2020年9月25日 星期五

Pingtung in the News 屏東的新聞 (North 北) 1


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 former head of Ligang Township published a book on local history two years ago.  He did so, however, in the absence of detailed historical records.  Recently a supplement to this book has been published, adding more documentation 補充文獻資料屏東里港出版 "增補阿里港志".

The Pingtung County Government will release special address plates for the houses in ten townships and municipalities, with a plan to have plates for all townships and municipalities by next year.  These address plates reflect a special characteristic of each locality. 特色門牌  屏縣10鄉鎮今年換發

A brother and sister recently returned to Ligang after a ten year absence to grow melons there.  屏里港姊弟返鄉務農  溫室種出有機美濃瓜


2. Gaoshu Township 高樹鄉

Someone may have drowned in Gaoshu's Lao Nong River.  A desiccated body was discovered there, and an investigation is ongoing. 屏東高樹鄉荖濃溪河床  驚見男乾屍

A man riding a scooter was recently attacked by a dog.  The dog belonged to a local policeman 警察養的狗突竄出害男摔車  備案另一當事人竟寫 "狗"

The honorary head of the hospital in Donggang recently traveled to Gaoshu to disburse a pension to those over 90 years of age. 高樹敬老金90歲以上人6千元  蘇清泉陪同鄉長王樹圍發放


3. Sandimen Township 三地門鄉

Highway 31 leading to Da She Village in Sandimen Township has been difficult to maintain.  At the request of the township office a toll will be exacted from motorists visiting the area. 三地門鄉 "屏專6線" 未來探訪大社部落擬收費

The Sandimen Township Office recently postponed its annual harvest festival due to coronavirus-related concerns. 屏東縣三地門鄉收穫節暨第68屆全鄉運動會活動記者會

Over 1.19 million was distributed to the elderly in Sandimen by their township office. 九九重陽節關懷長者 , 三地門鄉核發敬老金


4. Wutai Township 霧台鄉

Vehicles visiting Wutai's Hayou Creek will have to undergo a safety inspection, and those visiting will have to pay a fee.  I've got to say, that picture in the article really hurts my eyes.  Can you really call a place an "ecological and cultural area" if people are doing that霧台鄉哈尤溪遊程載客車輛須合法 屏東監理站將排班攔查

A symposium on corruption was recently held in Wutai.  The Pingtung County Government has been working hard to root out corruption in the area.  I wish them the best of luck. 霧台鄉長引領話廉政  防貪廉能入偏鄉

The Pingtung County Government is attempting to ease restrictions on turning traditional slate houses into homestays.  30 of these slate houses have recently been declared legal. 結構安全鑑定取代 石板屋民宿鬆綁


5. Jiouru Township 九如鄉

The Jiouru Police Bureau, which is a sub-bureau of the Ligang Police Bureau, recently convened a community safety meeting in Jiouru's Yu Shui Village. 里港分局九如鄉玉水社區治安座談會

After quarantine restrictions were lifted in the area, the Paper Windmill 368 Children's Art Project held performances in Linbian, Jiouru and Lamay Island. 紙風車368兒童藝術工程  屏東巡演3場  林邊 , 九如 , 琉球

Police in Jiouru fined the owners/operators of buses carrying children to local cram schools.  The buses were carrying too many students. 屏東幼童車攔檢  違規率6成


6. Yanpu Township 鹽埔鄉

Police held another community safety meeting in Yanpu's Yan Bei Community. 屏縣警里港分局辦理鹽埔鄉鹽北社區治安座談會

Wild ginger flowers are abundant in Yanpu.  Recently a cooking demonstration was held there to help demonstrate possible culinary applications of this flower.  Wild ginger flower sausages sound pretty good to me. 鹽埔鄉新圍社區 野薑花料理觀摩

A member of Yanpu's Mediation Committee recently received an award from the Pingtung County Government.  I'm not entirely sure what this Mediation Committee does. 鹽埔調委會主席陳世軒  喬案好犀利

7. Pingtung City 屏東市

Awards were handed out for a new line of local goods in Pingtung City.  County Magistrate Pan Meng-an was on hand to do the handing out. 2020屏東十大伴手禮  快來一起 "打包帶走"

Here's an article introducing local tourist sites.  Some of them really didn't need the introduction, others were new to me. 屏東原來這麼文青!十大必遊兩天一夜輕旅行

Not fancy enough for you?  Here's an article from Taiwan Vogue introducing some of the same places, but in a much more pretentious manner. 尋味地圖 / 還停留在屏東的舊想像?  七家美炸IG的 "屏東市風格小店" , 還不快收藏起來!

