2019年2月26日 星期二

11 More Tang Dynasty Poems 二十首唐詩

For the first 20 poems in my book and an introduction to these poems click here.

閨怨 Boudoir Guilt     王昌齡 by Wang Chang-ling

The young woman in the boudoir doesn't know worry,
She mounts the balcony after putting on her face.
She spies a willow tree dancing in the spring wind,
And thinks her husband shouldn't have to travel so far seeking fame and fortune.

芙蓉樓送辛漸  Sending Off Shing Jian From the Fu Ruo Tower
   王昌齡 by Wang Chang-ling

Braving the winter rains reach Jiang Nan,
Sending off a guest from the lonely mountains the following morning.
My friends and relatives in Luo Yang ask after me,
My heart is like a piece of ice in a jade pot.

春晴 Spring Clearing     王駕 by Wang Jia

Before the rain so many flower stamens can be seen,
After the rain the flowers close up.
The butterflies fly to the garden fence,
It may be that spring has come to my house.

九月九日憶山東兄弟 Remembering Brothers in Shan Dong During Chong Yang Festival
     王維 by Wang Wei

I was a living in someone else's hometown,
Every festival time missing my relatives.
From a distance thinking that my brothers are in the high mountains,
One of their number carries not the valerian.*

秋夕 Autumn Eve     杜牧 by Du Mu

The silvery autumn moon is like a candle flame cut out of a screen, 
Young girls chase fireflies with fans.
At night the courtyard steps are cool like water,
In exhaustion they gaze up at The Cowherd and The Woman.**

赤壁 Chr Bi***     杜牧 by Du Mu

A broken spear stuck in the sand unrusted,
I take the relic of the Three Kingdoms out and clean it off.
If Dong Feng had not come the Jhou would have lost the battle,
Both Big and Little Chiao were already imprisoned.

贈別 Given Away     杜牧 by Du Mu

Full of feeling yet far apart,
I cannot call my laughter forth.
The candle burns low like our feelings,
Flickering like our tears until sunrise.

清明 Ching Ming Festival     杜牧 by Du Mu

A heavy rain during Ching Ming Festival,****
The people on the road can't help but feel sad.
I want to ask someone where I can buy wine,
A shepherd boy points the way to Shing Hua Village.

城東早春 Early Spring in Cheng Dong     楊巨源 by Yang Ju-yuan

Spring offers the scenery most loved by poets,
The green willows shoot forth young yellow buds.
If you want to enjoy the flowers in the courtyard,
Just go outside and follow the flower watchers.

登幽州臺歌 A Song for Mounting the You Jou Tower     
陳子昂 by Chen Dze-ang

I see not the ancients before me,
I see not my descendants behind.
When I think about the endlessness of the world,
I cannot help but cry.

漁翁 The Fisherman     柳宗元 by Liou Dzong-yuan

The fisherman ties up his boat for the evening,
He wakes and starts a bamboo fire near the water.
The early morning clouds part unseen by others,
He hears "ai nai" as he floats into green mountain water.
He looks back and sees his boat descending from the heavens,
While countless clouds chase each other across the sky.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

長濱鄉的太子宮 Tai Dze Temple, Chang Bin Township
The Three-Character Poem 三字經 4
民族復興節 "National Revival Day"*
20 Tang Dynasty Poems 二十首唐詩

*Valerian is a type of plant.

**This is a reference to constellations.

***This was the site of a battle.  This poem is based on historic events, and won't make sense unless you know the whole big saga behind it.

****Also known as Tomb-Sweeping Festival.

Note: I had originally intended to do 20 more poems this time, but hit the wall around 11.  I won't be doing any more as it's growing a little too esoteric and/or repetitive for me.

2019年2月22日 星期五

Mei Nong Terrace 美農高台 / Ss Ge Mountain 四格山

Mei Nong Terrace* is just north of the Taitung Train Station.  You follow Shing An Road past the intersection leading to the station, and after a few twists and turns this road leads up to Mei Nong Terrace.  美農高台位於台東車站北邊.  順著興安路經過車站的大路口之後, 往上走彎來彎去的小路就會到美農高台.

Even further up, a couple more twists and turns lead you to Ss Ge Mountain, which lies atop Mei Nong Terrace.  At the end of a steep, narrow road you'll find these stairs, leading up to an impressive view.  更上去之後, 經過一些彎曲的小路可以直接到美農高台上的四格山.  到達路的終點走上這些樓梯後可以到很棒的觀景台.

This is looking northwest along the Beinan River.  Dulan Mountain is in the background.  Highway 197 is on the other side of the river.  朝西北部看卑南溪.  都蘭山在溪的另一邊.  台197縣道也在溪的另外一邊.

This is looking more west.  Not sure if that hill/mountain in the middle has a name.  There's not much over there.  這是更西邊的風景.  我不知道中間的山坡有沒有名字.  那邊沒什麼東西.

