2017年10月21日 星期六

What's (Probably) Going On in Taitung 最近台東大概發生的事

I like to stay abreast of local current events, but reading through the local news can get repetitive.  Taitung is a relatively uneventful place, and after studying the local news for a while you start to see patterns.  我想持續關心當地發生的事情, 可是有時候一直讀台東的新聞有點無聊.  台東是個平靜的地方, 觀察台東地區的新聞一段時間後會發現它的固定模式.

For this reason, and out of a desire to "take a break" from the local news this month, I offer my list of what probably happened in Taitung this week.  所以我這個月不想提台東的消息.  我寫我"猜想"台東"可能"會發生的事情.

And next month I promise to get back to the REAL local news.  What follows below is pure speculation.  我下個月再繼續回到台東"真的"新聞.  以下的內容都是我自己臆撰的.


The library at Taitung University.  台東大學的圖書館

1. The County Magistrate gave someone an award for something agricultural.  While he presented the award many, many pictures were taken.  縣長頒獎給農民.  縣長頒給獎狀時一定有人拍很多照片. 

2. Roads were washed away by recent heavy rains.  And yes, traffic was stalled as a result.  下大雨之後, 大概很多條路發生了土石流,   當然因此也到處塞車.

3. There were traffic accidents.  A bus hit a car, or two buses hit each other, or someone got drunk and drove their scooter into an oncoming train.  可能發生了車禍.  公車撞汽車, 或是公車撞到遊覽車, 也可能有人酒後騎摩托車撞火車.

4. Someone got too close to a river during the recent rains and drowned/disappeared.  It was probably in Lu Ye, or somewhere else close to the mountains.  也可能在鹿野或其他山區, 有人因為接近日大雨而溪水暴增的河流而死亡或是失蹤.

5. There was a marathon, or there will be a marathon, or there was and will be a marathon.  And any and all marathons weren't planned that well, and were probably inconvenienced by the weather.  The same goes for any triathlons that might have/will have occurred this week.  可能最近舉辦了馬拉松, 或是將要舉辦馬拉松, 還是兩種都有.  其中或所有的馬拉松大概缺少完善的計畫, 天氣因素也可能讓參加馬拉松變得不方便.  這些情形也可能發生在這個星期的鐵人三項賽吧.


Seashore Park 海濱公園

6. Crops were destroyed.  By the heavy rains, of course.  大雨當然影響到很多人的農作物.

7. Trains were delayed, either because of heavy rains or traffic accidents.  大雨可能造成車禍或火車誤點.

8. The police busted someone over some KTV-related thing, maybe selling drugs, or prostitution, or selling drugs to prostitutes who later sold them back at an unfair price.  警察在卡拉ok抓到壞人.  可能是跟毒品有關, 或是跟賣淫有關, 還是人把毒品賣給妓女, 之後妓女再把毒品以高價賣給客人.  差不多是這樣子吧.

9. Somebody's house fell down because of the wind.  With all those old aluminum shacks around, it was bound to happen.  可能強風把房子吹倒了.  那麼多舊鐵皮屋當然會有這種事情發生.

10. The world kept turning, people were born, other people died, and the Earth continued to revolve around the sun.  Unless you believe in some strange religion/philosophy.  In that case, I guess some or all of those things never happened.  地球不停地運轉, 有人出生有人死亡, 地球仍然繞著太陽運行. 除非你相信其他奇怪的思想或是宗教.  在那樣的前提下, 可能某些或全部的這種事情完全沒有發生過!


Yuan Sen Botanical Gardens 原森植物園

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Wandering Around Guanshan 在關山走走
What's Going on with the Taitung City, Township, and Municipality Offices 台東市,鄉,鎮公所最近動向 2
The Monkeys and the Dogs 那些猴子跟那些狗
Shopping Around Taitung City 在台東市逛街

2017年10月18日 星期三

Taitung 台東 to Fangliao 枋寮, According to the South-Link Line 南迴線 and My Faulty Memory

Taitung in the upper right, with Fangliao in the lower left (both red).

Taitung 台東.  This is where I live.  I live not far from the train station, near Bao Sang Junior High School 寶桑國中.  Taitung can be very "country" at times, but I still like it better than any other part of Taiwan.  I could see myself living in Taipei, I could see myself living in Tainan 台南, but I doubt I'll move away from Taitung anytime soon.

Kangle 康樂.  I'm not really sure why they keep this stop open.  Maybe a lot of people ride the train to the Prehistory Museum 史前博物館?  It's over on the other side of RT Mart 大潤發, and there's not much around there except fields.


Royal Formosa Hot Springs.  Kinda doubt those are her kids...

Jerben 知本.  Jerben is where all the famous hot springs are.  The Royal Formosa 老爺, "Toyugi 東遊季," "Dongtair 東台," and many others are all here.  I've been to them all, and I can tell you that The Royal Formosa is where you take people you want to impress.  If you want to save a few NT, however, A Ya Wang ㄚ一丫旺 is probably your best option.

Jerben also has the Forest Recreation Area 森林遊樂區, a sadly overlooked local attraction.  The views from the upper trails are beautiful, and it's a good place to learn about local wildlife.


Just another day of flooding in Jerben.

But you know the sad thing about Jerben?  Every time a big typhoon comes through they get the worst of it.  Their roads get washed out, their hotels fall down, and their businesses suffer as a result.  The hotels get by, but it's not a good place to open a small business.

