2020年12月31日 星期四

Roaming Around Fangshan Township 枋山鄉幾個日遊

Fangshan Township is south of Fangliao Township.  It's basically just the stretch of Highway 1 between Fangliao and Checheng.  Almost everything east of the highway is in Shrdze Township.  To the west of Fangshan is the Taiwan Strait. 枋山鄉位於枋寮鄉以南.  台1線枋寮車城之間的那一段是枋山鄉的大部分.  省道的東邊是獅子鄉, 西邊就是台灣海峽.

Tourist sites in Fangshan?  I suppose you could visit President Tsai Ying-wen's ancestral home in Fenggang, but aside from that there's little aside from roadside stalls selling coffee or fruit. 枋山的景點?  楓港有總統蔡英文的祖厝.  除了這個地方, 只有賣水果或咖啡的攤子.

According to the last census, there are 5,242 people living in Fengshan.  Most of these people live in Fenggang, with smaller communities in Jialu, Central Fangshan and Jhukeng. 上次的人口統計顯示枋山的人口有5,242人.  楓港的人口最多, 加祿, 枋山市區跟竹坑的人口都比較少.


All of the pictures in this entry were taken between March and August of this year.  They're a bit older than I'd like, but then again I've visited recently and didn't notice any changes. 這文章裡的照片都是 今年三月至八月的時候拍的.  有點過期了, 可是我最近也去過枋山, 風景沒有任何改變.

This above picture was taken near the Fenggang Fishing Port. 上面的照片是在楓港漁港附近拍的.


A nearby mango field. 附近的芒果園.


President Tsai Ying-wen's ancestral home.  I doubt she's spent much time in this place, but locals seem very proud of it. 總統蔡英文的祖厝.  她大概在這裡的時間不長, 可是當地人好像覺得這個地方很特別.


In Fenggang there are many stalls along the highway.  Barbecued squid is big business. 在楓港公路旁邊有很多攤子.  很多人賣魷魚.


North of Fenggang is Central Fangshan. 楓港北邊有枋山市區.




We almost rented a house near here last summer.  I'm glad I came to my senses and chose not to.  It would've been a LONG drive to work every day. 我們夏天的時候考慮過在這裡租房子.  還好最後決定不要了.  從那邊上下班有一段路.


There are a lot of abandoned houses in the area. 這個地區的空房子超多.


Still further north is Jialu, a town not far from where I live.  It's just over the border from Fangliao Township. 往北有加祿, 靠近我住的村子.  過枋寮的邊界就到了.


This picture was taken in Jialu Elementary School.  Jialu is the last station before Fangliao, and only the slowest trains stop there. 這張是在加祿國小拍的.  加祿車站就是枋寮以南的第一個車站, 只有區間車停靠那裏.


The beaches in Jialu are surprisingly clean.  Maybe it's because there's nothing famous in that area? 加祿的海灘很乾淨.  可能是因為附近沒有景點吧.


And this picture?  I know it's in Fangshan, but I can't remember where I was when I took it.  I suspect it's somewhere between Jialu and Central Fangshan, not far from where the coffee vendors set up shop. 這張照片呢?  我知道我是在枋山拍的, 可是忘了是在枋山哪裡.  我想大概在加祿枋山市區中間的某個角落, 靠近賣咖啡的攤子吧.

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2020年12月22日 星期二

Nonsense and Insensibility


Hey man, sit down here.  Why so nervous?  They're cats.

I know, right?  It quiet here at night.  Kinda.  But if you listen, there's some stuff going.  You hear my neighbors?  I think she's going smack him again.  And the.  Always the frogs after rains.  Sometimes frogs, sometimes bugs.  Alright, I'll turn on fan.  No idea how you feel hot though.  I'm in here.

Yeah they do that weekends.  What else is to do in this?  They get drunk and up the KTV.  I, I know.  Guy is terrible singer.  Still, it's than the soldiers passing on the road.  The and the shouting give a headache.

Well I've beer in the fridge, if you don't like I've got that whiskey the shelf.  I'd offer the gin, but there's a splash left in bottle.  The other bottle is kind of wine a gave me.  What?  Oh other one's cider.  Expensive, think.  A gift from coworker.

Over there past stairs.

What?  Oh, my other is over in Jiadong.  In over is school my oh.  What?

I what I meant to is northeast of here, the pineapple fields.

Yeah, Have a beer.  Taiwan always reminds me a of Taitung.  Sitting in of the Family Mart a Friday or Saturday.  A lot of years.  Sometimes different guys, but the same few.  Always night, always the mosquitoes, always the Taiwan beer.

Gin is different.  Gin me think of college.

I didn't drink whiskey much later.  I didn't it back home.  That Barrel Oak is good.

Feelings about cider.  No.  The wife drinks it; I.

Ten thousand what?  I know where any of stuff comes from.  I bought of it in Carrefour.

Good smell: ?

     I don't anything.

    But maybe (possibly)

          Could head out for dinner.

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2020年12月21日 星期一

台灣地名故事 Taiwanese Place Name Stories 1


The Chinese text below was taken from "Taiwanese Place Name Stories" 台灣地名故事, published by Windmill Ltd. 三暉圖書發行有限公司 in 2012.  The Chinese text was written by 張青史, and the English was written/translated by me.


帝王福地 -- 屏東鯉魚山傳奇
The Emperor's Promised Land: The Legend of Pingtung's Liyu Mountain

位於屏東縣萬丹鄉的鯉魚山, 因形狀像鯉魚而得名.  據說, 鯉魚山正巧位在一個鯉魚穴上, 穴中住著一對千年鯉魚精.  康熙61年7月11日, 鯉魚山第一次發生泥火山爆發, 附近的居民都非常高興. Liyu (Carp) Mountain is in Pingtung County, Wandan Township.  It gets its name from its shape, which resembles a carp.  According to legend, it was located atop a cave inhabited by two carp spirits, both a thousand years old.  The first eruption there occurred during the 11th day of the 7th month of the 61st year of Emperor Kangxi's reign, and this eruption made the people living in that area very happy. (1)

王老爹說 : "這是鯉魚精開始作法了 , 鯉魚精是吉祥的動物 , 一定會帶給我們幸運的 ."  Elder Wang said: "This is carp spirits coming into existence.  Carp spirits are auspicious beings.  This is sure to bring us good luck."

