2018年6月22日 星期五

Around the Taitung Train Station 在台東車站附近

The Taitung Train Station is being renovated, so some of what you see in these pictures might disappear later on. 台東車站在整修, 所以在照片上看到的東西可能會消失.



This is the station from the south.  The roof is new.  車站的南邊.  屋頂是新的.



And this is the station from the north.  車站的北邊.



This was a promotional event for the County Government's "Makapahay Activities."  These activities will take place alongside aboriginal harvest festivals.  這是縣政府舉辦的馬卡巴嗨活動.  這些活動跟原住民豐年祭一起舉辦.



Behind the train station are the Beinan Ruins.  These ruins date back to Taiwan's Neolithic, about 5,200 to 2,300 years ago.  車站後面有卑南遺址.  這些遺址屬於台灣新石器時期約5200到2300年前.



Behind the ruins is the Beinan Ruins Park, formerly known as the Beinan Culture Park.  It's a nice place for a stroll if the weather isn't too hot.  The National Museum of Prehistory operates a branch museum/exhibition center inside the park.  遺址後面就是卑南遺址公園, 也就是以前的卑南文化公園.  天氣比較涼快的時候在這裡散步很舒服.  國立史前博物館在公園內有一家分館.


That's Beinan Mountain in the background.  The other side of this mountain is farmed intensively, and erosion is a big problem during heavy rains.  最後面是卑南山.  這座山的另外一邊都是農地.  下大雨的時候, 土石流的問題很嚴重.


This hut is the most famous thing in the park.  There's another hut like this on Jong Shing Road, near the Beinan Steamed Buns.  這棚屋是公園內最有名的東西.  中興路上靠近卑南包子的附近還有一個.


These traditional straw houses are a lot newer than the hut above.  Not sure if they belong to a different culture, or were another development in the same culture.  這二間傳統稻草屋比上面的棚屋還新.  不知道這種房子是屬於同一個文化還是其他文化.*


This is the trail up to the branch museum.  往博物館的步道.


One of the coffins left behind by the Beinan people.  They were very small in stature.  卑南文化留下來的棺材.  他們都是小小短短的.


View from halfway up Beinan Mountain, looking toward downtown Taitung.  The hill to the left is Cat Mountain, with Naruwan Hotel in the center.  看向台東市區的卑南山上的風景.  左邊是貓山, 娜路彎飯店在中間.


On the other side of Beinan Ruins Park is Taitung City's "Green Tunnel."  This stretch of road leads to Lu Ye, Guanshan and Chr Shang.  卑南遺址公園的另外一邊是台東的綠色隧道.  這條路往鹿野, 關山還有池上.**

Related Entries 相關的文章:

What's Going in Taitung City and County Townships/Municipalities 台東市,鄉,鎮最近動向 4
"Lamay Island" 小琉球 / 琉球與
She Ding Nature Park 社頂自然公園
A Few Pictures of Kenting 墾丁

*There's a sign in front of it.  It probably explains this very thing.  I can't remember!  Don't hate me!

**I emphasize Taitung City because there's another "green tunnel" south of Guanshan.  This is where Highway 9 starts, and it's usually gridlocked during three and four-day weekends.  If you're around on Chinese New Year, avoid driving up this stretch of road at all costs.

2018年6月21日 星期四

Assorted Thoughts at the End of the Semester


Grade 6 Graduation Ceremonies

I have a hard time with these.  I know some of the kids and their parents love this tradition, but as an American I have a difficult time understanding it.  Back when I finished elementary school, my teacher shook my hand and said, "Have a good summer."  That was it.  

In the Taiwanese elementary school where I work however, we suffer through a two-hour long graduation extravaganza, complete with awards, solemn speeches by local dignitaries, and tear-jerking Powerpoint presentations.  It's all so ridiculously overblown, and by the end of it I always feel slightly nauseous.