Taimali 太麻里.  Taimali (which I usually spell as "Tai Ma Li") is a town and a township.  The train stops in "downtown" Taimali, a place which is uneventful, if scenic from certain angles.  Near the train station a road leads up Jin Jen Mountain 金針山, the most famous attraction in that area.  But you'd really need a car or scooter to enjoy that place, and even then it would have to be early in the morning to be worth your while.  It's somewhat pretty when the trees and flowers blossom, but there are more impressive mountain retreats in Hualien 花蓮.


View across "downtown" Taimali to the Sunrise Park.

Down the other way (down the hill) there's Taimali's Sunrise Park 日昇公園.  Like Jin Jen Mountain it is somewhat pretty, but it's a dangerous place to swim, and there's little shade.

South of "downtown" Taimali you'll find the Three Sisters Beef Noodle Restaurant 三姊妹牛肉麵.  This, I think, is probably the most profitable tourist attraction in that area.  It's good, if slightly overpriced.


Jin Feng hot spring.  Who knows what it looks like now?

There are also hot springs "around the corner" (up the Tai Ma Li River) in Jin Feng 金峰.  But these hot springs are VERY small, and are often washed out by whatever typhoon is passing through.  Most people just go down to the river and put their feet in.  It's a far cry from Jerben.

Jin Luen 金崙.  After Jerben, this is Taitung's biggest hot spring area.  It's a funny little town with funny little hot springs.  I've been to most of the hot springs around here, including "Beautiful Beach 美之濱," "Eastern Sun 東太陽," and even that creepy saltwater one next to the cemetery.*


The "Dainty" hot spring in Jin Luen.

This area is NOT convenient from Taitung City, but it has a much quieter, more local feel.  Many of the small hostels around here would, I think, be interesting places to say.  I've had many good times in this place, though I expect a lot of their business will start to fold with Highway 9 now bypassing that town completely.

Loongxi 瀧溪.  Also referred to as Daxi 大溪.  I don't know why it has two names, but I suspect that Daxi is the name most people use.  I've driven into this town a couple times.  All I remember is a cement plant across the river, and an aboriginal village behind that.


Trail in Dawu.

Dawu 大武.  This is the last train stop before you start heading into the mountains that separate east from west Taiwan.  Despite the number of restaurants I've never had a good meal in Dawu, although the trail around the hill in the center of town is kind of interesting.

There are many good seafood restaurants south of there, in Shangwu 尚武.  Shangwu also has Jin Long Lake 金龍湖, which can be a nice walk if it's not too hot.


"Beautiful" downtown Fangliao.

Fangliao 枋寮.  What is there to do in Fangliao?  I really have no idea.  I've driven or taken the train through there a thousand times, but in terms of tourism potential it seems like a dead zone.  I found a few local sites on Google, but nothing that has me on fire to go there soon.

But Pingtung 屏東 can be uninteresting that way.  Kenting is chock full of stuff to do, but most of the townships north of there are either farming country or an industrial wasteland.

Related Entries:

Some Pictures from Tainan 台南
Taipei, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Red Line)
Taipei, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Blue Line)
Wandering Around Guanshan 在關山走走

*These hot spring resorts don't have English names.  I'm inventing them!

2017年10月13日 星期五

Those Guys


Those guys, you know.

It's a weekend, and we're foreigners, sitting in front of the local convenience store.  We're foreign because we're in Taiwan, and not in the foreign place we came from.  We're foreign because we're wearing the wrong/right kind of clothes, and foreign because we're speaking the wrong/right kind of language.

And those guys come up, drunk as lords.  Where were they drinking, before they met us?  What had they been doing, before the Heineken?  Before the betel nut?  Before the cigarettes?

"Drink," they say, "You can be our foreign friends tonight.  You are all foreigners, and of course you don't know anything about Taiwan, so let's be friends, and we can teach you many things about it."

Beers are distributed to various people.  Betel nut is chewed.  Cigarettes are lit.

"You are all foreigners," say those guys, "So you don't understand Our Culture.  Let me tell you about Our Culture, even though I don't believe that you'll ever understand it.

"You see," say those guys, "There's this thing called Taiwan, right?

"...and in this thing called Taiwan there are many holidays, and foods, and languages.  But of course you are all foreigners, and you wouldn't know about this.

"We have Chinese New Year, and Moon Festival, and Dragon Boat Festival.  You, being foreigners, have Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and Easter.

"We have stinky tofu, and chicken feet, and dumplings.  You, being foreigners, have hamburgers, pizza, and French fries.

"We speak Taiwanese, and Chinese, and Hakkanese.  You, being foreigners, speak only English.

"You see we know about all of these things because we can learn your language, and we can know your culture.  You, being foreigners, can't learn our language, and can't know anything about us.

"So you see, foreigners?  Afterward, you will wonder why we are saying these things - but it doesn't matter now.  Afterward, you will wonder whether we value Our Culture too highly... or not enough.  Afterward, you will think and you will think and you will think.  But it won't matter then, because we will never tell you."

And on they talk as more beers are passed around.  And we, the foreigners, are left wondering what to say.  Is this Culture they speak of really so hard to understand?  Are those guys really so far beyond us?

...but even this doesn't matter, because now they are leaving.  They are off to some bar, or KTV, where not-so-young girls will pour their drinks.  They're off to some place with flashing lights, and expensive company.

Those guys.  They're always so eager to tell us about the place we live, even if any fool, anywhere, understands any place as well as they do.

Better, perhaps, to have another beer.  Better, perhaps, to give - and to receive - offenses.  What point, after all, in arguing with those guys?  Or in trying to impress them?