曾大叔進一步的補充說 : "鯉魚精出現 , 表示我們萬丹這個地方 , 將來會產生 "真命天子" , 鯉魚山就是那位 "真命天子" 的皇帝殿 .  鯉魚精讓泥火山噴出泥漿 , 目的是在做造山運動 , 要使鯉魚山能像大武山那般高俊雄偉 , 如此 , 皇帝殿就可以穩如泰山 . Uncle Zeng added: "The appearance of carp spirits means that Wandan will one day give birth to the "Rightful King," and that Liyu Mountain will be the Rightful King's Palace.  The carp spirits cause mud to spout from the ground, with the intention of making Liyu Mountain as tall as Dawu Mountain.  In this way the Rightful King's Palace will be as secure as if it was located on Mount Tai." (2)


由於王老爹和曾大叔都是村裡德高望重的長者 , 因此 , 村民也都認同他們的看法 , 全心全意的督促年輕學子努力讀書 , 充實知識 , 以便將來能成為真命天子 . Because Elder Wang and Uncle Zeng were both highly respected in the village, the villagers all agreed with their assessment.  They urged the children in the village to study hard, and to become wise so that in the future one of them could become the "Rightful King."

果然, 過了幾年, 在雍正元年6月26日, 泥火山第二次爆發, 當時鯉魚山的赤山巖一帶, 紅光滿天, 地面衝開二孔, 黑色泥漿不斷的冒出來.  村民前往觀察, 發現是那兩隻鯉魚經再度施展法術, 噴出泥漿.  他們更加確定 "皇帝殿" 快蓋好了, 而他們出頭天的日子也已經不遠 . Sure enough, several years later, during the 26th day of the 6th month of Emperor Yong Jeng's reign, the mud volcano erupted a second time.  At the same time, the rocks around Liyu Mountain glowed red, casting their radiance into the sky.  Two holes appeared in the earth, and black mud continually spurted from them.  The villagers moved closer to inspect the holes, and came to the conclusion that the spurting mud was just the carp spirits again, working their magic.  They became even more convinced that the "Rightful King's Palace" was nearing completion, and that their day of glory would soon arrive.

這時候 , 正好有一位乞丐經過 , 看到兩隻鯉魚經在互相加油 , 呼喚 , 使得泥漿不斷的湧出 , 發出 "轟隆 ! 轟隆 !" 的巨大聲響 .  乞丐不明就裡 , 認為是兩隻鯉魚經在作怪 , 心裡既生氣又害怕 , 就把手上的拐杖往泥漿中擲去 , 無巧不巧 , 竟然擊斃了雄的鯉魚精 .  從此以後 , 鯉魚穴就被破壞了 , "皇帝殿" 沒能建造完成 , "真命天子" 自然也就無法順利產生 .  雄鯉魚精死後 , 雌鯉魚精非常傷心 , 就離開萬丹 , 遁走南海. As this was happening a beggar was passing by.  He saw the two carp spirits stirring up the mud, and heard them calling out with a great "Hong!  Hong!"  The beggar was unfamiliar with the area, and thought that the two carp spirits were up to no good.  He felt angry and scared, and he threw his crutch into the mud, which - wonder of wonders - killed the male carp spirit within.  In this way the cave of the carp spirits was destroyed, and the "Rightful King's Palace" was never completed.  Of course after this point the "Rightful King" would also never come to be.  After the male carp spirit was killed, the female carp spirit grew very sad, and left Wandan for the South China Sea.


村民們知道後 , 非常憤怒 , 將乞丐打了一頓 , 趕出村去 , 還立下一個規矩 : 從此不准任何一個乞丐進入村裡乞討 . After the villagers learned of this they were very angry, and they beat the beggar half to death.  From that time they made it a rule that no beggars could enter the village to beg for alms.

光緒28年9月 , 鯉魚山的泥火山再度爆發 , 連續好幾天噴出泥漿 .  村民傳說是雌鯉魚精回來了 , 因為思念雄鯉魚精 , 因此難過的噴出泥漿 .  During the 9th month of the 28th year of the Emperor Guangxu's reign the mud volcano erupted yet again, and continued to do so for several days.  According to the villagers, this event signified the female carp spirit's return.  The bubbling mud was caused by her longing for the male carp spirit.

此後 , 每當雌鯉魚精思念牠的伴侶時 , 就會再度噴出泥漿 .  但是因為傷心過度 , 噴出的泥漿已經大不如前了 .  From this time onward the mud would bubble up every time the female carp spirit missed her mate.  But because her pain has lessened with time, the mud does not bubble up as strongly as it once did.

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1. There are other Liyu Mountains in Taitung County, Hualien County (next to Liyu Lake), Taipei City and Fujian Province, China.  One gets the feeling that naming things after carp was once very popular.

2. Dawu Mountain is the best known (and most historic) mountain in Pingtung County.  Mount Tai is located in Shantung Province, China.  There are many legends surrounding Mount Tai involving gods and monsters.  The villagers in Wandan, having settled in Wandan during Kangxi's reign, would have had more recent memories of the Mainland, and would have also been more apt to compare places in Taiwan to places in China.

2020年12月17日 星期四

Pingtung in the News 屏東的新聞 (North 北) 2

There are 29 townships, 3 municipalities and one city in Pingtung County.  It's exhausting to include news from every township, municipality and Pingtung City every time, so what I'll do instead is include news items from eleven different townships or municipalities in each entry.  This way I should be able to work my way through Pingtung County every three entries. 屏東縣包含了29個鄉, 3個鎮還有屏東市.  每次討論所有鄉鎮的新聞太累了, 所以我會每次討論11個鄉鎮的報告.  這樣子我每三篇新聞文章就會涵蓋到全縣內鄉鎮的新聞.