Retirement Ceremonies

Speaking of graduation ceremonies, tomorrow afternoon we also have a retirement ceremony for both the school principal and one of the first grade teachers.  This is where I get to see coworkers cry, and I dislike it even more than the graduation ceremony.  People say the fakest things during these events, and by the end of it I always wonder how anyone can possibly cry over someone they've barely spoken to in the last several decades.  I like the two coworkers who are retiring, but these manufactured displays of emotion really bother me.

The World Cup

I know the odds are against me, but I'm rooting for Mexico.  I always root for Mexico.  I didn't see the Spain-Portugal game - which I heard was awesome - but I truly enjoyed the Mexico-Germany match.  Mexico's win also negated the money already owed to a friend from another game, so I haven't lost any money on the World Cup yet.  Mexico will likely beat South Korea this Friday, and that win should put them in the next round of games.

English Summer Camps

We're doing one in Hot Spring Elementary this year.  The schedule's a done deal - basically a repeat of what we did last winter - and the whole thing should go fairly smoothly.  The only hitch will be the weather.  If it's hot we'll need to worry about the outside portions of the camp.  If it's rainy we'll have to improvise other activities.  Whatever happens, it's likely to be a sweaty three days.



Bali

My wife, my younger daughter and I are going to Bali for two weeks at the end of July.  I've never been to Bali (or anywhere else in Indonesia) before, but I'm expecting a fairly tourist-friendly environment.  I really don't want to plan for this trip.  I'd like to keep what we do there as open and relaxed as possible.

Other Places

I'd really like to get to the Matsu Islands sometime this summer.  I want to go there even more than Indonesia.  It seems like an odd destination, and I don't know anyone who's been there.  I'm not 100% sure I can make it over, but I'm sure going to try.

Next School Year

Did you know that the next school year will be my ELEVENTH in this school?  Yes, I've been teaching here for a solid decade without interruption.  That's life I guess.  Ten years seems like a long time when you're viewing it from the other side of 2008, but in 2018 I can't believe how fast it all went by.

Speeches in Taipei

After I get back from Bali I'll be giving a presentation to the incoming Foreign English Teachers (FETs) in Taipei.  The topic I was given is "Classroom Management and Co-Teaching Strategies."  The money's nice, but left to my own devices I probably would've chosen a different topic.  I already have the schedule for the FET Orientation, and it is unrelentingly serious.  I'm sure the people in Taipei would disagree with me, but I think an almost solid day of lesson plans and associated academic exercises would fry anyone's brain.



Fight!

Two of my friends almost go into a fight last weekend.  What is it about tequila?  Someone drinks it, hears a mostly harmless comment, and the next thing you know a fight is about to happen.

Fancy Food

Finally ate at the Gaya Hotel last weekend, and man did we get FANCY.  With the aid of meal tickets, all four of us ordered the steak meal, priced at 1080 NT a person.  I even ordered a glass of wine.  Was it worth the money?  Well, I'm not a big eater of steak in the best of times, and we weren't always able to identify what we were eating.  I'd like to tell you it was awesome, but I'm still not sure?

Big Asses

I have this friend whose wife hails from a country other than Taiwan.  Often we'll get beers, and he'll start in on how women here "have no asses."  I think such talk is unfair to the women of Taiwan, and overlooks an important social reality.  Plenty of women in Taiwan have what Western men would think of as a "great ass," but 9 out of 10 aren't putting their backsides on public display.  

Why?  Because it's not part of the local idea of beauty.  Check out any fashion magazine or TV show.  Peruse one of the men's magazines on local newsstands - very few big bums.  Taiwanese women with that particular feature aren't usually the ones wearing tight pants and short skirts; more often than not they're concealing it rather than showing it off.

People Who Can't Hold Their Liquor

Have you met one of these people that switch personalities after the third or fourth beer?  That gets weird.  I don't know about you, but I tend to get mellower the more I drink, and the reverse has almost never happened.  If you're the kind of person who turns into the Hulk after three beers, you might consider the fact that you have some emotional shit you need to work out, and that drinking is not a good way of approaching that problem.



