Taitung in the Year 2030 (2030年的台東)
When you look into the future of this county, what do you see? Do you see any future at all? Or are you just worried about paying your rent this month, finding a job, or passing a test? 當你思考著台東縣的未來時有甚麼看法? 你想過這個問題嗎? 還是只是煩惱著這個月的房租, 找工作, 或是準備考試?
I think it's safe to say that the future of Taitung - at least in the long term - is not something that most people think about very often. If most people do think about it, they probably imagine a future very much like the present, in which we all continue to work and play in similar ways. 我想大部分的居民不會常思考著台東縣的未來發展. 如果是的話, 對於未來的想像大概是覺得會跟現在差不多工作和休閒.
Maybe in that more commonly imagined future, there's a new highway linking Taitung to the other side of the island. Maybe there's a new fishing port, shuttling tourists back and forth to Green and Orchid Islands. Maybe there are a few more hotels, and a few more hostels. But in such visions of the future Taitung remains largely the same, albeit with a few more cars, a few more businesses, and a few more people. 在那個想像的未來裡可能有新的公路連接台東與台灣西部. 也有可能有新的漁港讓台東到蘭嶼和綠島的旅遊比較方便. 也可能有更多的飯店和民宿. 可是這種未來跟現在的狀況很接近, 只是多了更多的車子, 商店, 還有人.
In the year 2030 - assuming I'm still alive and still living here - I'll have lived in Taitung for 24 years. By that point I'll be 55 years old, and probably still considered a pain in the ass by most people who know me. Hopefully at that time I'll still be relatively healthy and happy, even though I take nothing for granted. 如果我2030年的時候還 "存在" 也" 住在" 台東的話, 那我就會在台東二十四年了. 那時候我會是五十五歲, 認識我的人大概還是會覺得我很煩. 希望我那時候能夠健康快樂, 只是人生無常.
I just wonder what kind of Taitung I'll be living in 12 years from now. Will it be, as many suggest, a place virtually identical to its present form? Or will I be attending communist party meetings? Will it be dirtier? Will it be cleaner? Will it still be a place that makes me happy? Or will it be a place that makes me remember how much better things were, 12 years previous? 我只是在想十二年後的台東會是什麼樣子. 跟現在差不多嗎? 還是我那時候要參加共產黨的會議? 會比較髒亂嗎? 會比較乾淨嗎? 它會不會是繼續讓我感到快樂的地方? 還是會讓我認為十二年前的台東比較好?
Such questions are perhaps more pertinent with local elections coming up. County Magistrate Justin Huang is now in his last year of office, and not eligible for reelection. Will the people of Taitung elect a more traditional, backward-looking candidate in his place? Or will they double down on promises of increased tourism, "smart cities," and making Taitung more "international?" Speaking only for myself, I could see the value of either kind of candidate, and I doubt it will make much difference whether the next County Magistrate is a member of the KMT or DPP. 這種問題比較好在選舉快到的時候提出來 . 今年是縣長黃健庭任期的最後一年了, 以後台東縣民要選比較傳統保守的縣長嗎? 還是再選重視旅遊強調智慧城市和"國際台東" 的縣長? 我自己的看法是覺得下一位縣長是屬於國民黨還是民進黨並沒有差.
Politics aside, one wonders how the people of Taitung will deal with certain issues in the coming years. The environment comes immediately to mind, as does its sometimes "evil twin," the economy. What, for example, are the people of Taitung going to do about the garbage problem? I'm not only talking about the never-ending discussion of whether to turn the garbage incinerator on or off, but also about the (plastic) litter that lines every road, river, and beach in the county. I'd love it if the Taitung County Government mounted a sustained effort to tackle garbage, not only because I find litter unsightly and the problem shamefully ignored, but also because this issue affects both people's health and how outsiders (tourists) perceive this part of Taiwan. Hopefully we can start constructing a legal framework for addressing this problem, and also an educational initiative that includes the "how" and "why" of disposing of garbage properly. 撇開政治, 我好奇台東居民未來如何解決台東事務. 例如環保的問題, 還有與環保常對立的經濟問題. 台東居民怎麼解決垃圾的問題? 我講的不只是是否啟用焚化爐, 還有每條馬路, 河川, 海岸邊的 (塑膠) 垃圾. 我希望縣府認真地面對垃圾的問題. 這不只是因為我覺得很難看, 或是地方政府沒有處理好很丟臉, 也是因為這會影響居民的健康跟外縣市 (觀光客) 對台東的看法. 希望這方面的法律規定可以更嚴格與執行, 也希望未來的教育重視垃圾處理的作法跟理由.