8. Chang Jr Township 長治鄉

The Pingtung Bureau of Cultural Affairs recently consulted a Chang Jr local on the medicinal uses of local plants.  This was done with an eye toward using them for commercial purposes. 客庄常見植物做香氛  長治照顧站長者樂學

Several government officials visited an army training facility recently, observed the trainees' progress, and exhorted them to get the most from their training. 長治鄉長探視役男  勉勵子弟充實自我

Chang Jr Township will install a new broadcast system this year.  Apparently a local woman's radio show is very popular in that area. 長治鄉村里廣播系統完成更新


9. Linluo Township 麟洛鄉

All of the households in Linluo (about 4000) have been equipped with a transmitter that helps them contact local emergency services. 屏東縣麟洛鄉全鄉近四千戶裝住警器  即時預防火警

Speaking of corruption, a former head of Linluo Township was recently accused of illegally shifting a group of seedlings from public to private use.  He was later exonerated. 涉將1030株苗木據已有  前麟洛鄉長逆轉重判8年

Is Linluo that bad?  There are other accusations of bribe-taking in that township.  A disciplinary committee suspended two former township heads as a result. 屏東麟洛兩前任鄉長都收賄  公懲會判撤職


10. Jhutian Township 竹田鄉

In Jhutian former betel nut farms have switched over to growing lemons.  They are now working hard to promote this local product. 屏東竹田鄉9成檸檬有履歷  農會辦促銷活動

The Jhutian Township Office, which has many Hakka residents, is working hard to provide services in the Hakka language. 穿制服、拚認證 屏縣公所各自出招推客語

Jhutian has joined some kind of "international slow city alliance" in the hope of boosting tourism there.  Apparently the "slow city" concept has something to do with "slow food". 屏東竹田鄉加入國際慢城  發展深度觀光


11. Neipu Township 內埔鄉

Both Mei He Institute of Technology and the Pingtung University of Science and Technology are located in Neipu.  Due to the frequency of traffic accidents among college students there, the local police are using various methods to make the roads in that area safer. 大學生新鮮人「撞」況多 內埔分局加強執法

Last year Neipu got a new ossuary/columbarium.(1)  The one there recently won an award from the Ministry of the Interior.  In case you're wondering, a lot of potentially productive land in Pingtung County is occupied by cemeteries.  Reclaiming this land is one of the County Government's less often stated goals. 煉金有一套 屏東內埔公共造產工作競賽奪冠

The Neipu Township Office is also working toward offering more services in the Hakka language. 推動客語通行語  內埔鄉長帶頭考初級認證

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NOTE 1: I'm new to the area, so I let the Google News algorithm do its thing.  In the future (maybe after "North #2") I may be more selective.  As it is I passed over the local township and municipality offices, and also the local police bureaus as sources of news.

NOTE 2: Some sites, like Hakka TV, change the web addresses of their news reports a lot.  If a link leads you to the wrong place this is why.

1. An ossuary is a place for storing bones, while a columbarium is a place for storing ashes.  I'm not sure which this building is.  Part of my confusion results from the fact that I don't know what County Government policy is regarding the exhumation of human remains from local cemeteries.  Do they then cremate the bones?  Or do they transport the bones to an ossuary?  With recently deceased people the policy is fairly transparent, but as older remains are sometimes transported to these places I can't be sure.

2020年9月24日 星期四

What I've Learned in Pingtung So Far 我在屏東發現的事



1. Taitung is great, but not THAT great.  There are plenty of beautiful places in other cities and counties.  It's not like Taitung has a monopoly on natural scenery. 台東是個好地方,可是也沒有大家想的那麼好。外縣市也有很多美麗的景點。台東的自然風景並不是獨一無二的。

2. Taitung doesn't have a monopoly on clear air either.  The air is just as good in parts of Pingtung. 台東的空氣品質也不一定是最好的。屏東有些地方的空氣品質一樣好。

3. Having your county government located in the center of your county is a definite advantage.  Teachers and government workers in Pingtung often have to go FAR for meetings. 縣政府的地理位置在縣中心是很好的事情。屏東的教師和政府的工作人員都要去到很遠的地方開會。

4. Teaching in one school with over 700 students isn't necessarily better than teaching in two schools with over 100 students each.  Working in smaller schools gives you more time to know people. 在700多名學生的學校上班不一定比在兩所各100多名學生的學校好。在比較小的學校上班可以認識比較多人。