Speaking of Liquor...

Whatever happened to that TTL leechee wine they used to sell everywhere?  I loved that stuff.

Reddit

I've been using Reddit a lot more lately.  I've been using it for years off and on, but I'm only now begining to understand the advantages of Reddit over other online platforms.  I still use Messenger quite a bit, but I (still) have the feeling that Facebook proper is dying a slow death.  If you're looking for another online community about Taiwan, you might check out r/Taiwan.

Cheese Sticks

Still no cheese sticks at Sam's Burger.  I heard (somewhere) that the root cause was Costco not selling them anymore.  Apparently most of the restaurants in Taiwan selling cheese sticks were buying them there.  The foreign community has been struck particularly hard by this dearth of cheese sticks, and hopefully this cheese stick shortage crisis can be resolved in the near future.

What I'd Do If I Wasn't at Work

I'd take another nap, because the one I tried to have in the back room behind the Curriculum Office just wasn't happening.  After that I'd probably watch a movie.  I have a movie at home, In Bruges, which I've heard is pretty good.



Related Entries:

What's Going in Taitung City and County Townships/Municipalities 台東市,鄉,鎮最近動向 4
My Lesson Plan for Next Year
Stuff That I Like 我喜歡的一些東西
"Lamay Island" 小琉球 / 琉球與

2018年6月16日 星期六

What's Going in Taitung City and County Townships/Municipalities 台東市,鄉,鎮最近動向 4

For those less familiar with Taiwan, the "big" cities are divided into districts (區), and the counties are divided into cities (市), townships (鄉), and municipalities (鎮).  給對台灣比較不熟悉的讀者,  大城市 (高雄, 台南, 台中, 新竹, 基隆, 嘉義, 台北, 跟新北市) 以下有"區"的劃分, 縣 (城市外的地方)則由市, 鄉, 鎮組成.

I also scanned through the news for any interesting news items relevant to the township and municipalities below.  There isn't a lot of Taitung-related news in the best of times, but I did my best to find relevant articles. 我也看了最近的新聞, 希望找到與這些城鎮相關的有趣的報導.  我盡力了, 只是台東的新聞不多.

This will be the last news entry for a while.  Summer vacation is only two weeks away!  關於新聞的文章這將是這學期的最後一篇.  暑假快到了.



1. Da Ren Township 達仁鄉公所

Rao Jing-ling, the KMT's candidate for Taitung County Magistrate, recently made it down to Da Ren to talk about development plans there.  台東縣國民黨縣長提名候選人饒慶鈴去達仁鄉討論那邊的發展計畫.

I'm not really sure why this is news, but apparently a pair of "husband and wife trees" in Nan Tian Village are still standing, even though they died ten years ago.  我不知道這件事怎麼會在新聞出現, 可是南田村有十年前枯死的夫妻樹還沒倒.


2. Da Wu Township 大武鄉公所

The Da Wu Township Office brought several farmers growing red quinoa plants to Pingtung County to learn more about growing these plants.  大武鄉公所帶幾個紅藜農民去屏東縣汲取當地的經驗.*



3. Jin Feng Township 金峰鄉公所

Jia Lan Community in Jin Feng Township recently won an award for environmental education.  金峰鄉的嘉蘭社區最近獲環境教育的優等獎.



4. Tai Ma Li Township 太麻里鄉公所

Looking for something new to do in Tai Ma Li?  You can visit the "hydrangea tunnel!"  在太麻里找新的景點嗎?  可以去繡球花隧道!



5. Orchid Island Township 蘭嶼鄉公所

Metal doors, used to keep out wild pigs, are becoming part of Orchid Island's local culture.  蘭嶼農地都裝上門窗, 成了蘭嶼特別景觀.

The Orchid Island took place on June 3.  From the looks of the picture, not a lot of people went.  六月三日蘭嶼舉辦馬拉松.  從照片來看, 選手不多.