1. Ligang Township 里港鄉

A. The Environmental Protection Bureau and other local authorities were called in after the noise from a local temple festival persisted late into the night.  Those responsible for the noise and garbage were fined. 屏東縣里港廟會繞境鞭炮擾民  警 , 消依法開罰

B. Ligang Township is offering birth subsidies to boost its population.  Ligang Township has been implementing this policy since 2012, and the subsidies, ranging from 30 to over 100 thousand NT dollars, vary depending on the number of children in each family. <屏東>  里港 "催生" 再加碼  第4胎給12萬 (1)

C. A police officer working in Ligang collapsed inexplicably.  He was taken by fellow officers to E-Da Hospital in Kaohsiung, where he was diagnosed with a myocardial infarction.  An operation was performed, but the medical staff at the hospital were unable to save him. 協助病患強制送醫  屏東警員心肌梗塞急救5天後不治


2. Gaoshu Township 高樹鄉

A. This article introduces a resort and a couple other attractions in Gaoshu.  "Da Lu Guan," the old name for an area near the resort, was part of the Hakka "Right Duei" settlement. 寬闊草地 + 歐式夢想莊園 !  高樹鄉大路關好讚站 x 幸福莊園  帶路探訪石師三兄弟

B. In this article a man with relatives in Pingtung reflects on his childhood memories and taking part in the Gaoshu Marathon. 賽事心得 / 屏東高樹蜜鄉馬拉松  重溫兒時的回憶

C. A local man, devastated by the recent death of his wife, was found unwashed and unresponsive on the road by local police.  The police later returned him to his village. 阿北呆坐旁恍神... 問住哪不回應  口袋一張紙揭深情故事惹人淚


3. Sandimen Township 三地門鄉

A. As part of the Pingtung County Government's push to renovate or relocate cemeteries, and also to promote cremation over burial, one of the cemeteries in Sandimen was renovated.  This renovation, however, made burial very expensive, and fees were only recently reduced to accommodate local incomes. 規費過高 "住不起"  屏東三地門鄉幅調降殯葬管理費

B. Since the advent of COVID, tourism in Sandimen has declined.  As a way of stimulating the local economy and/or financially assisting local residents, in October the Sandimen Township Office gave every resident 1000 NT. 屏東三地門鄉振興禮金  每人1000元


4. Wutai Township 霧台鄉

A. Wutai Township was recently recognized by the Agriculture and Food Administration for its efforts in regard to organic farming.  I can only hope they're confining their organic farming to areas where it is legal to farm. 全台首個有機鄉示範地  屏東霧台鄉展成果

B. With the encouragement of local government, residents of Wutai have been farming lilies.  This flower has a cultural significance within the Rukai Tribe. 霧台植2.8萬株百合  預約美景

C. Coffee beans area also grown in Wutai.  This report discusses how a local man is growing coffee beans on his grandmother's land. 擦亮霧台咖啡招牌  杜俊文用阿嬤的農地種出特等咖啡豆


5. Jiouru Township 九如鄉

A. Over a hundred people attempted to remove the head of Sankuai ("Three Pieces") Village from office.  They lacked the required number of signatures to do so.  No reason for this attempted dismissal is given in the article, aside from "destroying the harmony of the village." 二階連署未過  屏東縣九如鄉三塊村長罷免案宣告不成立

B. Residents of Jiouru recently visited the Taiwan Water Company (a water utility) to inspect operations there.  The Taiwan Water Company has been working to improve the supply of tap water to places like Jiouru, where people previously relied on groundwater. 九如鄉給台水一個讚

C. A man living in Jiouru has spent a lot of time and money improving roads in that area.  While fixing the roads his wife directs traffic and his son assists him.  He, his wife and their son were recently given an award for their efforts. 常年幫補破路  一家三口都獲獎


6. Yanpu Township 鹽埔鄉

A. Work has begun on the riverbanks and canals near the Wuluo River, which is a source of flooding in the area. 改善大仁科大周邊淹水  武洛溪大仁支線二期排水工程展開

B.Jiang Wei-ping, former head of Yanpu Township, was sworn in as Pingtung County Councillor after the previous office holder was accused of bribery. 鄭雙銓涉嫌賄選遭解職  前屏東縣副議長江維屏宣誓上任

C. As recently announced by the Pingtung County Bureau of Cultural Affairs, several workshops were held throughout the county.  One of these workshops, in Yanping Township, centered around the making of puppets. 屏東49個社區營造有成  展現草根力量


7. Pingtung City 屏東市

A. Bus service in Pingtung City is terrible.  But then again very few people in Pingtung City ride the bus.  Maybe it doesn't matter? 屏東市區公車搭乘率太低  日搭乘人數平均不到20人次

B. The Pingtung City Government was criticized after installing unsightly solar panels in a local park.  The County's "green energy" plan was also criticized, in that it often values green energy at the expense of green areas.  The solar panels will be removed. 綠電搶綠地挨批  經協商屏東市永新公園光電板將拆除

C. Pingtung City's Global Mall is working hard to attract customers with several Christmas-themed events. Global Mall屏東市店打造 "反應過激的貓" 森林雪景打卡點


8. Chang Jr Township 長治鄉

A. Chang Jr (Changjr?  Changjer?) will be hosting a road run on December 20.  They will be promoting the kumquats grown there during the event. 帶動金桔產業  長治鄉辦路跑促銷產業

B. The township has also been working with professors at nearby Daren University of Science and Technology to develop recipes incorporating kumquats. 推廣長治在地農產金桔  大仁科大備 "亨桔宴"

C. The mayor of Chang Jr Township recently visited the local military training facility to see how recruits there were doing.  They said they were doing fine. 長治鄉長探視役男  鼓勵子弟充實自我