5. People in small villages can be pretty cool. 小村的村民很親切。

6. Farmers aren't usually the best gardeners.  The "hack and slash" approach to gardening doesn't work all that well. 農夫通常不是很好的園丁。在花園裡用 《什麼都要砍掉》的做法不是最好的方法。

7. Chicken farms can smell just as bad as pig farms. 有時候養雞場跟養豬場一樣臭。

8. Pingtung City has a good side.  It takes a while to know that place, but it does have some redeeming features. 屏東市有好的一面。雖然認識屏東市區需要花點時間,但是有值得的地方。

9. There are some really overlooked places in Pingtung County.  I would list them here, but then I wouldn't have them to myself. 屏東縣內有些好景點不為人知。我想在這裡告訴大家,但我又不想那麼多人知道那些景點的位置。

10. Kaohsiung is more complicated than I gave it credit for.  When you get to driving/exploring around the less accessible southern districts like Linyuan and Xiaogang, THEN you might be able to say you know Kaohsiung. 高雄比我以前想像的更複雜。開始在林園和小港區開車/探險之後, 你才能說你認識高雄 。

11. Trying new things is good.  Trying new things and making new friends is even better. 嘗試新的事物很好。交新朋友和嘗試新事物一起更好。

12. If certain friends ghost you after you've moved two hours away, they probably weren't your friends anyway. 如果因為搬到兩小時車程外的地方,就失去了某些朋友,那他們大概不能算朋友。

13. Taiwan is both bigger and smaller than most people think.  You can start again in another part of the island.  It'll be fine.  You can also go back to places you've moved away from - just don't expect them to be the same as you remember. 台灣比人們想像的大, 也比人們想的還小。你可以搬到其他的縣市開創新生活,不會有太大的問題。你也可以搬回去原來住的地方,只是不要以為舊地方會維持原樣。

14. Tourism has a good and bad side.  In their rush to profit from a thing, local people often forget what makes that thing special in the first place. 觀光業有好與壞的一面。有時候當地人太急著利用一個東西或地方賺錢,而沒有看清楚它原本的特色。

15. A lot of what people regard as "fresh seafood" isn't fresh at all. 很多人想的海鮮不是那麼地新鮮。

16. Solar panels aren't always environmentally friendly. 太陽能不一定都是環保的。

17. In many parts of Taiwan red lights are only a suggestion. 在台灣有的地區的紅燈意思是《建議停》。

18.  I don't need hamburgers and pizza as much as I thought I did. 我不需要每天吃漢堡或披薩。

19. Farmers made Taiwan what it is.  Farmers can also help make Taiwan better in the future. 台灣是農夫開發而成的地方。台灣的未來也需要農夫的協助。

20. No matter what the news says, the world is beautiful place and fine for living in. 不管新聞報告說什麼,這個地球很美麗,也適合人住。

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*Bonus points if you know why I included the picture above.  That mountain in the distance isn't in Pingtung.

2020年9月19日 星期六

Roaming Around Jiadong Township 佳冬鄉一日遊

Jiadong Township lies between Linbian Township and Fangliao Township.  It's on the coast, but doesn't have a fishing port.  Yuguang Elementary School, one of the schools where I work, is in Jiadong. 佳冬鄉位於林邊鄉, 枋寮鄉中間.  雖然是在海邊, 但是沒有漁港. 我上班的學校之一, 玉光國小, 也在佳冬.

During the Ching Dynasty Jiadong and Xinpi Townships were one of the Hakka "Six Duei" Settlements.  At that time they were known as the "Left Duei." 清朝的時候, 佳冬和新埤鄉是客家人六堆其中一個.  當時的佳冬和新埤是為左堆.

According the last census, there are 18,668 people living in Jiadong. 上次的人口統計顯示佳冬的人口是18,668人.


At the southeast corner of Jiadong is the Seagull Park.  It could be a nice little park if the local government cared about it more, but as it is it's a sad, forgotten place where fishermen park their cars.  It's hard to blame anyone for this situation; the Seagull Park really is in the middle of nowhere. 佳冬的東南部有海鷗公園.  如果當地政府好好維護它的話, 這個小公園會是個很可愛的公園, 可是現在只成為漁民的停車場.  我不是在譴責任何人,  因為海鷗公園真是位於鳥不生蛋的地區.