With a little funding from a well known bank, junior high school students on Orchid Island now have a baseball team.  因為銀行的協助, 蘭嶼的中學棒球隊正式成立了.

Boat service was suspended on Orchid Island due to big waves蘭嶼有大浪, 交通輪停駛.



6. Green Island Township 綠島鄉公所

Due to adverse weather conditions, Green Island's "underwater mailbox" was taken out of service for a week.  因為天氣的關係, 綠島的海底郵筒 "停班停課" 一個星期了.



7. Taitung City 台東市公所

In part to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival, the Taitung City Office and the Central Market were selling 10 NT boxes of eggs on June 10.  為了慶祝端午節, 十日的時候台東市公所跟中央市場賣10元的蛋盒.

The Taitung City Office's team came in first in the "Slow-pitch Magistrate Cup."  台東市公所的慢速壘球隊在 "市長盃" 得到第一名.

The City Office is promoting several "Makapahay" festivals in accordance with local aboriginal harvest festivals.  配合聯合豐年祭, 台東市公所推出馬卡巴嗨系列活動.


People have been shopping the tops off of trees in anticipation of heavy rains.  因為颱風季來臨的關係台東市又見斷頭樹.


8. Beinan Township 卑南鄉公所

There was a fire in an aluminum shack in Beinan.  A man resident in the shack was killed.  卑南的鐵皮屋發生大火, 一男子喪命.

There's a new bridge open in Tai An Village, Beinan Township.  卑南鄉泰安村的新橋通車.

A team of rescue volunteers came together in Jer Ben's hot spring area.  Typhoon damage in that area is a real problem.  重機具搶救班及志工隊在知本溫泉區成立.  那邊受颱風的影響很大.



9. Dong He Township 東河鄉公所

The artificial nature of most rivers/streams in Taiwan poses an obstacle for wildlife.  A reporter climbed down into a river in Dong He and had a hard time getting out.  台灣河床蓋上水泥溝造物會影響到河床附近的野生動物.  有一位記者下去東河的一條小溪, 他要從河床爬上來都很困難.



10. Cheng Gong Municipality 成功鎮公所


The Taitung County Government is encouraging fishermen not to place the day's catch on the pavement for reasons of hygiene.  台東縣政府教導漁民不要把魚丟在地上, 因為這個習慣不衛生.

Would you like a nice, hot run?  You can sign up for the San Shian Tai Marathon now!  你想在很熱的地方跑步嗎?  現在可以報名三仙台馬拉松.

A surfer disappeared in the water up in Duli.  They still haven't found him.  衝浪客在都歷海灘失蹤.  他們還是找不到人.



11. Chang Bin Township 長濱鄉公所

There's a list of Chang Bin's aboriginal harvest festivals here.  They all occur in July.  這個網頁有長濱的豐年祭活動期程表.  所有的活動在七月舉辦.

Some guy was caught in Chang Bin with a fake gun.  It scared people.  They called the police!  長濱一位男子有假槍.  那邊的人嚇一跳趕緊報案.


12. Lu Ye Township 鹿野鄉公所


Pineapples are going for as little as 10 NT now.  This is causing problems for farmers in Lu Ye.  現在買一顆鳳梨只要10元.  造成農民的損失.

The hot air balloon festival is in full swing.  You might want to avoid Gao Tai on the weekends.  熱氣球嘉年華來了.  周末的時候大概要避免去高台了.



13. Yan Ping Township 延平鄉公所

There will be an aboriginal archery competition in Yan Ping on July 8.  七月八日延平舉辦原住民傳統弓箭射箭比賽.**

The Yan Ping Township Office wants to use the old Yung Kang Police Station as an exhibition center for agricultural products.  延平鄉公所要把以前的永康派出所改建成一處農產展示中心.


14. Guanshan Municipality 關山鎮公所

As way of promoting "rice tamale (zongzi) culture," a rice tamale activity was held in De Gao Community.  為了推廣米粽文化德高社區舉辦包粽體驗.***

"Fake honey!"  It may surprise you to know that fake versions of Guanshan honey have appeared online.  假的蜂蜜!  你大概沒聽過網上有出現盜版的關山蜂蜜.