9. Linluo Township 麟洛鄉

A. Along with plans to extend the Kaohsiung MRT into Pingtung, there are additional plans to construct bike trails and parks in Linluo and Jhutian townships.  As part of this initiative the County will begin construction of the "Prince and Grandma Park" in Linluo.  This park will reflect the area's Hakka heritage. 活化客庄車站  麟洛站前打造王爺奶奶公園 (2)

B. Several scholars were recently invited to Linluo Township to help preserve historical materials and to contribute to a local chronicle of the area. 9名學者專家投入麟洛鄉志編纂任務  預計2年後完成

C. The local fire department visited Linluo Elementary School to teach kids about CPR and fire prevention. 麟洛國小園遊爆竹煙火防火防災宣導  學童收穫良多


10. Jhutian Township 竹田鄉

A. Jhutian won an award from the Global Brand Management Association recognizing its achievements with regard to improving living conditions there. 屏東縣唯一竹田鄉獲台灣城鎮品牌銀質獎 (3)

B. People have been parking their cars for long periods of time near the Jhutian Train Station, creating a scarcity of parking spaces in the area.  The Jhutian Township Office decided to start charging a parking fee as a way of solving this problem. 竹田火車站停車場  每小時5元


11. Neipu Township 內埔鄉

A. Neipu will host a street festival similar to one held in Chaojhou around Chinese New Year.  Local businesses have high hopes for this event. 農曆年不能出國來屏東 !  內埔勳循潮州模式辦年街  同攤票下3特區

B. A "toy gun" and a bronze medal from a Nezha temple in Neipu were stolen by a man later arrested in Chaojhou.  He later claimed that he gave them to a child to play with. 連三太子玩具槍供品也偷 !  內埔警一天抓人賊 : 送小朋友玩 (4)

C. The owner of two rifles was arrested near an elementary school in Neipu.  The firearms were purchased legally, but the man is under investigation. 校園附近的槍彈情資  屏東內埔警不敢大意

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1. I came across two different articles on this policy.  The numbers didn't agree, hence the "over 100 thousand NT dollars."

2. I doubt the Pingtung County Government would phrase it this way.  They'd probably say they are creating a NEW Pingtung MRT system.  But really, it's more an extension of the Kaohsiung MRT for the foreseeable future.

"Prince and Grandma Park."  The name of the park was taken from a nearby temple, and I'm not sure how to render it in English.  The "Prince" 王爺 is a popular local deity, and there are many temples dedicated to him in Taiwan.

3. Having read the local news for a few months now, I'm thinking the Jhutian Township Office works very, very hard.

4. "Nezha," better known locally in his 三太子 ("San Tai Dze") aspect, is a childlike god fond of toys.  He is often seen during street processions.

NOTE: There's one news item that doesn't fall within the borders of any specific township, municipality or city.  Pingtung County has a big "problem" with iguanas, which were introduced into Taiwan from abroad.  Someone set their unwanted iguanas loose in the mountains, the critters started breeding, and locals are now wondering what to do with these occasionally giant lizards.

2020年12月15日 星期二

A Report 報告


By the time you read this I'll have finished week 15 out of the 20 weeks that comprise the fall semester.  I have two more weeks of classes to plan, and after that I'm testing the students in grades 3-6 in both of the schools where I work.  During weeks 19 and 20 I'll have a lot more freedom in terms of what I teach, and lessons during the last two weeks of any semester are usually interrupted or postponed by whatever school activities are planned for that time. 當你讀到這裡的時候, 我已經完成第一學期的第十五周了.  這個學期總共有二十周.  我還要寫兩個禮拜的課程計畫, 之後要為兩所學校的三到六年級學生測驗.  第十九跟第二十周我比較自由, 除了上課內容比較自由外.  每個學期的最後兩個禮拜學校也會舉辦活動, 我的課應該會變少.

Then, my friends, Chinese New Year vacation is imminent.  Can you feel it?  Can you feel the nearness of that many days off?  Ah, it's glorious, I tell you.  Glorious! 朋友們, 知道嗎?  寒假也即將來臨了.  感覺到了嗎?  那麼多天不用上班!  真是美好的事.  好棒!

With all of the above in mind I thought I'd talk about where I am, what I'm doing, how I'm doing, and what the near future might hold for me.. 知道這些事之後, 我想說說自己住的地方, 最近做的事, 心態和可能的未來.

I. My House 我的房子

As stated elsewhere, we're renting an old house in Shin Kai Village, Fangliao Township.  It's about 30 minutes by bike from my main school, and 40 minutes by bike from my second school.  The paint is peeling off the walls, and we have no use for the third floor, but the house is in (relatively) good condition and the landlord is nice. 我已經在其他文章說了, 我們在枋寮鄉新開村租了一棟房子.  這棟房子離我的基地學校騎單車30分鐘, 離衛星學校騎單車40分鐘.  雖然牆壁上的油漆慢慢剝落, 我們也沒有使用到三樓, 可是房子的現況還不錯, 房東也很親切.

If I have a complaint regarding that house it's the noise.  My neighbors tend to have really loud conversations, and they seem generally unaware of when to use their indoor voices.  They also get up early, and the rumble of their farm machinery forces me to get up early too.  On the weekends they sing KTV so loudly it rattles the windows in our house. 我對那棟房子不滿意的部分是噪音.  我鄰居們大聲聊天, 不在乎室內音量跟戶外音量的差異.  他們都很早起床, 也很早開始使用農機.  周末的時候他們大聲唱KTV, 聲音大到我們窗戶的玻璃會動.