This is looking southeast, into the East Rift Valley.  The town of Chu Lu is down there somewhere, probably near the right edge of the picture.  往東南邊看的花東縱谷.  初鹿村也在照片中, 大概是照片的最右邊.

This is looking northeast, toward the mouth of the Beinan River.  Taitung City is somewhere below all those plants.  往東北邊的卑南溪口看.  台東市隱藏在雜草下方.

It's very quiet on top of Ss Ge Mountain.  It's not a major tourist destination, and the big tour buses have no way of making it up to the top.  在四格山上很安靜.  這裡不算有名的景點, 大遊覽車也沒辦法上去.

This is much farther down, on the road that leads up to the viewing area.  They grow a lot of sugar apples in this area.  四格山腳下的那條路有許多農民種的釋迦.

Still further down, on Mei Nong Terrace.  The signs around here are very confusing, and I'm not sure if this spot is in Mei Nong Village, Bin Lang Village, or Ding Yan Wan Village.  再往下走是美農高台.  這附近的路標讓人一頭霧水.  我不確定這塊地在美農村, 檳榔村, 或是頂岩灣村.

On the way down to the other side of Mei Nong Terrace, not far from Highway 9.  Not a 7-11, Family Mart or other convenience store within miles of this place.  美農高台的另外一邊, 靠近台9線.  這裡幾公里內都沒有7-11, 全家或其他的便利商店.

The local Tu Di Gong (Earth God) temple.  Not impressive, but then again there aren't that many people living here.  當地的土地公廟.  不是很特別, 就只是社區居民不多的一間土地公廟.

Related Entries:

長濱鄉的太子宮 Tai Dze Temple, Chang Bin Township
Views From the Top of Liyu Mountain 鯉魚山
Hello Taitung Person 台東人你好 7
What's Going on in Taitung 台東最近發生的事 9

*This area doesn't have a formal name (i.e. it's not an administrative district), but all locals are familiar with 美農冰品 ("Mei Nong Frozen Goods [ice cream]) located on the western side of the terrace.  There's a sign marked 美農高台 on Highway 9, just north of Taitung City.

2019年2月15日 星期五

Ramen and Asahi, Sushi and Tempura 拉麵跟Asahi, 壽司跟天婦羅

During Chinese New Year we went to Japan.  We flew from Taipei to Osaka, and the flight took about two hours.  This was our second trip to Japan, following a week in Okinawa WAY back in 2001.  The flight to Okinawa, as I recall, took about 45 minutes.  我們春節的時候去日本玩.  從台北飛到大阪要兩個小時.  這是我們第二次去日本, 第一次是2001年的時候去沖繩.  我記得飛到沖繩要45分鐘.

I'm always surprised I haven't been to Japan more times, but I suppose the cheapness and exoticism of Southeast Asia usually win out over the expense and relative sobriety of Japan.  It's not that I dislike Japan; I've always liked Japan, but whenever we start looking at plane tickets Japan usually gets passed over for other countries.  我總是驚訝於自己只去過日本兩次.  大概是因為去東南亞比較有異國情調和費用比較低.  不是因為我不喜歡日本.  我一直都喜歡日本, 只是當我們開始找機票後通常會選其他的國家.

The weather in Japan is cold right now.  It even snowed a bit when we were there.  It reminded me of Seattle this time of year, and when we were in the mountains I could almost imagine myself in the Pacific Northwest.  Same chill in the air.  Same kinds of trees.  現在日本的天氣很冷.  我們在那裏的時候下了一點點雪.  那樣的天氣讓我想念起這時候的西雅圖.  在山區的時候, 我可以假裝自己在美國的西北部, 天氣一樣的寒冷,  樹種也一樣.

After we arrived in Japan and passed through immigration, we had to buy train tickets because we were staying in Kyoto that night.  Japan's train system is crazy complicated, and looking at their transit maps often gave me a headache.  You take the JR line to this place.  You take the electric train to that place.  You take the subway to another place.  Or you take the bus if that doesn't work.  In the end I realized that all of those trains, subways and buses go to many of the same places, but that first time buying tickets in the Osaka Airport was perplexing, to say the least.  我們到日本過海關之後需要買火車票到京都過夜.  日本的鐵路系統滿複雜的, 看他們的交通地圖讓我頭痛.  這條JR線往這個地點,  要坐這條電車線往那個地點,  或是坐公車去.  我快要回國的時候發現大部分的火車, 電車還有公車都是往同一些地點, 可是第一次在大阪機場買火車票讓我很緊張.

I feel like people in Taiwan speak better English than people in Japan - but I could be wrong.  People in Japan are unfailingly polite, so even when you don't understand them and they don't understand you no one feels embarrassed.  We'd go into restaurants and the people serving us would launch into the most elaborate explanations in Japanese - as if we could understand a single word they said.  We always smiled at this, and did our best to be polite.  我覺得台灣人比日本人會英文, 但也有可能我錯了.  日本人很有禮貌, 所以雙方有溝通問題的時候不會覺得很丟臉.  我們去餐廳吃飯的時候服務員會很努力地介紹食物的特色, 可是我們完全聽不懂,  只能每次笑著並努力的保持禮貌.

