 二等餐廳座位由船長安排時, 日本人排在上坐, 台灣人排在下坐."  依一九二五年版的臺灣之交通所示, 各種船都分三等, 一等艙票價幾乎恆為三等的三倍, 二等又為三等的兩倍價格.  Lin Heng-dao also pointed out that first class passengers ate a Western meal, while second and third class passengers ate Japanese food.  "The most disappointing thing was that first and second class passengers sat in seats arranged from the captain downward, with the Japanese sitting above, and the Taiwanese sitting below."  As the 1925 book "Taiwan Transport" explained, the tickets for each boat were divided into three classes.  Second class tickets were twice as expensive as third class tickets, and first class tickets were three times as expensive as third class tickets.

現在的天空, 分分秒秒都有航班, 輪船早已追不上飛機的速度.  但在那個遙遠的過去, 輪船猶如現在的飛機, 是被運用得最頻繁的國際交通工具, 可以載人到全世界各國.  日本時代在台灣搭船, 最遠已可到達曼谷, 新加坡及越南西貢, 海防港, 每月發一次船.  In modern times planes move across the sky every minute of every day, and ships could never compete with the speed of airplanes.  But in the distant past boats took the place now occupied by airplanes, serving as the most important means of transport and a way for people to visit any country, in any part of the world.  During the Japanese Imperial Administration people could travel by boat as far as Bangkok, Singapore, and both Saigon and Haiphong in Vietnam.  A boat left [for these ports] once a month.

到新加坡的三等票價為六十二圓, 到香港十八圓, 到菲律賓二十三圓, 到日本神戶二十圓.  一般中下級公務員月薪十幾圓上下, 這樣的搭船旅費相對不算太貴.  The price of a third class ticket to Singapore was 62 yen, to Hong Kong was 18 yen, to the Philippines was 23 yen, and to Kobe Japan was 20 yen.  Most middle and lower-level workers earned just under a hundred yen a month, so traveling by boat wasn't so expensive.

Kobe-Keelung Line.

Related Entries:

Traintime: Taipei to Suao 蘇澳
Traintime: Fengyuan 豐原 to Taipei
Traintime: Kaohsiung 高雄 to Taichung 台中
台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (3 of 4)

1. The Chinese refers to his school as being in 岡村, or "Gang Village."  This could be a place in Chingshui, or it might be a reference to a place in Japan.  It's impossible to tell from the text.

2. Taiwan Province?  What?  The KMT planned to "retake the Mainland" after being kicked out by the communists.  They viewed Taiwan as a province separated from the other, communist-occupied provinces.

3. 輪船 or "wheel ship" could be translated as either "ship" or "steamship" depending on the context.

4. This flag can be seen in the sidebar of this blog.  The original can be viewed at the Taiwan Museum of History in Tainan.

5. Hey, it's the name of this blog!  台灣風情 is, however, the most appropriate way to translate "Taiwan Style" into Chinese.  The Chinese name of this blog, 東方與西方的巧遇, would translate into something more like "A Brief Encounter Between East and West."

2017年12月6日 星期三

Traintime: Taipei to Suao 蘇澳

She wanted me to hurry, so I hurried.  A scooter ride to Chao Ma 朝馬, then a bus to Taipei.  Hurry, hurry, hurry, because the train from Taipei to Yilan 宜蘭 left and such and such a time, and because we had to meet her friend's boyfriend in Yilan at such and such a time, and because if we didn't do all of those things everything was F*CKED and our vacation was ruined.

Funny thing was, I didn't even know where Yilan was at that point.  I had this vague notion that it was somewhere north, somewhere "past Taipei," but that was it.  My knowledge of Taiwan's geography extended only to a) the airport, and b) my apartment and its immediate environs.  How was I supposed to know why we were so hurried?  How was I to supposed know what the problem was?

On the bus from Taichung 台中 she was swearing.  Swearing at the traffic.  Swearing at the driver (in English, so he wouldn't understand).  We had to go, we had to go, she said, and why was the bus taking so long?  Who ever heard of a bus from Taichung to Taipei hitting traffic?

Then we were running through the train station.  Was it my first time in the (enormous) Taipei Train Station?  I think it was.  Running and running and running, and I couldn't make heads or tails of anything.  She went to get the tickets (I think), she led me downstairs (I think), and then we smashed our way onto a train that didn't have any seats left, where strangers looked uncomfortably out the window.