II. My Cats 我的貓

I have five cats now.  We still have the three we brought over from Taitung, plus two kittens we found in a graveyard near one of my schools.  We were pretty sure the kittens were going to die when we found them, but I'm happy to say that three weeks later they're doing fine.  We named the orange one Mango and the white one Milky.  They still need to drink milk from a bottle, but they'll be moving on to solid food soon. 我們現在養了五隻貓.  除了從台東帶過來的三隻, 再加上在墓地撿到兩隻貓寶寶.  我們發現那兩隻的時候都認為牠們快要上天堂了, 我現在很高興地說經過了三個禮拜牠們還活著.  我們叫白色的那隻Milky, 橘色的那隻Mango.  牠們還需要喝奶粉, 可是快要轉換吃固體貓食了.

III. My Family in Taiwan 我台籍的家人

I haven't seen any of my Taiwanese in-laws for a while.  I'm really not sure how they're doing. 我很久沒有跟我太太的家人見面, 不知道他們最近怎樣.

IV. My Family in the States 我美籍的家人

My sister's going to have a baby.  It'll be her first.  I'm very happy about that. 我妹妹要生了.  這是她第一個寶寶.  這件事讓我很開心.

I haven't talked my brother in a while.  As he is a performing musician and nearly all concerts in the U.S. have been cancelled due to COVID, he's probably doing some other kind of work to make ends meet. 我很久沒有跟我的弟弟聯絡了.  在美國, 因為病毒的關係, 不可以舉辦音樂會, 所以彈吉他的他應該正做著其他的工作.

My mom seems to be having difficulty hearing.  Phone conversations with her can be hard.  Otherwise she seems fine. 我媽的聽力好像變差了.  打電話給她很困難.  除了這件事, 她好像沒有問題.

My dad is doing better.  He was suffering from severe depression the last time I saw him - for completely understandable reasons - but he sounds very upbeat on the phone now. 我爸最近比較好.  我上次見到他時他很傷心 -- 大家可以了解的理由 -- 可是最近和他通話, 他聽起來比較開心.

V. My Job 我的工作

As said above I work at two schools, one in Fangliao Township and one in Jiadong Township.  I spend three days of every week at Fangliao, and two days at Jiadong.  I have a similar number of classes at both schools. 我各在枋寮和佳冬的兩所學校上班.  我每個禮拜三天在枋寮, 兩天在佳冬.  我在這兩所學校上的課數差不多.

I can't go into too much detail about either school because a) it will get me into trouble, and b) it violates the terms of my contract.  I will say, however, that I like one school MUCH more than the other.  Staff in both schools have been very friendly and welcoming, and I've never been made to feel like my presence in either school was extraneous.  The students in south Pingtung County seem to have more family issues than what I encountered in Taitung City, and the schools in the area have fewer resources, but on the whole my job here isn't that different from what I was doing in Taitung. 我沒辦法很仔細地討論這兩所學校, 因為: a) 這麼做我會自找麻煩, b) 我的合約也不允許我這麼做.  我可以說其中的一所比較適合我.  這兩所學校的工作人員都很親切, 我也覺得這兩所學校都想要我這種外師. 
我這邊的工作跟台東的工作差不多.但是屏東南部的孩子好像比台東市區的孩子有家庭的問題, 學校的資源也比較缺. 

VI. The Pingtung County Government 屏東縣政府

In the course of doing my job I sometimes have to deal with the Pingtung County Government.  Comparing Pingtung County to Taitung County, and also Pingtung City to Taitung City, I'd say that Taitung City has an enormous advantage in that it's located in the center of Taitung County.  The Pingtung County Government is located in Pingtung City, far from the southern end of the county, and this makes administration more of a challenge. 我工作的小部分需要跟屏東縣政府交流.  以屏東縣跟台東縣比, 和屏東市與台東市比, 我覺得台東市的位置在台東縣中心這一點比較好.  屏東縣政府在屏東市區, 但是離屏東縣南端很遠.  這樣子縣政府管理比較偏鄉的事務時很麻煩.

I had a hell of a time getting correct information about meetings when I started here.  The communication between the folks in Pingtung City and most of the foreign teachers was really bad.  Over the past three months communication has slowly improved, but I still feel that teachers (and by this I mean all teachers) could be better informed about upcoming meetings, guidelines, and other things pertaining to their jobs. 我剛開始在這裡工作時, 覺得收到正確的研習資訊及其他的工作訊息很難,   屏東縣的外籍教師間的溝通不是很好.  雖然這幾個月溝通的部分慢慢改善了, 可是我還是覺得縣府傳給外師的研習資料和工作上的相關資訊還有改進的空間.

As it is I try to add important people on Line whenever possible.  This has worked for me so far. 我碰到新同事的時候就加他們的Line.  這樣子對我來說比較有幫助.

VII. Pingtung in General 屏東縣

For a while I was suffering from gout.  Too many new foods and too much eating out.  I've had problems with gout for years, but around the end of October it got REALLY bad.  I've had to be more careful about what I eat, but I've been fine for the past month or so. 有一段時間我有痛風.  太多外食和飲食種類的改變  我有痛風的問題好幾年了, 可是今年十月底真的是很嚴重.  我只好更小心我的飲食, 還好上個月至今這問題都沒有再發生, 

Pingtung is fine in general.  It's very poor in places, the population is shrinking and it has about it an air of faded glory.  When we really want to "go out" for dinner we go to either Chaojhou to the north or Donggang to the west.  Both places have more of restaurants, though I have to say I find Donggang far more interesting. 屏東很好.  有的地方很貧窮, 人口也在減少, 還給人發展日漸落沒的感覺.  我們想去比較遠的地方吃飯的時候會去潮州或是東港.  這兩鎮的餐廳比較多.  我覺得東港比較有趣.

When we want to go somewhere even further away we head to Pingtung City or Kaohsiung.  There are some surprisingly good restaurants in Pingtung City, and the presence of Carrefour, department stores and movie theaters in that sainted metropolis are also incentives to go there.  We went to Kaohsiung A LOT when we first moved to Pingtung, but the drive from our house into downtown Kaohsiung is exhausting. 再遠就去屏東市或是高雄.  屏東市有些很不錯的餐廳, 也有家樂福, 百貨公司跟電影院.  我們剛搬到屏東的時候去高雄好幾次, 可是從我們家開車到高雄市區很累.