From the Seagull Park a set of steps lead over the seawall to the ocean. 從海鷗公園可以爬樓梯翻過堤防到海邊.


To be fair, this area does have a certain beauty around sunset.  Any other time of day?  I wouldn't bother. 這個地方的海景在黃昏的時候比較美.  其他時間就不建議你去了.


Further west is the village of Wen Dze, at the southwest corner of Jiadong.  This is where the Linbian River meets the Taiwan Strait. 往西一點, 佳冬的西南部有塭子村.  這裡是林邊溪到台灣海峽的出海口.




At Wen Dze the road along the coast turns north, eventually meeting Highway 17.   This is near the bridge leading across the river to Linbian. 塭子村之後, 這條路往北走, 連接台17線.  附近的這座橋跨過河床往林邊.


North of Highway 17 the road along the river curves northeast, heading toward Xinpi Township.  You won't find any 7-11s or Family Marts around here.  在台17線北邊, 這條路往東北部去到新埤鄉.  這附近沒有7-11, 也沒有全家.


At the north end of Jiadong there's a disused trail.  From this point on stretches a maze of tiny roads. 佳冬北部有一條舊步道.  這裡之後, 附近的鄉道很像一個大迷宮.


Not far from the trail are these statues.  If you've driven from south Pingtung County to Kaohsiung, you've probably passed these statues many times. 這些雕像步道不遠.  你如果曾經從屏東縣南部開車到高雄, 應該看過幾次.


If you back south down Highway 1, you'll see a lot of pineapple fields.  This particular field is on my way to work. 在台1線迴轉往南走, 你會經過很多鳳梨田.  我上班的時候會經過照片中的鳳梨田.


But what Jiadong really has a lot of is old, abandoned houses.  The houses abandoned by richer people become tourist sites.  The houses abandoned by poorer people are left to slowly crumble. 可是在佳冬, 最多的東西大概是老舊的或廢棄的房子.  有錢人的舊房子變成景點, 較窮的人的房子就漸漸地塌壞了.





And this is Yuguang Elementary School, where I happen to work.  They have a nice field, don't you think? 這是玉光國小.  校園不錯, 對不對?

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2020年9月15日 星期二

林園東港漁邊漁樂線 Fishy Things to Do around Linyuan and Donggang


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.


林園東港漁邊漁樂線
Fishy Things to Do around Linyuan and Donggang

東港盛產黑鮪魚, 櫻花蝦, 是台灣重要的漁業重地, 三年一度的王船祭盛況, 更是吸引全台民重的目光, 近年來, 更因為大鵬灣國家風景區的成立, 帶動當地觀光產業的篷勃發展, 是喜愛體驗漁鄉風情的民眾, 必訪的地點. Donggang produces Pacific bluefin tuna and sakura shrimp.  It is one of Taiwan's important fisheries.  The "Receiving Blessings from the King" ceremony is held there every three years, and has attracted the attention of people throughout Taiwan.  In recent years the establishment of the Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area has spurred the development of tourism in the area.  It is a place that anyone wishing to experience life in a fishing village should visit.

林邊林園以養殖漁業聞名全台.  林園區位於高雄市南端, 主要養殖魚種為金目鱸, 而林邊鄉則是位屏東縣, 與東港鎮相鄰, 以養殖肉質細嫩, 經濟價值高的石斑魚為大宗, 喜愛海鮮的民眾可千萬不要錯過喔! Linbian and Linyuan are famous throughout Taiwan for the fish raised there.  Linyuan District is located at the southern end of Kaohsiung City, and its most important aquaculture product is the Asian sea bass (barramundi).  Linbian Township is located in Pingtung County, close to Donggang Municipality, and its main product is the tender, highly valued grouper.  Anyone who loves seafood should not pass these places by!

How to go?

開車的民眾, 可經由國道1號, 下小港交流道後, 接台17線, 使可以依序抵達林園, 東港, 林邊等地區. Those driving a car can take the Jung Shan Freeway and exit into Xiaogang.  This leads to Highway 17, which passes through Linyuan, Donggang, Linbian and other places. (1)

精彩樂活
Memories in the Making

清水巖 Qingshuiyan ("Pure Water Rock")(3)

清水巖位於林園區潭頭村鳳山丘陵, 以古剎清水寺, 珊瑚礁岩景觀, 及良好的視野聞名全台, 因為有泉水從岩縫湧出, 水質清澈, 故取名清水巌.  清水厳是一清水寺, 在清道光年間便建有廟宇, 經歷代修建而成, 寺內氣祀奉釋迦牟尼及觀世音菩薩. Qingshuiyan is located in the Fengshan Hills (4), in Tan Tou Village, Linyuan District.  The old Qingshui Temple is there, and the landscape was shaped by coral reefs.  The views from there are famous throughout Taiwan.  In ancient times this place came to be referred to as "Pure Water Rock" because of the pure spring water that gushed up through the rocks there.  The Qingshui Temple at Qingshuiyan was established during the reign of Emperor Daoguang, and this temple was improved upon by subsequent generations.  Within the temple are housed images of the Gautama Buddha and the Goddess Kuanyin.