The train passed through endless tunnels.  Where were we really going, I wondered.  Wasn't Yilan near Taipei?  Wasn't Taiwan a small island?  How was it that an hour later we were still on the train?  She wasn't very helpful in her explanations.  All she could say was that we were in a tremendous hurry, and that her friend's boyfriend was waiting.

I began to notice the scenery outside the window.  Gone were the high rises and rush hour traffic.  Gone were the crowds I'd seen almost every day since arriving in Taiwan.  The air got better.  I could see the ocean.  And were those mountains in the distance?  Yes, I believed they were.

The train pulled into a train station.  I don't remember which.  It might have been Yilan.  It might just have easily been Jiaoshi 礁溪 or Suao.  Two of her other friends showed up and we found the friend's boyfriend, waiting outside.

I turned around to see a high school student laughing hysterically.  "She's never seen a foreigner," her friend explained, and I felt like I was on the other side of the moon.

I smiled and got in a car with several other people.  The friend's boyfriend was our tour guide.  Where did he take us?  Where did we go?  I'd be at a loss to tell you.  For me that whole weekend was a series of river valleys and restaurants, winding roads and oddly designed tourist traps.  I remember going up Tai Ping Mountain 太平山.  I remember the hot springs at Jiaoshi.  But I couldn't tell you if we got as far south as Suao.  We might have - I don't remember.

And why do I remember Jiaoshi?  Because by that point she was feeling so sorry for me.  I'd been trapped in a small car with her friends for days, none the wiser for all their Chinese conversation.  What's one to do for a lonely foreign boyfriend?  How is one to appease him?

Let's just say that our time in Jiaoshi was like being in one of the higher-quality porn movies.  Everything was well lit, the performances were convincing, and everyone involved had a great time.  Sure, it was a lousy weekend, and no, I never really understood what the big hurry was, but that hour in Jiaoshi was well worth the confusion, loneliness, and transit time.  It would have been worth all of that and then some.

Believe you me.

Related Entries:

Walking Around Dawu 在大武散步
Traintime: Fengyuan 豐原 to Taipei
Traintime: Kaohsiung 高雄 to Taichung 台中
My Sister's Visit to Taiwan 我妹妹來台的旅遊

2017年11月30日 星期四

Walking Around Dawu 在大武散步

I was one of the judges for the Reader's Theater competition in Dawu last weekend.  I got there a bit early, so I had time to walk around.  我上個周末在大武的英語讀者劇場競賽當評審.  我比較早到, 所以有空在大武散步.

This is a local KTV.  I'm guessing that Dawu isn't the most happening place at night.  當地的卡拉ok.  我覺得大武的夜晚不會很熱鬧.

This is the northern half of Dawu, which is separated from the southern half by the Dawu River.  Most of the town lies close to Highway 9, and aside from the Dawu Forest Trail there's not much around here for tourists.  這是大武的北部.  大武溪的另外一邊是南部.  大部分的市區緊鄰台9線.  除了大武林道之外, 大武沒什麼觀光景點.

There are a lot of abandoned houses in Dawu.  在大武有很多房子沒人住.

Probably a good place to buy cheap land?  But what would you do with the land?  Live on it?  Farm?  在這裡買地應該很便宜.  可是買地做甚麼?  要住大武嗎?  要種菜嗎?

The Dawu River is very quiet.  大武溪是很安靜的地方.

This is where the Dawu River empties into the Pacific.  The Dawu Forest Trail is up the hill to the right.  這裡是大武溪口.  大武林道在右邊的小山坡上.

Looking towards the mountains.  You can see the South-Link train line on the right.  Dawu is the last stop before the train crosses the mountains into Pingtung County.*  往山區看南迴線.  在右邊的大武是台東縣內往屏東縣的最後一站.

No idea what this place is.  Found it behind Dawu Junior High School.  A lot of empty buildings.  不知道這是什麼地方.  我在大武國中後面發現的.  這裡有很多空的建築物.

This is one of the schools practicing for the Reader's Theater competition.  The kids were very friendly, and didn't seem nervous around foreigners.  準備參加英語讀者劇場競賽的團體.  孩子們很熱心, 在外國人的面前不緊張.

Highway 9, looking south toward Dawu.  It was a long drive down there, but I found the place interesting.  I'd like to explore it more in the future.  在台9線上往南邊的大武看.  開車到那裏很累, 可是我還是覺得很有趣, 改天再來探索吧.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Traintime: Fengyuan 豐原 to Taipei
What's Going On in Taitung 台東最近發生的事 5
Traintime: Kaohsiung 高雄 to Taichung 台中
My Sister's Visit to Taiwan 我妹妹來台的旅遊

*There's actually another stop, Gu Juang 古莊, before Pingtung County, but I've never been on a train that stopped there.