I've been to Hengchun and Manjhou a handful of times since moving here.  I really like Manjhou. 我搬到屏東之後去過恆春, 滿州幾次.  我很喜歡滿州.

Due to my gout I haven't biked around the county as much as I'd intended to, but now that I'm better I'm able to do that again.  I rode to Sandimen up the Mountainside Highway last weekend.  It was as beautiful and interesting as anything in Taitung. 因為痛風的關係, 我不像以前常常騎單車.  現在身體變好後就可以騎了.  我上個周末騎沿山公路到三地門.  風景和景點跟台東一樣好.

VIII. Taiwan 台灣

And Taiwan?  How's Taiwan doing?  I think that I can say that most people here - at least in relative terms - are doing fine.  People aren't dying by the thousands from COVID, China hasn't invaded yet, and the economy has been oddly buoyant since the pandemic started. 台灣呢?  台灣怎麼樣?  我應該可以說在台灣大部分的人沒事.  武漢病毒沒有傷害那麼多人, 大陸沒有入侵台灣, 經濟也不錯.

If I remember correctly, the most recent news concerned the importation of American pork.  Those who raise pigs in Taiwan are worried about unfair competition, and the public is worried about chemicals present in American pork.  Considering that pork is much more of a staple food in Taiwan, I believe that these concerns are valid.  My personal opinion?  Knowing the American FDA, I'd rather eat Taiwanese pork. 如果沒有記錯的話, 最近的新聞主要關於美國豬肉的輸入.  台灣的養豬農民擔心經濟上的不公平競爭.  一般的人民擔心美國豬肉裡的萊克多巴胺.  台灣的豬肉食用量大, 我想大家擔心是有道理的.  我認為美國的FDA不是好的政府部門, 也覺得台灣的豬肉比較安全.

IX. The World 我們的地球

Well, Biden's going to the White House, so that's something to be optimistic about.  It's nice having a President I can bear listening to.  To be perfectly honest, I voted for Trump in the election - I thought he'd be better for Taiwan - but I'll admit I was relieved when Biden won. 比登被選上, 這是大家可以放心的.  他的演講我可以聽得下去.  說實話, 我投川普的票.  對台灣來說, 我覺得川普的政策比較好, 可是我一知道比登被選上後鬆了一口氣.

And there's a COVID vaccine on the horizon.  Will you or I be receiving this vaccine soon?  Not likely, but it's encouraging just the same.  At this point in history anything that points toward people working together and solving problems makes me happy.  We might not colonize Mars by next Friday, but by God we'll get there one day soon. 冠狀病毒疫苗也出現了.  我們可以很快的打疫苗嗎?  大概不會, 可是這還是很鼓舞人心.  這歷史性的一刻, 人們互相合作解決問題這一點讓我很開心.  雖然我們下禮拜五前不會殖民火星, 但總會有做到的一天.

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2020年12月3日 星期四

Walking Around Liuqiu Township 走路一日環島琉球鄉

It was a dark, dark day on Xiaoliuqiu, so please be aware that the places pictured below are twice as scenic when the sun is out.  When we visited there were less tourists, but I couldn't help but feel a little sad at the absence of blue sky and blue water. 我們在小琉球那天雲層很厚.  因此請你知道, 太陽出來的時候, 小琉球的風景會比照片上的美上二倍不止.  我們在那裡的時候觀光客不多, 但是沒有藍天和藍色的海的小琉球讓我有一點失望.

Xiaoliuqiu is off the coast of Donggang, so close that you can see it from the ferry terminal on a clear day.  The ferry ride from Donggang to Xiaoliuqiu takes about thirty minutes, and ferries leave for most of the day. 小琉球位於東港南部.  晴天的時候可以從東港的港口看到小琉球.  從東港坐船到小琉球要30分鐘, 白天都有船可以坐.

If you're visiting Xiaoliuqiu, be aware that people scalp ferry tickets near the ferry terminal in Donggang.  Buying from (and perhaps even bargaining with) one of these scalpers can save you money. 要去小琉球的讀者應該知道, 東港漁港附近有人在路邊賣船票.  從他們手上買票比較便宜(應該可以跟他們講價吧.).  


At 6.8 square kilometres, Liuqiu Township is both one of the smallest townships in Pingtung and also one of the most densely populated.  According to the last census, 12,117 people live there. 6.8平方公里的小琉球是屏東縣最小鄉鎮中的其中一個, 也是人口密度最高的.  上次的人口統計顯示小琉球的人口是12,117人.

After arriving at Baisha Sightseeing Port, we decided to walk around the island.  We'd checked a map beforehand, and knew that Xiaoliuqiu is about 12 km around.  The picture above was taken in "downtown" Xiaoliuqiu, an area adjacent to the port.  We started our big walk there. 我們到白沙觀光港之後決定走路環島.  我們出發前參考了地圖, 知道環島的路線差不多12公里.  上面的照片是在觀光港附近的市區拍的.  我們從那邊開始走.


Baisha Sightseeing Port is one of two ports on the island.  Most residents arrive at another, less scenic port southeast of here. 白沙觀光港是小琉球兩個港口的其中一個.  大部分的居民使用東南邊風景沒那麼好的港口. (1)


From the port, we walked clockwise around Xiaoliuqiu.  Vase Rock, undoubtedly the most photographed spot on Xiaoliuqiu, was our first stop. 從港口開始, 我們順時針環島, 第一站就是被成千上萬的人拍過的花瓶石.


From Vase Walk it's a short trek to The Beauty's Cave, a scenic area that charges an entrance fee.  Be sure to buy the pass for all of the scenic areas at the first place you visit.  It'll save you money. 美人洞離花瓶石很近.  這個風景區要買門票.  在第一個參觀的風景區買套票比較好.  比較划算.