位於屏東縣東港鎮的東隆宮是東港漁民的信仰中心, 供奉溫州府王爺, 每三年會在農曆九月舉行的 "東港迎王平安祭", 是東港鎮最隆重的宗教盛會, 時間長連七天, 除了遶境之外, 還有王船燃燒時的壯觀場面, 是台灣最盛大的王船祭典, 也是東港當地最重要的文化慶典活動. Dong Loong Temple is in Donggang Municipality, Pingtung County.  It is a place sacred to local fishermen.  This temple was dedicated to a prince in [China's] Wenzhou Prefecture.  Every three years, on the ninth month of the lunar calendar, this temple hosts the "Donggang Receiving Blessings from the King Ceremony."  This is the most important religious activity in Donggang Municipality, and takes place over seven days.  Aside from the passage of idols through the streets, it also features the "burning of the royal boat."  It is the largest such ceremony in all of Taiwan, and also the most important cultural celebration in Donggang. (5)


中芸漁港是林邊區最大的漁港, 作業方式主要以拖網為主, 魚貨則是以近海魚類為大宗, 每天漁船會在下午時分出海, 清晨回港交易, 由於魚貨新鮮, 且貨色齊全, 吸引許多民眾來到中芸漁港購買新鮮的海產, 是高雄市南端買新鮮海產的重要地點. Jung Yun Fishing Port is the largest fishing port in Linyuan District.  In this area the most important method of catching fish is dredge fishing, and most fish are caught close to the shore.  The fishing boats leave every day in the afternoon, and return early the following morning.  The catch is both fresh and of high quality, and this attracts many of those eager for fresh seafood to Jung Yun Fishing Port.  It is an important place to buy fresh seafood in south Kaohsiung City.

林園的養殖漁業 Aquaculture in Linyuan

林園區境內魚塭遍佈, 擁有高價值精緻養殖漁業, 主要養殖九孔, 石斑 (龍膽石斑, 老虎班, 點帶石斑), 蝦類 (白蝦, 草蝦, 沙蝦), 鰻魚, 虱目魚, 金目鱸, 金鐘, 紅杉等魚種, 是南台灣重要的養殖重鎮之一. There are many fish farms in Linyuan District, breeding high value species of fish.  Important species include abalone, grouper (giant grouper, "tiger" grouper, orange-spotted grouper), shrimp (whiteleg shrimp, giant tiger prawns, sand shrimp), eel, milkfish, Asian sea bass, "jin jong," snubnose pompano and other types of fish.  It is one of the most important regions for aquaculture in Taiwan. (6)


來到林邊鄉, 一定要來參觀林邊鄉內的古厝群, 其中以鄭家 "福記古厝" 最為知名.  "福記古厝" 是傳統閩南三合院建築, 不論是在造型, 建築型式, 或環境方面都保持的相當完整, 充滿古色古香的風味, 值得您細細品味. When you come to Linbian Township you should definitely visit the old residences there.  Among these old residences "the Old Fu Ji Residence," belonging to the Jeng Family, is the most famous.  The "Old Fu Ji Residence" was built in the traditional Taiwanese three-sided courtyard style.  Its structure, architectural style and surroundings have been kept intact.  It is a building rich in history and worth studying in detail.


黑鮪魚 Pacific Bluefin Tuna

屏東東港鎮以海鮮聞名全台, 在東港產出的海產中, 以黑鮪魚最為知名, 被警為魚肉中的勞斯萊斯, 是許多餐客的最愛, 每年5月 -- 7月, 就是東港黑鮪魚豐收的季節.  東港當地每年還舉辦黑鮪魚文化觀光季, 內容有盛大遊街活動和黑鮪魚拍賣會, 讓民眾有得吃又有得玩喔! Donggang Municipality in Pingtung is famous for its seafood.  Among all the types of seafood caught in Donggang, Pacific bluefin tuna is the most famous.  This type of fish meat is referred to as "the Rolls Royce of fish," and is a favorite of many diners.  The season for Pacific bluefin falls between May and July of every year, and this season is also referred to as Donggang's Pacific Bluefin Tuna Harvest Festival.  Every year Donggang hosts a Pacific Bluefin Tuna Cultural Tourism Season, which includes large street processions and a Pacific bluefin tuna auction.  It's something everyone must experience!