Some of us could speak their language, I think.  Some of us could speak of Their Culture, in that same language.  But would they really hear the words we spoke?  Would they ever see through the foreign, to the part of us that isn't?

Related Entries 相關的文章:

台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (2 of 4)
The Monkeys and the Dogs 那些猴子跟那些狗
台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (1 of 4)
Different Angles

2017年10月12日 星期四

Some Pictures from Tainan 台南

Went to Tainan last weekend, and these are some of the pictures I took.



Downtown, at the intersection of Yong Hua Road 永華路 and Shia Lin Road 夏林路.  The Shin Kong Mitsukoshi 新光三越 (the newer one) is down the street.


Stopped for a beer at T.G.I. Friday's.  I like their "white beer" 白生啤酒 a lot.


What's left of the old China Town 中國城 department store.  The Tainan City Government 台南市政府 wants make it so passenger boats can sail (?) down the canals 運河, and into the city.  This plan spelled the end of China Town.


Tainan is a strange mix of the old and new.  Temples stand in the shadow of department stores, and religious processions stall traffic for miles around.  Sometimes this mix of old and new works, sometimes it doesn't.


Rice tamale hanger in a local restaurant.  Rice tamales, or 粽子, are a food often associated with Dragon Boat Festival 端午節.  Rice and other ingredients are steamed inside palm leaves.  This was, by the way, the best meal I had in Tainan last time.


One of the religious processions mentioned above.  This one was only a block long, and didn't interrupt traffic too much.  

I couldn't figure out what god or temple this was for, exactly.  Tainan has hundreds (thousands?) of temples, and many are dedicated to gods that I'm not that familiar with.


The Wu Sheng Night Market 武聖夜市.  I will never go to this place again.  It was crazy crowded, and there wasn't much of a selection in terms of food.  It was also a long, dangerous walk from our hotel.


Not far from the above-mentioned night market.  I have a strange fondness for old signs, and Tainan has a lot.


The view from our hotel room.  This would be looking northeast, towards Min Sheng Road 民生路.

Related Entries:

台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (2 of 4)
Taipei, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Red Line)
Taipei, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Blue Line)
Wandering Around Guanshan 在關山走走

2017年10月6日 星期五

台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (2 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.




馬路 Roads

每天分分秒秒踩著馬路, 我們大概已忘記, "路" 並非天生長那個樣子; 現代的馬路是人們在大自然臉上的強行創作.  In the busy moments we spend traveling over roads each day, we may forget that modern roads are not a natural development, bur rather a great achievement in the face of nature.

一百多年前, 台灣的路多半是人走出來的.  清廷治台快兩百年, 雖把這些腳踩出來的路, 修闢成所謂的南北官道, 但是, 不外乎泥路小徑, 遇雨難行.  台北和台南有鋪石子的街道, 但並不是以現代道路的工法鋪設.  一八七六年, 一位名叫柯勒的英國商人在福爾摩沙紀行遊記中說, 在今台南縣的農村, 大水牛拉著兩個大木輪牛車, "在挾窄的鄉間路上...., 轎子或其他車輛無法並肩擦身."  More than a hundred years ago, most roads in Taiwan were little more than footpaths.  During the nearly 200 years of Ching rule over Taiwan, [many of] these footpaths were modified into the South-North Administrative Road.  This road, however, was itself little more than a mud trail which was very difficult to navigate in the rain.  There were paved roads in Taipei and Tainan, but they were not paved in the modern way.  In 1876 an English businessman named Corner described farming villages in Tainan County in his "Formosa Travels."  [He talks of] water buffalo pulling large wooden carts "on a country road so narrow that... sedan chairs or other carts could not pass by from the other direction."

一八九五年日本開始統治台灣, 當年十月, 首任總督樺山資紀南巡視察, 對台南市街也曾描述說, 不規則而狹窄, 且不像台北市街商店前有亭仔腳 (即騎樓), "所以若遇一匹駝馬, 非側身閃避不可, 實不能自由往來."  In 1895 Japan assumed administrative control of Taiwan.  In October of that year the first governor, Kabayama, arrived for his first general inspection, and he reported that roads in Tainan City were both irregular and narrow, and not like shopfront streets in Taipei which had a courtyard/pavilion between the shops and the road.  [In Tainan, he said] "when horses pass along the road, there is no way to move out of their way, and one's freedom of movement is restricted."

當時的道路情況增加了人際往來的困難.  中部士紳傳傅錫祺於一九三0年代寫他住豐原潭子, 朋友住在台中的樹子腳, "相距十餘臺里耳, 然在四, 五十年前, 交通未便, 不易相聞問也."  The problem of traffic increased over the years.  Fu Xi-qi was a member of the gentry who lived in central Taiwan.  He wrote in the 1930s about living in Tan Dze, near Feng Yuan, and about his friend who lived in Shu Dze Jiao in Taichung.  "It was a distance of more than ten 'Taiwan leagues.'  Four or five years ago, it would have been almost impassable.  It is not easy to hear from him."*


Hsinchu's Eastern Gate 新竹東門城 during the Japanese Imperial
Administration.

時代進入日治後, 馬路有了現代化的契機.  在市區道路方面, 首先就讓馬路有排水溝, 以改善衛生.  像是一九0一年, 為了拓修道路, 折除新竹城門和城牆後, 原來的城豪改建為排水溝.  After Japan took control [of Taiwan], the roads were modernized.  Drainage ditches were installed in urban roads to improve hygiene.  One example of this was the extension of roads in Hsinchu in 1901, which led to the closure of the city gates and city wall, and the conversion of certain fortifications into drainage ditches.