15. Hai Duan Township 海端鄉公所

A truck hit a tree on highway 20, killing the driver.  台20線有車撞到一棵樹造成司機死亡.

There was also a rockslide along highway 20.  That road is dangerous.  台20線也有落石.  那條路很危險.



16. Chr Shang Township 池上鄉公所


Several junior high school students took part in a rite of manhood ceremony at a local temple.  池上應屆畢業國中生在當地的玉清宮參加成年禮儀式.

A hot air balloon demonstration was held at Fu Yuan Elementary School for graduation students.  為了鼓勵畢業生, 福原國小舉行熱氣球展球活動.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Mountains, South Taiwan 台灣南部的山景
Riding Around Jer Ben 在知本騎摩托車
Hello Taitung Person 台東人你好 2
Ruins 遺址

*Pingtung has a better developed market for these plants.  Unfortunately for the red quinoa farmers in Taitung, the price they can fetch for this crop has been going down.

**Local foreigners, you should go to this.  You'll probably receive a warm welcome!

***There is no satisfactory English name for this food.  I use "rice tamale" because it makes more sense to me.

2018年6月13日 星期三

"Gloves," or Words to That Effect


The one word in Chinese I will never, ever forget is 手套 (shou tao) or "gloves."  

I forget many other words of course.  I forget words all the time.  But if there's one word that I will always remember - even into late-stage Alzheimer's - it will be 手套.

Before entering into my mighty struggle with 手套, I was familiar with handful of other words.  你好 (ni hao or "hello") as you'd expect, also 謝謝 (shie shie or "thanks").  Yet 手套 was the first word I tried to say correctly every time, and also the first word I had real difficulty with.

I have a clear memory of riding a scooter with my wife in Taichung 台中.  We were leaving a bus station when I innocently asked how to say "gloves" in Chinese.

"手套," she answered.

I couldn't hear it then, but she spoke the first word with a falling/rising tone, and the second with a falling tone.  I'd only been in Taiwan for a few months, and the tonal differences between words went over my head every time.

"Shou tao," I repeated in two, perfectly flat tones.

"No, that's not right," she corrected me, "Say it like I do - 手套."

"Shou tao," I said a second time, succeeding with the first character, but failing on the second.

"Still not right," she said patiently.  "手套..."

We continued on like this for twenty minutes or so, while I grew more and more frustrated with the Chinese language, with what I falsely perceived as her "patronizing attitude," and with the feeling of alienation that such exchanges produce.  By the end of those twenty minutes I was still no closer to being able to correctly pronounce 手套, and my wife, sensing my obvious frustration, decided to change the subject.

Naturally I, being the pain in the ass that I am, refused to let the torture stop there.  I had a bee in my bonnet about "people saying things about me that I can't understand," and I was determined to know enough Chinese to catch the drift of coworkers' gossip.  We later moved on to a study of the phonetic characters, which proceeded something like this:

"ㄅ ("bugh")," my wife intoned.

"Boo," I repeated.

"No, not like that," she corrected.  "And keep your tone the same.  Don't go up or down.  Try again - ㄅ."

"ㄅ," I imitated, but with my voice rising at the end.

"No that's wrong," she said, "But much better."

...and so on, until I could put the phonetic characters together.  ㄅ and ㄤ for "bang," ㄌ and ㄢ for "lan," ㄉ and ㄧ and ㄥ for "ding."  It was slow going, but I began to feel like I finally had a way into the language.  It wasn't all random noise.

Yet the tones were still tripping me up every time.  We moved onto storybooks similar to the alphabet primers seen in the States, wherein each phonetic character was used to introduce a Chinese word.

"Shr," I read aloud from the book, keeping my tone even, then: "Shr, ou."  Then the falling/rising tone next to the phonetic characters, "Shr... ou... 手.... tao?"