櫻花蝦 Sakura Shrimp

櫻花蝦是東港三寶之一, 東港人又稱之為 "花殼仔", 因為蝦殼帶有花紅的顏色而得名.  櫻花蝦的撈捕量有法令限制, 因此非常珍貴.  櫻花蝦營養價值非常豐富, 是民眾來到東港一定要品嚐的海鮮美味! Sakura shrimp are one of Donggang's "three treasures."  People in Donggang also call them "hua ke dzai" ["flower shelled"] because the shells of these shrimp are red like a flower.  Sakura shrimp can only be caught in limited quantities, so they are considered very precious.  Sakura shrimp have a high nutritional value, and are a type of seafood that everyone visiting Donggang should try.


林邊石斑魚禮盒 Linbian's Grouper Gift Box

林邊鄉養殖的石斑魚, 因為品質優異, 獲得農委員會石斑魚生產履歷認證, 並獲選2010水產精品, 為了讓民眾在家中輕鬆烹挑調美味的龍膽石斑, 林邊區漁會嚴選45公斤以上的龍膽石斑, 以急速冷凍的方式處理, 推出龍膽石斑魚真空包裝禮盒, 讓家庭主婦在家用微波, 或是簡單的料理方式, 就能吃到美味的龍膽石斑, 是民眾送禮自用的最佳伴手禮喔! The grouper is farmed in Linbian Township.  Because the quality of grouper [produced there] is very good, farmers there have been certified by the Committee of Agriculture, and [the grouper they produce] was selected as a boutique seafood product in 2010.  As a way of allowing people to more easily cook delicious giant grouper at home, the Linbian District Fishing Association carefully sets aside 45 kg of giant grouper, flash freezes it, and places it in special vacuum-packed boxes that housewives can either microwave or cook using simple methods.  [In this way everyone] can enjoy delicious giant grouper, and these boxes also make an excellent gift! (2)

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NOTE 1: The person who wrote the Chinese text seems a little confused about where Linyuan District, Donggang Municipality and Linbian Township are in relation to one another.  As you drive south from downtown Kaohsiung on Highway 17, the road veers east as you approach Linyuan, the southernmost district in Kaohsiung.  After passing through the petroleum processing zone and passing over the Gaoping River (高屏溪), you then enter Donggang Municipality in Pingtung County.  If you keep going east you arrive in Linbian Township, which is on the other side of Donggang.

NOTE 2: There used to be a DVD (VCD?) set available with this book.  I lost my set years ago, but I remember it being very interesting... IF you find fishing ports interesting.

NOTE 3: I've visited all of these places recently.  My thoughts are, in order: 1) Qingshuiyan's views are NOT famous throughout Taiwan.  All of the people I asked about it - many of them living in Kaohsiung - had no idea the place existed.  It's one of those weird areas I tend to love, but when I went last weekend it was too hot to walk around it.  I want to visit it again when it's cooler.  2) DON'T try driving straight to Dong Loong Temple in Donggang.  It's super popular, and driving down the narrow alleys which surround it is extremely dangerous.  Park some distance away, on the main road if possible, and walk the rest of the way.  The temple itself looks like any other temple, and for non-believers it's only worth visiting during the ceremony mentioned above.  I believe the next one is in 2022.  3) Jung Yun Fishing Port is within sight of the petroleum processing area, not scenic in any way, and has no facilities for tourists.  4) The Old Fu Ji Residence is just an old house.  There are dozens like it between Donggang, Linbian and Jiadong.  If you're already in Linbian you could see it, but if not don't bother.

1. Sounds easy, doesn't it?  Keep in mind you'd be passing through some of the most hellish traffic Kaohsiung has to offer.  As you pass into Kaohsiung's southern port/industrial area the trucks are SCARY, and the road leading south to Linyuan is incredibly dangerous during heavy rains.  For those unfamiliar with the area I'd recommend taking the Formosa Freeway (#3) to the Nanjhou 南州 exit, and then working your way west instead of east on Highway 17.  It'll be a lot less stressful.