2017年11月29日 星期三

Traintime: Fengyuan 豐原 to Taipei

The map above is missing a lot of stops, and even entire train lines.  But for my purposes it's probably good enough.  I'm skipping over several stops anyway.

1. Fengyuan 豐原.  Since translating that "Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan" book I've learned a bit more about Fengyuan and its surprisingly long history.  When I lived in Taichung I didn't get up there much, aside from trips down the road that goes from Fengyuan to the Coastal Expressway 海濱快速公路.

It's an uneventful place, but I like that view along the river north of Taichung City.

Downtown Miaoli City.

2. Miaoli 苗栗.  My impression of Miaoli County has always been that it's "varied" (i.e. it has a lot of interesting places in it).  My impression of Miaoli City, however, is that it's one of the most boring cities in Taiwan.  When we lived in Taichung we took the train into Miaoli often, and I suppose it was the first part of Taiwan (outside Taichung) that I explored.

I like the hillsides in Miaoli.  That reddish soil, with those distinctive trees.  It's definitely not a good county for observing wildlife, but when I think of those hillsides I feel very nostalgic.

Points of interest in Miaoli?  This is all off the top of my head, but I remember that the town of Sanyi 三義, where they carve wood, was somewhat amusing.  There were also some old train stations, train tracks, and tunnels.  Miaoli also has an aquarium, but when I lived near there that place really wasn't worth going to.

People picking strawberries in Dahu.

Dahu 大湖, where they grow the strawberries, was one of the more fun places in that county.  If memory serves there was also a hot spring area near there, near the southern part of Shui Ba National Park 雪霸國家公園.

But don't put too much stock in what I say about Miaoli, Hsinchu, or Taoyuan.  Those counties are very far from where I live now, and I only visit them infrequently.

3. Jhunan 竹南.  I can only remember two things about Jhunan, and they are: 1) There's a Taiwan Beer Brewery there, and 2) There's a beach resort near the ocean, not far from Hsinchu.

Hsinchu Train Station, built by the Japanese.

4. Hsinchu 新竹.  I lived in this city for a year.  I enjoyed some aspects of it, really didn't enjoy others, but it's changed so much since that time that I couldn't presume to tell you much about it.  Last time I drove into Hsinchu I got SO lost.  Everywhere I looked there were new buildings, and roads where there were no roads before.

I have many fond memories of the Neiwan Line 內灣線 that runs east into the mountains from Hsinchu.  When I lived in Hsinchu I spent a lot of time in Jhudong 竹東.  Neiwan, at the end of that line, is a cute little town.  There are a ton of strange mountain places east of Jhudong, and some surprisingly unspoiled natural scenery.  

I miss Beipu 北埔.  There was some good food in Beipu.

5. Taoyuan 桃園.  I was in Taoyuan not long ago, attempting to take my daughters to Coca-Cola World 可口可樂世界.  It took forever to find it, and once we did we quickly discovered that you can only visit that place as part of a group.

Taoyuan County

During the year I lived in Hsinchu I visited Taoyuan many times, but I don't remember much.  Like Hsinchu, most of the more scenic/interesting places in Taoyuan are closer to the mountains, and I had a good time visiting some of the Hakka villages in that area.

I always meant to go to La La Mountain 拉拉山 and "Little Wulai" 小烏來, but still haven't made it over.  They look nice in the pictures I've seen, but I've never been in that area with a car and with the energy to seek those places out.

Taoyuan International Airport

Oh, and of course Taoyuan International Airport is in that part of Taiwan.  A lot of people get confused because their ticket stubs say "Taipei," but the airport is really in Taoyuan.  This is why the "Airport MRT" is called the Taoyuan MRT on many of the signs.  It's operated by the Taoyuan County Government.

6. Taipei 台北.  I already talked about Taipei in this entry and this entry.  So I'll just leave it there.

...aside from the fact that it's HUGE and there's a ton of stuff to do.  If you don't like Taipei, it's probably because you don't like crowds.  Just the same Taipei is a fun (if expensive) city, and I usually have a good time there.

Related Entries:

Traintime: Kaohsiung 高雄 to Taichung 台中
My Sister's Visit to Taiwan 我妹妹來台的旅遊
台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (3 of 4)
Dongjhu 東竹 to Hualien 花蓮, According to the Hualien-Taitung Line 花東線 and My Faulty Memory