One thing I dislike about Xiaoliuqiu is the fact that swimming is difficult there.  The reefs encircling the island are very close to the shore, and even though diving spots are plentiful it's not a convenient place to swim. 我不喜歡小琉球的部分是游泳不方便.  環繞島嶼的珊瑚礁很靠近陸地.  對潛水來說是很好的事, 但對游泳來說不太好.


South of The Beauty's Cave is the Shan Fu Ecological Corridor.  From here a walkway leads through an old fort to a view of the coast. 美人洞南邊有杉福生態廊道.  在這裡可以走步道進去停用的軍事基地, 從基地的另外一邊可以看海景.



South of the Shan Fu Ecological Corridor is Shan Fu Port.  I could be wrong, but this sleepy little port might be the best place for swimming. 杉福生態廊道南部有杉福漁港.  我認為這應該是最好的游泳地點, 但可能我是錯的. 


Further south is Boar's Channel.  In my opinion this is the prettiest of the scenic areas. 在往南邊是山豬溝.  我覺得這是小琉球風景最好的地點.


South of Wu Shui Gou is Ha Ban (Ge Ban) Beach, a very famous spot.  Unfortunately for us it was closed for renovation. 位於五水溝南邊是很有名的蛤板灣.  可惜我們在那裡的時候在整修.


Near the southern end of the island is Wu Guei Gave.  The caves around here made me very claustrophobic, but the viewing areas next to the ocean are nice. 靠近島嶼最南端的是烏鬼洞.  在小洞穴裡走動讓我很緊張, 可是坐在海邊的觀景台上很舒服.


On the other side of the island are the Hou Shr Reefs.  This is the least developed part of Xiaoliuqiu, and it's a good place to admire the view. 島嶼的另外一邊有厚石群礁.  這個地區沒有那麼多觀光設施, 但是個欣賞風景的好地方.


After that?  We walked onward, onward, ever onward.  We walked our weary way north to Baisha Sightseeing Port.  The scooters began to crowd around us like a swarm of angry bees, and I could think of nothing better than sitting down, somewhere quiet, and having a beer. 在厚石群礁之後呢?  我們繼續走.  我們走到北邊白沙觀光港.  我們越靠近白沙, 路上的摩托車越多.  像一群蜜蜂一樣那麼吵鬧.  快完成環島的時候, 我很想坐在一個安靜的地方喝啤酒.

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1. There's actually a third tiny port at the other end of the island, but when we walked through there weren't any boats there.

2020年11月26日 星期四

琉球漁樂線 Fishy Things to Do on Xiaoliuqiu


The Chinese below was taken from "A New Appreciation of Fishing" 漁樂新視界.  The Chinese was written by 光啟社 and the English was written/translated by me.  There will be four of these entries, covering the ports in Pingtung County.


琉球漁樂線
Fishy Things to Do on Xiaoliuqiu (1)

小琉球, 位於高屏溪口的西南方, 距離屏東縣東港鎮約14公里, 屬於一個珍貴的珊瑚礁島嶼, 由於不受東北幾集季風的影響, 因此一年四季的氣候都相當溫暖宜人. Xiaoliuqiu is located to the southeast of where the Kaoping River meets the sea.  It's 14 km from Donggang Municipality, in Pingtung County.  This beautiful coral island lies beyond the reach of the northeastern monsoon winds, and the climate is very warm and pleasant year-round.

這裡的海水清澈見底, 並發展出各項精采的親海旅程, 你可以到潮間帶認識多樣精采的動植物種, 或是搭乘半潛艇觀光船, 從水面上到水面下, 欣賞不同的海底世界, 小琉球的美麗值得大家前來探掘它迷人的魔力. The ocean here is crystal clear, and there are many ways in which to explore it.  You can delve into the intertidal zone and learn about many species of animals and plants, or you can board a glass-bottomed boat and enjoy the underwater world beneath you.  The beauty of Xiaoliuqiu entices everyone to come and enjoy it.


How to go?

到小琉球需至東港搭乘船班, 每班船的航行時間約30分鐘就可以到達, 由於有分公營和民營兩種, 開始時間有所不同, 因此, 詳細的船班資訊可以到 (小琉球觀光旅遊資訊網) 查詢. To get to Xiaoliuqiu you need to take a ferry from Donggang.  The ferry trip takes about 30 minutes.  Because there are both public and private ferries the departure time varies, and for exact departure times you should consult the Xiaoliuqui Tourism Information Network. (2)

精彩樂活
Memories in the Making


白沙觀光港 Bai Sha Sightseeing Port

白沙觀光港為遊客進出之主要港口, 緊鄰海岸線優美的中澳沙灘, 深具遊憩價值, 港區內還提供海上環島船以及海底半潛艇, 給遊客多樣化的環島新選擇. Bai Sha Sightseeing Port is the main point of entry for tourists.  It's close to the beautiful coastline and is indispensable to visitors.  At the port you can embark on tours around the island, and ride on glass-bottomed boats.  [This port] gives tourists new ways to experience Xiaoliuqiu. (3)


三鬼傳奇 The Legend of the "Three Ghosts"

三鬼不是鬼, 而是小琉球最具特色的指標喔!  包括當地時常捕獲的魚種 "鬼頭刀", 生長在珊瑚礁細砂間俗稱 "土鬼" 的雲雀殼菜蛤, 以及位於小琉球西南處的 "烏鬼洞", 合稱三鬼傳奇是新鮮海產與歷史文化結合的在地特色! The "three ghosts" are not really ghosts, but rather three things always associated with Xiaoliuqiu.  These three things are the mahi-mahi which are often caught there, a type of mussel known as the "dirt ghost," which grows in fine grained sand near coral reefs, and Wu Guei Cave, which is located on the southwest coast of the island.  Together these three "ghosts" combine seafood, history and culture to give the island its unique character! (4)