"No, that's still not right," my wife corrected gently, "It's 手套.  The second tone is falling."

This, after a half hour of fighting the book, and of making my mouth form unfamiliar sounds.  I felt like the Chinese word for "gloves" was mocking me.  I felt like I would never learn Chinese.  I felt stupid.  I felt hurt.

"FUCK!" I yelled at the wall, throwing the book across the room.  Why did Chinese have to be so hard?  Why couldn't my mouth - and my brain - work the way I wanted them to?  It wasn't for lack of effort on my part.  I'd set myself a schedule, and I'd stuck by it for months.  An hour of practice after work, every day.  

My wife did her best to console me.  Of course it was hard for her to understand.  She'd begun her study of English at a very early age, and in the midst of Chinese speakers.  Her learning curve had been a lot shallower than mine, and her earliest years of English study were a distant memory.

Goddamn 手套.  I started to hate that word.  Every time I had to use it I grew incredibly self-conscious.  It didn't help that everyone I worked with knew that I was trying to learn Chinese, and that they corrected me at every opportunity.  They were quite relentless about it.  The pressure was at times intense.

"Maybe you can go to the university and take a class?" my wife suggested.

I thought it over and it seemed like a good idea.  It also occurred to me that my wife and I might be going about things the wrong way, and that university professors with years of experience might just know a little more about learning and teaching Chinese than we did.  A short time later I was enrolled in a Chinese class at Tung Hai University 東海大學, which was only a short distance from where we lived.

"亞當先生 ("Mr. Adam")," said my instructor on our first day of class, "念這個字給我們聽 ("Read this word aloud for us.")

"Shr," I said.

"Ou," I added.

"手," I carefully pronounced, seeing the tonal marker.

"Te," I continued.

"Ao," I said.

"套." I affirmed, with a falling tone.

"很好 ("Very good.")," said the instructor, and the lesson continued on.  I listened to my classmates struggle with the same words I had been struggling with for months, and though they had my sympathies, I was glad to know I was pronouncing things better and more consistently than they were.  Towards the end of my first semester the teacher was even using me for a model, asking the other students to speak words as I did.

And I can't lie.  It felt awesome.  Before long we were writing characters, and I could read bits of signs on the road.  I learned the names of foods, and I could order different things in restaurants.  I started to understand snippets of what my kindergartners were saying in school, and I could use Chinese as a shortcut to help them understand certain English words.  Taiwan was like a book that was opening up before me, and after each day's study I understood a little more of what that book contained.

Chinese New Year arrived, and after completing my first semester at the university we were in front of our apartment, about to drive our scooter to the train station.

"It's cold today," said my wife.

"Yes," I answered, "We should put on our 手套."



Related Entries 相關的文章:

國語 Chinese 1 第一課跟第二課 Lessons One and Two 下 Second Semester
國語 Chinese 1 第一單元 Unit One 上 First Semester
Peeling an Onion
Hello Taitung Person 台東人你你好 2

2018年6月6日 星期三

Stuff That I Like 我喜歡的一些東西


You know what I like?  I like the sunshine.  When everyone's complaining about the heat, I just think about how good it is not to be in dark, gloomy Seattle, where people drink overpriced coffee just to keep themselves awake.  I like wearing shorts to work, and I like getting sunburned on the weekends.  I like mild winters, and not having to wait too long to go swimming.  Sunshine is great.  你知道我喜歡什麼嗎?  我喜歡陽光.  當大家都在抱怨天氣太熱的時候, 我就想只要不是在陰暗的西雅圖就好, 不用跟那邊的人一樣喝很貴的咖啡只為了保持清醒.  我喜歡穿短褲上班, 我也喜歡在周末把自己曬紅.  我喜歡比較溫暖的冬天, 短短冬季過後也不用等很久就可以去游泳了.  陽光很讚.