2. If you've been to any Taiwanese banquet-style restaurant you've probably eaten grouper.  And yeah, that "housewives" part is kinda sexist.

3. I dislike using "Q" for the ㄑ sound in Chinese, but I figure this is probably how they spell it on English-language signage in the area.

4. The Fengshan Hills are a series of hills stretching south from Fengshan District in Kaohsiung.  Keep in mind that "Fengshan" is an older name for an area between modern day Kaohsiung City and Pingtung County.  "Kaohsiung" and "Pingtung" as official place names are relatively new inventions.

5. This festival is a very, very big deal.  It's featured in all the Social Studies textbooks and is a major tourist event besides.  If you go, be prepared for some traffic.

6. No idea what "jin jong" is called in English.  It translates into "gold bell."  Translated from Taiwanese?  It's the round silvery fish you often see in the markets.  There's a picture here.

2020年9月13日 星期日

Sounds 聲音


It's almost eight in the evening.  Outside my window I can hear the farmers coming home, driving their big trucks onto the empty field across from our house. 快到晚上八點.  我聽到屋外有農夫們回家的聲響, 他們把大卡車開到我們房子對面的空地.

Far up the hill a dog is barking.  It's undoubtedly one of many.  There are two packs of dogs in our village: those that live up the hill and those that live down it.  When a downhill dog wanders too far up the uphill dogs start barking.  When an uphill dog wanders too far down the downhill dogs start barking.  On and on it goes. 山坡上有隻狗在叫.  毫無疑問地, 一定有其他的狗在那裏.  村裡有兩群狗: 一群住在山坡上, 另一群住在山坡下.  山坡下的狗往上的時候, 山坡上的狗開始叫.  山坡上的狗往下的時候, 山坡下的狗開始叫.  這情形一直持續著.

Beneath the sound of the dog barking I hear insects.  In the puddles across from our house tadpoles quickly turn into frogs, and the frogs grow fat on all the insects they eat.  After a heavy rain the sound of those frogs is enormous. 在狗叫聲下, 我聽見昆蟲的聲音.  在我們家對面的水坑裡, 蝌蚪很快變成了青蛙,  青蛙在昆蟲大餐的滋養下成了胖青蛙.  每當大雨之後, 青蛙的叫聲歡聲雷動.

Someone in another house is slamming doors.  If I had to guess, I'd say it was someone's wife, closing up a house for the night.  Many of the women in this village wear friendly smiles, but some others wear worried expressions, and seem to brood over secret troubles. 鄰居在房子裡大聲關門.  如果要猜, 應該是誰家的老婆在關門窗準備睡覺.  在這個村子很多女人笑臉迎人, 可是有的看起來很緊張, 好像被秘密困擾著.

People are talking.  I can't make out the words.  Maybe they are speaking Taiwanese.  Maybe they are speaking Mandarin.  Maybe it's only the sound of their television. 有人在講話.  聽不清楚他們在講什麼.  可能他們在講台語.  也可能他們在講國語.  更有可能是他們的電視的聲音.

A fan roars into my left ear.  It's hot tonight, but at least the rain has stopped.  I've heard there are bigger rains on the way this weekend, and despite the heat I'm trying to enjoy the drier weather. 電風扇的聲音在我的左耳用力地放送著.  今天晚上很熱, 還好雨停了.  聽說這周末會下更大的雨, 就算熱,  我還是努力享受著較乾燥的天氣.

A large vehicle passes through the village on the main road.  It probably belongs to the army.  They go up there to shoot their rifles.  They go up there to stalk through the jungle beyond the village.  They go up there at night, and often trudge back the following day. 大車在村莊的主要道路上通過.  大概是陸軍的軍隊.  他們要到山坡上打靶.  他們到村莊後面的山坡上訓練.  他們晚上的時候去, 隔天回來.

It's after eight in the evening.  Outside my window the village has gone silent.  Everyone but me has gone to bed.  They will get up early in the morning, and they will tend to their fields. 過了晚上八點.  窗外的村子變得很安靜.  所有的村民去睡覺了.  他們要很早起床, 去做田裡的工作.

No dogs barking. 沒有狗在叫.

No insects chirping. 沒有昆蟲的聲音.

No doors slamming. 沒有門被大聲地關上.

No people talking. 沒有人在講話.

Only a fan, roaring in my ear. 只有我耳朵旁的電扇聲.