蛤板灣 Ha Ban Bay

小琉球當地居民又稱這裡為 "威尼斯沙灘".  屬於堆積地形的貝殼砂沙灘, 白淨的沙灘, 碧藍的海水, 非常適合浮潛, 戲水及潮間帶活動, 遊客也可在此近距離欣賞各式美麗貝殼和浪漫星砂. People on Xiaoliuqiu call this place "Venice Beach."  This beach is shaped like a clam shell, has white sand, and the turquoise waters off the beach are great for snorkeling, swimming and other aquatic activities.  Tourists can also enjoy the shells and sparkling sand there. (7)


美人洞風景區 The Beauty's Cave Scenic Area

美人洞位於小琉球西北角, 從這裡的制高點望海一看, 還可以發現沙瑪基外海的箱網養殖, 美景不在話下, 風景區內計有十三景, 各有千秋, 獨具天然風趣, 值得遊客細細玩賞.  The Beauty's Cave is located at the northwest corner of Xiaoliuqiu.  If you look down at the sea from the highest point there, you can see the nets used to raise fish off the coast.  The scenery is beautiful beyond words, and this scenic area has 13 scenic spots in total.  Each scenic spot has its own merits and natural beauty.  It's a place worth investigating in detail.


杉福生態廊道 Shan Fu Ecological Corridor

杉福生態廊道位於小琉球西岸的杉福漁港北側, 由廢棄的軍事基地改建而成, 漫步於此就能欣賞小琉球當地魚類的石雕圖像及軍事砲台遺跡.  走出步道, 迎面而來的是美麗的山海景色, 自然景觀美不勝收. The Shan Fu Ecological Corridor is located near the north side of Shan Fu Fishing Port, on the west coast of the island.  It was converted from an abandoned military base, and those strolling through this area can enjoy the stone fish carvings and the old gun emplacements [preserved there].  A walk along the trail reveals a beautiful view of both the mountains and the sea, and the wonder of the natural setting might just leave you speechless.


厚石群礁 The Hou Shr Reefs

這裡的沿岸是綿延不絕的珊瑚裙礁, 在裙礁內則是大片平坦的海蝕平台, 怪石嶙峋, 與其他景點的景觀截然不同.  在這裡你可以發現許多有趣的巨石, 如觀音岩, 爬山虎岩, 山豬岩, 紅番岩, 老鷹岩等, 考驗你的眼力, 看看可以找到幾顆?  The coastline here is an endless expanse of coral reefs.  Within the reefs are large platforms from which to view the eroding coastline.  This strange, rocky place offers an experience very different from other scenic spots.  In this place you can discover many interesting giant rocks, including Kuanyin Rock, Japanese Ivy Rock, Boar Rock, Red "Fan" Rock, Eagle Rock and many others.  Test your eyes and see how many strange rocks you can find! (8)


蜂巢蝦 Bee's Nest Shrimp

人氣強強滾的小琉球必點美食就是這一道, 裹粉酥炸的去殼蝦條, 軟嫩適中, 怡到好處, 上面類似蜂巢狀的東西則是利用鴨蛋加麵粉的蛋液下去炸的, 來回甩蛋液的技術需要功夫才可以完成, 口感與層次在這道菜當中可以完全展現出來. This is the delicacy that EVERYONE visiting Xiaoliuqiu should try.  The shrimp are shelled, coated with batter, and fried until they are very tender and delicious.  The honeycomb-like coating around them is made by frying duck egg yolk with flour.  The technique of tossing the duck egg yolk back and forth takes time to perfect, but it contributes a lot to the both the taste and layering of this dish. (5)


魷魚小封肉 Squid and Pork

魷魚小封肉又叫 "魷香紅麴東坡肉", 是一道非常道地的鄉土料理, 可是小琉球人, 家家戶戶都會做的一道菜, 非常下飯的古早味, 這道菜最特別的是利用厚切的魷魚塊下去滷製, 吃起來口口滿足, 自然的Q嫩口感, 和著三層肉油脂一起化開, 是所有遊客吃過後, 相當讚賞的一道菜色.  This squid and pork dish is also called "savory squid and red yeast Dong Po Pork."  It is a very "local" dish, that every family on Xiaoliuqiu cooks and enjoys.  It has a very traditional flavor, and the most unique thing about it is the thick cuts of squid, marinated in a [special] sauce.  It has an exceptionally satisfying taste, is very tender, and is cooked in three layers of [pork] fat.  It's a dish that all tourists come to appreciate. (6)

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1. "Xiaoliuqiu" or "Lamay Island?"  Honestly I'd prefer "Lamay Island," "Little Ryukyu" or even "Shiao Liou Chiou" to the unpronounceable "Xiaoliuqiu," which non-Chinese speakers are probably going to get wrong anyway.  BUT "Xiaoliuqiu" (sometimes abbreviated as "XLQ") seems to be winning the Chinese-English Spelling War, and far be it from me to force my preferred spellings on others. 

2. The ferry schedule's in the left sidebar of this site.  Public and private ferries leave every half hour between 7 am and 6 pm.  On all but the foggiest days you can see the island from the ferry terminal.

3. After you arrive expect to be besieged by people trying to rent you a scooter.

4. I'm translating 鬼 (guei) as "ghost" here, though in many contexts I feel "devil" is more appropriate.  "Devil" does a better job of describing the naughty/mischievous aspect of these spirits.  The mahi-mahi 鬼頭刀, "dirt ghost" and cave described above all have 鬼 in their names, thus the "three ghosts."

5. I can't eat shrimp anyway, but this sounds incredibly nauseating regardless.  Actually good?  Or something that people convince themselves into liking?  Whichever the case, while we were there we couldn't find a single place selling this dish.

6. Also sounds nauseating, but I have no problem with either pork or squid so maybe I'll try it sometime.  But again, couldn't find any restaurants selling it.

7. When I visited last week Ha Ban Bay was closed for renovation.

8. It looks a lot like Jialeshui in Manjhou Township.