Related to garbage, there's the issue of how land in the county is developed. If you travel up the coast to Shan Yuan, you'll see a large swath of hillside that's been deforested by developers there. I've heard that this is part of another hotel development, also led by the people who built the "Beautiful Bay" resort across the highway. Maybe this development is entirely legal, but we still have to ask ourselves if we want similarly large developments sprouting up along the coast. Once one such place is built (and opened), others are sure to follow. 跟垃圾有關的還有土地發展的計畫. 如果去杉原的話, 你會看到一座沒有樹的丘陵. 我聽說美麗灣的公司又在那裏蓋大飯店. 可能這個地方是合法的, 可是我們還要問 - 我們希望東海岸充斥著這種大飯店嗎? 一旦有一棟蓋完營業, 一定還會有其他業者跟進.
There's also the question of rules and regulations. How are people to be prohibited (or allowed) from interacting with natural places? Should a fee always be charged for such interactions? Should everything be fenced off? Is it reasonable to ask people to pay to view coral? Is it reasonable to charge a fee for swimming in the Flowing Lake? Is it even legal to charge such fees, when the people "managing" such areas don't even take proper care of them? And what about fishing? Surfing? Temple festivals? Road building? Farm runoff? Animal control? Night markets and their associated waste? 也有法律跟其他規定的問題. 怎麼保護 (還是讓開) 自然環境? 人民去那種地方要付費嗎? 一定要用圍牆隔起來嗎? 人們需要買票看珊瑚嗎? 在活水湖游泳要付錢嗎? 管理的人沒有管理好卻收民眾的錢是不是合法的? 釣魚呢? 衝浪? 廟會? 蓋馬路? 農場逕流? 動物控制? 和夜市造成的垃圾?
Of course I know that certain government organizations, private associations, and individuals are working towards solutions to some of these problems, but if we're really going to address them we need to see a more concerted effort, with adequate funding and other resources directed at the problems. We also need strategies that aren't going to change with the next big election. 我當然知道有的政府機關, 地區協會, 還有居民個人努力想辦法解決有的問題. 我只是覺得每一個單位和個人還要更努力, 也需要更多的資源. 我們更需要能夠有一套能夠永續的解決方法來避免每次選舉所造成的政策的改變.
On the economic side, there's also the question of jobs. Will jobs in Taitung ever offer better wages? Will so many local people still need to "leave home" to find work that offers a livable wage? The County Government is GREAT about promoting local agricultural products, but affording an apartment in the city is still not easy for most people, and neither is surviving the kind of debt that local fishermen accrue in the course of their jobs. 經濟方面還有工作的問題. 台東的工作薪水會調高嗎? 還會有那麼多人須要離開家鄉找工作嗎? 縣政府很努力推廣當地的農特產, 可是對於很多縣民來說, 要在台東市負擔一間公寓還是一件很困難的事. 當地的漁民也有經濟上的壓力.
It would be awesome if, by 2030, we had some answers to all or most of these problems. Maybe by that point they won't even be considered problems, but rather facets of local history. Maybe the roads, rivers, and beaches will be free of plastic bottles and drink cups. Maybe the gutters won't be littered with plastic bags. Maybe the coast will remain as green and welcoming as it is now, and we'll have found a balance between preserving our environment and making money. I'd certainly like to think so, but then again 2030 isn't all that far away. 到了2030年的時候, 如果能把上面的問題解決了當然是一件很好的事. 可能到那時候這些問題已經不是問題, 而只是幾件當地的發展過程的歷史事物而已. 有可能那個時候馬路, 河川, 海岸看不到塑膠瓶跟飲料杯. 也可能水溝裡沒有那麼多塑膠袋. 也可能東海岸跟現在一樣綠, 也找到了環保跟賺錢之間的平衡. 我想這麼認為, 只是我們離那一年也沒多少時間了.
...because you know what happens if we don't start dealing with these problems sooner, rather than later? We become more and more like Pingtung County, which although nice in parts is dealing with much more serious problems with regard to both population and pollution. Perhaps by that point we'll only have a small strip of beach left to enjoy, while the remainder of the county writhes in the "progress" represented by traffic, garbage, and urban blight. 如果沒早點解決的話, 你知道會發生甚麼事情嗎? 我們台東就越來越像屏東縣. 屏東有的地方還是滿自然的, 可是他們人口跟污染的問題比較嚴重. 有可能到那時候台東只有小小的沙灘可以欣賞, 其他地方只剩賽車, 垃圾, 跟其他大城市的 "進步."
I certainly hope that won't be the version of 2030 that greets me on my 55th birthday. I'd rather that 2030 was a better version of 2018, or, failing that, something more closely resembling the present. 希望我五十五歲, 2030年的時候, 像屏東的台東不會成真. 我希望2030年的台東會更好. 或是維持在接近現在的狀態.
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