Kyoto is very quiet.  Of course the area near the Kyoto Train Station is a beehive - and also a very fun place to watch people - but the parts away from the train station, toward the mountains, are SO quiet.  That's unless you're visiting somewhere like the Inari Shrine, and half of Mainland China is visiting it with you.  In that case no, it's not quiet.  京都很安靜.  京都車站附近當然很熱鬧, 在那邊看人也很好玩, 但是離車站遠一點且靠近山坡的地方很安靜.  除了像伏見稻荷大社那種景點到處都有大陸客陪你之外, 不然很安靜.

The food in Japan is both awesome and expensive.  I had the best ramen I've ever had in my life there, and also some great sushi.  When most Japanese restaurants fry something, they fry it perfectly, and when they add sauce to something they almost never add too much.  The consistency of the food in Japan impressed me more than anything.  Sure, we had a few average meals there, but the quality of the food was always obvious from the way the restaurant looked.  日本料理又好吃又貴.  我在那裏吃到我人生中最好吃的拉麵, 也有吃很不錯的壽司.  日本餐廳炸東西的時候會炸到完美, 加醬料的時候不會加太多.  我覺得那邊的食物都很好吃.  當然有的餐廳差了點, 可是一般來說從餐廳的外觀都可以看出裡面的食物品質.

...and going back to that Inari Shrine, if you keep walking up the mountain it's fine.  Most of the Mainlanders only walk up to where there's a view of Kyoto, and in doing so they miss the best part.  After that view you enter a quiet forest, populated by red wooden gates.  It's like being in a samurai movie and it's great.  再講伏見稻荷大社,   大部分的大陸客只會上山到一半, 並在觀賞京都風景最好的地點折返.  他們錯過了最好的部分.  你如果繼續上山就可以進入安靜的森林, 頭頂上方都是紅色的鳥居,  很像在武士電影裡面,  感覺很酷.

After Kyoto we went back to Osaka.  In many ways Osaka is the opposite of Kyoto: very noisy and very modern.  We stayed in an old hotel near the Dotonbori Shopping District, within sight of the famous red crab that adorns one of the restaurants there.  I really enjoyed walking around Dotonbori, though after a while my brain started to shut down due to the variety of restaurants and stores.  It was like the JR Railways map, only in 3D.  我們繼京都之後去大阪.  在大阪的感覺是完全相反的, 到處都很熱鬧, 所有的東西非常現代化.  我們住道頓堀附近的老飯店.  飯店對面可以看到掛在餐廳上有名的螃蟹.  我很喜歡在道頓堀附近逛街, 餐廳和商店的選擇多到讓我頭痛.  有點像JR鐵路的地圖, 可是是3D的.

Osaka Castle would be cool if it wasn't besieged by tourists.  As it is it's ok.  It's a long damn walk to get there from the metro station.  We didn't go to the aquarium.  We didn't go to Universal Studios either.  Surprisingly my favorite part of Osaka was riding the train back from the Asahi Brewery, because it was at that moment that I felt I was really in Japan, far from other tourists.  大阪城沒那麼多觀光客會更好,  現在的狀況還好.  從捷運站走到那邊很累.  我們沒去海洋館, 也沒去環球影城.  驚訝的是, 我在大阪最喜歡部分是從Asahi的啤酒廠坐電車回去飯店的路上.  因為那時候真有 "在日本" 的感覺, 也沒碰到很多其他的觀光客.

I'd like to get back to Japan one day soon.  Maybe even live there at some point.  This is a much more realistic option than the idea I was entertaining before the trip, which was to live in Myanmar near my brother and sister-in-law.  Both options would be fun and challenging in different ways, but I think Japan is more my speed.  我想很快地再去日本.  有一天住在那裏也好.  去日本玩以前, 我在考慮要不要跟太太的弟弟和弟妹一起住緬甸.  這兩個選擇都有不同的趣味和挑戰, 可是我覺得日本比較適合我也比較實際.

That, or I'll just stay in Taiwan and travel to those places.  That's good too.  Ask me in a month or so, after my Japan memories have dulled a bit.  Maybe then I'll think the idea of living there is silly.  Or maybe I'll have another place in mind.  還是我留在台灣, 利用放假的時間去那些地方玩, 這樣子也很好.  一個月之後再問我, 等我在日本玩的回憶淡一點,  有可能那時候我覺得住日本這個主意很好笑,  還是我比較想搬到其他的地方.

Related Entries 相關的文章:

長濱鄉的太子宮 Tai Dze Temple, Chang Bin Township
Views From the Top of Liyu Mountain 鯉魚山
The Countries Next Door 鄰近的國家
Another Day in "Scenic Kaohsiung" 在風景美好高雄的一日