2018年12月28日 星期五

The Countries Next Door 鄰近的國家

Chinese New Year is on the way, and some of my friends are already talking about trips they're taking during winter break.  One foreign friend is taking his wife and son to the Philippines.  Another foreign friend is going back to the States.  A Taiwanese friend is going to the Maldives and Malaysia.  農曆新年快到了, 有幾個朋友已經開始討論寒假要去哪裡玩.  有一個外國朋友要帶他的太太跟兒子去菲律賓, 一個外國朋友要回美國,  還有一個台灣朋友要去馬爾第夫跟馬來西亞.

Me?  My family and I are going to the Kyoto/Osaka area for a little over a week.  We'll probably stay in Taipei on the way back.  We're coming back from Japan just before the Chinese New Year holiday, and a visit with my wife's relatives in north Taiwan seems likely.  我?  我們家要去京都和大阪一個禮拜.  之後大概會在台北幾天.  我們從日本回來時就快到春節了, 應該會在北台灣跟我太太的家人見面.

Thinking about my upcoming trip to Japan (and maybe Taipei), it's impossible not to think of all the other trips we've taken from Taiwan to nearby countries.  Thailand was the first, a country I've visited several times since.  After that I think we went to Malaysia and Singapore.  Still later, after my first daughter was born, we went to South Korea.  I'm not sure about the order of other trips we've taken, but we've also been to Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan (Okinawa), Hong Kong, and most recently Bali, in Indonesia.  Of course some of these trips were more fun than others, but I have good memories from all of them, and I wouldn't mind visiting any of those places again.  一想到要去日本 (跟台北) , 我就想起以前去過的鄰近國家.  泰國是第一個, 我們之後還再去了幾次.  泰國以後, 我們去了馬來西亞跟新加坡.   我的大女兒出生之後, 我們去南韓.  其他旅行的順序我記不清楚了, 我們也去過越南, 柬埔寨, 日本 (琉球), 香港還有最近的印尼峇里島.  當然有的國家的旅行經驗比較好, 可是每次旅行都有好的回憶.  我也願意再去這些國家旅行.

One of the great things about Taiwan is that you can visit all of these places in just a few hours.  They're all in the same neck of the woods, so to speak, and transit through Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur makes even more destinations possible.  Countless international flights leave from Taipei and Kaohsiung, and I've even heard that you can now fly direct from Taichung to Siem Reap, in Cambodia.  台灣的一個好處就是去這些國家只要幾個小時的時間.  它們都在同一個地區, 在香港或是吉隆波轉機可以方便的去更多的地方.  無數的國際航班從台北跟高雄起飛.  我最近也聽說從台中可以直飛到柬埔寨的暹粒市.

I like sitting at work and thinking about all the places I could go.  It's nice to have that escape valve handy when life in Taiwan becomes repetitive, annoying, difficult and/or stressful.  Sometimes it's best just to press the pause button on Taiwan, and go mess around in the rest of East or Southeast Asia for a while.  It's not that hard to do, and in many cases it's not even that expensive.  我喜歡坐在辦公室想可以去玩的地點.  當台灣的生活變得很無聊, 很煩, 很困難或是壓力太大的時候, 能有逃開的機會真好.  有時候按一下臺灣的 "暫停鍵" 去東亞或是東南亞走走不是難事, 也不一定貴.

Not that anyone need feel too bad if they don't have the time or money to venture off the island.  Sometimes just leaving your city or county is enough, and Chinese New Year - aside from difficulties with local transportation - offers the opportunity to do just that.  Last Chinese New Year we didn't go anywhere, we just wandered around downtown Taipei and Keelung for a week, and that was fine.  Sometimes, I dare say, going to other countries is more trouble than it's worth.  Staying home is sometimes the better option.  我的意思不是時間太短, 錢不夠, 或沒辦法出國的人要覺得很失望.  有時候只要去外縣市就好.  春節 - 除了交通不方便之外 - 給所有人這種機會.  去年寒假我們留在台灣, 在台北和 基隆逛街.  有時候出國很麻煩, 留在家裡反而是最好的選擇.

Whether you're staying in Taiwan or headed elsewhere, I hope you have a good Chinese New Year.  Enjoy your family, if you'll be with them.  Enjoy your friends if you won't.  Try to do at least one stupid/embarrassing/dangerous/questionable thing, and if nothing else you'll have a story to tell.  Because that's all a trip really is, isn't it?  A story to tell, later on.  不管你是要留在台灣還是前往其他地方, 我想祝你有一個快快樂樂的春節.  跟家人在一起的人享受天倫, 離家人很遠的人要享受與朋友在一起的樂趣.  大家應該試著做一件笨笨/丟臉/危險/沒有意義的事.  這樣子才有好玩的故事可以分享.  因為我們都為了有故事才去旅行不是嗎?  有故事可以說就好了.

Happy 2019, by the way.  By the time your read this the four-day New Year's weekend will be upon us, and after that Chinese New Year is right around the corner.  The Year of the Pig (Boar) is coming, and having a good meal sometime this weekend would be a good way of getting ready for that.  最後祝2019快樂.  你看這文章時表示四天連假已經來臨了, 連假過後新年就快到了.  明年是豬年, 這周末吃大餐也可以算是為豬年做準備.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

Another Day in "Scenic Kaohsiung" 在風景美好高雄的一日
Hello Taitung Person 台東人你好 6
What's Going On the Seventh Floor of My Apartment Building  我大樓7樓發生了什麼事
10 Weirder Destinations in Taiwan 十個比較特別的台灣景點

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