最具現代意義道路的台北 "三線道", 也從一八九八年開始動工, 折除舊有的台北城, 就地拓寬闢建.  當時的城牆不是薄薄一片, 台北城牆厚四公尺, 闢成的三線道當然又遠寬過四公尺.  三線道隨城而呈四方形, 等於今天台北總統府外圍的中山南路, 愛國西路, 中華路和忠孝西路的總合.  Most representative of modern road building was the "Three Lane Road" in Taipei.  This road was built in 1878, and precipitated the closure of the [old] Taipei city fortifications, which were up to four meters thick.  The finished Three Lane Road was of course more than four meters thick, and followed the square course of the old city walls.  [The traces of this old road] can be found along Taipei's Jung Shan South Road where it passes along the Presidential Palace, on Ai Guo West Road, on Jung Hua Road, and on Jung Shiao West Road.

三線道的現代意義主要在於仿自西歐.  十九世紀下半葉起, 西方大城市受巴黎的影響, 城市裡必備林蔭大道.  三線道便是彰顯台北現代感的第一條林蔭大道; 以兩列三公尺寬的綠帶, 隔出三條分道, 中央為車行馬路, 兩旁才是人行步道.  日籍文人曾描寫過在三線道散步的景致; "夜晚, 三線道上的水銀燈漂亮異常, 路邊的椰子樹上, 懸掛著亞熱帶的大月亮."  幾句描述已說明三線道除了綠色分隔島, 還包含了街燈, 行道樹等現代道路外觀上的基本元素.  The modern aspect of the Three Lane Road was a reflection of trends in western Europe.  In the second half of the 19th century, Western cities were influenced by Paris, and it was felt that all cities should have tree-lined boulevards.  [For this reason] the Three Lane Road became Taipei's first modern tree-lined boulevard, complete with two 3 meter wide divisions where trees were grown, separating three separate lanes.  The middle lane was for the use of cars, and the two side lanes were for pedestrians.  Japanese writers wrote about the scenic effect of walking on this type of road; "In the evening, [one sees the] enchanting mercury lamps, and above the roadside coconut trees the large subtropical moon."  Aside from the tree-lined divisions, there are also descriptions of streetlights, trees found along the pedestrian paths, and other modern features.


Taipei's Three Lane Road.  Looks super dusty.

至於現代道路的內在結構, 台灣在日治期間也追上時代腳步.  現代道路的造法, 十九世紀時興建碎石路.  路基做成拱狀, 用泥土壓砸密實, 上面再鋪兩層厚十公分的石子.  最後覆蓋小卵石, 來往馬車會自然把小礫石碾碎, 讓道路表面質地更細.  As for the internal workings of the modern road, Taiwan followed contemporary trends under the Japanese administration.  Roads in the 19th century were built with gravel.  The roadbed was curved upward, and clay was pressed down onto this surface.  Two ten centimeter layers of rock were then added on top.  A final layer of pebbles completed the road, and the pressure of carriages using the road would break the rocks into smaller and smaller pieces, making the surface of the road flat and the pebbles/rocks very tiny.  

這樣的礫石路, 日治初期以 "敕使街道" 最具代表性.  一九0一年, 日本人把劍潭的古寺遷走, 原地興建台灣神社, 就在今天圓山飯店現址.  一九二三年, 日本皇太子欲仁到台灣巡訪, 隔年, 他的弟弟秩父宮也遊訪台灣, 接著皇室成員訪台的隊伍沒有斷過.  他們從基隆登岸, 坐火車進台北之後, 最重要的禮儀就是從台北火車站出發, 沿今天的中山北路, 走到台灣神社祭拜.  由於這條參拜道有皇太子等皇族走過, 所以都被稱為 "敕使街道".  This type of gravel road was typical of road building efforts near the beginning of the Japanese Imperial Administration.  In 1901 the Japanese moved Jian Tan's old temple and built Taiwan's first Shinto shrine in its place, where the Yuanshan Hotel now stands.  In 1923 the Japanese crown prince arrived for an inspection tour of Taiwan, and during the following year his younger brother Chichibu also toured the island.  The members of the royal family continually visited Taiwan.  Their boats would dock at Keelung, they would ride a train into Taipei, and afterward their departure from the train station in Taipei was a major event.  They would depart from what is today Jung Shan North Road, and then visit the Taiwan Shrine (the Shinto temple) to pray.  Many members of the royal family followed this ceremonial route, which led many to call it "the excursion road."**

敕使街道上同樣裝設路燈, 兩旁還植相思樹, 也成為台北最有看頭的市街之一.  一九三八, 三九年前後, 加種一百七十二株樟樹和楓香樹, 至今還為中山北路添增風情.  The excursion road had streetlights like any other road.  Acacia trees were planted on both sides of it, and it became one of the most famous roads in Taipei.  Between 1938 and 1939, 172 camphor and maple trees were planted along its length, and to this day [some of] these trees add scenic value to [Taipei's] Jung Shan North Road.


Asphalt road construction today.

到了二十世紀, 世界大城市的道路築法推進到以柏油為主流.  柏油最早用於道路是一八二四年的事.  鋪設柏油路, 路基要先設一層礫石, 而後一層混凝土, 再一層柏油, 最後以瀝青壓平路面.  柏油路普遍化的速度遲緩, 一八七二年, 紐約的第五街才鋪上柏油.  By the 20th century, asphalt roads had become the focus of worldwide road construction.  The earliest recorded use of an asphalt road was in 1824.  When constructing an asphalt road, a layer of gravel must first be put down.  On top of this is placed a layer of concrete.  After this a layer of asphalt is added.  Then the asphalt is pressed flat.  Vehicles travel slower over asphalt roads.  In 1872 New York's Fifth Street was surfaced with asphalt.

