2020年1月1日 星期三

Retrospective 懷舊的 5: Foreigners I Know (Besides Me) 我認識的外國人

For the "Retrospective" entries I'll be revisiting posts from ten years ago.  The post referenced below is from 2010. 在這些 "懷舊的" 文章裡看十年前的文章.  下列的文章是2010年寫的.

The original version of "Foreigners I Know (Besides Me) 我認識的外國人" is to be found in the Blog Archive 3 entry.  I've added comments below the italicized text. 原本的 "Foreigners I Know (Besides Me) 我認識的外國人" 在Blog Archive 很久很久以前的文章 3的文章.  我在每一段下面加入新的意見.

"Living in Taiwan, and especially living somewhere like Taitung, I get asked a lot of strange questions by a lot of very curious people. These questions range from things like "Do you eat McDonald's every day?" to "If you live in America, how do you have the time to take the airplane here all the time?" Naturally, it is usually kids asking me these kind of questions, but you'd be surprised what kinds of questions also come out of the mouths of adults.住在臺灣,有時朋友問我很多奇怪的問題,例如:你每天吃麥當勞嗎?你住在美國怎麼有時間常常坐飛機來臺灣?通常這些問題是小朋友問的,但有 時大人們也有這些疑問,這就讓我很訝異了."

I had one of these questions come up just the other day.  I was teaching the fifth grade unit on transportation, and one of my students insisted - even after several classmates corrected him - that I took the airplane to school every day. 最近有人問我這些問題.  我在五年級的課堂上介紹交通工具的時候, 又有學生堅持說我每天坐飛機上下班.  就算其他同學跟他說他錯了, 他還是堅持這想法.

"I suppose that one of the questions I am asked most frequently is whether or not I know some other foreigner. I can understand this sort of question coming from someone in Taitung - it's a small place, and the odds are good that just about any foreigner living here has crossed paths with me at some point. Even in places like Taipei, however, someone will say something like, "I just came back from Texas to visit my friend Rick, do you know him?"最常被問的是:你認不認識那個Peter還是John.......我可以了解為什麼他們這麼問,因為在臺東很容易認識或聽過某人,畢竟地方就 這麼大,只是有時在臺北這樣的城市也會發生,例如:我剛剛才從德州拜訪我的朋有Rick回來,你認不認識他?"

Still happens, but less than it used to.  These questions always come in Chinese, from lower-achieving students, in the ten minutes before class.  The Hess teachers are a big topic of conversation, as are the Joy teachers.  I don't get asked about Columbia or Cornell teachers nearly as much. 這種事還是會發生, 只是現在較以前少了.  通常都是學習成就較低的學生
利用下課時間以中文問的 .  很多學生喜歡討論何嘉仁跟佳音美語的老師.  而討論哥倫比亞跟康乃爾的老師較少.

"I'm sure part of it is nervousness. There are many people in Taiwan who never really talk to someone from another country, and when they finally get the chance they're at a loss for something more intelligent to say. I imagine that if I lived somewhere like, say, Omak in Eastern Washington, and I met someone from Taiwan for the first time, I'd probably say a few ignorant things myself.我想他們可能太緊張了,很多人都沒有機會跟外國人接觸,等到他們有機會時,真的會不知道說什麼好,也許我如果住在美國很鄉下的地方,第一次 見到臺灣人也會說這樣的話."

I think "forgive and forget" is a good philosophy to pursue in Taiwan.  People sometimes make assumptions about local foreigners; people sometimes ask stupid questions.  It's not usually their fault, and it's not usually meant as an insult.  I'm not often surprised by the ways in which Taiwanese people interact with me now, but when I am my first thought is to not take it personally.  Some foreign residents definitely hold a grudge against Taiwan for this reason, and that's never good. 我想在台灣 "諒解"和"不放在心上" 是最好的處世方法.  有的台灣人不了解外國人, 有時候
會問奇怪的問題.  這不是他們的錯, 也不算沒禮貌的事情.  我現在習慣台灣人相處了, 當我不解他們的行為時, 我不會認為那是在針對我了.  有的外國居民因為這種事會抱怨台灣.  我認為這種想法不對.

"So with this in mind I have to say (politely), that I don't know Rick from Texas. Neither am I acquainted with Lisa from Canada, Bobby from South Africa, nor Rex from England. Even if they live in Taitung. Honestly, I don't really talk to that many other foreigners, and having counted the other foreigners that I know, they would amount to about 10. It's not that I don't want to meet them, it's just that I'm not going out of my way to do so. Between work and family I just don't have that much time to seek out other foreigners, nor do I have an overriding desire to seek them out. 碰到這樣的情形,我還要附帶說明自己也不認識德州的Rick,加拿大的Lisa,南非的Bobby或是英國的Rex,就算他們住臺東,我也不大有可 能認識他們,不是不想,而是除了工作和陪伴家人,我已沒有那麼多時間再去認識其他人了."

I still don't know Rick, Lisa, Bobby or Rex, though I do know way more local foreigners now.  Back in 2010 there were far fewer of us around, and of course over ten years I've made a few new friends.  Just don't ask me about the weird guy who makes calliopes in Dulan, because a) he probably doesn't exist, and b) I definitely don't know him. 我還不認識Rick, Lisa, Bobby跟Rex, 可是我認識更多在地的外國朋友了.  2010年的台東
沒那麼多的外國居民, 這十年內我當然也交到更多的新的外國朋友.  只是不要問我住在都蘭製造calliope的那位外國居民, 因為a)他大概不存在, b)我一定不認識他.

"The world might be growing smaller and smaller all the time, but we are still surrounded by many strangers. I am am glad to meet new friends, but I cannot know everybody!這個世界越來越小,但是我們每天還是會接觸到許多陌生人,我喜歡認識新朋友,只是我認識的人還沒有多到建立起一個龐大的網來含蓋所有 的臺東的外國人."

This is even truer now.  There's always a new foreign guy or girl in town, and most of them don't stick around for long.  I'm always reminded of this when I visit Dulan.  Many new faces, and many people who say they're in it for the long haul.  I'm happy to meet them, but I'm not about to get too attached. 還是這樣子.  我每次去都蘭都會看到新的面孔, 新的外國男女在這裡出現.  大部分留在這裡的時間不長.   但也有人說會留在這裡久一點.  我很高興認識他們, 可是大概不會變成好朋友.

Maybe they feel the same way about me? 有可能他們對我的看法也一樣.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

"Taitung Coffee News"
What's Going in Taitung City and County Townships/Municipalities 台東市,鄉,鎮最近動向 8
Social Studies 社會 4, First Semester 上, Unit 2-3 第二單元到第三單元
Retrospective 懷舊的 4:Eating in Taitung City 台東市裡的餐廳

NOTE: Speaking of local foreigners, congratulations to Uncle Pete, who managed to survive his recent sailing excursion.  Glad you're alright man.