Maybe I should turn it off, and go to bed myself? 也許我也應該關掉電扇, 上床睡覺吧?

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2020年9月3日 星期四

What's Going On With Me


Feeling the love from Taitung 台東 this week.  Many people there have been asking me how I'm doing, and hopefully this post will answer most of their questions.  Long story short: I'm fine.  Life in Pingtung 屏東 isn't THAT different from life in Taitung, and work is going OK.

By the time you read this I'll have taught my first week of classes.  This year I'm at Fangliao Elementary School 枋寮國小, in Fangliao Township 枋寮鄉, three days a week, and Yuguang Elementary School 玉光國小, in Jiadong Township 佳冬鄉, two days a week.  I'm getting used to being "new" again, and I'm getting used to doing things differently.  It's not always easy, but I'm learning a lot about the area and the kids seem glad to see me.

I get up at 6:30 in the morning.  After that I wander downstairs, try to wake up, and then ride my bike to one of the two schools where I work.  If it's Monday, Wednesday or Thursday I go to Fangliao.  If it's Tuesday or Friday I go to Yuguang.


Fangliao is a little closer to where I live.  From Shin Kai Village 新開村 there's a road leading down the hill through Shuidiliao 水底寮, and on the other side of Shuidiliao I cross over Highway 1 and head into downtown Fangliao.  Fangliao Elementary School is just a little north of Fangliao Fishing Port.  In Fangliao I can hear the waves crashing against the shore, and I can always go to 7-11 or 85 if I want a coffee.

Yuguang is a little farther from my house.  Instead of going down the hill through Shuidiliao, I take a right from Shin Kai onto the Mountainside Highway 沿山公路.  I follow the Mountainside Highway north, taking a left on the road leading to Lili Village 力里村.  From there I go down a hill between pineapple and banana fields, cross Highway 1 north of the Ping Nan Industrial Area 屏南工業區, and ride along a trail leading into an old cemetery.  On the other side of the cemetery is Yuguang Village, and after a couple turns I'm at Yuguang Elementary.  Yuguang Elementary is in the middle of farmland, and buying a coffee there isn't quite as convenient.

The way the two schools operate is very different, but I think it's better not to go into too much detail with regard to their differences.  I am new after all, and I don't want to make too many assumptions about either place.  Let's just say that one school is a lot more serious than the other, and this seriousness filters down from the principal to the teachers and students.  Is this seriousness good or bad?  I can't say yet.


Around four I finish work and head for home.  When I get home I take a shower and then we think about where we want to eat dinner.  After moving into our house we discovered that our refrigerator wasn't refrigerating enough, and as a result we got very ill from eating spoiled meat.  Since then we've been eating in local restaurants.  

And here's where living in a more rural area can be a problem, because there really aren't many local restaurants.  The only option in Lili Village is 7-11, Jiadong has a few restaurants on the main road, Shuidiliao has a handful, but for the most part downtown Fangliao is the only place to go if you want to eat out.  South of Fangliao?  There's almost nothing until you arrive in Checheng 車城.  In places like Fangliao people just don't eat out that much, and this limits the number of restaurants open at any time.  When we have more energy we drive up to Chaojhou 潮州, which has more of everything, but that's not a place you want to drive to every day.


On the weekends we've been exploring Pingtung.  Last weekend we drove down to Jialeshui 佳樂水, in Man Jhou Township 滿州鄉.  After visiting Jialeshui we had pizza in Hengchun 恆春.  We've already been to Kaoshiung 高雄, Pingtung City 屏東市 and places along the Mountainside Highway several times.  I've ridden my bike to Dapeng Bay 大鵬灣, Fangshan 枋山, Wan Luan 萬巒 and several other places.  If it's not a weekend, going to anywhere in Pingtung County is easy.  If it happens to be a Saturday, Kenting 墾丁 is best avoided.  Driving north along Highway 1 can also be a chore on Sundays.

This weekend?  I'll be in Kaohsiung.  My younger daughter's (finally) starting school at the Kaohsiung Hospitality University 高雄餐旅大學, and we need to go with her to help her get settled in the dorm there.  My older daughter starts school at Wenzao University 文藻外語學院 a week later.  My wife is the sixth grade homeroom teacher at Yuguang.

So yeah, that's what's going on with me.  If you're reading this in Taitung don't worry; I'm fine.  I'll probably be back over there during the coming four-day weekend.  We'll pack the cats in the car, work our way east, and be there before you know it.  Rest easy, friends, and remember that I'm not THAT far away.


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