台灣的柏油路在日治時代的一九三0年代已經普遍可見.  交通部運輸研究所陳俊編寫的台灣道路發展史, 曾詳列日治時期鋪柏油或混凝土的高級路面; 若不計算較繁華市區的部分, 全台灣篫有四百八十六公里的高級馬路, 西岸各地都有.  即使像雲林縣西螺到莿桐, 或高雄縣的鳳山到大寮這種鄉間道路, 也有柏油路的蹤影.  東半部地區, 宜蘭蘇澳有一段, 花蓮和台東則還沒有柏油路面.  By 1930 asphalt roads were commonly seen in Japanese-administered Taiwan.  Chen Jun, writing for the Transportation Research Institute, completed his "History of Road Development in Taiwan" [at this time].  If one counts both asphalt and concrete roads built during the Japanese Colonial Administration, Taiwan had 486 kilometers of high quality roadway extending beyond urban areas.  On the west side of the island such roads could be seen everywhere.  From Shiluo to Tse Tong in Yunlin County, or from Fengshan to Da Liao in Kaohsiung County, these types of road were found in every town.  Asphalt roads could also be found on the eastern half of the island.  There was a section of asphalt road [as far away as] Su Ao in Yilan County.  Only Hualien and Taitung Counties lacked such roads.

台灣近代的馬路上, 地鋪柏油或小礫石, 旁有樹有燈, 路面上走的當然不外乎人和車.  但那時候的走法跟現在完全不同.  現在台灣人車都靠右行駛, 日本時代卻是靠左走.  據石井研堂的明治事物起原, 日本防人車雜沓危險而規定靠左行走, 已是大正年代 (一九一二年起) 以後的事.  但那時候的陸軍隊伍卻靠右整編行進.  一直到一九二四年才全國統一, 一律靠左走.  All Taiwanese roads around that time, whether asphalt or gravel, had trees and lights beside them, with no separation between pedestrians and motorists.  But the way that traffic moved along these roads was completely different.  Now Taiwanese pedestrians and motorists keep to the right, but under the Japanese Colonial Administration they kept to the left.  According to Ishii Shingudo, in his "Rise of the Meiji Dynasty," the Japanese decreed that cars should move along the left side of the road for the safety of pedestrians during the reign of Emperor Taisho in 1912, even though at that time army units were still marching [driving?] on the right.  Driving on the left didn't become a national law until 1924.


"Excursion road" leading to the Shinto temple in Taipei.

據說, 靠右行源起歐陸.  軍人右手拿矛或劍, 左手持盾牌, 右行的話, 擦身而過時, 盾牌相錯, 比較不生敵意與衝突.  靠左走的起源也在歐洲; 騎士習慣由左側上下馬, 上馬石自然放置左側路邊, 久而久之, 騎士也沿左側路邊行進.  It is said that the practice of marching on the right side came from continental Europe.  The soldiers held their spears or swords in their right hands, while in their left hands they held their shields.  When they marched on the right and their shields were facing the other way, it was difficult to attack.  The practice of marching on the left also originated in Europe.  Knights had the habit of getting on and off their horses from the left, as stones which helped them mount their horses were more often to be found on this side.  After a time all knights rode on the left.***

日治初期, 已意識到人車靠左行的問題, 但到了三0年代, 車量增多, 才積極宣導.  後來總督府編的公學校修身書 (類似戰後的公民與道德課本), 也有課文教育學童 "應遵守道路左側通行, 車道與人道有所分別的規則."  Near the beginning of the Japanese Colonial Administration, keeping cars on the left side of the road was already a problem.  But in the 1930s the number of cars increased, and this problem had to be dealt with quickly.  The colonial government published the "Official School Guidelines" (very similar to the Civics and Morality textbooks used after the war), which taught students "you should keep the left side of the road open, there are different rules for pedestrians and motorists."

台灣道路的發展最奇特的一頁, 可能是蹤貫公路如何築造完全的歷史.  清代台灣西部說是有南北官道, 實際上, 西岸河川多, 阻斷道路, 所謂官道其實柔腸寸斷, 不能稱為 "一" 條路.  清代台灣的路並沒有 "橋" 來銜接, 日治初期, 道路重整拓寬, 情況改善, 但南北道路仍不相續.  終於一九一九年元旦, 總督明石元二郎宣布要完成南北縱貫道路.  The most interesting thing about the development of modern Taiwanese roads is probably an examination of the whole history of road building.  There was the South-North Administrative Road on the west coast during the Ching Dynasty, but this road was so badly maintained and subject to such flooding that it can hardly be called "the first road."  Roads during the Ching Dynasty were not even connected by bridges.  With the advent of the Japanese Colonial Administration, roads were widened and driving conditions improved, even though the use of the South-North Administrative Road was discontinued.  It wasn't until January of 1919 that Motohiro Akashi, representing the Colonial Government, announced that a South-North Through Road would be completed.


Map showing Highway 1, which follows the
same route as the old South-North Through Road

乍看起來, 積極交通建設本是件好事, 然而造一座鋼筋鐵橋耗費動輒百萬圓, 工程耗費驚人, 所以也不知道總督府哪個傢伙出點子, 竟然決定強制動員台灣男人去修建馬路, 還強行拆屋, 進行不樂之捐, 強迫民眾無償 "獻地", 讓好事平添各種不同的觀看角度.  At first glance [this type of] expedited road construction seems like a good thing, but building bridges of reinforced steel cost millions of yen, and amounted to a major expenditure.  It is not known exactly who in the government came up with this brilliant idea, but it was later decided to employ forced labor from among the Taiwanese population, to demolish houses without warning, and to seize private land for the sake of providing scenic backdrops for the [proposed] road.