You know what other thing I like?  I like not being afraid of the police.  In the States you're never sure about the police, because maybe you did something illegal, or maybe the officer you're dealing with is suffering from some post-Iraq PTSD.  I enjoy being able to TALK to police officers, and I enjoy not feeling like they're going to shoot me and/or imprison me if I get out of line.  你知道我還喜歡什麼嗎?  我喜歡不怕警察的感覺.  在美國我們比較怕警察, 因為有可能沒注意到做的事情是違法的, 或是在你面前的那位警察有點精神狀況.  我喜歡可以跟這裡的警察講話, 不用害怕他們會開槍射我, 還是隨便把我丟進去監獄.

Another thing I like?  Good food.  And Taiwan has a lot of good food, no matter what certain (snobbish) people will tell you.  I like eating Vietnamese sandwiches at night markets, having hot pot at upscale restaurants, and trying local specialties.  A lot of people complain that the food here is "oily" or "dirty," but I think that's a lot of nonsense.  No one's making anyone eat oily or dirty food, and there are plenty of other options available.  我還喜歡什麼?  美食.  不管某些人說什麼, 台灣的好料理真的很多.  我喜歡在夜市吃越式三明治, 在高級餐廳吃火鍋, 在所有的地區吃他們的特產.  很多人會說這裡的食物太油膩或是很髒, 可是我覺得說這種話沒有意義.  沒有人強迫你吃油膩還是很髒的食物, 你還有很多其他的選擇.

I also like people who end meetings on time.  I like people who are able to both contribute to a meeting and remain aware of the clock.  I think it shows respect for everyone present when you can end a meeting when it's supposed to end.  It shows that you respect both your time and theirs.  我也喜歡準時結束會議的人.  我喜歡可以一邊有效地進行會議, 一邊注意到時間的人.  我想準時把會議結束就是一種尊重他人的行為.  這樣子大家知道你珍視他們的時間, 也珍視自己的時間.


This one'll probably kill ya....

I even like snakes.  I think snakes are fascinating animals.  Most people see them and freak out, but I think that as long as you're aware of them they're no problem.  For me snakes aren't even half as scary as monkeys.  You never know what monkeys are going to do.  我連蛇都喜歡.  我覺得蛇很有趣.  大部分的人看到牠們就很害怕, 可是我覺得你只要注意到牠們出現的地方就沒有問題.  猴子比較可怕.  因為永遠看不出來猴子的下一個行動.

I like it when people get worked up over local elections.  I like it when parents of students say hello to me on the street.  I like taking the MRT around Taipei.  I like driving down strange mountain roads.  I like temples dedicated to unusual gods.  I like eating rice with every meal, and I like tables loaded with stir-fried goodness.  我喜歡當地人民努力參加當地的選舉活動.  我喜歡學生的家長在校外跟我打招呼.  我喜歡在台北坐捷運.  我喜歡走奇怪的山路.  我喜歡較沒名氣的神明的廟.  我喜歡吃白飯配菜, 也喜歡餐桌擺滿炒好的料理.

Wherever we are, and whatever we're doing, there are always so many things to like.  Or maybe "enjoy" is a better word?  A lot of people will think you're strange for liking certain things, but the more there is to enjoy, the happier you'll be.  There can be a sense of community in complaining together, but people are also very good at making each other miserable.  Maybe it's better to focus on the positive?  到處都有令人喜歡的東西... 還是說 "欣賞" 比說 "喜歡" 好?  很多人會認為你喜歡的一些東西很奇怪, 可是有愈多值得欣賞的東西也會讓你更開心.  跟其他人一起批評某事會產生團體感, 可是一起討論讓人心煩的事也會讓心情更煩.  還是重視光明的那一面比較好吧!

Yes, liking things is good, and finding new things to like is even better.  有喜歡的東西是一件好事沒錯.  而找到新的喜歡的東西更好.



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Mountains, South Taiwan 台灣南部的山景
Riding Around Jer Ben 在知本騎摩托車
Stuff That I Hate 我很討厭的一些東西