楊肇嘉 (戰後曾任台灣省民政廳長) 當時剛辭公學校教員, 縱貫線通過家鄉臺中清水, 他在回憶錄說, 六十米寬的縱貫道正開始, "當局把土地白白徵用了, 卻一文錢都不付, 而且無窮盡地動用了不給工錢的保甲工, 使這一帶的地主和佃農都受了莫大的損失, 有的竟陷入了破產的危機......."  Yang Jhao-jia (Taiwan Province's Minister of Civil Affairs after the war), was just a school teacher at that time, but the Through Road passed through his hometown of Ching Shui, in Taichung.  He later wrote in his memoirs about the commencement of the 60 meter-wide Through Road project.  "The authorities seized the land outright, and did not pay for it.  Moreover, they used the workers harshly, and paid no wages.  The landlords and tenants were subject to great losses, and many were forced to the verge of bankruptcy..."

蔡培火 (戰後曾任行政院政務委員) 當時曾為文反諷說, 台灣人如此順從, 日本人簡直比不上, 修這條縱貫道路, 跟修萬里長城沒兩樣, 如果人民沒有怨聲, 真是大幸啊!  Tsai Pei-huo (who served in the Administrative Office of the Executive Branch after the war), spoke ironically of the incident.  "The Taiwanese people were so obedient, and the Japanese so obviously outwitted them.  Building this Through Road was like building the Great Wall of China.  If none of these [Taiwanese] people complained, how fortunate [for the Japanese]!"

今天我們再走上這條縱貫線 (台一線), 若能感受一絲先人一牛車一牛車從溪埔載回砂石的辛勞汗水, 或可安慰一點當年前人在這條路上所受的苦.  Driving along this Through Road (Highway 1) now, it's easy to reflect upon the passage of so many oxcarts hauling stones from the rivers, and how much manual labor went into the building of this one road, so long ago.


The famous Shi Luo Big Bridge in Shi Luo, Yunlin County. 
One of those reinforced steel bridges that the Taiwanese just "loved" building!

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Taipei, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Red Line)
Taipei, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Blue Line)
What's Going on with the Taitung City, Township, and Municipality Offices 台東市,鄉,鎮公所最近動向 2
Kaohsiung, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Yellow Line)

*"In" or "near?"  The administrative districts were different back then, so I substituting the more certain "in" with the less certain "near."

**"Excursion road" was the best translation I could think of.  I have the feeling it means something else in Japanese.

***Is this author thinking too hard?  Probably.  This paragraph seems very weird to me too.

2017年10月2日 星期一

Taipei, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Red Line)


I don't ride the Red Line as much as I used to.  When my brother-in-law lived in Taoyuan 桃園, we rode it more than any other MRT line, but that was many years ago already.

Taipei 101/World Trade Center 台北101 / 世貿.  You can get to the 101 on the Red Line too?  I had no idea.  Either this is a new stop or I just never noticed.

Sometimes the exhibitions held at the World Trade Center are worth going to.  I've been to a couple of the book fairs there.  It was fairly interesting, even though the comic book part was INSANE.  Seriously, there were so many people in that part of the book fair that I wasn't able to see any of the exhibits.


Daan Forest Park

Daan Forest Park 大安森林公園.  I can remember visiting here years ago and thinking it wasn't bad.  It's disappointing if you compare it to "forest parks" in other parts of Taiwan, but taken as another park in Taipei it's pretty good.

Dongmen 東門.  Like other, older cities in Taiwan, Taipei has gates marking the boundaries of the older, fortified city.  These gates would be almost identical to what you'd find in Hsinchu 新竹, Tainan 台南, or Hengchun 恆春, so don't feel a need to seek them out unless you won't be in one of those other cities.  If you're interested in Ching Dynasty fortifications, Hengchun would be your best bet anyway.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall 中正紀念堂.  If you use the name "Chiang Kai-shek" with locals and get a blank stare don't be surprised.  His Chinese name, 蔣介石 (Jiang Jie-shr), sounds very different from his "English" name, which was derived from Cantonese.  To make matters worse, in Taiwan he is more often referred to as 蔣中正 (Jiang Jong-jung), which is yet another of his many names.  It is this "Jong-jung" which ought to be put before "Memorial Hall."


Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Back when Mainland Chinese tourism in Taiwan was going strong, this place was a madhouse.  EVERY tour bus had to stop here, and EVERY tourist had to take a picture in front of this very scenic building.  In case you didn't know, Chaing Kai-shek, the Nationalist first President who "stole" many of China's most priceless treasures and housed them in the National Palace Museum 故宮博物院, is infamous in China.  To be fair, he did flirt with Fascism, he did spearhead a lot of unjust policies in Taiwan, and he isn't all that popular here now, either.

But hey it's a cool building.  There's also a nice park around it.  If you're looking to take some pictures I highly recommend it.

Taipei Main Station 台北車站.  Get in and get out as quickly as possible.  That's my policy.


The famous (old) Yuanshan Hotel.  Many people think it's haunted!

Yuanshan 圓山.  This used to be one of my favorite amusement parks.  Every ride was 10 NT, and even though none of the rides were especially exciting it was still a fun place to spend an afternoon.  They've since opened the Taipei Children's Amusement Park 台北市立兒童新樂園 not far from the Science Museum 台灣科學教育館, but it lacks the lived-in vibe of the old Yuanshan amusement park (mosquitoes and all).

This was also where the Taipei Flower Exhibition 花博 was held.  It sounds kind of ridiculous now, but that was a big deal at the time.  I didn't visit it when it was running full steam, but I did stop by there a few days after it ended.  A lot of the exhibits were still in place, and it was somewhat interesting.

An interesting relic of the Flower Exhibition is the international food court behind the main building.  Last time I was there (which was, admittedly, a while ago) they had Japanese, Argentinian, Hawaiian, and many other kinds of food.


Taipei Fine Arts Museum

On the other side of Yuanshan is the the Taipei Fine Arts Museum 台北市立美術館.  I suppose it depends on what kind of art you're into, but I thought this place was super boring.  There was a lot of pretentious modern art that didn't do anything for me.

Shilin 士林.  This is Taipei's (and by virtue of that, Taiwan's) most famous night market.  It's slammed on the weekends, and if a particular stand is popular you can end up waiting a long time for whatever it is you intend on eating.

I've been there a few times, but because my wife HATES it I don't eat there that much.  Many of the foods are very similar, but if you're in the right mood it can be a lot of fun.


Shilin knife.

Did you know that Shilin makes a special knife called the "Shilin knife?"  Until recently I didn't either, but if you look closely it can be purchased in that area.

Beitou 北投.  This is where the hot springs are.  Or at least it's on the way to the hot springs.  I've visited a couple of the hot springs there and they didn't do much for me.  But then again, if you've gotten used to the hot springs on the east coast of the island (like me) this is not surprising.  Beitou just can't compete with some of the more spacious, more scenic hot springs on the east coast.

Guandu 關渡.  Went walking here once.  There was supposed to be something scenic in the area, but we never found it.  Instead we ended up walking into some university campus, buying a drink, and heading back into the city.  Was that university campus the scenic spot we were looking for?  I still have no idea.


Hongshulin.

Hongshulin 紅樹林.  The literal translation of "Hongshulin" would be "mangrove forest."  This is a great place for walking, and there are some temples and restaurants of interest here as well.  If you look closely under the mangrove trees, you'll see very tiny crabs in the mud.

Tamsui 淡水.  This place is a lot like Shilin.  In the right mood it's a blast, in the wrong mood you'll wonder why you bothered.  The best time to visit is when the sun is going down on Friday or Saturday evening.  There's a night market, street musicians and performers, and a boat across the river to Ba Li 八里.

Nearby is the site of Fort San Domingo 紅毛城 ("Hong Mao Chung," literally "Red Hair Fort" or "Fort of the Red-Haired Barbarians") which was built by the Spanish in 1629.  It predates the sites left behind by the Dutch by a couple decades, though the Spanish never established much of a presence in Taiwan.  The building which stands on that site today is actually Fort Antonio, the replacement structure built by the Dutch after they kicked the Spanish out.


Fort "San Domingo."

Related Entries:

Taipei, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Blue Line)
Wandering Around Guanshan 在關山走走
What's Going on with the Taitung City, Township, and Municipality Offices 台東市,鄉,鎮公所最近動向 2
Kaohsiung, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Yellow Line)

Taipei, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Blue Line)


The Blue Line is the line I know best.  I take the Red and Brown Lines fairly often, but I don't use them half as much as the Blue.

Nangang 南港.  By brother-in-law lives near Nangang, just over the city limit in Bai Fu 百福, Keelung City 基隆市.  When we visit him during Chinese New Year we usually park our car near his house, take the train from Bai Fu to Nangang, and then take the MRT into Taipei City.

There are a couple department stores in Nangang, but unless you're a businessman you'd have little reason to go there.  The CityLink department store in Nangang has one of the few remaining dine-in Pizza Huts, and the view from that restaurant is surprisingly good.


Map of Nangang's CityLink.

Last time we were in Nangang I made an effort to explore the area.  There's not much around there now, but I have the feeling it will develop quickly.

Taipei City Hall 市政府.  Aside from the abodes of various in-laws (my wife has a lot of family in Taipei), this is the part of Taipei I visit most often.  This is the stop for the Taipei 101 Building and the big shopping center surrounding it.

Every time I visit this area they're building something new, and every time I visit a store that I once visited has closed, to be replaced by another store or restaurant.  There's a lot of money to be made in this area, but there's also a lot of competition.  I imagine that it's very similar to parts of China.


The burgers at Gordon Biersh are great (but not cheap).

If you're a foreigner and you're looking for a good hamburger, this is the place to go.  I make a point of visiting the Gordon Biersch in the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi 新光三越 every time I'm there.  There's also a T.G.I. Friday's and a Chili's nearby.  This is not even to mention the countless other Western restaurants in that area.  I even had fairly authentic Mexican food there once.

The Discovery Center of Taipei is also not far, in the Taipei City Government Building.  Kind of interesting, and there's no entrance fee.

Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall 國父紀念館.  If it's not to hot and I'm coming from the Taipei Main Station, I'll usually get off the MRT and walk from here to the Taipei 101.  If you're going all the way over to the 101, it's actually about the same distance from the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall as it is from Taipei City Government.

This place is always very lively.  A lot of high school kids practice their dancing on the second floor of the hall, and there are always other activities going on.


Zongxiao Fuxing shopping district.  Sogo on the right.

Zhongxiao Dunhua 忠孝敦化.  My wife's aunt lives not far from here, about halfway between this stop and the next one.  She lives in a BIG apartment building just off the main road.

Zhongxiao Fuxing 忠孝復興.  This is another big shopping area.  There's not one but two Sogos 太平洋, and also the original Breeze department store 微風 up the street.  The movie theater in that Breeze is probably my favorite in Taipei.  It's not super new or super big, but it's rarely crowded.

Shandao Temple 善導寺.  I don't go to this stop very often, but I remember that this was where the the depot for shipping things via train was.  There's a small building near the MRT stop, and if you're shipping things from Taipei to Taitung (like I was) that's where you have to go.


Taipei Main Station.

Taipei Main Station 台北車站.  Who hasn't been here at least once?  I can't tell you how many hours of my life have been spent in this place, waiting for various trains.  

The newer Breeze on the second floor of the train station is not usually worth messing with - too crowded - so if you're stuck near the station I suggest venturing over to the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi 新光三越 across the street.  To be sure, the Taipei City Mall 地下街beneath the train station has better food, but getting a seat there can be a challenge.

And isn't the Taiwan History Museum near there?  That museum is not worth going to.  The building it's housed in is kind of cool, but the exhibits are disappointing.


Ximending at night, the best time to go.

Ximen 西門.  Ximending 西門町 is one of the most popular shopping areas in Taipei, and if you're a younger person (or if you have younger people in tow) you should visit it for at least one evening.  My daughters love that place, even if most of the stores sell similar things.

Longshan Temple 龍山寺.  Dedicated (consecrated?) to the goddess Kuanyin (Guanyin).  It's very old, and there aren't many like it in Taiwan, but unless you're really into temple architecture you probably won't notice the difference.

Anyway, it's a very busy place, especially on certain holidays, and there's some good food in that area.


Longshan Temple.

I have a really bad memory of taking the GRE (the test to get into American graduate schools) in a building near the Longshan Temple.  I did well on two of the sections, but totally bombed the math/analytical part.  It wasn't so much that I couldn't do it, just that the time allotted for the GRE was SO long, and by the time I got to the math/analytical part I had lost all my patience.  After a few questions I started answering everything with "B."

Banqiao 板橋.  My brother-in-law, before he lived in Keelung, lived here.  This area has really exploded in recent years, and there's a surprising amount of shopping to be done in and around Banqiao Station.

I've walked around this area A LOT, so I know it pretty well.  If you're in the area you can visit the Lin Family Garden 林家花園, but only if you're looking for something historic.

Far Eastern Hospital 亞東醫院.  Nothing of interest here, really.  I only remember it because it's the closest stop to where my father-in-law lives in Shulin 樹林.

The roads in that part of New Taipei City 新北市 are a labyrinth that consumes the unwary. so be sure to have a map handy.  Even with a GPS I've gotten lost around there.  Shulin, Linkou 林口, Xinjuang 新莊, Yonghe 永和 - it's all a big mess of traffic and alleyways that go nowhere.


Areas west/southwest of Taipei City.

Related Entries:

Wandering Around Guanshan 在關山走走
What's Going on with the Taitung City, Township, and Municipality Offices 台東市,鄉,鎮公所最近動向 2
Kaohsiung, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Yellow Line)
Kaohsiung, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Red Line)

2017年9月30日 星期六

Wandering Around Guanshan 在關山走走

Guanshan is one of the biggest towns between Taitung City and Hualien City.  It's around an hour north from where I live.  關山是台東市與花蓮市間的其中一個大城鎮.  從我家到關山開車要一小時左右.



What's the name of this place?  I don't remember.  I think it used to be Hong Shr (Red Rock) Elementary School, but like many schools in that area it closed down for lack of students.  Now it's sort of a "base camp" for mountaineering activities.  這個地方叫甚麼名字?  我忘了.  好像是以前的紅石國小, 可是後來跟很多地區學校一樣, 學生人數太少關門了.  現在是 "面山學校."


This is the Hong Shr Forest Trail, which lies behind the former school.  This trail goes DEEP into the mountains, much farther than I was prepared to walk at 2 pm on a (hot) Friday.  I'd like to come back here some time and investigate further.  這是學校後面的紅石林道.  這條步道很長, 只是我沒準備禮拜五下午二點的時候走入深林裡, 我應該改天再來走吧!


This is the view from about 10 minutes up.  In the foreground is the town (village?) of Hong Shr.  In the middle is downtown Guanshan.  往上走十分鐘之後看到的風景.  紅石部落在下面, 在照片中央的是關山市區.


And this is the other side of that same valley, near the Dian Guang (Electric Light) Village.  在山谷另外一邊的電光部落.


Rice is the big crop on this side of the river.  On the other side of the river they raise a lot of pigs.  Guanshan can smell pretty rough when the wind is blowing through the pig farms.  關山大部分的農民種米.  河的另外一邊養豬.  關山市區因為風向的關係有時很臭!


As you can see, the clouds were looking very dramatic.  It's very quiet here, and also a good area for bicycling.  在這附近的雲看起來很酷!  是個適合騎單車的好地方.


I know tourists love Mr. Brown Boulevard in Chr Shang, but there are many places in Guanshan that look almost identical.  The valley around Chr Shang is a little wider, but that's about it.  我知道觀光客超愛池上的伯郎大道, 可是關山也有很多一樣的地方.  只是池上附近的山谷寬了一點而已.


A trek further up the Hong Shr Forest Trail would have taken me straight up into those clouds.  Ah well, another day...  再往紅石林道裡面走一點就到雲裡了.  可惜... 改天再來吧!


Definitely a good place to think.  真是一個適合思考的地方.

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